Fish, Fur, Fowl: Pink and pincer seasons upon us

Sportsmen can look forward to a small break in the action until the salmon season opens for Area 6 and 7 on July 1 and Area 9 on July 16.

In addition, the highly anticipated Dungenss crab season opener will kick off July 4.

I have been thinking about both seasons since ling cod and halibut closed last week and I couldn’t decide which season I was more excited about until I got a phone call from a friend who said Crescent Harbor was littered with commercial crab pots already.

This means, for the most part, the season opener might be as bad as it was last year if not worse.

I can’t remember exactly when the commercial season opened last year but I do not recall it being this early so my excitement will remain with salmon season.

This does not mean I will forget about the crabs, though. There are plenty of smaller areas to try and besides they are just so tasty.

Try areas where you know they exist but do not receive a lot of commercial pressure. Cornet Bay has a good number of crabs and limited commercial pressure, and the east side of Ponell Point is another good area.

Salmon season will be a blast and will probably start off slowly. The WDFW is predicting lower number of kings and silvers returning to Puget Sound, but a nice number of pinks will be coming back — except for the Skagit River system.

There will be no retention of pinks in Area 8-1 but if you’re fishing just outside of 8-1 in Area 6 along West Beach, you can keep them. But you can figure out what to do there after July as Areas 8-1 and 8-2 do not open until August 1.

I will fill you in on all the details once we start getting some reports and I will share anything I find out firsthand.

The last day of ling cod season could not have been nicer. The water was like glass, the tides were not terribly bad and some anglers got there limits.

I would have loved to have been out there but unfortunately, I had prior arrangements to take care of. As I drove across the bridge I was biting my lip so I wouldn’t vent my disappointment. Ah, well, there will always be next year.

The halibut season did not end on a high of a note, either. The weather Saturday was not ideal for slab angling. The waves were plentiful and the halibut bite was slow. Still, this was an incredible year and I hope next year is the same.

For those of you that enjoy fishing the rivers, the upper Skagit and Cascade have produced some nice springers but water conditions are not ideal.

The Skagit is higher than normal and the Cascade is murky as the snow caps are melting.

The most popular technique is to float a glob of eggs or sand shrimp under a bobber. Look for eddies and structures where the fish will be hiding to get out of the current. Work an area over several times before moving on to the next hole.

Well, until next time, I hope you have your plans together for a very busy month and I look forward to seeing you out on the water. Send reports, pictures, recipes and comments to

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