I am a Blackmouth fishing rookie. There, I said it. Now that I’ve got that confession off my conscience, I can share a solid winter Chinook fishing report.
Wednesday’s Puget Sound marine forecast was just too good to pass up a fishing trip. I met my fishing partner Ross and his co-worker Chris at the Edmonds Marina just before the sling opened. We splashed the boat and headed over to Point No Point to fish the last hour of the incoming tide.
It was one of the most beautiful days in the last few months. Puget Sound’s waters were flat. The winter air had a bite to it that was a reminder that it is still technically winter. But the snow-capped Olympic Mountain range was the perfect panorama view in front of us as we crossed the sound and gave me that feeling of thankfulness that we were out fishing.
We neared the Kitsap shoreline and passed several small tide rips and flocks of feeding Seagulls. We stopped just short of the Lighthouse, pointed the bow south towards Pilot Point and got on the troll. I love the simplicity of trolling for salmon here. We are armed with a small box of tackle, just the basics, and with just two rods fishing from downriggers we sent down a flasher and herring on one side, and a flasher and Coho Killer spoon on the other side. The catching part of the trip started immediately. We released a few Chinook in the 16″-20″ range, and landed two keeper Chinook, 24″ and 26″. The limit is one Chinook over 22″ per person, so this isn’t trophy salmon fishing, but gives us something fun to do in the winter around here. Once the tide really started to slack, the fishing slowed. Once Chris realized we were being tailed by a lazy and apparently hungry harbor seal looking for an easy meal, we picked up our gear and headed to Double Bluff on the other side of Admiralty Inlet. A friend suggested we head over there for the outgoing tide and it was a great suggestion.
We cruised across to Double Bluff and fished the east edge of the bar. Once again we focused on the 90′ to 100′ line, keeping our downrigger balls and gear within a few feet of the bottom. The first troll pass paid off! We netted a 26″ Chinook within a few minutes of trolling.
“We’ve got two options, keep it as our third fish and boat limit, or let her go and keep fishing”
Ross and Chris weren’t as excited about the limit as they were ready to keep fishing, so I released the fish and we kept fishing. I love limiting the boat, and the old saying, “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush” has plenty of merit, but we were more excited to learn the area than we were a quick limit. We fished for another couple hours and released a few shakers and lost three nice Chinook that I would bet were keepers (one that popped out of the downrigger clip once it struck, and another that we got to the surface and offered up some violent head shakes). Once the catching really died down, we headed back with our two fish. All considered it was an awesome day to put my first couple keeper sized Winter Blackmouth in the boat!