Fishing Report June 18 2013
Our Pacific Northwest summer is in full swing, and our favorite regional summer fisheries are off to a great start! In the Seattle area and around the Pacific Northwest, fishing has been good and the options are many. We have many areas open to salmon fishing, all of our favorite summer steelhead streams are offering up great action, our lakes are providing great catching, and our saltwater areas are soon to be enjoyed by the legions of summertime crabbing enthusiasts. Summertime in our neck of the woods has offers only one real problem, there are so many great fishing options and yet only so little time!
Fishing has been WHITE HOT for early Kings so far. Westport charter boats are doing very well for the keeper Hatchery Chinook and releasing some very nice Wild Chinook. Mark Coleman, operator of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters, has found plenty of action south of Westport tight to the beach fishing just outside of the surf line. If the early season is any indication of how the summer fishery will go, it will sure be a good one! Mark has reported about half the fish they are catching are wild, and once retention goes to ANY Chinook on June 24, Westport will be buzzing with salmon starved ocean fishermen. Lingcod and Rockfish fishing has been phenomenal as well.
Photo Courtesy ALL RIVERS & SALTWATER CHARTERS
Puget Sound has been kicking out phenomenal action for Lingcod for the past month and a half. Since opening day on May 1, anglers from as far south as Tacoma up to the northern reaches of the San Juan Islands have all been seeing easy fishing. Central Sound hotspots such as Possession Bar, Hat Island, Blake Island, Double Bluff and all of our inshore breakwaters have been producing fish.
Lingcod Season finished strong in the north Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. Creel checkers counted up many Lingcod brought into northern ports, Anacortes, Bellingham and Whidbey fishermen were averaging about 1 Lingcod per boat, which is pretty darned good overall (remember, they are counting everyone, including the many that aren’t even fishing for Lingcod).
Many of the Seattle area Charters are reporting record catches this season. Although the Lingcod fishing season is drawing to a close, salmon fishing has been fair and many more opportunities for salmon are just around the corner!
Photo Courtesy FIRST LIGHT GUIDE SERVICE
June 1 marked the opening of Marine Area 11 in the Tacoma area. Opening weekend saw many folks out trying their luck, opening weekend yielded 62 Chinook for 229 Boats. Typically, the early opener produces plenty of Resident (Blackmouth) Chinook and a few early Ocean Kings. Several large wild Chinook were reportedly released; those are always fun to catch. Trolling 11” Glow Flashers with small Spoons or Hoochies was very productive, but moochers fishing near Point Defiance also saw some steady action over the first weekend. Fishing pressure and success both dropped and catches of a few Salmon a day are currently the norm. Expect fishing to pick up throughout July as more Salmon migrate back from the Pacific.
Seattle based Salmon anglers have been targeting Resident Coho since the local Marine Area 10 opened up on June 1, but catches have been low. Fishing has been best near Jeff Head. Trolling Size 0 Dodgers with small Spoons, Mini Hoochies or Needlefish Squid has been the most productive. The early June season is a great time to get your trolling program figured out, enjoy the first of summer’s warm days, and prepare for the Sound’s Main Feature… Summer Chinook Season!
Puget Sound opens for Chinook fishing, with hatchery fish retention, on July 16 this year. Anglers from all over the region enjoy some phenomenal salmon fishing near Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Admiralty Inlet from the opener through to the closure. Those classic salmon spots will be pretty busy this summer, and areas such as Possession Bar, Point No Point, Mid Channel Bank, West Point and Jeff Head will be putting countless King Salmon on summer grills around the Sound!
Seattle Shore Fishing
Boatless anglers had a great start to the summer fishing season. Lingcod were taken regularly by the fishermen at Pier 86 north of Downtown Seattle. Although that season has ended, Summer Chinook should be making their way into Elliott Bay soon, and fishing from the Seacrest Pier in West Seattle should heat up very soon. Elliott Bay will remain closed for Chinook Salmon retention from a boat, but Catch & Keep is still available year round from Pier 86 and Seacrest Pier.
Edmonds Pier seems to produce the first Puget Sound Chinook of the summer. It also is open year round, and while the Chinook season for boaters doesn’t open until July 16, the Pier Guys will get into them as early as mid-June. Fishing peaks at Seattle area piers in July.
Fishing along Seattle shorelines is extremely popular, and with a great mix of Searun Cutthroat Trout and Salmon in the nearshore areas, a great option for anyone without a boat. Searun Cutthroat have migrated from our local streams to feed along the beaches and provide fast action for those fishing with a fly rod and Baitfish Imitations, gear fishing with light tackle rods and small Spinners and Spoons is even more effective. While Chinook Salmon usually migrate in deeper waters, Coho & Pink Salmon will flood into Puget Sound and are a short cast from the beach. Expect the first waves of Pink Salmon to enter Central Puget Sound by mid July.
Seattle Area Lakes
Trout fishing has been good in several Seattle area lakes. Cottage Lake (Woodinville), Pine Lake (Sammammish), Lake Ki (Marysville), Flowing Lake (Monroe), Angle Lake (Seatac) and many others are offering up a mixed bag of stocked Rainbow Trout, Panfish and Bass. Warm summer days have sped up weed & lily pad growth, so bass fishermen have plenty of structure to work. Expect trout fishing to be best on overcast/rainy days or in the low light periods at sunrise and sunset.
River fishing in Puget Sound’s best Summer Steelhead streams has been fairly good. High water conditions and throngs of eager river anglers made fishing on the Skykomish River (our area’s most beloved fishing stream) a little challenging, with many boats & bank fishers and few fish to show. Over the past two weeks water flows have been reduced a bit and fishing has been fairly steady. Bank anglers fishing around Reiter Hatchery on the upper Skykomish have been catching plenty of Steelhead using a variety of methods. Boaters have been seeing good catches of Skykomish Summer Chinook in the middle river between Monroe and the Wallace River mouth.
Photo Courtesy TALL TAILS GUIDE SERVICE
The Green River has been a little quieter. With fewer folks sharing the river yet catching a few Summer Steelhead in the Flaming Geyser and Palmer-Konasket areas.
Heavy snowmelt has been detrimental to Snoqualmie area fishers, but there are definitely folks out there trying! This river hasn’t received a Summer Steelhead plant in a few years, so the river is primarily left to the trout angling crowd. The Middle Fork has been running high and off color, which has impacted the entire Main Snoqualmie. The North Fork and South Fork have been fishing well. Small spinners or spoons have been working well for Cutthroat & Rainbows. Fly fishermen are just beginning to see decent hatches of Mayflies. Caddis pupa patterns are currently working well also. Once the river levels drop, the lower stretches of the Main Snoqualmie in the Carnation area should produce good fishing for Cutthroat. Look for slow water with woody structure nearby, Cutties love it!
The Cowlitz River has been in Summer mode for a while now, but many folks haven’t heard the news. Barrier Dam bank anglers are seeing prime conditions for Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead. Catches have been good in the Blue Creek to Mission Bar area as well. Plunkers and Anchor fishing boaters are seeing a mixed bag of Kings & Steelhead in the Olequah area in the lower river as well! Anchoring with a 3.5 Maglip Plug, a Diver & Sand Shrimp or a Diver & Prawn have been producing in all areas of the Cowlitz.
The Yakima River has been fishing very well in the past several weeks, expect more of the same to come! Caddis, PMD, Salmonfly patterns have all been producing and fishing for Cutthroat and Rainbows have been excellent. The Upper Yakima is fishing well with prolific hatches and great water conditions. The Lower River has been fishing well but water clarity is mediocre due to runoff from the snowmelt laden Teanaway River near Cle Elum. As the summer progresses, the Teanaway will clear up and the lower river will be in its prime… just in time for Hopper fishing! Woo Hoo!
Spring Chinook have finally showed up! The past two weeks have offered great fishing in the Bay near Memaloose, Ghost Hole and the Wilson/Trask Tidewater areas. Trolling with herring has produced in the Bay, Bobber fishing with herring or eggs have tempted many a Springer in the lower rivers. Fish have also pushed up the Wilson and Trask Rivers and are being caught regularly.
Coastal Rivers have been producing some great fishing for Summer Steelhead. In the Forks Area, Spring Chinook are also being caught.
If you have a fishing report and would like to share, send me an email and I will post it! Pics are always great too!
As always, be safe out there folks, and good luck fishing!