Planning makes all the difference

Saturday will be a busy day on Puget Sound waters as hundreds of local anglers hope to catch their limit of five crabs. Others will head to their favorite trolling grounds in pursuit of salmon.

Whatever you’re going to do, planning will make all the difference.

I have a warning for all crabbers. After I wrote my last article, I received a report that a commercial crab processing boat had parked itself in Crescent Harbor and had numerous boats checking pots and returning with their bounty. After further investigation I received a few other reports that confirmed this.

I just wrote that as long as sport anglers get the first crack at the crabs the public would have a great year, but it’s starting to like it’s going to a be more of a challenge.

Try smaller areas where there is not enough room for hundreds of commercial pots. Polnell Point, Dungeness Spit, Cornet Bay and some areas around Anacortes will be the most productive. Most importantly, make sure you don’t see a large number of commercial buoys.

I also have another word of caution. Skagit County law enforcement busted a local man who had a huge lot of stolen shrimp and crab pots. If you’re going to leave your pots soaking while you run out to your favorite fishing grounds be sure they are in a well observed area. This could discourage a potential thief, but if someone really wants your traps they will do just about anything. I had one stolen last year myself.

On the other hand, salmon anglers could be in for a great summer on the salt water. Reports coming in from the Tulalip Bubble area have reported better than normal fishing. I have even received reports that the tribe had more salmon in the nets than they did last year by August.

Favorite areas around the island include Possession Bar, Lagoon Point, Camano Island, Hat Island and the San Juan Islands.

Most will troll near the bottom with their favorite rigs. One of my favorite, and a very common one at that, is a green flasher with a glow green coyote spoon. If you are not into spoons then a green and blue squid will work well too. Some even prefer cut plug herring.

The trick is to get it near the bottom and keep it there. Also look for bait balls and troll on the outskirts of them. I also like to take my trolling motor in and out of gear every now and then to vary the presentation a bit. This can prove to be effective in getting stingy fish to bite.

Also talk to the local tackle shops as anglers are passing through giving bits of information on various locations.

Whatever your plans are for this weekend be sure to plan your trip, read the regulations, be safe and most importantly have fun. If you see me out on the water be sure to say hello or send me your comments, suggestions, reports and pictures to

Ed Oldham’s Fish, Fur and Fowl column appears every other Wednesday in the Whidbey News-Times.

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