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Originally published Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 7:38 PM

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For a good time, fish for chum salmon on Puget Sound | Fishing report

Chum, better known as dog salmon for their toothy jawline at spawning time, are one of the hardest-fighting salmon.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Decisions, decisions.

Those are the words echoed by many right now who have a wide variety of choices from fishing for salmon, trout or perch to setting pots for Dungeness crabs or digging up razor clams on coastal beaches.

A forecast of 800,000-plus chum salmon returning to Puget Sound and Hood Canal is creating some good vibes for anglers from Possession Bar clear down south to Olympia.

Chum, better known as dog salmon for their toothy jaw line at spawning time, are one of the hardest-fighting salmon.

“It has been good at Jefferson Head, but I know of folks doing well at other places like Kingston for chums and blackmouth (a term used for chinook for their distinct black gumline),” said Pete Sergeef with the state Fish and Wildlife’s test-fishery boat.

“There are quite a few chum around, and I’ve never seen it where sport guys are getting multiple hookups,” Sergeef said. “Our fish checker on Saturday (at the Shil­shole Bay boat launch) saw chinook that weighed 20 and 18 pounds. It has been a good month in Area 10 (central Puget Sound), and better than the last couple of years at this same time.”

The abundance of chinook also bodes well when northern Puget Sound reopens for blackmouth on Nov. 1. Anglers at places like Possession Bar off the south side of Whidbey Island targeting chum and coho were also releasing a good number of chinook.

Fair to good chum fishing is occurring around estuaries off Kennedy Creek in Totten Inlet, Johns Creek in Oakland Bay, Hoodsport Hatchery in Hood Canal, Chico Creek estuary in Dyes Inlet, and Curly Creek estuary near Southworth.

Other good places to try for chum are North Bay near Allyn, Perry Creek in Eld Inlet, Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, McLane Creek, Eagle Creek south of Potlatch State Park, and the public-access shores off Highway 101 from Eldon to Hoodsport.

Razor clams

The latest coastal razor clam digs just wrapped up on Tuesday with excellent digging being the rule for just about everyone.

“ ‘Great digging’ are easy words to describe what we’ve seen,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “It has been limits (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition) for just about everybody on each beach.”

The recent six-day dig from last Thursday to Tuesday generated 32,000 digger trips with 14.9 clams per person.

A final decision on the next series of digs should be announced early next week. The dates are: Nov. 1 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Nov. 2 and Nov. 15-16 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 17 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Nov. 5 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors; Nov. 6-8 and Nov. 18-20 at Long Beach.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasStill fair to good for coho and some chinook at Sekiu and Port Angeles, which are open for salmon through Oct. 31. Slowed down for coho from Mukilteo south to Browns Bay. Fair for chinook and coho in San Juan Islands. Off and on in Grays Harbor for coho. Most of Puget Sound is open for Dungeness crab through Dec. 31, and those venturing out were scoring decent numbers.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide riversGood for coho and chinook in the Klickitat and at the mouth. Fair for chinook at Drano Lake. Fair to good for coho in the Cowlitz, Lewis and Kalama, and fair for chinook in the Lewis. Good for cutthroat trout near the trout hatchery on the Cowlitz. Low and clear water is making it tough for river anglers, but those going to lighter fishing gear are still scoring good catches of coho in the Snohomish, Skykomish, Cascade, Stillaguamish and Skagit, and to a lesser degree in the Green and Puyallup. Fading for late-summer steelhead at Reiter Ponds in the Skykomish. Fair to good for a mix of salmon in Humptulips, Clearwater, Queets, Wynoochee, Lower Hoh, Bogachiel and Sol Duc. A little improvement for coho in the Chehalis and Satsop. Waning for kings and coho in Lower Columbia. Good in The Dalles and Bonneville pools for chinook. Upper Columbia, Wenatchee, Icicle, Methow and Okanogan are open for hatchery steelhead, but action is slow.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide lakesMorton Lake near Covington received 1,000 trout earlier this month; Green in North Seattle, 5,088; Meridian east of Kent, 3,132; and Silver off the Everett-Bothell Highway, 2,215. Beaver Lake in Sammamish was planted with 1,106 trout on Oct. 14. About 75,000 large rainbow trout are being planted in 33 local lakes, and additional plants will occur in November. Good for trout at Goodwin, Blackman’s and Lone. To view the fish-stocking plan, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/. Good for perch in Lake Washington. Jameson Lake is open for trout through Oct. 31. The Potholes is good for perch, walleye, bass and trout.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

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



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