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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Good times keep on rolling in many fisheries

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Here are what local fishermen, resort managers, fisheries biologists, tackle store owners and fishing guides had to say about what they are seeing out on the water this week.

Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Shilshole Bay:

“At the Everett ramp they’ve already seen a 100 coho in one day check, and it is only August, and we haven’t gotten into September during the peak time for coho. That indicates we should have a good month ahead. When the coho come in earlier they tend to bite better. Whenever they mix in with the pinks they seem to be better biters.”

“And to top it off we had a good resident coho run and then they stayed around and are now in the 4 to 5 pound range. Plus were now seeing the larger ocean coho too.”

“We ought to see this good pink and coho bite hold up for at least another few weeks and maybe the whole month. Given most years right after Sept. 1 the pinks get real mature and the bite starts to slow some, and we don’t get those quick slam dunk days. The Snohomish River fishermen on the incoming tide have said that pink fishing is fabulous and lights out (on Tuesday) and the day before.”

Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood:

“Pinks are still the big thing from the Skagit all the way down to the Puyallup River, and it is thick with pinks everywhere. We’ve got great number in the saltwater still at Port Angeles, and we should see at least a couple more weeks of pink fishing in the saltwater and all the way through September in the freshwater.”

“We do get some guys who aren’t doing well and one thing I think is optimistic is we’ve got lots of nice ocean coho in the saltwater areas, and I’ve heard of guys catching three to six of them in a day, and they’re 7 to 14 pounds. It is looking quite optimistic and that means it will be good for the Edmonds Coho Derby on Sept. 10, and Everett Coho Derby on Sept. 24-25.”

“There is just so many pinks being caught at Mukilteo and Picnic Point, the beaches on the west side of Whidbey Island, Deception Pass, Fort Casey and from Bush Point to Lagoon Point, and every place in between is turning out fish.”

“The Stilly (Stillaguamish) opens (Sept. 1) and so does the Skykomish for pinks. Crabbing ends after this holiday weekend and that is very good.”

Gary Ryan, manager of Van Riper’s Resort at Sekiu in the Strait of Juan de Fuca:

“Still got a lot of pinks, and I took Harold Van Riper (the resort’s namesake) out Monday, and we should’ve had an easy limit of fish, and still got five pinks and two silvers one which was about 11 pounds, and one pink that was 9 pounds. We also had a couple others on that we lost, and I know one was a nice silver without a fin on it that Harold lost.”

“When we had that weather change (two weeks ago) they pinks disappeared for a day or two, and that was just a wave that washed through and now we got another wave of them coming and it has also been decent for silvers and we’ve seen them as high as 12 ½ pounds.”

The Sekiu Chamber of Commerce No Fin, You Win Coho Derby is Sept. 10. Cost is $15 per person. First prize is 50 percent of the pot, second is 20 percent and third is 10 percent. Details: 360-963-2334 or 360-963-2311.

“This is one of the best fishing years I’ve seen for kings (season is now over), pinks and silvers in a while, and it has been outstanding all season. If I had to rate this season on a scale of one to 10, I’d give it an eight.”

Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sample checker in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles:

“Things are kind of hanging in there right now, and the pinks have dropped down over the weekend, but there was heavy fog and I think that was one of the reasons why it dropped down. Not a heckuva lot people around. Good coho counts and we had up to 90 coho a day on some of the checks. And these are some good looking coho coming in. Looks like the coho is picking up.”

Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist at Montesano:

“Neah Bay last week had a 0.9 fish per person average, and well over half of that was still pinks. And not as many chinook or coho. La Push had a surprisingly big week, and a 1.4 average per person, and mostly coho followed by pink and chinook.”

“Westport had a 0.97 fish per person average, and they had more coho this week than chinook, and a bunch of pinks also showed up down there too. At Ilwaco overall they had a 0.96 fish per person average, and looks like about one chinook for every three coho. And quite a few chinook in that area right now.”

“Effort has dropped off (coastwide) and it always drops off this week and starting right before Labor Day. Tuna catches were still kind of slow, and on Saturday there was lots of participation (because of the Washington Tuna Classic) and the top boat only had 12 fish. For charter boats it has been kind of slow too. Saw a few boats that had an eight fish per person range.”

Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver:

It is improving for fall chinook and right now its best from about the Cowlitz downstream. The Lower Cowlitz has been good for a mixture of coho, steelhead and chinook. We should see an improvement up to the Lewis and Vancouver area soon. It should ramp up any day now. Typically the peak for fall chinook is right around Labor Day or right after middle of the month as far as the catching goes.

“Some steelhead are being caught in Drano Lake, and walleye were being caught below Bonneville mainly in the gorge and downstream on from there has seen decent walleye catches. Still a little bit of trout action at Swift Reservoir.”

“Our checks (at Buoy-10) showed slight improvement for about one coho for every five rods for hatchery coho, and there is a sign of improvement there.”

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