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Thursday, July 4, 2013 - Page updated at 08:00 p.m.

A pretty good start for hatchery king fishing

By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter

Chris Mohr sums it up as quality over quantity, and nobody at Sekiu is complaining.

In the first few days since the Strait of Juan de Fuca opened for hatchery king fishing, Mohr, the owner of Van Riper’s Resort, has seen some big fish hitting the docks.

“It isn’t the same fishery like the last few years where we saw a lot of fish, but I will tell you there are more big kings (25 to 29 pounds) than I can remember,” Mohr said.

Olson’s Resort at Sekiu is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a Salmon Fishing Derby this Saturday. Cost is $25. For details, call 360-963-2311.

In eastern Strait off Port Angeles, anglers were seeing a decent king bite that included 16 boats Wednesday at the Ediz Hook ramp with 32 chinook (daily limit is two salmon).

According to Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait, the best action around Port Angeles came just outside the hook and the submerged banks known as Winter Hole for kings averaging 10 pounds with some 19 to 25 pounds.

The charters and private boat anglers in central and northern Puget Sound have been scratching their heads over the lack of early resident coho, which are the bread and butter fishery before the hatchery king season starts on July 16.

“The coho (are) a real staple before the king fishery opens, and has been a lights out fishery for the past four years,” said Gary Krein, owner of All-Star Charters in Everett. “It has been a couple of coho per boat at best, and a very spotty start to the fishery.”

Some charters have switched to catch and release chinook fishing, as there appears to be a good number of migrating summer kings.

Most are targeting salmon off Jefferson Head, Kingston, Possession Bar, Pilot Point and Point No Point since it opened Monday.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine AreasAt Ilwaco, average was 1.30 fish per rod with a four-to-one coho to chinook ratio. At Westport, it was half a fish per rod; and coho were out deep in 160 feet of water, and kings were hanging along the beach in 30 to 60 feet of water off Ocean Shores. At La Push, anglers averaged one king/coho per rod, and at Neah Bay, it was 0.70 fish per rod. Slow to fair for hatchery chinook off Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Dolphin Point and Colvos Passage. Fair to good for kings in San Juan Islands off Thatcher Pass, Tide Point, Cypress Island and north side of Orcas Island. Decent for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound and Hood Canal; open Thursdays to Mondays only.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide riversFair for steelhead in Lower Columbia. Slow to fair for hatchery chinook in Cascade and Skagit above Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport. Good for hatchery chinook and steelhead in Skykomish, and fair for steelhead at Reiter Ponds. Fair for chinook and steelhead in Cowlitz. Hoh, Quillayute, Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah and Nisqually are open for salmon. Fair for trout in Cedar. Good fly-fishing in North Fork Stillaguamish.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide lakesBaker Lake opens July 10 for sockeye. Good for kokanee at Stevens, Rimrock, Bumping, Keechelus, Kachess, Meridian, Merwin and Swift. Fair to good for trout at Blackmans; Padden; Pine; Beaver; Mineral; Jameson; Desire; and Bosworth. Good at Lake Roosevelt for kokanee, trout and walleye. Fair to good for trout in Conconully; Alta; Spectacle; Williams; and Diamond. Good in Sprague for bass.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or

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