The hatchery king opener on Wednesday in northern and central Puget Sound produced fair to good action depending on where you fished.
My morning started off by leaving the Shilshole Bay ramp at 6:30 a.m., and fishing with my Uncle James Yuasa and his friend Denny Kiyohara of Alameda, Calif.
We trolled off the Trees area just south of Richmond Beach, and for the 75-plus boats plying the waters between the Edmonds oil dock south we only saw or heard of less than a handful of kings caught.
I managed to hook and land a 15 pound hatchery king while mooching a whole herring down to a depth of 80 feet.
Pete Sergeef, the state Fish and Wildlife checker at the Don Armeni ramp in West Seattle checked 19 boats with four kings and three coho by 1:30 p.m. The Shilshole Bay ramp saw three kings for 20 boats. The Everett ramp checker saw 10 kings by mid-afternoon.
Other areas of Puget Sound were off and on for hatchery kings depending on who you talked to.
Take for example some charter operators who scored good numbers of kings while others nearby were mere spectators.
“We landed 10 kings, and we kept five hatchery kings, and there was a good bite (at Kingston) around the morning high tide,” said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Shilshole Bay.
Krein said the smallest king weighed 9 pounds, and the four others weighed between 13 to 16 pounds. All four kings had two to four five-inch herring in their bellies, and according the Krein they were “definitely feeding hard.”
“It was very competitive fishing, very crowded and hard to maneuver through all the boats,” Krein said.
Carl Nyman, owner of Fish Finders Charters in Shilshole Bay also scored six kings and some coho fishing between Kingston and Jefferson Head.
“I got a report from Midchannel Bank (from two guides) that it was slow, and each had just one king for their clients,” Krein said.
Word had it that a cluster of 200-plus boats crowded the bank off Port Townsend, and sources said only a handful of fish were seen by each caught during the entire morning.
Possession Bar off the south side of Whidbey Island produced a few kings, and action was better to the west off Point No Point and Pilot Point.