Dave Finney caught this hatchery chinook while fishing Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend on opening day in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet). Finney and Port Townsend’s Don Arnett had success all three days they fished for hatchery kings during last weekend’s four-day opener. Hatchery king fishing in Marine Area 9 re-opens Wednesday through Saturday.

Dave Finney caught this hatchery chinook while fishing Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend on opening day in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet). Finney and Port Townsend’s Don Arnett had success all three days they fished for hatchery kings during last weekend’s four-day opener. Hatchery king fishing in Marine Area 9 re-opens Wednesday through Saturday.

OUTDOORS: More time on the water for hatchery chinook off Port Townsend

Marine Area 9 re-opening to hatchery chinook retention Wednesday through Saturday

There will be more time on the water for hatchery chinook anglers as retention re-opens today in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and will run through Saturday, recreational salmon managers with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Tuesday.

The possibility of adding another day of hatchery chinook fishing Sunday also exists depending on catch estimates today through Friday.

“Area 9 is at 55 percent of the quota,” Puget Sound recreational salmon manager David Stormer said. “Fishing is open [today] through Saturday and by the end of the week we will have another estimate. If we don’t chew up the quota through this four-day opener we will re-assess for a Sunday opening.”

The Marine Area 9 hatchery chinook quota is 3,491 fish, so 1,571 hatchery kings are remaining for anglers.

Stormer said any potential Sunday fishery would be announced Friday.

Opening day fish checks at the Boat Haven ramp in Port Townsend were low with 29 hatchery kings caught by 157 anglers. Everett checkers counted 200 hatchery kings and 50 coho.

Twenty-four hatchery kings were caught by 124 anglers in counts at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island last Friday.

A day of windy weather limited anglers from finding limits last Saturday.

The catch count plummeted Saturday as 69 anglers caught seven hatchery kings and one hatchery coho in checks at the Boat Haven.

The best success in Marine Area 9 came off the southern tip of Whidbey Island at Possession Bar.

“It was definitely on the Bar,” Stormer said.

“It looks like maybe the west side of Marine Area 9 will be strong with the tides that are coming the next four days. The tides look good, fishing conditions look strong, so we are hoping there’s plenty of success.”

Port Townsend angler Don Arnett was one of the few to find the fish at Midchannel Bank over the weekend.

He fished with his buddy Dave Finney. The pair caught a hatchery king limit (one per person as part of a two-salmon daily limit) each day they fished.

“We caught two fish [total] each day, the opener Thursday, Friday and Sunday as well,” Arnett said. “We didn’t go Saturday. We got blown off because the wind was too wicked.

“We were trolling downriggers, staying between 90 and 120 feet and fishing very tight to the bottom. Typical Midchannel style.”

Arnett, age 60, said he has fished Midchannel his entire life and he’s fished it the same way.

He said he learned the basics from his dad who was fishing buddies with the father of a pretty well-known angler.

“The style of fishing I use is high percentage and is dictated by John Martinis of John’s Sporting Goods in Everett,” Arnett said.

“My dad was a fishing partner with John’s dad. It’s just the way it works. Follow his techniques and you’ll catch some fish.”

Here’s how Arnett was rigged.

“We caught all these on either a green hoochie or a 3.5-inch Kingfisher Herring Aide spoon, the magic spoon as I call it. I install a red eye on that spoon to make it a little bit better and use herring oil for scent on every bait I drop.

“I only use two flashers at Midchannel — a purple haze or a red racer. For summer kings, no matter what, no less than a 42-inch leader and a 30-pound test leader, always. That provides the action between the flasher rotation to give your spoon or bait the action it needs.”

Arnett said summer time is the best time to use bigger bait as the kings are migrating and have been eating what they can find on the way on their return trips to spawn.

“It’s important to tap the bottom for blackmouth [resident chinook] because migrating fish aren’t necessarily focused on the sand lances,” Arnett said. Residential blackmouth every meal they eat is sand lances. Migrating fish are used to bigger baits —hoochies, squid, anchovies or whatever.”

Arnett also is a member of the East Jefferson Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, a group that meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Port of Port Townsend Commissioners Building, 333 Benedict St., in Port Townsend.

Port Townsend’s Don Arnett caught limits of hatchery chinook at Midchannel Bank during a four-day hatchery king opener last week. Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) re-opens to hatchery chinook retention Wednesday through Saturday.

Port Townsend’s Don Arnett caught limits of hatchery chinook at Midchannel Bank during a four-day hatchery king opener last week. Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) re-opens to hatchery chinook retention Wednesday through Saturday.

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