BIGGER KINGS ARE out there in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off Port Angeles but they aren’t being brought to shore because they are wild fish, not the keepable hatchery stock.
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said he’d heard from a couple of anglers who were forced to return two native fish in the 25-pound range while fishing an “undisclosed location” off of Port Angeles.
“The true test of an honest fisherman is to swallow your pride and send those wild fish back,” Menkal said.
“Another group had four fish in their boat, all of them 7- to 9-pounders, nothing huge.”
Tim Allison of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles also had some anglers discussing wild kings in the 25-pound range brought to the boat but returned to the waters of the Strait.
“It’s been a real mixed bag of reports,” Allison said.
“There was a good morning bite opening day [Tuesday], a little bit of a bite Wednesday and a decent morning bite [Thursday].
Allison didn’t have success when he went out and hit spots along Ediz Hook and the Winter Hole after work Wednesday.
“I marked a few fish along the hook but it seemed like the bite was over,” Allison said.
Creel reports were updated for opening day off Port Angeles and the fish-per-angler ratio jumped a bit from 0.54 to 0.59. Totals now show 90 chinook were brought in by 153 anglers in 81 boats.
No catch data was available for the July 4 holiday.
Angler and lure designer Pete Rosko fished the kelp line at Freshwater Bay Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The Madrona Hole was dead on opening day [Tuesday], while the hot bite was off Bachelor Rock. [Wednesday], it reversed locations,” Rosko said.
“The cause was an east wind and slowing tides.”
Rosko also passed along word that the Winter Hole wasn’t as productive as it normally can be on opening day.
“The Winter Hole was not its usual excellent opening day location,” Rosko said. “Anglers struggled to find fish.”
Neah Bay/LaPush quota
A Pacific Ocean recreational salmon quota update was provided Thursday afternoon by Wendy Beeghley, a fisheries manager with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Through Sunday, Neah Bay anglers had caught a total of 352 chinook (7 percent of the Marine Area 4 guideline) and 549 coho (13 percent of the area guideline).
A total of 736 anglers landed 191 kings and 444 coho June 25 through July 1.
In Marine Area 3 (LaPush) anglers have caught 26 chinook (2 percent of guideline) and 25 coho (2 percent of area sub-quota).
Forty anglers caught 12 chinook and four coho from June 25 to July 1.
Crabbing touch and go
Menkal said he had heard the early days of Dungeness crab season had been up and down.
“Crabbing has been a little bit iffy,” Menkal said. “The first day was good [last] Saturday, but it blew hard on Sunday. I’d say it’s been OK, nothing crazy.”
Allison has soaked his pots twice thus far in Port Angeles Harbor.
“I put them down opening day for a two-hour set from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from two pots there were nine keepers [to choose from],” Allison said.
“Then [Monday night] I put them down in the same spot, three pots this time and came up with nothing.”
Menkal will offer another two-part Introduction to Salmon and Steelhead River Fishing course at his store, 609 W. Washington St., No. 21 in Sequim, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with part two following at the same time Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Menkal knows a ton of tips, tricks and locations and offers the course for $40 per person.
To reserve a space, phone 360-683-1950.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]