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Originally published Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

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Plenty of fishing options during holidays

There are a multitude of choices for the undecided angler during the holiday break.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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There are a multitude of choices for the undecided angler during the holiday break.

Those looking toward the marine waterways can target hatchery chinook in central Puget Sound and the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“The fishing in (central Puget Sound) has been fairly decent, and we’re getting fish everywhere we go,” said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife sampler who fishes aboard the test fishery boat. “We got three (on Tuesday) at Kingston, and other places like the Edmonds oil dock, Shilshole Bay, Eagle Harbor (on Bainbridge Island) and Blakely Rock are all holding fish.”

Other notable locales include Jefferson Head, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester and Southworth. Hatchery chinook fishing remains fair to good in the San Juan Islands.

Dungeness crab fishing is also holding up well in open areas of Puget Sound. The season comes to a close after Dec. 31.

In the eastern Strait, the hatchery chinook bite remains good off Port Angeles.

“The jiggers and trollers off Winter Hole (a ledge just west of Port Angeles Harbor) were doing good, and the fish are decent in size ranging 8 to 10 pounds,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Strait. “They’ve been getting close to a fish per boat average.”

A check from the Ediz Hook boat launch Sunday showed 10 boats with 18 anglers caught 12 hatchery chinook.

The coastal razor-clam digs this week have been excellent, though turnout has been light and might be due to ample opportunities so far this fall.

“Not a lot of clam diggers turned out on beaches, but there are still plenty of clams,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “I got out (Tuesday) and we had our limit of clams within a half-hour.”

Ayres said an estimated 4,500 clam diggers turned out Saturday on open beaches, and another 2,500 on Sunday with just about all attaining their 15-clam daily limits.

Final word on the next digging series should be announced Friday. Those dates are Dec. 29-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks, and Jan. 1-3 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasThe Tengu Blackmouth Derby anglers in Elliott Bay on Sunday had 24 anglers with no fish caught. The derby is held at daybreak every Sunday through Dec. 29 at the Seacrest Boathouse in West Seattle. Details: 206-324-7600. Fair at times for smelt jigging at the Cornet Bay Pier on North Whidbey Island and the Oak Harbor Marina. Slow for hatchery chinook off Camano Head, Hat Island, the racetrack and Elger Bay, but fair off Columbia Beach and the Bait Box hole on the east side of Whidbey Island. Slow for hatchery chinook in the Tacoma area, and south central Sound closes after Dec. 31 for salmon. Fair for squid off Edmonds, Des Moines and Seattle waterfront piers. Very slow for steelhead off the west side beaches on Whidbey Island at Bush and Lagoon points. Northern Puget Sound reopens for salmon Jan. 16. Hood Canal is fair for hatchery chinook mainly out of Pleasant Harbor near Oak Head, Misery Point and Hazel Point.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide riversSlow but finally improved for hatchery steelhead in the Lower Skykomish, Reiter Ponds in the Upper Skykomish (anglers were seeing eight to 12 fish caught daily), Chehalis (also good for coho), Satsop, Wynoochee, Skagit, Cascade and Nooksack. A better bet for hatchery steelhead are the northern coastal rivers like the Lower Calawah (11 anglers caught seven and released two Dec. 13-15), Bogachiel (133 caught 22 and released three), Lower Hoh (169 caught 31 and released six), Quinault, Salmon and Queets. Fair on the Cowlitz and Washougal. Fair for fall chinook on the North Fork Lewis. 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. Slow for steelhead in the Columbia’s Hanford Reach area.
Biting: YesRating: 2 stars
Statewide lakesEast of the Cascades, ice fishing has been very good at Moses Lake with some anglers getting their 25-fish daily limits of yellow perch measuring 10 to 14 inches. Fish Lake near Leavenworth finally has ice thick enough for anglers to step on. In southwest Washington, Spearfish Lake near Dallasport was planted with 2,000 catchable-sized trout and 104 trout averaging 5-pounds on Dec. 8; and Rowland Lake near Lyle was planted with 3,000 catchables, 131 5-pounders and 73 averaging 10 pounds on Dec. 9-10. Other lakes recently planted were Klineline Pond, 1,900; and Lacamas Lake, 4,800. In 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 and Lake Sammamish.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

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



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