Sports

Crabbing season opens today

By ED OLDHAM

For a lot of anglers today is the day to get out in a boat or stand on a pier or dock to try and catch a limit of crabs as the season opens.

Like the last few years, we have to wonder how many are left out there for us.

In the two weeks prior to the start of the sport fishing season, you could see Crescent Harbor dotted with buoys from commercial crab boats. Reports from all over Puget Sound indicated conditions were the same in other popular recreational crabbing areas.

It wasn’t long ago that I remember the recreational season opened a few weeks before the commercial boats were even allowed to soak a pot. Those are what I describe now as the golden years.

If I were to go out, I would spend a little more time exploring for new areas. Those places that are either too small to be economical to commercial fishermen or where they where not allowed to crab at all.

Areas like the east side of Polnell Point have been great for just those reasons, but the word is out and I would bet there are more recreational anglers out there this year.

The San Juans have countless bays that could be potential gold mines if you have the time and money to explore them a bit. With the gas prices the way they are, the cost almost outweighs the amount of crabs you could catch.

Speaking of cost, the NAS Whidbey Island MWR marina opened a few months ago with a bunch of new boats that you can rent by the hour. This could be a lot easier on the wallet than taking your own boat out. You don’t have to worry about launching it or even rinsing it off when you are done. Check them out to get their current prices.

Salmon season kicked off yesterday in Marine Area 7 and there are some good reports of bait holding in all the popular areas. This is good news for those who might consider heading out right now instead of waiting for the reports to come in.

I am a die-hard spoon user as my preferred bait. I love using a spoon versus a hoochie or cut-plug herring. Green glow, cop car, army truck and pink are my favorite colors and each has produced fish at one time or another throughout the season.

If you are a hoochie angler, then you know what colors work the best for you. Green splatter-back and purple are in my tackle box, and always spend a little time in the water, but I tend to stick with the spoons.

A green flasher is by far the most popular color used and the leader length connecting your fish-catching option of choice varies depending on what it is.

If you use a spoon I would put a longer leader on it, around 30 to 40 inches. Spoons have their own action and the longer leader allows the lure it to dance the way it was designed to.

With hoochies, I use a shorter leader and a higher pound test line. The shorter length, about 18 to 24 inches, allows the flasher’s action to be imparted on the hoochie. The stiffer line also helps with the action.

Whether it is crabs or salmon, there is a reason to get back on the water and enjoy the good weather that has finally arrived.

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