OUTDOORS: Pinks are abundant, kings are strong at Freshwater Bay, silvers are coming


Pink salmon are still going like gangbusters, especially in Sekiu, while the kings seem to be leaving and the silvers are starting to show up in recent fishing activity.

In addition, some rivers are filling up with freshwater salmon and summer steelhead.

Bear hunting, though, is getting mixed reviews.

But, oh, those pinks.

Gary Ryan of Van Riper’s Resort (360-963-2334) of Sekiu canned 98½ pints of smoked and fresh salmon two years ago the last time pinks invaded the area.

Pinks show up every two years.

Ryan is dreaming of a similar amount of canned fish once he gets the time.

“Pinks have a bad reputation because they are an oily fish,” Ryan said.

“But they are best for smoking because they are oily.”

And they are tasty enough to fry, barbecue or otherwise cook up, Ryan said.

That’s good because pinks are getting thicker and thicker in saltwater haunts.

“There are lots and lots of pinks,” Ryan said.

“I have seen pinks since the beginning of the season and there are more and more of them coming in.

“It’s been really, really good.”

The limit is four a day of any salmon but they can all be pinks if no kings or silvers are hooked.

Between the shores of Canada and the United States there are 20 million pinks chowing down on smaller fish and having a good time, according to Ryan.

“If you use light tackle, lighter than you would use on kings, you will have quality time with pinks,” he said.

State statistics back up a hopping good time in the Sekiu area for fishing.

According to a state Department of Fish and Wildlife creel check at Olson’s Resort in Sekiu on Sunday, there were 260 anglers in 98 boats catching 14 chinook, 35 coho, 466 pinks, one steelhead, one red Irish lord and four greenling.

Kings, meanwhile, have slowed down since then.

“Kings are being a little shy,” Ryan said. “We had a pretty good bite [Thursday], better than [Wednesday].”

But there was very little action on kings Wednesday.

Cohos, or silvers, are starting to show up.

“There is a fair amount of silvers in the mix right now,” Ryan said.

Cohos normally start showing up in the middle of August so they are making their entrance right on time.

The weather has been good for fishing for saltwater salmon, but a little windy at times.

“There’s a lot of people out fishing,” Ryan said.

As far as the wind is concerned, it dies down in the evening when it’s the best time to catch kings, according to Ryan.

“The first two hours in the morning and the last two hours in the evening are the best times to fish for kings.”

The king season ends Monday for the Sekiu area.

Hatchery coho season continues through Sept. 18.

Anglers can catch any two silvers, including wild, from Sept. 19 to 30.

Neah Bay, meanwhile, continues to show a great mix of chinook, coho and pinks.

Bill Lacount of Samish Island reported to the Everett Herald that he and family members have experienced great fishing twice in the past three weeks on trips to LaPush.

Last Wednesday, with his wife, two young daughters and a couple of cousins (half the party was between ages 6 and 8), the group took nine chinook in the teens, an extra limit of humpies and one hatchery silver.

According to state biologists, Neah Bay had 1.86 fish per person last week, and almost all of it was pinks.

Neah Bay anglers caught more than 1,800 pinks last week.

La Push, meanwhile, had 1.6 fish per person average, and most of the catch was chinook followed by pinks and coho.

Freshwater Bay

While kings may be scarce out of Sekiu, they have been plentiful in Freshwater Bay.

“Kings have been out by Freshwater Bay,” Mike Deese of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said.

“On Monday, three were caught between 20 to 22 pounds,” he said.

“Kings were doing pretty good. They were limiting out by 7 in the morning.”

Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim also said that kings were plentiful in Freshwater Bay.

“Freshwater Bay has been very consistent,” Menkal said.

Also on Sunday, Menkal saw four fish being taken by Marrowstone Island within 20 minutes.

“Three pinks and a silver were caught and that was in the middle of the day between 12:30 and 1 p.m.,” he said.

“Marrowstone is not red-hot but it is starting to pick up.”

In addition, kings and pinks were red-hot in Sekiu earlier in the week, Menkal said.

River fishing

For freshwater fish, the Sol Duc is having a convention with kings, coho, sockeye and summer steelhead all in attendance.

“Sockeye are extremely good eating,” Menkal said.

Summer steelhead also are running strong in the Calawah and Bogachial rivers right now, he added.

To bear or not to bear

How good bear hunting is on the North Olympic Peninsula depends on who you talk to.

Deese knows of three black bears that have been taken the past week on the North Olympic Peninsula but Menkal hasn’t heard any success stories.

“Bear hunting is doing well,” Deese said.

The three have been in the 200- to 300-pound ranger, Deese added.

The three have been killed in Game Management Unit 603, Pysht area.

“The berries are coming out late and the bears are coming out in the open to get at them,” Deese said.

Menkal, though, has heard just the opposite.

“I know a lot of the guys are going out but there haven’t been a lot of success stories,” Menkal said.

“It’s still too early because the berries are starting late because of the late winter.

“The hunters have to hit the high slopes because that’s the bears feeding area.”

Hood Canal derby

The Hood Canal Salmon Derby is coming up Aug. 20-21 in Hoodsport with plenty of prize money on the line.

Tickets are $25, and there are cash prizes of $500, $750 and $1,000 for first through third place.

Other top 10 placers receive merchandise awards.

There will be a raffle for the entries of non-winners and a mystery prize that anyone could win.

Children also can enter a free derby with a $100 top prize. The event is sponsored by the South Sound Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers of Olympia.

Family bike ride

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Olympic Peninsula, the Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Department and the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club are sponsoring the eighth annual Olympic Bike Adventure on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The fully-supported fun family ride has three different ride lengths to choose from, incluidng 10-, 25- and 60-mile (metric century) routes.

Rideers will travel along the Olympic Discovery Trail through valleys and along the shoreline, with a stop at the Boys & Girls Club in Sequim for lunch.

Registration is $50, or $25 for 12 and younger.

The event includes lunch and event T-shirt (while supplies last).

For more information or to register, visit: http://www.cityofpa.us/recreation.htm#OBA or contact Dan Estes at 360-417-4557,

Send photos, stories

Want your event listed in the outdoors column?

Have a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique, why not share it with our readers?

Send it to Matt Schubert, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles WA 98362; phone, 360-417-3526; fax, 360-417-3521; email matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

Schubert is on vacation this week. He will return for next Thursday’s and Friday’s outdoors columns.

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