No sooner than I reported it was a virtual ghost town in Central Puget Sound for salmon did they make a reappearance off Jefferson Head the past couple of days.
It does help to have anglers out there on the water looking for them, and with winter chinook that is what you’ve got do to keep the fish dialed in.
On Sunday, Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett found a good patch of chinook milling off the Jeff Head, and his boat hooked four quality sized blackmouth although only one was a hatchery fish.
This morning, I talked with Pete Sergeef with state Fish and Wildlife who was aboard the test boat, and they caught one 10 pound hatchery-marked blackmouth at Jeff Head out in deep water 170 to 180 feet.
One place where the blackmouth weren’t congregating was Elliott Bay where the 67th annual Tengu Blackmouth Derby kicked off on Sunday.
“They drew a big fat zero for a total of 37 anglers,” Sergeef said.
In the derby only mooching (drift fishing using a banana-style lead weight to a leader with a herring) may be used. No artificial lures, flashers, hoochies (plastic squids) or other gear like downriggers are allowed.
The derby was named after Tengu, a fabled Japanese character who stretched the truth. Like Pinocchio, Tengu’s nose grew with every lie.
The derby is held at daybreak until 11 a.m. on Sundays, Oct. 23 and 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27, and Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at the Seacrest Boathouse in West Seattle. Cost is $15 and $5 for kids under age 12.
The Seacrest Boathouse will open at 6 a.m. every Sunday for the remainder of the derby. Rental boats are available 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and costs $65 for boat only, and $85 for boat and motor.
Tickets are available at the Seacrest Boathouse, Linc’s Tackle Shop in Seattle, Auburn Sports and Marine, Outdoor Emporium in Seattle, and Sportco in Fife.