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Primetime for King Salmon, Baby!

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Hal C
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: Primetime for King Salmon, Baby! Reply with quote

Tony Floor talks about catching Kings...Big Kings!. We know our readers will enjoy this. Posted here with permission by Tony and NMTA

Primetime for King Salmon, Baby!

It's Showtime! Here come the kings! Here come the kings! Big, fat mature chinook salmon, elbowing their way down the coast through southeast Alaska, the rugged British Columbia coast and into Washington waters. Smelling, eating, sniffing, gorging themselves with baitfish adding pounds of mouth watering flesh to their 20, 25 and 30 pound bodies. Oh baby, put me in coach. I want an XL pulling on my string, burying my rod into the water as yards of line peel off my reel like hooking onto the bumper of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson's stock car.

This is my favorite time of year, marked by the summer solstice on my calendar. I've been to southeast Alaska four times, at this writing, in the last six weeks, attempting to appease my appetite for hooking large, chrome-bright king salmon. I'm still hungry. For me, mature chinook salmon, which we call king salmon, are at the top of the salmon species food chain. They can be challenging to catch, and certainly challenging to land. For a golfer, the opportunity to play a round in the Master's tournament in Augusta, Georgia, with Tiger Woods is what king salmon fishing is for me. Applying the knowledge I have attained during the last 50 years fishing for salmon, all for the purpose of feeling that erratic bite on my herring, reeling up tight, only to feel the power of a big king salmon and a whole lot of head shakin' going on. Help me now!

July and August represent a crescendo of migrating kings down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and into Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This year, for the first time in over a decade, we are allowed to keep hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) king salmon beginning July 16th through August 15th from the north tip of Vashon Island north to Pt. Wilson at Port Townsend. Since the mid-1990's this area has been closed to any retention of chinook salmon during the summer months due to the inability to distinguish a hatchery produced chinook salmon from a natural spawning chinook salmon. I like the Port Townsend area (Pt. Wilson on the low slack, MidChannel Bank and Craven Rock on Marrowstone Island, as proven spots where chinook salmon feed.

I also believe Pt. No Pt, the west side of Possession Bar, Kingston on an ebb tide and Jefferson Head will produce good catches of hatchery produced chinook salmon during this time frame.

Salmon angler's who live and fish throughout the San Juan Islands claim the last few years have been very productive there too, particularly in the eastern portion of the Islands (Lopez Flats, Fidalgo Head, Eagle Bluff, Thatcher Pass, Thompson Pt. And Pt. Doughty on the north end of Orcas Island. Unlike central and northern Puget Sound, the Islands open each year on July 1st and angler's can keep one marked or unmarked chinook salmon per day.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca, which has enjoyed a selective fishery for summer king salmon fishing in recent years has witnessed their quota boosted by about 500 hatchery fin-clipped king salmon. The Sekiu and Pillar Point areas open on July 1st and can get rocking by mid-late July. I love fishing the kelp beds off Mussolini Rock during daylight at Sekiu on a moderate flood tide. Money, baby!

Meanwhile, most of the Washington coast will open to king and coho salmon fishing within the first few days of July, depending on area (Ilwaco, Westport, La Push and Neah Bay). The forecast is soft this year for Columbia River bound chinook salmon which has been the historical backbone for these four areas. My counsel is to fish early and do not hold your breath for a long coastal salmon season.

So, what are you waiting for? It's early July in the Pacific Northwest and time to get serious about salmon fishing. Here comes da kings and baby, step into my kitchen! See you on the water.
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Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 13
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: great article Reply with quote

WOW, what a great article. I remember when I used to live in Washignton going fishing on the weekends and before work and trolling for kings and coho's with both flies and lures.

Although everybody has their favorite spot, I used to love to fish between blakely rock and Bainbridge Island and off yeomalt point.

Find the bait fish and you will find the salmon eating them.

Best of luck
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North Liner

Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:26 pm    Post subject: Primetime for King Salmon, Baby! Reply with quote

I agree, great article. In fact when I read it last month it inspired me to get back out there and join the quest catching King Salmon. Glad I did. Had pretty good luck in area 10 of Puget Sound out from Seattle. Gotta be careful to know which part is open but you can get that online at WDFW--Washington State and click on the PDF for the rules and Regs.

We had best luck for kings (and we caught plenty but some were too small to keep) with a deep six diver and hot shot flasher and short leaders and squid hoochies, but herring obviously works good too. Pretty common rig out here.

Even if we had to released some, we had a thanks to Tony Floor for telling it like it is!
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