LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Time for silvers to shine
Peninsula Daily News
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The king season is closed in Sekiu and Port Angeles starting today.
This follows the closure in Marine Area 4, east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line, two weeks ago.
It seems like mere days ago anglers were waking from their post-halibut doldrums and hitting the water off the North Olympic Peninsula with salmon on their minds — soon to be in their stomachs.
But that was 46 days ago.
During that time, the king fishing was good. Maybe even legendary.
It wasn’t uncommon for veteran anglers to boldly declare this saltwater chinook season to be one of the best in the last few decades. Not years, decades.
So what now?
Well, now coho take center stage.
“From here on out, it’s all about hatchery coho,” Gary Ryan of Van Riper’s Resort (360-963-2334) in Sekiu said.
Though the prime coho time typically isn’t until September and October, silvers have already had a nice season, even as a by-product of the king fishery.
Last month, Eric Hodgson of Strait Fishing LLC (360-460-2237) talked about catching 30-50 silvers per day off Sekiu and said, “and that’s not even fishing hard for them.”
Though they have been coming in batches, the coho catch numbers seem to be gradually increasing and dominating the chinook figures lately.
Especially in Sekiu.
Last Thursday, Van Riper’s Resort reported 49 silvers caught compared to 28 kings.
At the same ramp Saturday, there were 66 coho and 25 chinook reported.
The gap closed a bit on Sunday when there were 53 coho and 36 kings.
At Olson’s Resort silvers had a 77-46 advantage Friday and 69-21 Saturday. On Sunday, coho dominated 113-41.
It looks like Sekiu’s success should continue this weekend.
“There’s a lot of bait holding the fish here,” Ryan said. “Bait is jumping everywhere.”
Though Port Angeles wasn’t as hot for silvers as Sekiu, Sunday’s numbers there might be a hint of good things.
After struggling to reach double digits for most of the week, the public ramp at Ediz Hook reported 28 silvers caught.
Randy Lato of All-Ways Fishing (360-374-2052) said there are a lot of silvers near LaPush, but they are mostly natives.
And the wild coho, which must be released, are kind of getting in the way.
“You have to go through them to get to the hatchery fish,” Lato said. “There’s not a lot [of hatchery coho].”
The chinook fishery is still open on the coast and near Port Townsend.
Stephen Jimmicum of Big Salmon Resort (360-645-2374) in Neah Bay said anglers are still having some success reeling in kings near Swiftsure and Tatoosh Island.
“It has died down, but it’s still steady,” Jimmicum said.
Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 15. 2012 5:27PM