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Originally published Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8:42 PM

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Spot shrimp season going well in Puget Sound | Fishing report

Bountiful. Big. Best outing in a long time. Those are just some of the vibrant words anglers have been using about spring time opportunities...

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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Bountiful. Big. Best outing in a long time.

Those are just some of the vibrant words anglers have been using about spring time opportunities.

The sport spot shrimp fishing in Puget Sound and Hood Canal started on a high note with good catches reported on the opener last Saturday and Wednesday.

"Catches on the opener were pretty good everywhere, and I would say it was similar to last year but more effort," said Mark O'Toole, a state Fish and Wildlife shellfish manager.

Hood Canal reopens May 15, 18 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Discovery Bay reopens May 15-18, and 22 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, and Sekiu, Port Angeles and southern Puget Sound (excluding Discovery Bay) are open daily.

San Juan Islands east and south region are open May 15-18, and May 29-June 1. San Juan Island western region is open Wednesday through Saturday each week through June 1. After June 1 the area will be open Thursday through Saturday each week.

Fisheries is conducting spot shrimp catch assessments, and will decide in next day or two on what other areas could reopen. For updates, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp.

Halibut anglers in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound couldn't have asked for better conditions and plenty of fish.

"There was lots of sunburned anglers on the water, a big turnout and a high number of halibut caught," said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife creel checker in the Strait.

Bennett said Port Angeles ramp checks on the opener showed better than a fish per boat average, and almost approaching one fish for every two anglers.

In Puget Sound, the better catches came from the west side of Whidbey Island around Mutiny Bay.

The coastal halibut fishery also got off to a fast start at Westport on Sunday and Tuesday, and Neah Bay-La Push opened Thursday.

"We saw pretty much (one-halibut daily) limits on charter boats," said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist. "Private boats averaged about two-thirds to half-a-halibut per person."

Bottomfishing on the coast for lingcod and black rockfish is excellent.

A new salmon fishery at Neah Bay and La Push opens Friday and Saturday and May 17-18 for hatchery chinook.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Statewide lakes "Kokanee fishing at Lake Stevens has really heated up this week, and I know folks who've gotten their limit without much effort," said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted's Sports Center in Lynnwood. Lots of good trout action still happening at Jameson, Serene, Stickney, Green, Angle, Martha at Alderwood Manor, Mineral, Walker, Geneva, McIntosh, Pattison, Cain, Wilderness, Cottage, Bosworth, Padden, Anderson, Buck, Horseshoe, Ohop, and Conconully. Locally, word is out that a few days ago Pine, Desire and Beaver were each planted with 2,000-plus trout. .
Biting: Yes

Rating: 4 stars

Statewide

rivers

Fair to good for spring chinook at Drano Lake and Wind River. Fair for spring chinook and steelhead in Cowlitz. Light effort and steelhead catch in Lewis, but slightly better in the Kalama and Washougal. Slow to fair for spring chinook in Klickitat. Fair for spring chinook in Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Razor clams Expect excellent prospects during the final spring digs Thursday to Tuesday at Twin Harbors and Friday and Saturday at Long Beach. Digging is open until noon each day. Diggers must keep first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition. Copalis and Mocrocks are closed for the season.
Digging: Yes

Rating: 4 stars

Marine areas "Lingcod fishing is still very good along the southside of Whidbey Island," said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett. "It is starting out as a good year, and I would say very similar to last year, which was phenomenal."

Try for lingcod outside the Elliott Bay, Shilshole and Edmonds marina jetties; Scatchet Head and Possession Bar off the south side of Whidbey Island; south of Hat Island; southeast of Alki Point near the green buoys; Point Evans; and Toliva Shoals. Southern Puget Sound south of the Narrows Bridge remains open for salmon, but was spotty. Good for lingcod and rockfish at Sekiu.

Biting: Maybe

Rating: 2 stars

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