The north-portion of central Puget Sound’s catch and release salmon fishery is one that very little anglers participate in, but many don’t realize what a great fishery it can be.
This morning I left the dock at Shilshole Bay with veteran mooching angler Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle, and headed north to survey the Jefferson Head area and saw just one other boat out fishing.
We decided to head further north to Kingston, which has always been a fairly good early summer chinook fishery especially on an outgoing tide like this morning. It was here that Krein had scored some decent fishing earlier in the week.
Our first two drifts gave up not a single bite, but at about 6:30 a.m. I got slack lined as I was dropping down around 60 feet, and hooked into my first chinook of the summer, which was an 18 incher.
Not the mature big king I was looking for, but in this fishery “action” is what you’re looking for!
The schools of herring baitfish started to build as we continued our drifts in water about 200 to 130 feet deep.
At around 8 a.m. we hooked and released another small under-sized chinook that was about 20 inches, and then my friend ended up getting one hatchery chinook that we estimated to be about 6 pounds.
To rate the success of the catch and release fishery, one also needs to look no further than All-Star Charters of Everett, owner Gary Krein who made two trips this past week, and scored 14 fish and 12 fish including some mature kings. On another trip he reported it was very slow.
Catch and release fishing is currently open north of a line from Point Monroe to Meadow Point until June 30. Then anglers are allowed to catch and keep coho only in all of central and northern Puget Sound through July 15.
On July 16, central and northern Puget Sound open for hatchery-marked chinook fishing.
For those who are looking to catch and keep a hatchery chinook right now should head to south central Puget Sound, although fishing has been spotty at best south of Southworth, Dolphin Point, Point Robinson, Redondo Beach and the Tacoma area.
(Photos taken by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff reporter)