Sports

Fish, Fur, Fowl: Salmon returns promising

Sunday was the big salmon opener and the weather was perfect. At the time of this writing reports have been pretty scarce as I imagine most successful anglers were enjoying their catch for dinner.

Some of the reports I’ve seen indicate good numbers of salmon are already in the area. Most are smaller in size but will get bigger as the season chugs along.

Unlike last year when silvers wanted to sit off the coast for most of the beginning of the season, there were reports of good numbers being caught in areas as far south as Tacoma. That is promising considering the poor coho fishing we experienced last year.

I’ve received reports about smaller chinook in the 7 to 10- pound range being caught with a few in the high teens. They will be a bit bigger the farther out you go.

Try areas like Lime Kiln or Eagle Point and you might intercept a big king heading for the Fraser River.

Local areas like Lopez Flats, Thatcher Pass and Cypress Island all have produced fish for anglers that put in the time and find the techniques that work — or should I say techniques they have confidence in.

Salmon fishing is one of those things that mystifies me.

There are so many techniques and methods that you might spend a lifetime without trying them all. After talking with many successful salmon anglers, it boils down to whether or not the angler has confidence.

I’m sure you can think of someone you know who swears by spoons, herring, hoochies, plugs, flies, sardines, or buzz bombs. If you have two people that like herring, one will probably tell you to troll it and the other says mooch it.

Break them down even farther. Trolling has several things you have to worry about such as speed, depth, cut plug or plastic hoods. Mooching can be done traditionally and what is more common motor mooching? It can get confusing.

I like to use artificial lures and I tend to stick with spoons and hoochies. I use these as I have confidence with them. Your best bet is to find what works and stick with it.

Some local anglers will be hitting the Baker or Samish rivers as well. The two rivers require two completely different methods.

Baker River’s sockeye like sand shrimp, and the kings returning to the Samish like yarn and eggs. If you plan on fishing those rivers for the first time, I recommend either going with someone who has fished there before or talk to someone at your local tackle shop. You can pick up a lot of good information at Holiday Sports, Northern Sales and Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Also, kids and their parents need to mark their calendars for Saturday, July 7. The Oak Harbor Yacht Club is hosting its annual free fishing derby from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for kids ages 6 to 12. This is a great opportunity to introduce the little ones to the joys of fishing.

One last note, the much awaited crab opener is today. All areas around Whidbey Island are open for the retention of Dungeness crab. Commercial boats have been sighted all over, so stick with areas that are smaller and I am sure you will have better success.

Until next time, see you on the water.

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