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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Good winter Chinook catches happening in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca

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The eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca reopened for hatchery Chinook fishing, and the area off Port Angeles has been quite productive.

“We had some fish caught out in the bay, and most of it was off the Winter Hole area (located just west of Ediz Hook),” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait. “It looked like the jiggers were doing the best, and a couple were caught by guys with downriggers.”

Bennett says most of the Chinook were averaging 8 pounds, and there was some days when the water was rough and anglers couldn’t get out on the water.

On Sunday, five boats with 10 anglers caught 16 hatchery Chinook; on Saturday, one boat with two anglers brought home one hatchery Chinook; and on Dec. 5, three boats with seven anglers hooked 11 hatchery Chinook.

“The catch was a good sign because the tides were bad, and you want to fish Winter Hole preferably on a morning outgoing tide,” Bennett said. “This past week it was not the best of tides so I’m surprised they caught fish. You need to have a low tide that will push the fish up on the ledges.”

“There have also been some big balls of bait just out in front of the spit so it looks like there is some (herring or candlefish) bait around that should keep the fish around.”

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