By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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It’s going to be a good one.
The outlook is so good that not even an outdoors columnist can jinx it.
There are silvers on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and warmth is in the forecast.
“There’s going to be perfect temperatures to get out and enjoy, and there’s good fishing,” Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.
“What more could you ask for?”
Let’s back up a bit. In reality, the hatchery coho fishing has slowed down along the Strait, especially the eastern portion.
“Some [anglers] are doing really well, others are not doing very good,” Menkal said.
“You have to hunt for them a little more. It’s not as easy as it has been.
“But there’s lots of fish out there.”
Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, has a similar report for Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal).
“The Big Quilcene River is currently between runs,” he said.
“The early coho run is winding down pretty quickly and the regular coho run is just starting to arrive, so fishing is slow for bright fish unless you just happen to be on the river or on [Quilcene] Bay when a large, fresh school arrives.
“Fishing should pick up pretty quickly in the next ten days.”
In Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), though, the coho fishery is still doing well.
Salmon off Sekiu will eventually head east, as long as they don’t end up on someone’s dinner table first.
“There’s lots of coho,” Chris Mohr of Van Riper’s Resort (360-963-2334) in Sekiu said.
“They’re getting big; finally what we expect to see, with that big hook nose.”
Mohr said the “No Fin, You Win” derby in Sekiu last weekend was won with a 14.5-pound coho.
Menkal reports that a 20-pound silver was recently caught near Sekiu.
There’s more good news for Sekiu: Wild coho will be legal to retain starting Sunday.
Take note, this rule change applies only to Marine Area 5.
Not surprisingly, Mohr said many big wild silvers have been released back into the water, and one angler told him that his boat had to release 13 wilds this week.
“The town is already starting to buzz,” Mohr said.
“You don’t have to throw those big ones away.”
Pinks you can’t catch
I’ve mentioned a couple times last month the amazing run of pinks on the Dungeness River, located in Clallam County.
You might remember that Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said, “They’re so thick you can walk on them.”
The Peninsula Daily News ran a story earlier this week about the high number of humpies in the Dungeness, complete with photographic evidence. (Read the article here: www.tinyurl.com/pdnDungeness.)
This is interesting news to scientist, and great for fish watchers (assuming such a hobby exists), but for anglers, the information is useless at best, and downright frustrating at worst.
The reason: The Dungeness River isn’t open to salmon fishing until Oct. 8, and only coho can be harvested.
The pinks likely will have completed their run by then, anyway.
Sports Editor Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.