It’s peak time to chase bright, fresh pink salmon in “Humpy Hollow,” according to John Martinis at John’s Sporting Goods in Everett (425-259-3056). The area between Mukilteo and the shipwreck should be a can’t-miss fishery this weekend, he said, assuming you know the basics.
The early-morning bite is generally the best, although it may not come on until 9 or 10 a.m. Go out to the shipping lane, halfway between Mukilteo and the shipwreck and watch for showing fish. Work different depths, but concentrate around 45 feet.
Slow-troll an 11-inch white flasher, 16 to 20 inches of leader, and a single, 2/0, red Gamakatsu hook rigged with a pink, 2.0 mini-sardine. Trolling with the tidal run is usually the best approach, Martinis said. If you don’t own downriggers, go early or late in the day, pull the same rig behind a 6-ounce crescent sinker, and slow your troll to a bare minimum.
Once you locate fish, work a small, tight area, and don’t get impatient. About the time you decide to move a mile down-Sound, the bite turns hot in the spot you just vacated.
Martinis and a friend fished the hollow Tuesday, hooking 20 pinks and boating their eight fish by 10 a.m. All nice, bright, fresh, incoming fish with sea lice and not a hint of color.
“But the famous ‘last fish syndrome’ bit us,” he said. “We caught seven in a short stretch early, and then lost 12 in a row trying to finally limit out.”
Seasoned humpy veterans know that these soft-mouthed salmon will do that to you. Keeps even the highliners humble, you know?
The humpy action in the lower end of the Snohomish River was red hot early this week, Martinis said. Old friend Fabian Lomas, longtime manager of Jerry’s Surplus when it was operating on north Broadway, hooked 31 pinks Monday (and you thought baseball fans were the only stat nuts) while fishing the stretch between the Highway 2 bridge and Rotary Park in Lowell.
Lomas was casting quarter-ounce pink Danielsen jigs, Martinis said.
“Watch for showing fish, then stick with ‘em,” he said, “either drifting or anchoring above a pod of jumpers.”
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has set the 2013-14 migratory waterfowl seasons, with the general duck hunt open Oct. 12-16 and Oct. 18 through Jan. 26. A special youth-hunting weekend takes place Sept. 21-22.
State wildlife program managers said surveys in the Pacific flyway show duck populations at long-term averages, while goose populations are generally at or above management goals.
The strongest run of fall chinook in 40 years is due to hit the Columbia River this year, but they’re not pouring into the big river just yet. Creel sampling at the ports of Ilwaco and Chinook last week showed an average of one king for every four fishermen, while coho numbers in the catch remained low.
There is evidence the bulk of this run of both chinook and coho is still off the river’s mouth. Creel checks showed saltwater catches off Ilwaco running about one salmon per rod — 791 kings and 3,192 coho.
Many of these fall chinook are destined for the Hanford Reach, upriver from the Tri-Cities. It’s early yet for that popular river fishery to get fully underway, but there are already fall kings being taken. Last week’s checks showed 31 boat anglers in the reach, with four adult chinook and one jack.
Some 3,876 anglers fished Westport last week, catching better than one salmon per rod. About a third (791) were chinook, two-thirds coho, and one lone pink.
At LaPush, 436 anglers also scored at better than one per rod, with chinook making up about 40 percent of the catch. The balance was made up of 348 coho and 76 pinks.
At Neah Bay, 1,031 anglers had 389 chinook, 769 coho and 376 pinks.
Perch and crappie
“Family fishing” has come back to Potholes Reservoir with a flourish, said Mike Meseberg, owner of MarDon Resort on the big Grant County impoundment. Perch limits of 25 fish have been the rule rather than the exception off the resort fishing pier for months now, Meseberg said, and crappie fishing has been booming as summer moves along.
Smallmouth bass along the rocky face of O’Sullivan Dam are eager to nail a Yamamoto plastic grub or, in the evening, a topwater lure. The smallies aren’t large, but there are a lot of them and they can be caught from a boat (the resort has rentals) or from the beach.
Washington fishing app
According to the Berkley Fishing Wire, AppsForAnglers.com recently launched six more local state fishing apps, including iFish Washington, bringing to 22 their total state stable.
Styled as “The All-In-One App for Freshwater Fishing,” the popular products allow anglers of all ages and skills to easily find nearby lakes and view detailed information on them, get real-time lake reports, weather conditions and best fishing times via the solunar calendar.
It also features a fish log to record your catch and a glovebox that acts like a digital wallet to store photos of your licenses, insurance, etc. Where available, lake contour maps and fish-attracting locations are included in the HotSpots section, where you can add your own private markers.
To learn more, visit www.appsforanglers.com.