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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Coho fishing action heating up in time for September derbies


The coho salmon are starting to filter into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and are now lined up clear into the northern and central Puget Sound boundary line.

“The coho are starting to move into the Strait, and places like Sekiu and Port Angeles picked up toward the end of the week,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait.

A check from Olson’s Resort at Sekiu on Sunday showed 44 boats with 121 anglers who landed 175 coho, and at Van Riper’s Resort in Sekiu, 32 boats with 93 anglers took home 122 coho.

To the east in the Strait, at the Ediz Hook ramp in Port Angeles on Sunday there was 189 boats with 50 anglers who kept 41 coho.

“The coho aren’t very big from what we’re seeing, and most were in the 5 to 7 pound range with a big one being 9 or 12 pounds,” Bennett said. “The good news is we’re seeing all the checks from various boat ramps getting in the hundreds of fish, and hopefully the rain will keep moving more in.”

Some anglers were confused if they could keep both wild and hatchery coho east of the Tatoosh boundary line. To clear things up anglers are allowed to keep all coho west of the Sekiu River.

Locally, the southern edge of Marine Catch Area 9 and 10 off Edmonds and Richmond Beach has been off and on for coho since late last week.

“The coho finally showed up, but it’s not slam dunk fishing all the time although (co-guide) Nick Kester was on fire (Wednesday) catching a limit of 10 coho by 8 a.m.,” said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett who has been trolling in the Edmonds area.

“There is no consistency by any means just yet, but it will get better heading into this month and the rain probably brought more fish into the area,” Krein said. “Most of the coho are 4 to 6 pounds, and the biggest we’ve caught was 9 pounds.”

A fair to good coho bite has occurred off the Edmonds Marina, Richmond Beach, Jefferson Head, Possession Bar, Point No Point, Kingston, Bush Point off the west side of Whidbey Island, green buoy on south side of Whidbey Island and Browns Bay.

Shore anglers are also getting a few coho off Bush Point, Lagoon Point and Fort Casey on west side of Whidbey Island; Point Wilson near Port Townsend; Marrowstone Island; Point No Point; and Lincoln Park off West Seattle.

The Edmonds Coho Derby is Saturday, and is expected to draw hundreds of anglers looking to catch the largest coho worth $5,000. Details: The Northwest Kayak Angler’s Kayak and Paddleboard Coho Classic Fishing Derby is Saturday at the Ballard Elks in Shilshole Bay. Cost is $40. Details:

Those will be followed by the Everett Coho Derby – dubbed the largest salmon derby on the West Coast – on Sept. 20-21. Details: 425-923-8405 or





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