Fish, Fur, Fowl: Pink salmon run nears peak

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the pink salmon run is supposed to be at its peak in the next couple of weeks.

Although there have been some good numbers of fish moving through the area so far, there are plenty more of the 3.3 million expected pinks still out there.

Talking to several beach anglers near Fort Casey this past weekend, everyone seems to be in agreement that the peak has yet to come.

There are miles of prime beach access for those trying to catch their limit of four pinks, beaches like Admiralty, Lagoon Point and beaches around Possession Point all can be very productive.

The beaches in Areas 6, 9 and 8-2 all provide some excellent action, but remember those popular beaches in area 8-1 are closed to pink retention to protect the expected return to the Skagit River.

Other salmon species are also doing quite well right now.

I recently took the boat out to Area 7 and there was no shortage of king salmon to be had.

I have noticed a larger number of smaller jacks, but other areas of the San Juan Islands are reporting kings in the 20-pound range.

Similar to fishing for kings in the winter, it is important to keep your gear near the bottom. This is the time of year I really focus on using artificial lures to reduce the number of dogfish being caught.

Spoons and hootchies in green glow are producing nice fish. I like to troll at a speed that keeps my downrigger cable at a 45-degree angle to the water. That speed has consistently put me into fish.

Coho are in the area as well and they tend to like the baits a bit shallower and faster than kings and many beach anglers are doing quite well catching them.

I had a discussion with a friend and just like me, he has a hard time putting coho in the boat — but from the beach we have no problem.

Cast spoons like Krocodiles and perch-colored Buzz Bombs, and give them a fast retrieve. Once hooked up hold on, as coho tend to be the most acrobatic of all salmon.

With some great evening tides this past weekend and continuing through this week, it’s easy to go home after work and still have time to hit to the beach and catch a few salmon.

The one thing that hasn’t been great has been the weather.

This has to be one of the strangest summers I have experienced here in a long time. August normally has temperatures in the 80s, but lately I am happy to hit the upper 60s. I guess we will have to wait and see what the rest of the month has in store for us.

Hopefully in the next month or so, I plan on getting a Whidbey Fish, Fur and Fowl Web site up and running so I can put out the most up-to-date information. If you read my last article you know that I projected the closing of Area 9 to king salmon retention. Well, it closed that very day and I hope it didn’t catch anyone off guard. After that, I thought maybe a Web site would help so I will try to get it up and running soon.

Until then please send comments, suggestions, reports and pictures to me at

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