LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Derby highlights Olson’s party

By Lee Horton

Peninsula Daily News

OLSON’S RESORT IN Sekiu is going all out as it celebrates its 80th anniversary next week.

It’s no surprise that a salmon derby is involved, because what would a major event in Sekiu be without a fishing derby?

On Saturday, July 6, Olson’s Resort (360-963-2311) will host a one-day derby that will dish out $10,000 in cash prizes.

Yes, the comma is in the correct place and that figure contains the correct amount of zeros — $10,000 in cash.

There will be three different derby ladders; one each for chinook, coho and pink salmon.

The biggest chinook wins $4,000, second place takes $1,300, and third place receives $500.

For coho, the top fish earns $2,000, second place gets $500, and third takes home $200.

The pinks prize money is $1,100, $300 and $100, respectively, for first, second and third place.

The buy-in for the derby is $25. So, the angler who catches the top chinook will earn 160 times more than they invested.

The salmon season begins Monday in Sekiu (Marine Area 5), and chinook will be the biggest ticket next week.

But, Tara Hergert of Olson’s Resort said commercial fisherman have reported seeing coho starting to show up around Sekiu.

There also will be a free-entry kids derby with prizes of $30, $20 and $10.

Weigh-in for the derbies is 6 p.m. Saturday.

The celebration of Olson’s 80 years consists of more than a salmon derby, though.

It is a three-day affair (July 4-7) that includes events and activities for the entire family.

My favorite is a carving show put on by Chainsaw Jack, also known as Jack McEntire, who was once featured on the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Chainsaw Jack makes amazing wood carvings of all sizes. Including school mascots.

Since Port Townsend High School is in the market for a new mascot, here are a few ideas from Chainsaw Jack’s work: www.tinyurl.com/WoodMascots.

The celebration also will include a flame thrower/juggler, live entertainment, food booths, vendors and salmon on a stick.

For more information, contact Olson’s Resort at 360-963-2311.

Neah Bay kids derby

Big Salmon Resort (360-645-2374) in Neah Bay will hold its fourth annual kids salmon derby from Thursday, July 4 through Saturday, July 6.

The derby is open to kids up to 18 years old, with a buy-in of $10.

The prizes are various, things such as video game systems, bikes, MP3 players, gift certificates and hats.

Spot shrimp closure

Remember how a larger percentage of the shrimp allotment was given to recreational shrimpers in Marine Area 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) this year?

Well, the sport shrimpers have taken advantage of the increase.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday that Marine Area 6 will close to recreational spot shrimp fishing tonight at 9 p.m. due to the quota already being reached.

It will be interesting to see how this affects next year’s spot shrimp season. Will the state decrease the length of the season or the amount allotted to the sport shrimpers?

Marine Area 6 remains open through Oct. 15 for the harvest of non-spot shrimp (coonstripe and pink), but keep in mind that any spot shrimp pulled up in a pot must be immediately returned to the water.

The marine areas on the North Olympic Peninsula still open to recreational spot shrimping are 3 (LaPush), 4 (Neah Bay) and 5 (Sekiu).

Nice catch, Mitzi

This fish story happened last August, but it and the accompanying photo are so great that I couldn’t let it go to waste.

Maybe it will serve as inspiration for the ocean salmon season that begins Monday in much of the Peninsula.

Sequim summer residents Mitzi and Eldon Baker (also of Telegraph Cove, British Columbia) were fishing off Malcolm Island, British Columbia, on their boat Sea Jazz II.

Using a 5-inch Luhr-Jensen Coyote spoon trolled behind a Pro-Troll flasher, Mitzi hooked a big fish.

After three long runs that required a chase with the kicker engine, the fish darted toward the bottom.

Eldon quickly gathered the halibut landing gear.

The fish would not budge from the bottom, so Mitzi had to employ the lift rod up, reel down technique.

When the fish broke the surface 20 minutes later, it was revealed as a 42-pound red-fleshed male chinook, not a halibut.

“After I shouted something that cannot be printed, the halibut landing gear was scrambled, [and] the landing net readied,” Eldon wrote in a letter to me a few months ago.

Tuna in close

Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, reports that albacore tuna are less than 20 miles off the mouth of the Quinault River.

But it isn’t likely they will stay that close.

When the forecasted winds shift, the albacore will move 30 to 50 miles offshore within a few days.

“It does happen that fast,” Norden said.

Take a dip

Norden said warmer temperatures should increase water temperatures enough for swimming.

“If the weatherman is right about this coming heat wave, water will be warm enough for a swim at many of our local popular swimming holes,” he said.

“Some of the favorites are the public beach at the boat harbor in Quilcene — water should be into the 70s there by next Saturday — and Tarboo Lake, with water temps in the high 60s.”

Menkal class

Now that he has moved into his new location, Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim will once again teach his two-part rivers salmon and steelhead course.

The first class is Tuesday (July 2), and the second is the following Tuesday (July 9).

Both sessions start at 6 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

The cost for the class is $25. Bring a notepad, pen or pencil and a chair.

Class attendance is limited to 20 participants. To reserve a spot or for more information, phone Menkal at 360-683-1950.

The classes are held at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 609 W. Washington St. in Sequim.



Despite poring over the state’s fishing regulations for a good hour, I still managed to make a mistake in Thursday’s column about the saltwater salmon seasons.

The portion of Marine Area 6 that is open to hatchery chinook fishing (west of a north-south line through the No. 2 buoy immediately east of Ediz Hook), also will be open to hatchery coho fishing.

Thanks to John Albiso of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association for setting me straight.

Also, while we’re on this subject, Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) doesn’t open to chinook fishing until Tuesday, July 16, but does open to coho and pinks on Monday.

I intentionally didn’t include this in Thursday’s column, but a question from a reader prompted me to lay it all out there.

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 sports@peninsuladailynews.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 lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 27. 2013 5:42PM
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