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Originally published September 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 18, 2008 at 12:09 PM

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Fishing Report | Coho catch slow in Sound

The coho remain for the most part missing in action around Puget Sound, but hopes are high for this weekend's Everett Coho Derby, the largest on the West Coast.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The coho remain for the most part missing in action around Puget Sound, but hopes are high for this weekend's Everett Coho Derby, the largest on the West Coast.

The derby will be held at the 10th Street Boat Lauch off Marine View Drive in Everett. Cost is $25. Largest coho is $2,500. Details: www.everettcohosalmonderby.com.

Derby fishing is open in Marine Areas 8, 9 and 10, and the Stillaguamish, Skagit and Snohomish rivers.

New this year at the derby are 10 coho that have been tagged in the marine areas. Three tags are worth $25,000, $2,500 and $1,000, and seven other tags are worth $500 apiece.

"They got into the coho pretty good [yesterday] in the Snohomish River," said Bryan Nelson at Three Rivers Marine and Tackle in Woodinville. "The water is so warm in the Snohomish, and fishing in the Skykomish is actually better I believe because the water temperature is cooler," Nelson said. "Fair reports have been coming from the trollers from the town of Snohomish down to Everett."

"The derby is a great event and a large percentage of the proceeds go to fundraisers for kids," Nelson said.

The middle portions of the Skagit River have a fair number of coho around Lyman, Sedro-Woolley and Hamilton.

Coho fishing in Puget Sound is lackluster, although some charters continue to find fair to good fishing from West Point off Shilshole Bay north to Edmonds in water 100 to 150 feet below the surface.

"We got four coho [3 to 10 pounds] out in front of Shilshole [yesterday]," said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett. "We fished the tide change [Tuesday] at Jeff Head and got an 18 pound coho, which is one of the biggest I've gotten in Puget Sound."

The average is about one coho for every three boats in Central and northern Puget Sound.

Other places to try are off the Edmonds Marina, Richmond Beach, Lagoon and Bush Points and Richmond Beach.

Coho remain a no show at Point No Point [tons of small 8- to 10-inch salmon], Possession Bar, Scatchet Head and from the Shipwreck to Mukilteo.

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Good numbers of coho continue to filter into Lake Washington, and a portion of the lake north of the Evergreen Point floating bridge opened Tuesday for coho fishing. Decent coho reports came from Hunts Point by trollers using Fatfish Plugs or Coho Killer Spoons down 30 to 80 feet.

Anglers in the Sekiu area of the Strait of Juan de Fuca can keep hatchery or wild coho through Sept. 30, but fishing is on the slow side.

"We did a boat survey [yesterday] and it showed close to or just under a coho per boat, but the place is totally packed with people," said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait area. "The biggest we saw was 18 pounds."

Olson's Resort is warning anglers who plan a trip to Sekiu to call first. Currently there is no moorage available, but they are allowing folks to launch boats.

Coho fishing from Freshwater Bay to Port Angeles is slow.

Fishing reports

Pheasant and waterfowl hunting: "The youth hunt for pheasants and ducks is this weekend, and we will release a good number of pheasants for that," said John Garrett, manager of the Skagit Wildlife Area. "The headquarter area won't be open for pheasant until Oct. 4. In the meantime, we are releasing birds at Leque Island [Smith Farm area] and the Samish Unit."

Garrett says the best duck hunting will be in a boat on the open water of Skagit Bay. The boat ramp at the headquarters will be closed so use the South Fork launch at Conway Bridge.

"There are decent populations of local mallards on Skagit Bay, and you'd be surprised by the diverse species of early migrant ducks," Garrett said.

The general pheasant season is Sept. 27-Nov. 30, and senior hunt is Sept.22-26. During the general season, Garrett plans to release pheasants in Skagit Wildlife Area on the previous evenings for hunting on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays.

In the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area the state will conduct previous evening pheasant releases on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays at the Stillwater, Cherry Valley and Crescent Lake Units. Details: 360-445-4441.

The general duck hunting season is open Oct. 11-15, and Oct. 18-Jan. 25.

Coho in Grays Harbor: "I talked with the sampler at the 28th Street ramp, and they saw 16 boats with 25 anglers who caught four coho and released five chinook," said Scott Barbour, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "The half dozen bank anglers at Morrison Park [Tuesday] caught one jack coho and had seen a bunch rolling in the river."

Bank anglers around 28th Street fishing with bobber and eggs were doing well on jack coho.

Tuna off the coast: Westport and Ilwaco anglers are still doing well, and were averaging 10 tuna per person. Boats are traveling about 40 to 50 miles out into the ocean.

Salmon and steelhead in Columbia River and its tributaries: Fair to good for coho in the Cowlitz at the mouth of the Toutle River, and anglers may keep chinook from the boundary markers at the mouth up to 400 feet below Mayfield Dam.

Fair in the Kalama for chinook and coho, and in the Lewis for coho.

The Lower Columbia is closed for chinook, but anglers may keep coho and steelhead.

The Hanford Reach of the Columbia is slow for chinook due to low water flows and warm water.

It is taking anglers about 26 fishing hours to catch a chinook in the reach. Vernita was the best place to catch a chinook.

Other fish reports: "Cutthroat fishing is good in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish," said Jerry Beppu, owner Linc's Tackle Shop in Seattle. "In Lake Washington the west side of Mercer Island has been good for perch and bass."

Fair squid jigging at the Des Moines and Bremerton piers on the evening flood tide, but slowed down along the Seattle waterfront piers.

Decent smelt jigging at the Cornet Bay pier. The La Conner pier is producing smelt and herring for jiggers. The Lower Samish River is producing fair king fishing.

The Duwamish/Green River from I-405 downstream is open for chinook and coho, but a few fish have been caught of late. The Puyallup and Nisqually rivers are open for hatchery kings, but slow.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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