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Originally published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

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Fishing report: Hatchery chinook are biting despite stormy weather

In between the stormy weather, marine salmon anglers continue to find decent action for hatchery chinook.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reel Time Northwest

Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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In between the stormy weather, marine salmon anglers continue to find decent action for hatchery chinook.

The Resurrection Salmon Derby was Friday and Saturday at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, and anglers found good fishing. The derby lured 75 teams with more than 200 fish, compared to last year when 69 teams had 96 fish.

Bob Norling and Mark Shinman of Anacortes took the $10,000 first place prize with a 15.67-pound fish. The total boat weight prize went to Troy Moe's team with 93.56 pounds, for $1,000.

The Tengu Derby in Elliott Bay lured 27 anglers Sunday, and three fish were hooked including the winning 11-pound, 9-ounce hatchery chinook caught by derby president Doug Hanada off Fourmile Rock near the Elliott Bay Marina.

Two more fish were caught in the same area, and weighed 6-0 and 4-1. Hanada's fish is the largest this season. The derby meets at daybreak on Sundays through Dec. 30 at Seacrest Boathouse. Details: 206-324-7600.

The eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca is open for hatchery chinook, and has produced fair action at Winter Hole, Ediz Hook and Freshwater Bay near Port Angeles.

Chinook fishing is open through Jan. 31 in central Puget Sound, and has been fair to good at Jefferson Head, but slow at Manchester and Southworth. It has also been slow off the southeast side of Whidbey Island, Saratoga Pass, south central Puget Sound in the Tacoma area and Hood Canal around Misery Point.

Razor clam update

"There were 800 people out (Tuesday) night at Twin Harbors, and the average was 14.6 clams per person (15 is a daily limit)," said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. "Weather looks bad the next few days, and Saturday calls for heavy rains, but the good tides might make it better."

Digs are: Thursday at Twin Harbors; Friday and Saturday at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; and Sunday at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Digging is allowed after noon.

Other tentative dates are: Dec. 28 at Twin Harbors; Dec. 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 30-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. January dates will be announced soon.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Local rivers "They got a bunch of steelhead at the Whitehorse Hatchery (on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish)," said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in La Conner. "The Cascade River has also been reasonably good for steelhead, and they've got about 30 fish in the fish trap right now. They're getting a few steelhead on the North Fork of the Nooksack."

Other places worth a try for steelhead are Reiter Ponds on Skykomish and Tokul Creek on Snoqualmie. Fair for steelhead and a few late coho in the Cowlitz. Slow to fair for steelhead in the Lewis. On the North Coast, it's fair for steelhead in the Bogachiel. Fair for coho in the Humptulips.

Biting: Yes/no

Rating: 2 stars

Marine areas Squid jigging remains very good at Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Des Moines Pier, Les Davis Pier in Tacoma, A-Dock at Shilshole Bay Marina and Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West in Seattle, and fair to good at Edmonds Pier. Still very good for Dungeness crab in some areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Smelt jigging is good at the Oak Harbor Marina and Cornet Bay Marina on Whidbey Island. The west side of Whidbey Island off Bush and Lagoon points is generating a few steelhead for marine bank anglers.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Local lakes Battleground was recently planted with 4,500 half-pound rainbows, Klineline got 3,200, and Ice House got 500. Fair for trout at Roesiger, Ballinger, Blackmans and Goodwin, and for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. No report from Beaver Lake near Issaquah, but worth a try for trout.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

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