After near sizzling salmon fishing action in the San Juan Islands in the days leading up to Christmas, things have toned down somewhat although it remains a worthwhile venture.
“It’s not crazy off the charts hot like it was three weeks ago for blackmouth, and those expectations have now changed to how it should be at this time of the year,” said Derek Floyd, owner of Anglers Choice Charters in Anacortes, who went eight for 11 on Tuesday during a trip to Salmon Bank and the buoy line between east side of Orcas Island and northwest of Sinclair Island.
“The fish now are more spread out than congregated in a big school at President’s Channel,” Floyd said. “In a quality bite area you might get a bite every hour or so, and in a quantity bite it’s more like one every 30 minutes.
Places worth a look are Eagle Bluff, Salmon Bank, Rosario Strait, Thatcher Pass, Sucia Island, Point Thompson off the north side of Orcas Island, Spring Pass, Sinclair Inlet, Obstruction Pass, Parker Reef, Lopez Pass and Waldron Island.
Another marine salmon fishery coming up soon is when northern Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 9) reopens Jan. 16.
In central Puget Sound – which is open for hatchery chinook through Jan. 31 – the stormy weather has wreaked havoc with light effort and dirty water creating what could be deemed as slow action.
“We fished in the fog (Tuesday) over at Fourmile Rock and the Elliott Bay Marina, and caught some sub-legal fish (chinook under the 22-inch minimum keeper size limit),” said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife checker who fished aboard the state’s test fishery boat. “We moved up to the (Edmonds) oil dock, and hooked and lost a keeper at the last minute just as we were going to quit. The water is really dirty and that make things tough on fishing.”
Elsewhere, catches for hatchery chinook have been slow at Presidents Point, Jefferson Head, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Elliott Bay, Saratoga Pass, Hat Island, Southworth, Manchester and the Tacoma-Narrows area.
In the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, fishing has been dreadful for hatchery chinook off Port Angeles, Freshwater Bay and to the east off Discovery Bay.