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"Go Fishing Where the Fish Are" - Great Article!

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Hal C
Senior Member

Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject: "Go Fishing Where the Fish Are" - Great Article! Reply with quote

Once again, Tony Floor tackles the ins-and-outs of fishing strategies and best locations for the Pacific Northwest. We think our readers will enjoy this. Posted here with permission by Tony and NMTA

Fish Where The Fish Are

Last Tuesday, February 27th, I sat through a five hour meeting, listening to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife salmon biologists, speaking about what to expect this spring, summer and fall, for adult salmon finding their way back to their natal streams and rivers in our state.

I have participated in this forecast meeting every year, for 24 consecutive years, formerly as the spokesman for the Department and today, as an advocate and promoter of sport salmon fishing in Washington, representing the Northwest Marine Trade Association and the Northwest Salmon Derby Series.

As you may expect, the tide floods and ebbs for our salmon populations, largely due to the mood of Mother nature in the ocean pasture and the freshwater of this magnificent species origin. Looking back in time, there have been classic highs and lows in most regions of western Washington. I've decided to call this year, a tweener.

Today's successful salmon angler must be flexible and follow two fundamental rules. Rule number one: fish where the fish are. Rule number two: reread rule number one.

Therefore, as I analyze the forecast documents, you will find me, throughout the year, drilling my salmon fishing schedule to the foundation of the strengths and foregoing the weaknesses, again, based on this forecast information.

For example, considering chinook fishing strengths, you'll find me at Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor in August and September as the numbers are relatively good. You will not find me in the ocean and the lower Columbia River as the numbers of available chinook salmon are down from recent years. Catches this past year were poor.

Since I wrote my last column one month ago, I have attended two major salmon fishing tournaments at Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, and Discovery Bay, near Sequim. I am pleased to report that fishing was good but the catching was spectacular.

During Roche Harbor's 2006 tournament, anglers landed 37 chinook in two days. This year, a similar number of anglers caught 89 chinook salmon. Half of this catch was fin-clipped hatchery fish.

A week later, during President's Day weekend, at the Discovery Bay Salmon Derby, anglers caught 131 chinook salmon. The catch during the 2006 tournament was 61 chinook salmon. Now, here is the clincher: of the 131 chinook entered in the event, 77% were fin-clipped hatchery fish. Hallelujah! There is an outstanding survival rate of hatchery produced chinook salmon going on in Puget Sound which should carry into the spring, summer and fall fisheries. I love it.

I love it so much, I think I'll go fishing. Mid-March works for me, fishing the banks (Middle and Coyote Banks) on the west side of San Juan Island. Oh, by the way, there will be plenty of fish inside the San Juan Islands too which is a great fall back position when the southerly's of March napalm the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I am also getting consistent great fishing reports from the Everett area, Double Bluff and Bush Point on the southwest corner of Whidbey Island, and Liplip Point on the south end of Marrowstone Island, an underfished frontier.

As the morning sun comes earlier each day during the month of March, I can't help but twitch about getting on the water to fish for salmon in Puget Sound. The fish are there as I've witnessed during my travels in February. This will go down as a very good blackmouth season and I'm about to get a few punches on my card. Oh baby, I love the smell of chinook salmon in the morning!

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Reel Loose

Joined: 10 Oct 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: fish where the fish are Reply with quote

good stuff on fishing where the fish are and I know from experience you gotta keep telling yourself that rather than getting stuck in the same old spot beating a dead horse. Gotta be willing to move and try new areas.
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Duane Fletcher

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject: Fishing in tournaments Reply with quote

I also like to try to catch the tournaments when possible. I usually make new friends and learn a few new approaches to the age old problem of catching big on short notice. And I especially like talking to other fishermen about their favorite electronics. It's too expensive to try lots of different fish finders and sounders etc so I ask around and see what's best.
Live to Fish
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