The coho fishery in Puget Sound is off to a hot start with some of the best action seen in many years.
“This is the best coho fishing we’ve seen in at least 10 years, and we’ve come back with easy (two-fish per rod daily) limits for about 10 days now,” said Steve Kesling, owner of Adventure Charters in Shilshole Bay.
“These are very aggressive feeders, and we’ve had a lot of years when the coho have comeback in good numbers, but aren’t willing to bite,” said Kesling. “It is harder to not catch fish than it is to catch them.”
Kesling has been fishing around the Edmonds area, and has averaged 15 hook-ups including this morning when he had 13 coho in the fish box. His group of lucky customers today included John Schaffer of Concord, OR., Richard Gamboa of Bulverde, Texas, Ryan Gamboa of Olympia, Gail Gamboa of Bulverde, Texas and Jordan Bullock of Olympia.
“All these are nice beautiful ocean fish, and we’ve had a 60 percent landing rate,” Kesling said. “It is smoking good.”
Kesling says the fish are covering all the depth, and he is fishing shallow early in the morning at depths of 20 to 40 feet deep.
Good coho spots are both sides of Whidbey Island, Point No Point, Mukilteo south to the Meadowdale, Edmonds to Richmond Beach, Jefferson Head, Skiff Point off Bainbridge Island and Shilshole Bay south to West Point.
“We’ve got some of the best coho fishing we’ve seen in years and years, and it looks like it will continue on for a while,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “There are lots of coho everywhere from Whidbey Island, Edmonds, Mukilteo to Shilshole Bay,” Chamberlain said. “Most are small in the 4 to 7 pound range. Virtually anyone who knows anything about fishing has been connecting on these fish.”
Shore anglers casting Buzz Bombs and Point Wilson type jigs, Rotators or a cut-plug herring under a bobber are having good success for coho off west side of Whidbey Island at Bush Point, Lagoon Point and Cort Casey. Also try the beaches off Marrowstone Island, Point Wilson and Point No Point.
The good times on coho are also rolling along in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles.
“We’ve still got good numbers of coho coming in,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait. “The coho seem to be closer to surface with a lot just 30 to 40 feet down.”
“It looks like we’ve got two groups of fish with some smaller ones in the 4 to 6 pound range, and some bigger ones going up in the 8 to 10 pounds, and an occasional 12 pounder ,” Bennett said. “The coho look a lot healthier, and I know a friend who was catching coho throughout the day (on Monday) and caught a good size one about 9 pounds or so.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Kesling, owner of Adventure Charters in Shilshole Bay)