First there was the Everett Coho Derby in the fall. Then the state felt the need to close coho fishing at that time of year in our local saltwater, so the event became the Everett No Coho Derby, or more properly, the Everett Blackmouth Derby.
The Everett Blackmouth Derby is still scheduled to take place the first week in November, but what happened to the event that included coho from Marine Area 9 and local rivers?
Glad you asked.
It seems Mark Spada and Three Rivers Marine have taken part of an old derby and turned it into a new event again featuring coho, but ONLY fish from the Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers.
The name of this unique new/old event is the Bob Heirman Memorial Coho Derby, named for the longtime sportsman, conservationist, author, musician, historian, Snohomish resident and club stalwart.
Spada and Three Rivers have, indeed, made lemonade.
The BHMC Derby is scheduled for Oct. 7, offering $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second, and $500 for third. Tickets are $25, and are available at Ted’s Sport Center, Three Rivers Marine & Tackle, Greg’s Custom Rods, Triangle Bait & Tackle, and John’s Sporting Goods.
“The state Fish and Wildlife Department coho forecast for the Snohomish system is actually pretty good,” Spada said. “And, nobody farther up the line has fished on these coho — we’ll be the first ones to get a crack at ‘em.”
AREA 10 COHO
Meanwhile, Marine Area 10 just south of us (Edmonds-Seattle) is open and putting out some pretty fair coho fishing, according to All Star Charters owner/skipper Gary Krein of Everett.
“There seems to be a good number of coho in Area 10 right now,” he said. “Most of the action is just off Edmonds and it can be crowded, but there are some fish being caught in the 4- to 8-pound range. Somebody claimed a 15-pounder the other day, but the largest I’ve seen was about 10 pounds.”
Krein said most coho in the north part of Area 10 come down the Edmonds side as opposed to the Kitsap Peninsula side, by about 80 to 20 percent.
“This fishery is close and easy,” Krein said. “It doesn’t take any particular expertise just to keep moving, looking for the small pockets of fish, and they can be most anywhere.”
Krein warns anglers to stay south of the Area 9-10 dividing line, running from Edwards Point, roughly a mile south of the Edmonds ferry dock, across to Apple Cove Point, a little more than a mile north of Kingston.
Troll fast, maybe 3 mph, and it helps to speed up, slow down, make turns and otherwise search different depths and lure action. Start at 30 to 50 feet early, going down as deep as 90 feet, Krein said. A standard rig would be a Gibbs moon glow flasher, 30 to 34 inches of leader and a glow-white squid.
CLAMS ARE BACK
The tentative razor clam digging schedule for this fall/winter season, which is set to start in early October on the coastal beaches, has been released by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager in Montesano, said that while final openings will depend on the presence of marine toxins, the schedule is being released early to give people time to make digging plans.
Based on beach surveys, the state estimates the total razor clam population on Washington beaches will be down significantly from last season, and that means fewer digging days this time around. Ayers said the decline likely was caused, at least in part, by a period of low salinity in surf zone ocean waters, particularly those near Long Beach and Twin Harbors.
“The total number of clams may be down this year, but we still expect good digging on most beaches,” Ayres said.
Following are proposed digs through December:
Oct. 6, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Oct 7, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
Nov. 2, Copalis; Nov. 3, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Nov. 4, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis; Nov. 5, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.
Dec. 1, Copalis; Dec. 2, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 3, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis; Dec.4, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 31, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
Shellfish managers also are accepting input on management options, including scheduling for spring digs. Comments can be sent via email to email@example.com.
A good recreational razor clamming tutorial is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
Except for some areas in the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound closed to recreational crabbing on Sept. 4, and crabbers now have until Oct. 1 to submit summer catch reports to the state. Submit record cards by mail to CRC Unit, P.O. Box 43142, Olympia, Wash., 98504, or online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/
The only areas left open through Sept. 30 are 7-North and 7-South, but crabbers fishing those two areas now through Sept. 30 (Thursdays through Mondays) must report their catch on winter report cards.
New Enforcement chief
A new chief fish and game cop was sworn in last week to lead the Deapartment of Fish and Wildlife’s law-enforcement program. Steve Bear is a longtime enforcement veteran and former head of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. He will oversee 156 personnel, including 130 commissioned officers.