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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM

San Juan Island chain summer salmon fishing report


Here is the latest San Juan Island fishing report from Kevin Klein, member of the San Juan Island Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers:

One fish per day is all any boat I’m on can seem to pull out of the ‘Juans this summer. I suppose we’ve been lucky to at least get one. However, I netted my biggest catch to date on Friday: an actual running, in gear, 100 lb plus 8hp Honda High Thrust Kicker motor.

Here’s the “scoop” (net/scoop, get it?): I was on my lunch time commute by boat to Lopez for a monthly safety meeting, when my downrigger suddenly deployed down to about 110′, with a Q-Cove flasher, and Siver Horde Tailwagger attached.

After some trolling around I noticed that the aformentioned deployed rod was making wild, spastic jerking movements all over the place. I grabbed it and reeled down as fast as I could, and low and behold it was a fairly hot King Salmon!

Trying to net a fish by yourself is always a challenge, especially with a 10′ 6″ Convergence Mooching rod, and longer leader. So after a good fight, I brought the fish to the net, and made a try.

As will happen, the Chinook had one more big run in him, so I had to set the net down and got back on the fish fast. I laid the net on the gunwale a little too far out, and looked back just in time to see it tip over into the water, bob up and down just out of reach, and go right into the spinning kicker prop.

With a “thunk” the kicker bound up in the net and died. Ouch. Still have a King on too. I had a spare net in the v-birth, up in the cabin, so I let out line and backed up all the way to the front of the boat to grab the net. Of course the spare was telescoped in, so just to add to the level of difficulty I had to fight the fish while sliding the net handle out and locking it.


This whole adventure was getting old quick. I think the King was getting tired of the shenanigans as well, because it turned on it’s side and let me finally slide the spare net under it and lift it in the boat. After a few minutes of knife work I was underway again, with a good example of the importance of paying attention for the safety meeting. And by the way, you can order relacement net bags from Frabill.

The Waypoint Marine/Seasport Rendezvous took place this last weekend at Roche Harbor. Part of the festivities included a half day salmon derby. Here’s George Harris, President of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, with daughters Jackie (age 9), and Bailey (age 14), and the second place fish of 15 lbs. A 19 lber taken in President Channel won.

(Photos courtesy of Kevin Klein)



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