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Thursday, July 7, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Fishing report: Salmon fishing remains mixed

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Pacific Ocean continues to garner the most attention from salmon anglers.

The North Coast opened Friday and Saturday, but fishing wasn't as good as expected.

"It was the slowest fishing I've ever had at Neah Bay, and I'd call it fair," said John Hansen at Outdoor Emporium in Seattle. "We first headed to Umatilla [Reef] and found nothing, then we ended up getting our fish at Blue Dot. All our fish were in the 22- to 32-pound range."

Neah Bay and La Push are open Tuesdays through Saturdays for salmon, with rockfish and lingcod fishing open daily.

At Westport, many anglers are pursuing "combo" trips for a mix of salmon and bottomfish.

"Fishing is good for kings and we're almost averaging one king per person, with most running 12 and 15 pounds," said Kelly Westrick at Westport Charters. "Most of the boats are going about 15 miles north of the harbor. Bottomfishing is pretty awesome for lingcod and rockfish."

Ilwaco also opened Sunday, and fishing has been slow to fair for coho and kings.

Westport and Ilwaco are open Sundays through Thursdays for salmon.

In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, fishing at Sekiu for hatchery-marked kings was spotty, but fair for coho and pink salmon.

"There are just no kings showing up yet and maybe they are just late coming in," said Gary Ryan, manager of Van Riper's Resort at Sekiu. "But we are seeing some humpies [pink salmon] and silvers [coho]. It has been getting better for kings up to 25 pounds, but nothing to get excited about."

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At Sekiu, try off Caves, Pillar Point, Eagle Point, Slip Point, Mussolini Rock and Coal Mines. For pinks and coho, head out into the shipping lanes.

Port Angeles was also mostly slow for hatchery-marked kings.

Word on Lake Washington

Fishing is heating up in Lake Washington for bass and perch, but another super-sized fish has gotten the attention of anglers.

Late last month, an angler reportedly caught and released a 7-foot sturgeon off the west side of Mercer Island.

"There are some sturgeon lurking in the lake," said Steve Foley, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "The UW fisheries folks were doing purse-seine research in May, and caught a sturgeon that was about 5 feet long.

"I saw a sturgeon one time right at the outlet of the [Ballard Locks] fish ladder on the saltwater side and it hung out there for a couple of hours," Foley said.

Perch, cutthroat and bass fishing remains good in many parts of the lake.

"I have guys who are doing pretty good for perch in Leschi and Madrona areas," said Maria Beppu, owner of Linc's Tackle Shop in Seattle. "I also had another customer who is doing good for cutthroat on the Mercer Island side, and the water temperature has really warmed up."

Top spots of the week

1. Salmon in Elliott Bay: Expect a huge gathering of anglers and long lines at boat ramps when the bay east of a line from Pier 91 to Duwamish Head opens tomorrow. Fishing is open Fridays to Mondays only.

2. Crabbing in Puget Sound and Hood Canal: Very good crabbing in Hood Canal and Puget Sound since it opened last week. Fishing is allowed Wednesdays through Saturdays only, and daily limit is five crabs.

3. Salmon in Puget Sound and San Juan Islands: "It has been good, not great, and we've been getting kings everyday," said Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle. "Guys trolling for coho in Area 10 have been getting them too."

In Central Puget Sound, try Jefferson Head, Point Monroe, Kingston, the Edmonds oil dock, Richmond Beach and Meadow Point. The Tacoma area was off and on for kings at Clay Banks, Point Dalco, slag pile and Point Evans.

The Tulalip bubble chinook fishery is slow to fair, and best in early morning or late evenings. The San Juan Islands were slow for kings. Just a few hatchery-marked kings caught off Port Angeles. Hood Canal south of Ayock Point was slow for kings.

Also look for chinook south of the Southworth Ferry landing, Dolphin Point, Three Tree Point, Redondo Beach and Point Robinson. Sinclair Inlet is open for kings, but has been slow.

4. Sturgeon, steelhead and chinook in Lower Columbia River: Should be fair to good for chinook and steelhead. Shad fishing has dropped off, but still fair to good at times. Sturgeon catch-and-keep is open through Sunday below the Wauna power lines, and the estuary will reopen for catch and keep July 15-17 only.

Other fishing spots

Puget Sound region rivers: Skykomish is open for steelhead and chinook. Slow in the Skagit, Snohomish, Green and Snoqualmie. The Lower Baker River and a portion of the Skagit are open for sockeye.

Cowlitz and Kalama rivers: Fair for steelhead.

Statewide lakes: Try for trout in Chelan, Green, Stevens, Cottage, Pine, Jameson, Mayfield, Mineral, Fishtrap, Williams and Conconully.

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

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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