Starting Saturday, anglers fishing off of Neah Bay will have the chance to bring home a chinook like this one caught by Bellingham’s Tyler Dockins off Mushroom Rock during the 2020 salmon opener.

Starting Saturday, anglers fishing off of Neah Bay will have the chance to bring home a chinook like this one caught by Bellingham’s Tyler Dockins off Mushroom Rock during the 2020 salmon opener.

OUTDOORS: Where to find the kings

Neah Bay always productive

It’s salmon season off Neah Bay and La Push starting Saturday. So where to find the kings?

During salmon season, charter boats and the more sturdy vessels will be making the longer trek out to Swiftsure Bank, 72 Square and the Blue Dot [stay on the U.S. side].

Swiftsure always seems to produce the biggest kings every summer, but anglers need to remember this is the open Pacific Ocean. There are no landmarks of any kind, and big water is always a possibility. This isn’t a journey that should be attempted without proper survival equipment and a functional VHF radio, but no outing on the water should ever be taken lightly.

If keeping land in sight is an important consideration, Marine Area 4 along the Strait of Juan de Fuca anglers can try the Mushroom Rock area just east of Tatoosh Island.

Another popular spot is the old Garbage Dump between Mushroom Rock and Wadaah Island.

Run a spoon behind a diver, and you may just catch an opening weekend king as in the accompanying photo.

North of Waadah Island can be productive for those trolling with the tide in water 150 to 300 feet deep.

The Green Can just outside of Neah Bay is a spot that Neah Bay residents like to motor out to and find a king, looking for bait and finding fish near structure in close.

The Rock Pile is a trusted spot for La Push anglers, but it’s a haul and not really worth it, considering you could launch out of Westport and fish Marine Area 2 instead.

Watch the regs

Last summer, the state department of Fish and Wildlife released an important rules clarification during a similar salmon/halibut opening.

Coastwide, anglers cannot fish in an area if they have a catch on board that is not legal to retain in that area.

For example, it is illegal to have salmon aboard while fishing in an area closed to salmon fishing (i.e. Marine Area 5), even if you caught the salmon elsewhere (i.e. Marine Area 4).

So anglers looking for that salmon/halibut double whammy will need to fish only in Marine Area 4 or catch their one-salmon daily limit off Neah Bay, return to Sekiu to check-in and offload that fish before heading back out for halibut. Or vice versa, depending on preferences, tides and whatever else goes into a fishing trip.

Port samplers, those who collect fishing data from anglers as they leave the docks, are again scanning salmon snouts to collect data on the movement and survival rates of specific hatchery stocks.

Anglers can aid the fisheries’ management efforts by bringing their full salmon or salmon carcasses off the boat and stopping at the marked sampling site above the docks.

3D Archery Shoot

Waipiti Bowmen will host a Father’s Day 3D Archery Shoot at its club headquarters, 374 E. Arnette Road, Saturday and Sunday.

Registration opens at 7 a.m. each day.

A total of 30-plus archery targets will be placed around the club’s land.

Archery fees are $12 (one day) and $20 for adults, $8 or $10 for youth 12-17, $4 or $5 for youth 6-11 and free for 5 and younger.

Breakfast and lunch will be available for $5 per meal.

A card money shoot for prizes also will be held.

Camping is available.

For more information, call Nick Roberts at 360-582-7686.

Saturday free day

Saturday will be a free day in state parks in observance of Juneteenth. No Discover Pass will be needed for entrance to state parks in recognition.


Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected]

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