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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Wall of pinks and coho in Strait, and good king action off Freshwater Bay and Port Angeles

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(Mike Schmidt with a nice king caught in the Strait of Juan de Fuca this past week)

The salmon fishing on the Strait of Juan de Fuca has picked up despite gnarly wind and choppy water.

“It looks like the chinook fishing is holding up at Port Angeles, and the pink numbers are still pretty high,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Strait. “We had over 200 pinks checked at Port Angeles and they are catching them right along the shore.”

Bennett manager to catch a 12 pound king on Sunday, but the water was sloppy and windy, and it was combat fishing with all the boats concentrated right off the Coast Guard station.

“The boats were cutting each other off, and it was not that much of a fun fishery,” Bennett said.

Most of the kings were averaging in the 13 to 19 pound range with some up into the low 20 pound category.

“The Freshwater Bay area was the best spot for kings, and we had some nice fish into the 20 pound range and it was a fish per boat average,” Bennett said.

Tony Floor, the director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association fished Freshwater Bay on Thursday, and Ediz Hook off Port Angeles on Friday.

“Fishing for kings was good in Freshwater Bay and on Ediz Hook (and Friday) we brought six to the boat up to 22 pounds, and released three to six unmarked,” Floor said. “The Strait has been plagued by high winds for the first ten days of the season but it finally got nice. The fish are there!”

At the most western point of the Strait off Neah Bay, anglers were inundated with pinks and coho, and those lucky enough to get past those also hooked into kings.

“It is wall-to-wall pinks and lots of silvers up at Neah Bay, and it hard to get your line down to catch a chinook because you’ll end up nailing a pink or coho,” Bennett said. “In no time the rest of the Strait will get inundated with pinks.”

Just east off Sekiu, the hatchery king fishing has been just fair at best, but there are increasing numbers of pinks and coho.

“Most of the boats at Sekiu are hanging in close to shore looking for kings, and the pinks are being caught further offshore,” Bennett said. “I’m sure if they ventured father out they’d get into a lot of pinks. Some of the pinks I’ve seen at Port Angeles are decent size in the 5 pound range.”

 

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