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Peninsula Daily News
THE RAIN IS finally coming, which should kick-start the North Olympic Peninsula outdoors scene.
Coho will rush down the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Rivers will fill up and be more accommodating to fish.
Plants won’t be so dry, so hunters will regain their tactical advantage.
Unless, that is, I just jinxed everything.
Port Angeles has seen a significant spike in the number of coho harvested.
“The fishing has been phenomenal,” Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said.
And anglers don’t have to work too hard, either.
“Everybody I know has limited out their boat,” Aunspach said.
Aunspach shared an anecdote about one Swain’s customer who asked him how the fishing was.
The customer went out, and within 20 minutes had reached his two-salmon limit.
The silvers are averaging 6 to 9 pounds, but there have been some big catches, too.
Aunspach said Dale Frederickson is second on the Swain’s monthly salmon derby ladder with a 19.4-pound coho.
Tom Blore is third with a 15.3-pounder, and Mark Reynolds is fourth place with a silver that weighed in at 13.7 pounds.
Not many kings have been caught, but Jeff Reynolds (Mark’s dad) currently tops the ladder with a 25.11-pound chinook.
The pressure at Sekiu has declined dramatically, but there are still plenty of salmon still hanging out around there.
That means participants in the Sekiu “King Coho” Derby, which is being put on by Olson’s Resort (360-963-2311), should have success.
At the very least, they should have a good time.
I mentioned some of the prizes last week, including $1,500 each to the biggest chinook and coho, and $500 to the second biggest of both species.
The fourth and fifth place silvers and kings will also be nicely rewarded.
But this derby is about more than just the fish.
There will be drawings for $500 cash and a hand-held GPS from Lowrance Electronics (valued at $300). You don’t have to catch a fish to be eligible for these drawings, but you do need a derby ticket.
Also, the Lowrance Boat will be on hand for demonstrations of the latest in new electronics.
Saturday at 3 p.m. there will be a free barbecue lunch with celebrity guest Capt. John Keizer from Salt Patrol and Tam Lowrance.
For more information, visit Olson’s Resort’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/OlsonsResort.
Anglers are still catching coho from the beaches in Port Townsend.
“Beach casting for coho cooled off last weekend but heated up again early this week when a new run of coho went around the points of South Whidbey, and presumably Port Townsend,” Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, said.
Norden said herring is the most effective bait in Port Townsend.
The Dungeness River, which is near Sequim, opens Tuesday.
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said the Dungeness is easy to access, and if you’re there at the right time, it features some good coho fishing.
“Usually you’ll get a burst of fish,” Menkal said. “It’s not always steady, more sporadic.”
The Dungeness is open to coho fishing until Dec. 31. You are allowed to take four silvers per day. The minimum size is 12 inches.
You can catch trout on the river until Jan. 31, 2013. The daily limit is two trout and 14 inches is the size minimum.
Lake Leland fishing has slowed.
“With several near or below freezing mornings around Quilcene in the last week, Lake Leland water temps have dropped below 55 degrees, signaling the end of the warm-water fishing season,” Norden said.
“A few trout are still being caught but fishing pressure is very light.”
Norden also reports that Horseshoe Lake, Ludlow Lake and Sandy Shore Lake have been deemed off limits by timber company Pope Resources because of fire danger.
Those areas are also closed to hunters until the rain lessens the fire danger.
Clams and crabs
As a reminder, the late-season crab fishery opens Saturday morning and the first razor clam digs will be Saturday night.
For more details, read Thursday’s column here: http://tinyurl.com/clamsandcrabs.
River fishing class
Part two of Menkal’s river fishing class will be Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 542 W. Washington St. in Sequim.
The second session will include a review of part one.
Bring a pen, chair and notepad.
For more details, call Menkal at 360-683-1950.
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Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.