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Thursday, August 7, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Fishing Outlook

Salmon Biting In Several Areas Of Puget Sound

Seattle Times Sports Staff

Don't throw in the towel on summer salmon fishing.

Veteran anglers know August is prime for king fishing in Central and South Puget Sound.

Elliott Bay west of the Duwamish Head marker north to Pier 91 is open year-round for salmon fishing. Fishing this week was decent for kings, 10 to 20 pounds, with a few up to 30 pounds.

"The morning dogfish bite is horrendous, but I've seen some nice kings caught in the bay off Fourmile Rock, the Duwamish Head marker and off the condominiums along Alki," said Slim Simpson, a state Fish and Wildlife catch surveyor.

Inner-bay spots open for salmon fishing are the Seacrest Boathouse fishing pier in West Seattle and the Elliott Bay Public fishing pier at Terminal 86.

"The pier crowd is averaging five to eight kings every day," said Dave Drewry at the Seacrest Boathouse.

Other Central Sound areas worth a try in the next few weeks are West Point, Yeomalt Point, Blakely Rocks, Alki Point, Lincoln Park in West Seattle and Dolphin Point off Vashon Island.

Anglers searching for a less-crowded king-fishing spot should try Southworth or Allen Bank off Vashon Island.

"Not great (yesterday), but we released two blackmouth (resident chinook) and lost a king at the boat (Tuesday) during the outgoing tide at Southworth," said Keith Robbins, skipper of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle.

Farther south, trolling and mooching anglers caught kings, 15 to 24 pounds, this week off Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.

"Fishing is OK, and we've seen about 13 to 14 kings caught every morning off the Clay Banks and slag pile," said Mike Medford at the Point Defiance Boathouse.

Other South Sound options are Poverty Bay, off Saltwater State Park; the Chambers Creek mouth; Point Dalco off Vashon Island; Gibson Point off Fox Island and Lyle Point off Anderson Island.

Hot spots of the week

1. King and coho salmon off Westport: "Westport catch rates increased for coho and chinook," said Doug Milward, a state Fish and Wildlife resource salmon manager.

Last week, 3,400 Westport anglers caught 300 chinook and 3,555 coho, peppered with a few pinks. Through Sunday, the season tally was 1,200 chinook (3,000 catch quota) and 6,000 coho (14,000 quota) caught off Westport.

2. Coho salmon off Bush and Lagoon points on West Whidbey Island: Good coho fishing (yesterday) off the shoreline, and most were 2 to 7 pounds.

3. Summer steelhead in Skykomish and Stillaguamish rivers: Fair fishing in the Skykomish from Reiter Ponds to Sultan. Fair fly-fishing in the Stillaguamish North Fork from Oso to Fortson.

4. Summer steelhead in Columbia River mainstem and mid-Columbia tributaries: Good along the Longview sand bars, and checks showed one steelhead for every three bank anglers. Fair in Drano Lake and the White Salmon River, and should improve because more than 7,000 steelhead were passing up the Bonneville Dam fish ladder daily.

5. Coho at Buoy 10 in the Lower Columbia River: "Fair coho fishing, but they're small," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Battle Ground. Also, lots of mackerel.

Fishing spots

-- Ilwaco - Coho salmon fishing is so good in the ocean off Ilwaco that Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials will close the season after today. Through yesterday, 284 chinook (1,500 quota) and 17,200 coho (17,500 quota) were caught off Ilwaco. -- Neah Bay - Slow for pinks. Fair for halibut off Koitlah Point. Halibut season ends Sunday. -- Sekiu - "Not a lot of pinks caught," said Bob Rice at Van Riper's Resort. Coho fishing opens Monday. -- Port Angeles - Minimal tidal flow this week should provide fair to good halibut fishing off Freshwater Bay, the rock pile and Green Point. Halibut season ends Sunday. -- Hein Bank - Fair to good for coho. -- San Juan Islands - "We found some kings off Alden Bank (north of Matia Island) and Lawrence Point (east side of Orcas Island)," said Shane Aggergaard, owner of Island Adventure Charters in Anacortes. A fair number of Samish River kings caught by jigging anglers at Secret Harbor off Cypress Island and the west side of Guemes Island. -- Hood Canal - Slow for coho and pinks. -- Tulalip Bay - A few kings caught by trolling anglers this week, but slow overall. -- Everett area - Slow for pinks and coho in Port Gardner and from Mukilteo to Meadowdale. -- Possession Bar - Slow for coho and pinks. -- Edmonds fishing pier - Slow for kings and coho. -- Jefferson Head - Slow to fair for coho. -- North coastal rivers - "Try the Hoh River for salmon, and head to the Bogachiel, Calawah and Soleduck rivers for steelhead," said Bob Gooding, owner of Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks. Fair for sea-run trout in the Soleduck and Bogachiel rivers. -- Skagit River - "Steelhead-plunking anglers released a fair number of pinks from Lyman downstream," said Lynn Arner at Priced Less Sporting Goods in Sedro-Woolley. River opens Aug. 16 for pinks. A few sea-run trout in the lower river. -- Green River - "A few steelhead caught in the canyon below Palmer, and some Atlantic salmon showed up near the Eighth Street Bridge," said Tom Farrell at Auburn Sports and Marine. -- Puyallup River - "Muddy water, and only a few plunking anglers are trying for kings in the lower river," said Aaron Reed at Sports Etc. in Sumner. -- Lewis River - "Fair for steelhead in the North Fork, and some chinook caught off the Kalama sand bar in the Columbia mainstem," said Leon Christianson at Lewis River Sports in Woodland. Water is low and clear. Release chinook in the Lewis. -- Kalama River - Fair to good for steelhead. -- Cowlitz River - Fair for summer steelhead at the mouth, below Blue Creek and at barrier dam. -- Columbia River - Fair to good for sturgeon in the estuary, and fair in John Day Pool. Fair for bass and walleyes in John Day Pool. -- Freshwater fishing - Fair to good for ring-tailed perch, catfish and bass in Lake Washington around the Arboretum. A 5 1/2-pound bass was caught this week off Madrona. Duck Lake (near Ocean Shores) was good for crappie. Fair to good for trout in Shoecraft (northwest of Marysville), Spanaway, Cranberry (on Whidbey Island), Riffe (east of Mossyrock) and Goodwin (northwest of Marysville) lakes. Good trolling for kokanee in Stevens Lake (east of Everett).

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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