Heck With The Point, Pull A Bank Job

Yesterday, after I fired off my Central Puget Sound Chinook opener report, a buddy of mine chuckled about all the boats that had flown out of Edmonds Marina for Possession Point, Appletree Cove, Jeff Head, the oil docks, etc., etc., etc., that morning. All those anglers had roared right over the 20- and 10-pounders he caught nearby.

He predicted there would be a few boats today in the Edmonds area, and sure enough, according to our eagle-eyed spotter on the waterfront, there were “a ton” around 8 this morning.

Chinook-report chasers, they may be, or maybe there really is some good fishing going on there. But needless to say, one salmon manager down in Olympia is a bit puzzled by all the anglers who stuck to their PoBar, Kingston, Shilshole plan when it’s become quite clear that the early bite is best at Port Townsend and Midchannel Bank, at the top end of the area open for hatchery kings.

“I try to tell folks that, but they seem to like Possession,” says Steve Thiesfeld, Puget Sound salmon manager. “It was slow down south, but lights out for the guys who had it dialed in up north. Two fish per boat for our checkers at Port Townsend halfway through the day. That’s kind of like it was the first year (2007). If you’re doing a Chinook an angler, that’s rivaling ocean fishing.”

“I don’t understand fishermen. They get so locked into fishing the place they caught a fish last week or the year before. It’s almost like they forget how to fish — where’s the bait? where are the birds?” he says, and points to widely available catch and fishing information.

Tim Bush’s July Sounder column spoke extensively about fishing Midchannel and the west side of Whidbey, but that’s how salmon anglers are. As of 10 a.m., that fleet off Edmonds (originally estimated at a dozen or so) had shrunk down to two, according to our spotter.

This year there is a softer “guideline” of 11,000 hatchery kings instead of a 7,000-fish quota of the first two years of the mark-selective season. Fish & Wildlife is monitoring catches with checkers at the two most active ports apiece in both Areas 9 and 10.

Whether Port Townsend stays red hot is a good question. Hot catches in the San Juans and at Sekiu have slowed this week, but Thiesfeld points out that pinks are now available at Sekiu.

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