Whidbey's salmon season underway

Monday marked the long awaited opening of marine areas 9, 8-1, and 8-2, raising the curtain for salmon fishing in all waters around Whidbey Island.

All indications are that it was a solid opener.

Anglers hit the west side of San Juan Island steadily for the past few weeks with increasing numbers of fish being caught. Among these fish are the numerous humpies, or pink salmon, that offer anglers a lot of action from the shore.

Popular places, like the beaches next to the Keystone ferry were hit hard and will continue to be littered with anglers casting various pink spoons hoping to catch a few of these salmon for the BBQ or the smoker.

Other hot spots include Ala spit and Admirals cove.

In recent years the most productive times have been around tide changes, so be sure to pick up a tide guide as well as some pink spoons or buzz bombs when you visit your favorite tackle store. Concentrate on the hour before and after a tide change. Tide changes early in the morning or later in the afternoon seem to be the most productive.

Another thing to consider is the large amount of private beaches in these hot spots. Be respectful of property owners and their land and observe all signs posted.

King and silver fishing should be productive as well, but you will have to change your technique a little depending on the fish. Kings tend to like a slow presentation, so if you work your pink buzz bomb a bit slower and let it get closer to the bottom you could catch a nice one.

Silvers seem to like the perch colored buzz bombs or even a silver and blue crocodile spoon. Retrieve them a bit faster and hold on. Silvers are known for coming to the top of the water and putting on quite a display.

Fishing report

Crabbing is still a bit slow for most. I spent a few hours this weekend talking to some folks down at Cornet bay and saw a lot of undersized crabs in their pots. Anglers on boats seem to be doing well in those areas with the least pressure. Areas to the east of Polnell Point and Hope Island have done fairly well for those that frequent them.

Freshwater action seems to be slowing down, but there are still a few anglers catching nice sized rainbows out of Campbell Lake using night crawlers. Cranberry has also been slow as the water temperatures continue to rise. Anglers should target deep holes throughout the lake for trout trying to get into some cooler water.

Hunting report

Aug. 1 also marked the opening of bear season. Although most hunters will wait until September there are still some areas with fairly heavy populations of bear. Areas around Concrete and Darrington have been some major hot spots on the west side of the state. If you choose to head out this early be sure to get out there early in the morning or late in the afternoon as the bears will bed down during the heat of the day.

Best of luck to all and please feel free to contact me at

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