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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 25, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Holiday statewide fishing options worth exploring in the weeks ahead

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Skip the holiday shopping and head out to your favorite fishing ground for some post-Christmas fishing.

There is a lot to be had including Dungeness crabbing, squid and smelt jigging, and salmon, trout, steelhead and ice fishing.

“Guys are still getting a good amount of squid off the (local Puget Sound) piers, and they aren’t very big but some are filling their buckets with up to 3 pounds,” said Jerry Beppu, owner of Linc’s Tackle Shop in Seattle.

The Dungeness crab fishery is very good in open areas of Puget Sound as the winter season ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Salmon fishing also is worth a trip onto Puget Sound where blackmouth (resident hatchery chinook) have been biting from central Puget Sound clear up into the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and San Juan Islands.

“The best reports are coming from the San Juan Islands,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood.  “Limits are pretty much the rule with lots of fish in the 7 to 8 pound range and some up into the mid-teens.”

In the eastern Strait, the hatchery chinook (averaging 8 to 12 pounds) is decent off Winter Hole, an underwater ledge just west of Port Angeles Harbor. A check from the Ediz Hook boat launch Sunday showed 12 boats with 23 anglers caught 21 hatchery chinook.

In central Puget Sound try Kingston, Edmonds oil dock-Richmond Beach area, Shilshole Bay, Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Jefferson Head, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester and Southworth.

“We went out over the weekend, and there are still fish around, but the seals have been a problem,” said Pete Sergeef, who fishes aboard the state Fish and Wildlife test boat fishery. “We haven’t seen much in Shilshole Bay, but other places are still producing fish. Area 8-1 and 8-2 have been terrible.”

For smelt jigging head to the Cornet Bay Pier on North Whidbey Island and the Oak Harbor Marina.

Lake Sammamish is the hot spot for cutthroat trout in the 14 to 19 inch range, and while the action isn’t has good on Lake Washingon the few being picked up can weigh 5 to 6 pounds. Call it quality over quantity.

The winter hatchery steelhead fishery isn’t living up the expectations but a few were caught in Snoqualmie, Reiter Ponds on the Upper Skykomish, Fortson Hole on Stillaguamish North Fork, Lower Cowlitz, Washougal, Skykomish, Cascade, Bogachiel and Lower Hoh.

Ice fishing is pretty good at Moses Lake for a mix of mainly yellow perch, and some trout and walleye.

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