LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Good week for kings
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GEORGE ALEXANDER LOUIS is a fine name for a young prince, but princes are only news because of what they will probably be some time in the next several decades: Kings.
Kings are the important ones.
And last week, kings ruled the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, taking back their throne after an uprising by the silvers and pinks the week before.
I mentioned that Port Townsend’s chinook fishery started hot in last Thursday’s column.
Now, thanks to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s sport fishing report, we can now put a number to that hotness.
The chinook fishery opened Tuesday, July 16.
That day, at the Port Townsend Boat Haven ramp, 194 kings were reported caught by the 79 boats with 169 anglers.
That averages out to 2.5 chinook per boat, and 1.15 caught by each angler.
It’s as if the chinook shot down the Strait, away from all the anglers in Sekiu and Port Angeles, and thought they found a safe haven.
And they had, until the law allowed anglers do some plunking on Admiralty Inlet.
Brenda and Wayne Chisholm, who fish Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) on a regular basis, were of course involved in last Tuesday’s action.
“Hot fishing opening day,” Brenda Chisholm said.
She said they hooked six kings before 10 a.m., but bad luck, a seal and what she called “operator errors” slowed their harvest.
Wayne Chisholm did manage to hook a 19-pounder, though.
Chimacum alumni derby
Last weekend’s Chimacum Alumni Derby was won by Jared Thacker, who reeled in a 25-pound, 12-ounce salmon.
For his efforts, Thacker earned $1,000.
He narrowly defeated Dan Brown, who caught a 25.11-pounder and won $500.
Tim Twiggs took third place, and won $250, with a 25.08-pound salmon.
The mystery weight prize of $250 was won by Dave Rodia, whose salmon weighed 20 pounds and 6 ounces.
Jackson Cordon earned $100 by winning the kids derby with a 10.01-pound salmon.
A total of 133 adults and 12 children participated in the derby, and 79 fish were weighed in.
The Strait dope
The state’s ramp reports show a huge jump in the number of chinook caught on the Strait, especially in Sekiu.
At Sekiu ramps last Thursday, 114 boats with 289 anglers caught 149 kings.
On Friday, 121 boats with 303 anglers caught 129 chinook. And Saturday, 205 kings were caught by 380 anglers on 150 boats.
The chinook catch numbers weren’t quite as high near Port Angeles, but the area did finish strong, with a combined total of 79 kings reported at the Ediz Hook and Freshwater Bay ramps.
Peninsula resident Pete Rosko said Freshwater Bay had good fishing both Saturday and Sunday.
“Freshwater Bay was very productive both days, jigging in tight to the kelp beds, in 32-45 feet of water, west of Pineapple Rock,” Rosko said.
Rosko said the “consistently hot” jigging lures for him this season have been 1.5- and 2-ounce green/pearl white Kandlefish jigs.
He reeled in his limit of kings that weighed between 19 and 25 pounds.
Rosko also found success at Freshwater on Thursday when the weather conditions weren’t optimal.
It was windy, and the water was rough and dirty.
“It was one of those days where luck was needed more than skill,” Rosko said.
He said there was too much wind drift for vertical jigging.
“Instead, I let the fast drift work the lure as if I was trolling, but without the motor running,” Rosko said.
“Many times, in these rough water conditions, the chinook will swim closer to the surface.
“By drift-swimming a 1-ounce pearl white Crippled Herring jig, as in past similar conditions, a poor day was turned into a good one.”
After a 35-minute battle, Rosko brought in a 32-pound chinook.
“I was lucky because I missed netting that fish four times, in 4- to 5-foot waves, before doing it right,” he said.
“The fish-checker told me that this was the largest king salmon to come out of Freshwater Bay so far this season.”
Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said last week that it seemed the pinks had moved along, and it appears he was correct.
The number of pinks caught dwindled dramatically last week, though the numbers picked up significantly toward the end of the week.
Hardly any coho were caught off Port Angeles or Sekiu, especially later in the week.
The silvers will have their time to rule, though.
Just like George Alexander Louis.
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.
Last modified: July 24. 2013 5:57PM