LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Fishing and hunting options abound this weekend
By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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A benefit of variety is that overcrowding is less likely.
Some anglers go to the rivers, others to the saltwater and a few head to the lakes.
Then, there are those who put their rods away in favor of a hunting excursion.
“It’s a dispersing of the ranks, shall we say?” said Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim.
Let’s get to your options.
Fishing for salmon, mostly coho, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is winding down, but could be in for a great finish.
The season ends in Marine Areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (Port Angeles and Sequim) on Thursday, Oct. 31.
This weekend’s weather is supposed to be clear and warm (for this time of year, anyway), so conditions should be favorable.
Menkal said anglers off Port Angeles are still doing well, while those launching from Sequim have found success in deeper water, as deep as 230 feet, rather than the typical top 75 feet.
“And they’re full of bait, which is interesting,” Menkal said.
The Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) salmon fishery doesn’t end on Oct. 31 (in fact it expands to include hatchery chinook on Nov. 1), but right now it doesn’t seem like many are taking advantage of it.
“I haven’t seen a soul fishing between Brinnon and the [Hood Canal] Bridge,” said fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist Ward Norden.
“The north Canal has been open with a four-coho limit since Sept. 1.
“Nobody at Salisbury Point Park — east end of the bridge — either, and it should be hopping with beach casters now.”
Brenda and Wayne Chisholm and friend Kim Sands did find success earlier this week at Lagoon point.
“We used a apple core silver horde hoochie in 80 feet of water,” Brenda Chisholm said in an email.
Also, the Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) salmon harvest of four salmon per day can now include two chinook.
Deer and ducks
Norden has a good idea why salmon fishing on Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal are so slow.
“It is hunting season,” Norden said.
“For the last 30-plus years I have almost had to shut down my business between the opening of modern deer season and the end of modern elk season because so few people fish.”
Menkal said he went deer hunting on the West End last weekend, and it was quiet.
“I didn’t hear a shot,” he said.
“And I didn’t see anyone with an animal in their truck.”
The duck hunt opens for the remainder of the year on Saturday after a brief opening earlier this week.
“As of [Tuesday], there were no northern migrants around our local bays that I could see, but we had an excellent hatch of local ducks this year,” Norden said.
“There are plenty of local mallards, pintails, and teal to test shotgunners’ skills, especially the teal that are low-flying mini-rockets.”
The recent run of dry weather has brought water levels down.
On the West End, Menkal recommends the Sol Duc and Hoh rivers.
He also said the Dungeness River is doing well in spots.
“Guys are doing best low or up high,” Menkal said.
“The fish are holding, and then shooting up pretty quickly.”
There have been some big coho caught, some weighing between 14 and 18 pounds (though most are in the 10- to 11-pound range).
Many anglers are turning to Lake Leland .
“The water temp in the lake has dropped 25 degrees down to 52 — we have had several frosty mornings — so warm water fishing for bass and crappie is ending, but trout fishing is starting to pick up,” Norden said.
There is more fish on the way, as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to plant 2,200 jumbo trout in Leland this month.
“That scheduled big plant of jumbo trout . . . hasn’t arrived yet, but there are still some nice trout being caught,” Norden said.
“That plant should make for some fine fall fishing until the water temps hit the low 40s, and some excellent late-winter [and] early spring fishing as well.”
River fishing class
Need to know where to go and what to use on area rivers?
Menkal is teaching his two-part river salmon and steelhead fishing class on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Both sessions start at 6 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.
This class is great for new anglers, but also is beneficial for those with experience.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Sports Editor Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 17. 2013 6:27PM