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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 10, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Go now: San Juan Islands on fire for winter hatchery chinook fishing

Chinook salmon pic.jpg

Here is the latest salmon fishing report from the San Juan Islands by Kevin Klein, a member of the Puget Sound Anglers Friday Harbor Chapter:

Blackmouth fishing is pretty darn good right now in the San Juan’s. I heard that the (state Fish and Wildlife) fish checkers have had record (non-derby) days counting salmon. Seems like the fish are everywhere, so pick your favorite spot and go.

With good fishing like this, and a big derby coming up like the Roche, there will be more boats out there. If you are fishing a tight spot, or close to shore along a troll, a little common sense and etiquette goes a long way. Think of a group of boats trolling like a NASCAR race. Instead of a bunch of rednecks and Danica Patrick turning left at 200 mph, it’s a bunch of Chinook addled fishermen traveling at 2 mph.

Trolling counterclockwise (making turns to the left) is usually the norm, and the boat with starboard to the beach has the right of way. Don’t run all up into the middle of a troll, and stop right in front of an actively fishing vessel. You’ll make him alter his course and throw him off line. Also, just give other folks some space. All the fish are not caught at one depth, so no need to crowd.

If I get to a hole and see it full of boats, I’m going someplace else anyway. Fish don’t care if the spot is on a report or “hot spots” map. They just want to get out of the current and feed. Find your own sleeper spot and zipper lip it. It’s fun to have some of these in your arsenal, and could pay off during derby time.

(Photo courtesy of Kevin Klein, and pictured is Alexandria Holman with a limit of blackmouth from the San Juan Island region.)

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