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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Westport still the place for nice hatchery king salmon action

WestportKingJune10.jpg

The early ocean hatchery chinook fishery at Westport got off to a really good start, and continues to be hot at midweek.

“We ended up with 1,300 chinook caught (last weekend) at Westport, and an average of 1.5 fish per angler (daily limit is two hatchery-marked chinook over 24 inches long),” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist. “That is a pretty good catch, and it sounds like it stayed that way this week.”

“I would say over half the boats we sampled has limited,” Beeghly said. “The average size was 10 to 12 pounds with a wider range of weights from 7 to 22 pounds.”

Beeghly says the boats weren’t going out very far, and found fish just outside of Grays Harbor off Ocean Shores and the south jetty in 60 to 120 feet of water.

“All the private boats are fishing right up along the beach, and the last I heard the charters were going south down off Willapa (Bay) to stay out of the crab gear,” Beeghly said. “It is a little easier for the private boats to get around all the crab gear in the water right outside of the harbor.”

The winner of the Westport Charterboat Association Daily Salmon Derby on Sunday, June 10 was Viet Vo of Renton who caught a king that weighed about 24 pounds. His fish is the largest so far on the season derby leaderboard.

On the southern coast at Ilwaco last Saturday’s opener wasn’t quite as good, and was mainly due to lousy weather and a rough ocean. By Sunday, some boats manager to get out, and the average was about one fish caught for every other rod. There was fish reported caught off Klipson Beach (located between Long Beach and Ocean Park) and North Head.

On the northern coast, Neah Bay and La Push opens daily beginning this Saturday, June 16 for hatchery chinook fishing.

(Photo courtesy of Sheila Brown at Delaunay Communications)

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