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Peninsula Daily News
THE OFF AND on, up and down blackmouth season is about to close.
Which makes right now a great time for the fishery to pick up.
I’m not saying it will — blackmouth fishing has been too erratic to predict this season — but this week has been solid so far.
“[Anglers] have actually caught some fish,” Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said.
“Nothing big, but more [have been caught] than usual.”
This week has been so productive that only a few days into April, all four spots on the Port Angeles Salmon Club’s monthly derby ladder at Swain’s have been filled.
David Roening currently sits at the top of the ladder with a 13-pound, 9-ounce blackmouth. Jeff Reynolds, who is no stranger to the derby ladder, is in second with an fish that weighed 11 pounds, 2 ounces.
John Miller is third with a 9-pound, 10-ouncer; and Curt Madison is fourth with an 8-pound, 7-ounce salmon.
Based on how the season has gone so far, a few good days early in the week could mean the fishery comes to an absolute standstill this weekend.
However, Mother Nature has a knack for timing and cruel jokes, so I wouldn’t count out a strong finish to the salmon fishery.
The blackmouth season closes in Marine Areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) on Wednesday, and in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) on Monday, April 15.
In Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal), the fishery is open until Tuesday, April 30.
After that, the saltwater attention turns to halibut.
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said anglers on the North Olympic Peninsula are already gearing up for those big, ugly flatfish.
The spring chinook haven’t made their run through the West End rivers yet, but one of those rivers is receiving an unexpected dose of another fish.
Menkal reports the presence of summer-run steelhead in the Bogachiel, months before for their expected arrival.
He also said that the springers could be a rainstorm away from invading the West End.
Lake Leland was a hot spot last week, and I have photographic evidence (see page B7).
Nick Roberts caught five fish, including a fighting 19.5-inch cutthroat.
Fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist Ward Norden’s wife, Holly, caught a few nice-sized trout.
“Both were about a pound each and taken on the little red spoon I sell at a couple local stores,” Norden said.
“While we caught these near the launch, most of the serious anglers were at the other end of the lake, and doing quite well.”
Norden reports that Lake Leland’s water temperature is about 49 degrees.
With warmer weather on the way, bass fishing at Leland should get going soon.
The Wapiti Bowmen Archery Club will host a spring shoot Saturday and Sunday at their club, located at 374 E. Arnette Road in Port Angeles.
The shoot will feature 30 full-size 3-D targets.
Archers of all skill levels are invited to participate.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. both days. The course will close at 2 p.m. Sunday for awards.
The cost is $12 for one day and $20 for both days for adults, and $8 for one day and $12 for two days for youth.
Breakfast and lunch will be served for $5 per meal.
For more information, phone Mark Jackson at 360-683-7787 or Jerry Doyle at 360-457-3476, or visit the club’s website at www.wapitibowmen.us.
Puget Sound Anglers
With halibut season opening May 2, the next meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers will focus on how to fish for halibut in Marine Area 6.
Club members will provide demonstrations of equipment and advice on places to fish.
The meeting will be Thursday, April 18, at 6:45 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church at 100 S. Blake Ave. in Sequim.
For more information, phone 360-582-0836 or visit www.psanop.com.
Hike of the week
The Olympic Outdoor Club will hike the Gibbs Lake Trail on Saturday.
This easy hike is a 2.5-mile round trip with an elevation gain of 160 feet and a high point of 480 feet.
For more information about the club, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Razor clam digs
Another round of morning razor clam digs have been approved, and will start Tuesday at Twin Harbors Beach.
Here are the digging dates, morning low tides and participating beaches:
■ Tuesday: 6:39 a.m., 0.0 feet — Twin Harbors.
■ Wednesday: 7:19 a.m., -0.3 feet — Twin Harbors.
■ Thursday: 7:57 a.m., -0.4 feet — Twin Harbors.
■ Friday, April 12: 8:34 a.m., -0.4 feet — Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.
■ Saturday, April 13: 9:11 a.m., -0.2 feet — Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.
■ Sunday, April 14: 9:49 a.m., +0.1 feet — Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.
Send photos, stories
Have a photograph, a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique?
Send it to email@example.com or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
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.