Derby goers got in some good fishin’

  • Wayne Kruse / Outdoor Writer
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Last weekend’s big coho derby, sponsored by the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club, the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club, and Olympic Boat Centers, hit both good weather and good fishing in Marine Area 8-2. Saturday in particular provided top action, and the south portion of the area, below Mukilteo, was the best place to be.

“Sunday slowed down considerably,” said All Star Charters owner/skipper Gary Krein, “probably at least in part due to the heavy pressure.”

Derby coordinator Mac McReynolds said 783 adult tickets were sold, covering expenses and providing funds for club enhancement projects. Additionally, 136 free youth tickets were handed out.

The top adult cash prize winners were as follows: First place, $2,000, Mike Schneiderman, 15 pounds, 4 ounces; second, $1,000, Larry Mandella, 14 pounds, 8 ounces; third, $750, Tyler Anderson, 14 pounds, 5 ounces; fourth, $500, Kai Hunt, 13 pounds, 8 ounces; and fifth, $250, Robert Anderson, 13 pounds, 6 ounces.

The youth winner, $50 cash, was Jarred Peterson at 12 pounds, 3 ounces. The grand prize package – Northwoods 14-footer, 10 horsepower Mercury outboard, and E-Z Loader trailer – was drawn by Tom Wyles.

Krein said fishing picked back up early this week to “fair to good” levels, although, coho being coho, the bite has been spotty. Krein said the afternoon low slack was actually better Tuesday and Wednesday than the morning tide change.

“This has been a very good year for coho,” he said, “and we’re still taking some nice fish in the 10- to 12-pound range mixed in with the 5s and 6s.”

Area 8-2 is the only one open until Sunday, when areas 9 and 10 reopen to all salmon (including chums) except chinook. Krein said a handful of chums have already been seen in 8-2, which leads him to feel that the traditionally better chum areas, such as Point No Point, should be holding catchable numbers after this weekend.

State checks at the Port of Everett launch Friday, Saturday and Sunday tallied 589 anglers with 545 coho, averaging 5 pounds. Catch rates at Sekiu have dropped from a rate of about a fish and a half per rod to under one per rod last weekend.

  • River coho: The emergency opening of the Snohomish, Skykomish and Skagit to recreational coho fishing Saturday caught anglers and tackle shops by surprise, but they are all good, solid, resilient folks and they’ve bounced back admirably. Jim Strege at Triangle Beverage in Snohomish said while action hasn’t been red hot, there is some good fishing to be had.

    “Probably the most consistent section of the river is above Snohomish, where they tend to school up a little better,” Strege says. “Early mornings have been the best time, but you know coho – they can come on the bite most any time during the day.”

    Strege has weighed several fish in the 8- to 10-pound range and says a wide range of tackle will catch silvers. Small, thin-bladed spoons in silver/brass, red head, or chartreuse head models, size 1, are probably the most popular. Vibrax or Mepps spinners, sizes 3 or 4 in almost any color pattern, are productive, particularly silver/chartreuse. Jiggers are working Buzz Bombs in perch pattern, all silver, or blue or green, and plunkers are soaking a Spin N Glo/sand shrimp combo.

    The Snohomish is open its entire length above the Highway 520 bridges, and the Skykomish up to the mouth of the Wallace, for two fish daily, release all chinook and pinks, through the end of November. The Skagit is open Fridays through Mondays only, until Oct. 30, for one fish, up to the mouth of Gilligan Creek (just above Sedro Woolley), release all chinook.

    The Stillaguamish system did not open for coho.

    Kelly Hawley in Sedro-Woolley said the Skagit has been good, both for boaters and for those casting or plunking from various bars. Fish are running 5 to 10 pounds, Hawley said. The Woolley area is a good bet for boaters working small, thin-bladed spoons. Those casting spoons or plunking with chartreuse Spin N Glos and shrimp have been doing well from the I-5 bridge upstream to the railroad bridge, among other places.

    Hawley also said the Samish has been good for chinook, and that coho are entering the catch now as well.

  • Columbia chinook: The run of mid-Columbia chinook has been downgraded by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from 200,000-plus fish to about 155,000, which means that instead of being the largest run in 10 years, it will be about on a par with the runs of the past three or four years. That’s not too bad, and the month of October should see some good fishing for big kings in the area of the Vernita Bridge. Catch averages have been running about one fish per seven rods, but it’s early yet and that rate should improve in a week or so.

    The fifth annual Tri-Cities Derby runs Saturday/Sunday, featuring a top prize of $1,000 cash, plus a boat/motor package for catching a specially tagged chinook. Tickets are $25 for both days; $10 for youngsters 12 and under. Call Don McBride at 509-943-0723, or dial up the tournament Web site for an entry form and map, Anglers can sign up through 8 a.m. Saturday.

  • High bucks: Local resident Dale Wick just returned from packing for Icicle Outfitters during the high buck hunt, and said 26 hunters using the firm harvested 8 muley bucks this year. That’s a success rate of about 31 percent and, considering many of the hunters hold out for a truly trophy animal, not half shabby.

    “The hard winter of 1996-97 really hit the migrating mule deer herds,” Wick said, “and we’re glad to see them coming back. The three-point restriction has allowed more bucks to reach full maturity and some fine animals were taken. With another mild winter or two, the herds should be back to the level of the 1980s, when our hunters typically had success rates of 40 percent or better.”

    The weather was beautiful this year, Wick said, and pressure down, making for a quality experience in the Glacier Peak Wilderness and Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

    Anyone wanting information for next year can talk to Wick at 360-794-6663, or Icicle Outfitters at 509-784-1145.

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