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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Coastal halibut fishery off Westport decent, but maybe a bit too good

PatFaganhalibut3-15-12.jpg

The first of the coastal halibut catch figures are in, and it looks like fishing was very good at places like Westport.

“In Westport the (catch per unit effort) was a whopping 0.93 halibut per person, and they did really well for both private and charter fishermen,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist. “The bad news is they caught 10,900 pounds of their 40,738 pound catch quota so that is already a pretty big chunk of the catch.”

Beeghly did point out that the Tuesday (May 8) opening off Westport showed not as many private boaters out fishing, and the weather wasn’t very good.

Doug Heffner of Prescott, Arizona landed a halibut that weighed 40 pounds on Sunday to win his share of the Westport Charterboat Association Derby weekly prize.

At Ilwaco, the average was 0.34 halibut per rod, and they caught a total of 756 pounds during their three-day opening last week.

The North Coast halibut fishery opened today (May 10) at Neah Bay and La Push.

“I know the weather is not good today, but they still saw 200 boats go out of Neah Bay and close to 100 boats out of La Push, but whether they made it out to halibut fishing grounds is yet to be seen,” Beeghly said.

Ilwaco is open for halibut Thursdays to Saturdays each week. Westport is open this Sunday (May 13), and May 20 and 22. Neah Bay and La Push are this Saturday (May 12), and May 17 and 19.

(Photo courtesy of Pat Fagan)

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