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Originally published January 15, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Page modified January 15, 2014 at 11:44 PM

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Chinook fishing best in Strait of Juan de Fuca and San Juan Islands


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Now that the stormy weather has passed, it’s time to get back into outdoor mode, whether its wetting a line or digging some razor clams.

The eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca off Port Angeles and the San Juan Islands are good locales for winter hatchery chinook fishing.

“They’re catching some fish at the humps and Winter Hole (both are located just west of Port Angeles), and a few were hooked right in the harbor itself,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait. “I checked 16 boats with 21 fish (Tuesday at the Ediz Hook boat launch), and a couple were about 10 pounds and the rest in the 5- to 6-pound range.”

In the San Juan Islands, try the eastern Rosario Strait area, Tide Point off Cypress Island, Thatcher Pass, Point Thompson to Lawrence Point and Presidents Channel along Orcas Island.

Many are gearing up for the northern Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery, which opened Thursday through April 15.

“I expect Port Townsend, Possession Bar, Point No Point and Double Bluff (off the south side of Whidbey Island) will be the places to go, but you’ll likely have to sort through the shakers (fish under the 22-inch minimum size limit) to get the keepers.”

Central Puget Sound remains open for hatchery chinook through Jan. 31, and has been fair at times off Kingston, Edmonds oil dock-Richmond Beach area, Shilshole Bay, Jefferson Head, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester and Southworth.

Coastal razor clam digging resumed Wednesday and should be excellent now that the wind and surf have dissipated.

Digging is open Thursday at Twin Harbors; and Friday and Saturday at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks. Digging will be open from noon to midnight each day.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasSpotty for hatchery chinook off Camano Head, Hat Island, Elger Bay and Columbia Beach. South-central Sound and Hood Canal reopen for salmon Feb. 1, and Sekiu reopens Feb. 16. Slow squid jigging at Edmonds, A-Dock at Shilshole Bay, Des Moines, Searcrest in West Seattle and the downtown Seattle waterfront piers. Slow smelt jigging at Cornet Bay and Oak Harbor Marina piers. Fair fly-fishing off the southern Puget Sound shorelines for resident cutthroat and coho.
Biting: YesRating: 2 stars
Statewide riversMany westside rivers are just starting to recede from the recent rain storms, and if more steelhead haven’t arrived then it will likely go down as a terrible season. A few places where some steelhead were caught of late are Cook Creek, Quinault, Bogachiel, Calawah, Lower Hoh, Cowlitz, Skykomish at Reiter Ponds area, Snoqualmie and Tokul Creek. The Cascade, Nooksack and North Fork Stillaguamish are closed until Jan. 31. Steelhead fishing is slow in the Wynoochee, Satsop, Sol Duc and Washougal. Sturgeon catch-and-keep fishing is open through Sunday in Bonneville Pool of the Columbia, and boat anglers averaged one legal fish per every 6.4 rods and banker anglers took home one per every 11.7 rods.
Biting: Yes/NoRating: 1 stars
Statewide lakes

Fair to good for trout in Flowing, Blackman’s and Goodwin in Snohomish County; American in Pierce County; Green in North Seattle; and Lone on Whidbey Island. Fair for cutthroat in Lake Sammamish, and slow to fair in Lake Washington off the I-90 Bridge and the south end of Mercer Island.

Areas in Southwest Washington getting recent plants are Lake Sacajawea in Longview with 60 trout averaging 5 pounds and 50 averaging 10 pounds; Battleground Lake with 1,250 catchable-sized trout; Klineline Pond with 1,300 catchable-sized trout; and Kidney Lake near North Bonneville with 1,250 catchable-sized trout. East of the Cascades, the rising temperatures might not be conducive for ice fishing, which was fair at Moses Lake, Lind Coulee, Roses Lake and Fish Lake near Wenatchee. Lake Roosevelt remains decent for trout.

Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

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



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