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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 15, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Coastal salmon and tuna bite are at their peak summer time best

WestportKingLady.jpg

Salmon and tuna fisheries off the coast are now at their summer best, but success is all about location, location.

“We saw decent salmon catches in some places, and not so good catches at others,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “There was also a lot of variability between boats for tuna, but some pretty good catches.”

At Neah Bay, anglers averaged 1.3 fish per rod, and most were hatchery coho with a few chinook.

It was slow at La Push with 0.85 fish per rod, and about two-thirds of the catch was hatchery coho.

At Westport, it was 0.70 per rod, and Beeghly says most boats were back to targeting chinook just outside of Grays Harbor along the beaches.

“Chinook are on the beach, and the coho are out deep,” Beeghly said. “Being at a certain spot will dictate what you’ll catch.”

Ilwaco averaged 0.90 fish per rod, and about 75 percent of the catch was hatchery coho.

Tuna boats were about 20 to 40 miles offshore, and averaged as much as 10 fish per rod. Westport and Ilwaco were the main tuna ports with some charter boats catching 8 to 10 to a high of 20 tuna per rod.

The Willapa Bay chinook fishery is starting to gain some interest with the peak action occurring around Labor Day.

(Photo courtesy of Sheila Brown with Delaunay Communications. Pictured is Leslie Norman of Tacoma with a 21-pound, 4-ounce king caught off a Westport charterboat on Sunday, Aug. 12 to win the $500 weekly derby prize from the Westport Charterboat Association.)

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