By Wayne Kruse Special to The Herald
Last Saturday’s Edmonds Coho Derby was won by 10-year old Essix Kelly of Richmond Beach. She captured the top adult/youth prize of $5,000 for a silver of 11 pounds, 8 ounces (dressed weight). The fish, taken on a flasher and opalescent squid, joined the party not more than 750 yards from the Edmonds breakwater at 7 a.m. derby morning in her dad’s boat.
Dad, Sean P. Kelly, immediately renamed his boat the “Queen of Derby.”
Essix credited her catch to being fiercely resistant to getting out of bed Saturday morning, delaying her father’s desired departure time by 40 minutes. Any earlier, she maintains, would have missed the rip, the fish and the prize.
Essix would like to extend her thanks to John Martinis of John’s Sporting Goods in Everett for his recommendations on tackle, and to Nick Kester of All Star Charters for all the advice he’s given her dad this season.
The above was emailed in, of course, by dad.
On a more mundane level, derby coordinator Tim Stumps (Sno-King Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers) said the event sold 940 tickets, down slightly from last year, and weighed 395 coho. Second place and $2,000 went to Michael Roth at 10 pounds, 15 ounces; third and $1,000 to Bob Fakkema at 10-13; and fourth to Mike Chow at 10-8, all dressed weights.
All proceeds go to support local recreational fishing, Stumps said.
As is usually the case, derby fish came from all over the saltwater map. Outer Possession Bar was good, Stumps said, as was the shipwreck and the area straight out from Edmonds. Silver Horde spoons were popular, along with plug-cut herring and hoochies in green spatterback and apple core color patterns.
Next in this summer’s competitive salmon fishing lineup is the Everett Eagles Coho Derby, which takes place Saturday. It’s not to be confused with the big Everett Coho Derby on Sept. 21-22, sponsored by the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club and the Snohomish Sportsmen.
The Eagles event is open to fish from Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10 and the Snohomish River, with a top prize of $2,000, second place $1,500, and third, $500, plus youth cash prizes and more. Tickets are $20 for adults and free for anglers 12 and younger. Tickets are available at Everett Eagles, Granite Falls Eagles, John’s Sporting Goods, Harbor Marine, and Bayside Marine.
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avid angler and Everett resident Jim Brauch said the local saltwater is still crawling with a mix of pinks and coho, and that the Snohomish is full of pinks, many still carrying sea lice. He and two friends hit the Highway 9 area on the Snohomish over the weekend and he estimates they landed more than 60 pinks and lost about that number, drifting and jigging with quarter- and three-eighths-ounce pink plastic jigs.
“Drifting and jigging vertically is the best way to go, if it’s not too crowded,” Brauch said. “Jig it all the way back to the boat (or bank), because these fish are aggressive and will follow it right to the end of the cast.”
On Sunday, the party took limits of coho in Brown’s Bay, including fish of 8 and 91/2 pounds. Most were caught at 65 to 75 feet on a Grand Slam Bucktail and an Ace Hi Fly, each with a small herring strip.
This is fishin’ time folks. Get out there and get ‘em or kick yourself later.
State salmon managers predict a strong run of 47,000 hatchery chinook returning to the Samish River this year, and have extended the Skagit County fishery — which got underway Monday — through Nov. 30. A darker level of concern is whether anglers there are heeding the department’s warnings about illegal snagging, trespass, littering and other unacceptable behaviors, said Region 4 state fish manager Annette Hoffmann. Those issues have been clouding the fishery for years.
In response, the second half of the season will be subject to angler behavior. “We don’t want to punish anglers who act responsibly and follow the rules, but the length of this season will still depend on our ability to maintain an orderly fishery,” Hoffmann said.
One, single-point hook is allowed, and the daily limit is two salmon, which may be kept only if they are legally hooked in the mouth.
In an effort to reach fishermen, the department produced a four-minute video — which has received more than 1,300 views — outlining the issues on the Samish and explaining how to catch chinook legally and effectively. It is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwGiaKCVHHE.
Good razor news
Coastal razor clam diggers will receive good news at a preseason public meeting scheduled for Sept. 19 in Long Beach. State shellfish manager Dan Ayres said tests conducted over the summer point to another year of strong razor clam populations and digging opportunities.
“The tests show an even higher density of clams on most beaches than last year, when diggers enjoyed a banner season,” Ayres said.
Shellfish managers will present an update on razor clam stocks and discuss options for structuring this year’s season at the public meeting at the City of Long Beach Depot (102 Third Street N.W). An overview of the stock assessments is posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.
During the 2012-13 season, diggers harvested 6.1 million razor clams, the highest number in 15 years. Diggers averaged 14.5 clams per day.
Razor clam seasons are an economic boon for small coastal communities, according to a University of Washington study. Last year’s season generated approximately $37 million in economic benefits, the study showed.
For more outdoors news, read Wayne Kruse’s blog at www.heraldnet.com/huntingandfishing.