Today was the first day to catch and keep Chinook Salmon in Puget Sound, what an exciting day! We had a pretty thrilling day on the water, we moved around to a few of my favorite spots and found a little action. There was an incoming tide in the morning with the tide change happening right at 8am. We cruised up to the lighthouse at Point No Point and made the southbound troll to Pilot Point. My expectations were high for opening day, but I saw very little action among the boats in the area. We did hook up to a healthy Chinook. The rod started to shake violently in the holder, Mitch popped the line out of the downrigger release clip, handed it to a guest, but it shook the hook mid-fight. Hooked up on a Cookies & Cream 3.5″ Kingfisher Spoon behind a Jelly Crush Flasher. We didn’t give the area much time before heading over to Possession’s West Bar.
We started fishing south of the Scatchet Buoy, hooked another Chinook but just as the first one, it didn’t make it to the boat. Reports from a few friendly faces in nearby boats were dismal, so dismal that not only did I feel lucky to get a hookup there, but also gave me the inclination that if we stayed, we probably wouldn’t put too many fish into the net. So we made our final move.
After the tide change, we moved south to Kingston to finish up our day. There were quite a few boats working the area between the ferry route and Apple Cove Point, and we joined the fray to try our luck. We deployed our gear and instantly hooked a Chinook! With a little coaching, a patient angler on the rod, and a good net job, we had our first Chinook in the boat for the Puget Sound summer season! We altered our gear a little, and had a spread of four lines with flashers and whole-rigged herring, Kingfisher Spoons and Ace-Hi Flies. We found a flurry of activity for the next hour. The tide change to outgoing really made the fish in the Kingston area turn on, and we saw numerous salmon get caught on the troll and by those mooching. When it was all said and done we had hooked a total of five Chinook at Kingston and landed three. After dropping off the morning crew and returning to Kingston with our afternoon group, we picked up on the tail end of the bite and hooked another three, of those two went in the net, one was a Wild Chinook that was carefully released, the other was a Hatchery Chinook that was kept.
The final count for our boat during the Puget Sound Chinook opener was ten confirmed Chinook hooked & fought, four Hatchery Chinook kept, one Wild Chinook released… a stellar day for our crew!