There is a cornucopia of fish to catch heading into the new month. Deciding where to go and what to catch might be difficult with options...
There is a cornucopia of fish to catch heading into the new month.
Deciding where to go and what to catch might be difficult with options including chinook, winter steelhead, trout, squid, perch, smelt or razor clams.
Winter chinook — better known as blackmouth for their dark gumline — fishing in northern Puget Sound closes after Friday, and places like Possession Bar have been off the charts.
“Possession Bar’s east and west sides are really good for fish mostly 6 to 8 pounds,” said Pete Sergeef, who fished aboard the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s boat on Wednesday. “We also got a chinook on our first pass at Point No Point that was almost legal size (minimum of 22 inches).”
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Many anglers will shift their focus to the San Juan Islands and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca off Port Angeles, which opens Saturday for hatchery chinook.
Chinook fishing remains open through Jan. 31 in central Puget Sound, where action at Jefferson Head has been decent. The southern portion at Manchester and Southworth is spotty despite schools of herring baitfish — one of the main food sources for salmon.
Other marine areas still open for hatchery chinook are the southeast side of Whidbey Island, Saratoga Pass, south-central Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
The Tengu Derby in Elliott Bay on Sunday lured 32 anglers, and Bob Vick caught the only hatchery chinook, weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces. The season leader is Justin Wong with a 9-pound, 12-ounce hatchery chinook. The derby meets at daybreak every Sunday through Dec. 30 at Seacrest Boathouse in West Seattle. Details: 206-324-7600.
Squid jigging is excellent at the Edmonds Pier, Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Des Moines, Les Davis Pier in Tacoma, A-Dock at Shilshole Bay Marina and Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West.
The Dungeness crab fishery in some areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal is very good. Smelt jigging picked up at the Oak Harbor Marina, and it is still fair for late chum at Hoodsport shoreline in Hood Canal.
|Statewide rivers||A break in the rain storms allowed anglers to find some early winter steelhead in the Upper Skykomish, Cowlitz, Cascade and Skagit rivers, but more rain could raise water levels and make them unfishable again. Fishing was fair for coho in Bogachiel, Calawah and Clearwater, and for coho and kings in Humptulips.|
|Coastal razor clams||Digging is open Thursday at Long Beach and Twin Harbors; and Friday and Saturday at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. Digging is allowed after noon each day. Other tentative dates: Dec. 11-13 and Dec. 28 at Twin Harbors; Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 30-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Dec. 16 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.|
|Local lakes||“Really good trout fishing at the five lakes and ponds that opened last Friday (Rowland, Battleground, Kress, Klineline and South Lewis County), except Fort Borst Pond, which had some flood water from the Skookumchuck River,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. Each received a plant of 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 1 1/4 pounds. Locally, try for trout at Beaver near Issaquah, as well as Ballinger, Blackmans and Goodwin lakes in Snohomish County.|