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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 6, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Don’t give up on the king fishery in central and northern Puget Sound just yet

PossessionBarKings.jpg

For those who’ve faced the grim task of seeking out kings in the northern and central Puget Sound’s marked-selective fishery might be on the verge of throwing in the towel.

Places like Pilot Point, Point No Point, Possession Bar, Edmonds to Richmond Beach, Kingston and areas to the south have seemed like a ghost town this past week for kings.

But, don’t let the furstration get to you just yet as it appears there are plenty of kings swimming to the north off Whidbey Island, in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and clear up the west side of Vancouver Island.

“Two of us went out and caught four kings in six hours, and we were feeling like bumbling fools and should’ve caught them sooner,” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist who fished Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend last Thursday.

Barkdull is an honest angler when it comes to providing reports, and he jokingly says those fishing off the bank aren’t letting any of the fish get to us from Point No Point-Possession Bar and areas southward.

“To be honest there looked like more fish caught up there than on opening day (which was July 16),” Barkdull said. “It was silly good, and the fish finder screen was black with baitfish and fish arches everywhere. There was a ton of fish there.”

All one needs to do is look at the most recent fish checks from boat ramps to know more are headed our way in the coming weeks as the peak of the chinook run normally occurs by the second week of August:

Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles — July 31: Five boats with eight anglers caught two chinook; Aug. 1: 18 boats with 34 anglers caught 15 chinook and one coho; Aug. 2: 26 boats with 42 anglers caught 21 chinook; Aug. 3: 35 boats with 59 anglers caught 35 chinook and two coho; Aug. 4: 46 boats with 92 anglers caught 54 chinook and nine coho; Aug. 5: 50 boats with 115 anglers caught 52 coho and 44 coho.

Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina ramp — July 30: 16 boats with 29 anglers caught 14 chinook; Aug. 3: 21 boats with 46 anglers caught 48 chinook; Aug. 4: 31 boats with 59 anglers caught 47 chinook and one coho.

Fort Worden State Park ramp near Port Townsend — July 31: 15 boats with 24 anglers caught 17 chinook.

Even some of the checks from Neah Bay and Sekiu also showed a strong catch of kings this past week, and those from Sooke to Nootka Sound were still encountering plenty of hatchery kings.

(Photo courtesy of John Martini)

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