Sports

Salmon fishing heats up

Salmon fishing off of Whidbey Island starting picking up over the weekend and should get better and better over the next two weeks or so.

Kevin Peterson at Oak Harbor’s Ace Hardware said pink salmon fishing has been pretty consistent recently, but fishermen have started reeling in “lots of large silvers” over the last few days.

Ward Norden, a tackle wholesaler who does fishing projections for the government, said the pink — or humpie — run is 20 to 25 percent above the original projection. The run should be strong until about Aug. 28, but then the silvers — or cohos — will take over.

Norden said the silver run should be a little larger than projected. Even better, the cohos should be about three pounds larger than average.

People who have been fishing off beaches in the Central Whidbey area report a mixed picture. Monday night at Driftwood Park, which is near the Keystone ferry terminal, few fishermen were able to pull out fish from the wavey water.

Whidbey resident Bob Rookstool went fishing with his infant son, Luke. He said he’s caught six humpies so far this year. Like everybody on the beach, his lure of choice is a “Buzz Bomb.”

Horst Merg, on the other hand, said he hasn’t caught anything this year. He said he used to have good luck fishing under the Deception Pass bridge, but he hasn’t gone this year because of the new $5 parking fee.

“It’s been very, very slow this year,” he said.

John Jodon traveled all the way from North Carolina to fish on Whidbey. He used to be stationed on the island with the Navy and decided to return for the salmon.

Jodon said he started fishing at 5:30 a.m. and caught four fish in about 12 hours.

Norden said the reason he’s predicted good fishing is simply because there’s been ”phenomenal feeding” for the salmon out in the ocean.

“Everything depends on plankton in the feeding grounds,” he said.

In addition, Norden said the pink salmon run next year should be as good as this year.

If that happens, he said it’ll be the first time in history when the normally cyclic pink runs will be the same for two years in a row.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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