I got to take a great family out to experience their first fishing trip on Puget Sound. Rich Jr. moved to Seattle a year ago and his family was in town for a visit, and decided that they would try out fishing in Rich’s new hometown. Great people that were rewarded with a great day of fishing!
We left Shilshole Marina and headed down to West Point off Seattle’s Discovery Park for our “warm-up” drift. Mooching rods were rigged and ready, I cut a few baits and everyone was fishing within a couple minutes. I was waiting for the tide to turn, so that we could hit the outgoing at Kingston, and West Point was a great place to start. John immediately hooked into a nice Pink Salmon and we scooped it on our first drift. We hooked two others, so immediately everyone got to see how effective mooching can be!
We cruised up to Kingston after the tide change. Bait was starting to build but the current was still weak. We made a couple drifts with some pretty heavy dogfish action, but eventually the water really started to move and the Chinook bite turned on!
We landed six Chinook, several were very impressive. I always emphasize the importance of taking care of these fish and explain the process we go through to ensure that they get responsibly handled and released.
How to Carefully Release Salmon…
I have struggled releasing these big fish on the side of the boat, as they seem docile until you try and handle them in the water. So I put them in our rubberized net, which has a deep enough bag that keeps the fish barely submerged while I remove the hooks. As I am de-hooking, I let the group know that if we want a pic, they better have their phone ready and on camera mode, because that fish is going to be out of the water for about five seconds… so get ready! I lift, photo taken, fish back in the water. When you are dealing with any salmon that you release, it’s important to wet your hands before you handle. I grip the tail and hold on. When we are mooching, the boat is still and it’s easy to hang on and wait until the salmon is rested and bursts out of your grip. On the rare occasion that I troll, I take the boat out of gear so we aren’t fighting that 2-3 mph troll speed while we are trying to revive our catch.
Richmond Beach Pink Salmon Action!
After the bite died at Kingston, we cruised across Puget Sound to Richmond Beach near the end of our morning. We got into a pretty good mooching bite for Pink Salmon and landed another three in about 30 minutes!
More Great Salmon Fishing To Come!
Even though our favorite catch and keep Chinook fishing season has closed in marine areas 9 and 10, there is another month of great salmon fishing to come in Puget Sound!
Marine Area 11 Chinook season should last through the weekend and hopefully longer! Pink Salmon have flooded into Puget Sound. Coho Salmon are out there, and the big rain storm that is expected for Wednesday should push even more into the Central Sound. Get out there!