Have you ever tried going low and slow with fresh salmon? This is a method that came out of restaurants. I associate it with Jerry Traunfeld, a very talented Chef here in Seattle (if you are local, and haven’t tried his restaurant “Poppy”, I suggest you do so soon) although I can’t swear that he was the one who first popularized it. Anyway, bad credit loans this style of salmon preparation has been popular with the “foodie” crowd for a while. But don’t let that scare you away. It really is delicious.
We worked hard all morning at Point No Point, worked our gear along the outside of the moochers right at the Point and westbound towards Skunk Bay, but didn’t really see much happening. We tagged a beautiful Wild Chinook and released it, but nothing for the fish box.
On the way back in we spotted a really fishy looking tide rip. There were birds diving on bait so it appeared to be a good spot to stop for a bit. Five minutes into the troll, we hooked a really hefty Chinook that bit a Cookies & Cream Spoon at 125′. What a way to wrap up the morning trip!
We had a decent morning bite along the shoreline between the Kingston Ferry Dock and President Point this morning. The tide was outgoing until the 9am tide change, we trolled in 125′ of water with our gear spread out at 60′, 75′, 90′ and 110′.
We ended up with two nice Chinook and two Coho before the morning tide change, then moved up into the Kingston Bowl and lost our third Chinook. Fishing for most was a little challenging, but we were marking plenty of bait and fish, so we rode it out through the early afternoon. With a blue sky and plenty of summer sunshine illuminating the water column, we ran gear that was low profile and conducive to the conditions. We ran clear UV flashers (Jelly Crush and Moon Jelly), and behind for the lure we ran small Kingfisher Spoons or Ace Hi Flies or small while herring rigged to spin.
Fishing reports for the area weren’t that hot, so we felt very fortunate to get the salmon opportunities that we encountered.
We also ended up with a haul of Dungeness Crab to top off our day!
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!
Although the large returns of ocean Chinook and Coho wait until mid-summer to return to the Puget Sound, there is a healthy number of resident Coho and Chinook swimming around Possession Bar, Kingston and Jeff Head. There are always a few mature Chinook that return from their open-ocean feeding frenzy a little early and will be caught and released. Puget Sound’s tidal flows push the herring up into the tide rips, and that is exactly where the salmon stack up to feed.
The first two week’s worth of fishing for Resident Coho has been a little challenging in the Central Puget Sound. Small tidal exchanges during the first week really made searching for a concentration of bait and salmon difficult. We focused on catching Coho for our guests, but did spend a little time scouting for Chinook, which we found with regularity around Jeff Head and Kingston (some large mature Chinook and plenty of smaller blackmouth). Most of the charters that fished the early weeks of July spent their time working the shipping lanes for shallow Coho. We fished the south side of Jeff Head most days, trolling with herring or lures behind chrome dodgers. Size 0 dodgers, 20”-22” 30 pound leader, trailed by 2”-3” Silver Horde Kingfisher Spoons, Ace Hi Needlefish Flies, Gold Star Mini Squid, or small firecracker herring rigged in an anchovy helmet. Most of the Coho that we came across were three to six pounds. It seemed to be an early morning bite for most, but we also picked up a few salmon later in the day as well. I received several really good reports from friends that were focusing on Catch & Release Chinook fishing, catching a few nice fish at Mid Channel, Posession Bar and Kingston. We came across a few nice Chinook at Kingston and Jeff Head, even though we spent very little time overall targeting them.
During our last few days of Coho fishing, the tidal exchange was great enough to really build some nice tide rips around the south side of Jeff Head. One morning I cruised up to find several charter boats working a line, so I scooted over to find a textbook rip, the tide rip that I had been searching for all week! All the grass and debris was pushed into a tight line in the flat water. On the outer edge was a wide stretch of choppy water clear of eelgrass. Small herring were jumping everywhere and the gulls were actively circling and diving. Like I said, textbook. We started our troll and quickly picked up a few fish. Two younger guys in a small Boston Whaler quickly limited on Coho; they were mooching herring tight to the rip. We worked the rip and were rewarded with six fish on and three fish to the boat. Fishing for a few days was consistently good, and we caught fish during every trip. Really enjoyed the early season, but I am looking forward to keeping a few Chinook once the Sound opens for retention on July 16. Best of luck out there everyone!
We are just wrapping up the first two weeks of our Seattle salmon fishing season, so I figured that it was high time for a quick fishing report. Marine Area 10 has been open for Coho Salmon fishing since the first of July, and even though our Chinook fishing season begins on July 16, we have been finding a few big ones to battle and release. The early season (July 1 thru 15) is an interesting time to fish the Puget Sound near Seattle, and it has its highlights and its challenges. Here is a quick shakedown.
Westport’s charter fleet is currently experiencing the salmon fishing that is as good as it gets. It seems that everyone, from the larger charter boats to the smaller express style boats to the weekend warriors are all out there enjoying some of the best offshore salmon fishing that anyone can remember. I was out there at it again, fishing aboard the charter boat Reel Ultra for the weekend, and we did well. We had some phenomenal fishing over the past few weeks, and it is just amazing just how consistently good the fishing has been.
It seems that day to day, there are a few hot spots where the salmon fishing is really good, but even for those that don’t have the inside scoop, and take a random guess at where to fish, those guys are still finding some pretty decent fishing opportunities. We had been targeting Chinook and Coho along the 250’ to 300’ line due west of the mouth of Willapa Bay. It had been a strong producer since mid-June, but shifted to the North a bit. This weekend we fished along the 250’ line due west of the Quinault Beach Casino, and found quite a few nice Chinook, quite a few nice hatchery Coho, and a bunch of Wild Coho and undersized Chinook that were released.
Chinook and Coho salmon are on the bite at Westport, to do whatever you can to plan your next fishing trip before the end of the season!
Fall Salmon fishing on the Washington Coast just got a little more interesting with the announcement that there will once again be a Salmon Derby on a local favorite: the Humptulips River. The 5th Annual Humptulips River Salmon Derby offers anglers the chance to enter their trophy Chinook and Coho Salmon for hefty prizes. This great local derby is a great opportunity to join in on great coastal fishing but also give back to the local community! For anyone that fishes the Humptulips River, 1 ticket is good for the entirety of the Derby!
Humptulips Salmon Derby Information
The 2013 Humptulips Derby headquarters is the Humptulips Store, where derby tickets can be purchased and salmon can be weighed in. All proceeds go to fund the Humptulips Volunteer Fire Department and the Humptulips Food Bank & Community Support. Last year’s derby drew in 55 participants and local derby sponsors are really hoping that this year’s attendance will surpass that. All tickets must be purchased at the Humptulips Store, to be valid for the day they must be purchased before 9am. Any derby tickets purchased after 9am will not be valid until the following day.
The winner of the 2012 Derby weighed in a Chinook Salmon that was 26 lbs 6 oz… many folks stopped by the weigh in with larger fish, but no ticket! Get your ticket at the Humptulips Store!
This year community organizers have outdone themselves with an array of huge prizes! Get in on the action! AWARDS DINNER: Masionic Lodge 8th Street Hoquiam. October 26, 1:00-8:00 PM
Baranof Wilderness Lodge, Alaska, 4 days/4 nights $3500 Value
$200 Bi-Mart Gift Card
$150 Bi-Mart Gift Card
$100 Bi-Mart Gift Card
$50 Bi-Mart Gift Card
AWARDS DINNER: Masionic Lodge 8th Street Hoquiam. October 26, 1:00-8:00 PM
Purchase your $30 derby ticket at the Humptulips Store! One ticket is good for the entirety of the Humptulips Salmon Derby. As of October 1, 2013 there have already been 12 tickets sold, which is leading up to a very successful derby . The Humptulips Store is open daily at 5:30 AM, so anglers are encouraged to pick up a ticket before hitting the water.
1935 Kirkpatrick Road
Humptulips WA 98552
Breakfast & Lunch
The Humptulips Grocery will be serving hungry derby participants lunch (burgers and hot dogs) on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. Breakfast will be available Saturdays & Sundays only.
Great Fishing Prospects for 2013
An abnormally wet September has already pushed plenty of large, fresh Chinook Salmon into the Humptulips River! Local anglers and guides have been out seeing record setting fishing action for the early season! With a limit of 3 Salmon, anyone headed out to the Humptulips River is destined to see some of our region’s best fall salmon fishing. Capitalize on great fishing with this derby and help support the local community!
Baranof Wilderness Lodge, Eagle Charters, Glacier Bear Lodge, Timberland Bank, Umpqua Bank, Bi-Mart, Nielton Landscaping, West Marine, Tica, Horns and Hooks, Dairy Fresh, Dunshire Printers, F/V Prestige, Franz, Frito-Lay, Harbor Wholesale, Harr Distributing, Jay’s Produce, luckyshotsupply.com, Beau Mac, Masco Petroleum, Michael’s Farm Fresh Meat, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Vision Hooks, Washington State Fishing Guides, West Coast Portables, Dino’s Pizza, GH Wine Sellars, Fish Tail Brewery, Internet Café, Quinault River Inn, Cruisers Pizza, Ocean Shores Inn & Suites, Grey Gull Motel, Red Genie, Polynesian, Moo Moo Oink Oink Cluck Cluck, Dollar Tree, Lake Quinault Lodge, Hi Tide Resort, Seabrook, Echoes of the Sea, Green Lantern, Grocery Outlet, Rain Forest Resort, Home Town Liquidators, Les Schwab Tire, O’Reilly Auto, Chimney Techniques, Home Port/Best Western, Ace Hardware, Humdinger, Duffy’s, Dominos Pizza, Amerigas, Las Maracas, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Mazatlan, Caskey’s Industrial Supply, Harbor Saw, Chris’ Motorcycle, Wiitimaki Jewelry, Dennis Company, Levee Lumber, A Wild Hair, Wishkah Distillery, River Bend Jigs, Pacific Paradise, topfishingsecrets.com, Champion Floors, Corporate Image Embroidery, NC Machinery, Yakima Bait, P-Line, Okuma, Tillamook Jerky.
***All fish entered into the derby are subject to inspection by WDFW or derby personnel. All WDFW rules and regulations apply.***
Check out details on this year’s Humptulips River Salmon Derby. Not only is this an extremely fun event, but it also benefits a great cause! All proceeds benefit the Humptulips Volunteer Fire Department. Last year’s winner was guide Joe Superfisky and crew of Superfly’s Guide Service. Just like last year, the derby is ongoing through most of October.