Anglers have plenty of choices despite recent cold weather
Seattle Times staff reporter
Trout, salmon, steelhead, razor clam, squid and Dungeness crab.
The choices are plentiful from a menu loaded with fishing activities leading up to what should be a dandy holiday break for those heading outdoors.
The eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca reopened earlier this month for hatchery Chinook fishing, and the Port Angeles area has been decent at times.
“We had some fish caught off the Winter Hole area (located just west of the Ediz Hook spit),” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait, who added most Chinook averaged 8 pounds.
A check from the Ediz Hook boat launch on Sunday showed five boats with 10 anglers caught 16 hatchery Chinook.
“The catch was a good sign because the tides were bad, and you want to fish Winter Hole preferably on a morning outgoing tide,” Bennett said. “You need to have a low tide that will push the fish up on the ledges.”
Central Puget Sound was also producing fair hatchery Chinook action, mainly off Shilshole Bay, Jefferson Head, Southworth, Manchester and Allen Bank off Blake Island.
The extreme frigid weather didn’t stop anglers from competing in the Resurrection Salmon Derby at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands on Friday and Saturday.
The payoff for the estimated 250 anglers was a good catch of 185 hatchery Chinook. The winner was Dale Nelsen of Anacortes with a 16.92-pound Chinook.
The next series of coastal razor clam digs begins Saturday during evening low tides only, and digging remains excellent.
Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis are open Saturday; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks are open Sunday and Monday; and Twin Harbors is open Tuesday and Wednesday.
A total of 13,250 digger trips were taken Nov. 30 to Dec. 7, and the diggers averaged 14.2 clams per person (a daily limit is the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition).
Additional tentative digging dates are: Dec. 29-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
|Marine areas||The Tengu Blackmouth Derby in Elliott Bay on Sunday had 21 anglers with two hatchery Chinook, and the winning fish was caught by Guy Mamiya and weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces. The derby is held at daybreak every Sunday through Dec. 29 at the Seacrest Boathouse in West Seattle. Details: 206-324-7600. Slow to fair for smelt jigging at the Cornet Bay Pier on North Whidbey Island, and the Oak Harbor Marina. Slow for hatchery Chinook off Camano Head; Elger Bay; Tacoma area and Saratoga Pass. Fair to good for squid off Edmonds; Des Moines; and Seattle waterfront piers. Slow for steelhead off the west side beaches on Whidbey Island at Bush and Lagoon points. Fair for chum at Hoodsport in Hood Canal and Perry Creek estuary in Eld Inlet. Dungeness crab fishing is open through Dec. 31 in some parts of Puget Sound, and those venturing out have encountered better catches.|
|Statewide rivers||Slow to fair for steelhead in the Lower Skykomish, Reiter Ponds in the Upper Skykomish, Chehalis, Satsop, Wynoochee, Skagit, Cascade and Nooksack. Fair for steelhead on the northern coast in the Lower Calawah, Bogachiel, Quinault, Salmon and Queets. Fair for steelhead in the Cowlitz near the trout hatchery and at barrier dam. Fair in the Washougal for steelhead and a few late coho. Try the North Fork Lewis for Chinook, coho and steelhead. Slow to fair for salmon in the Humptulips and Clearwater. Steelhead fishing has closed in the Upper Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam, and the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers. Hatchery steelhead and whitefish fishing in the Okanogan, Similkameen, Methow and Columbia from Wells Dam up to Chief Joseph Dam is open until further notice.|
|Local lakes||More southwest Washington locations were planted with trout last week, and include Battle Ground Lake, 4,000; Klineline Pond, 1,900; and Lacamas Lake, 4,800. Other good trout spots are Kress Lake, South Lewis County Park Pond, Fort Borst Park Pond and Rowland Lake. Closer to the Puget Sound region, try for trout at Spencer in Mason County, Leland in Jefferson County, Green in North Seattle and Goodwin lakes in Snohomish County. Fair to good for cutthroat in Lake Washington.|
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org