Happy anglers display a nice Pink salmon they caught while trolling in Humpy Hollow south of Mukilteo. (Mike Benbow photo)

Happy anglers display a nice Pink salmon they caught while trolling in Humpy Hollow south of Mukilteo. (Mike Benbow photo)

Local anglers get chance to fish for Pink salmon

A recently announced fishery on the Snohomish River opens Sunday through Sept. 3.

By Mike Benbow / Special to The Herald

Early predictions of poor runs of Pink salmon in Puget Sound rivers this fall appeared to leave little chance for a local fishing season.

But with some runs a bit better than expected, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering two local opportunities for anglers to fish for pinks, the smallest of the Pacific salmon.

The first is an ongoing saltwater fishery in the area called Humpy Hollow, a location south of Mukilteo and north of Edmonds. The second and just announced opportunity is a special fishery on the Snohomish River from Sunday, Sept. 1 through Sept. 3.

The three-day opening in the Snohomish starts at the river’s mouth and continues through the various sloughs to the confluence of the Snoqualmie and Skykomish rivers. Licensed anglers will only be able to keep only one pink each day.

Pinks caught on the Snoqualmie and Skykomish must be released, although anglers there may keep one coho daily.

State and tribal officials had closed the river to fishing for pinks, but the state noted in a news release that “Early information indicates that the return of pinks to the Snohomish River is large enough to support a small recreational fishery in the river.”

Now is the day salmon begin to pour into the river, so the three-day season is perfect timing.

In addition to the Snoqualmie and Skykomish, pink fishing remains closed in the Stillaguamish and Skagit rivers.

Pinks, which typically weigh 4 to 6 pounds, have just started their runs up the river. They typically spawn in rivers on odd-numbered years, and this year is a “Humpy Year”.

In rivers, Humpies can be very aggressive if they’ve just come from the salt water. They will take a variety of lures, including lead-headed jigs made with hot pink marabou, Dick Knight or similar spoons, Buzz Bombs, and a variety of plugs.

Fly fishers have success on a variety of patterns, but baitfish flies or something made with hot pink materials is usually a good bet.

The Snohomish River doesn’t have a lot of areas that are good for fly fishing, but you can usually have luck with a boat by exploring the sloughs as the tide is rising. Pinks will often enter the sloughs in groups, and you will see them rolling and splashing as groups of the salmon head upriver.

Fishing for pinks has also been good most days as the salmon start to stage in Humpy Hollow, the saltwater area south of Mukilteo to the shipwreck north of Edmonds.

Anglers, who may keep two pinks daily, have been fishing using down riggers that put their lures down around 45 to 60 feet. Try different depths until you find the fish.

If you don’t have down riggers, go early or late in the day when the fish will be higher in the water column and troll your rig slowly behind a 6-ounce crescent sinker.

The morning bite is often the best, and you can usually find fish by watching the surface and looking for areas where fish are jumping or splashing about.

The most popular rig is a pink squid fished about 20 inches behind a white dodger. If you hit a fish, continue to work that area carefully because you are likely around a group of Humpies.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens' Kolton Matson halts his scramble with Graham Kapowsin's Jalen Davenport closing during the 4A State Championship game Saturday evening at Mt.Tahoma High School in Tacoma on December 4, 2021. The Viking lost 44-7. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Patterson: Future is bright for Lake Stevens despite title game loss

The Vikings suffered a humbling loss, but many players will be back from their talented squad.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, upper right, is lifted by wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game at Lumen Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seahawks outlast 49ers to end 3-game losing streak

Russell Wilson had his best start since returning from injury, and the defense made a late goal-line stand.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, left, makes a catch for a touchdown ahead of San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman, right, during the second half of an NFL football game at Lumen Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Grading the Seattle Seahawks’ 30-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers

Seattle’s defense and special teams shined as it finally got back in the win column.

Lake Stevens' TK Perkins makes his way to the sideline during the 4A State Championship game Saturday evening at Mt.Tahoma High School in Tacoma on December 4, 2021. The Viking lost 44-7. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Lake Stevens falls to Graham-Kapowsin in 4A state title game

The Murren-less Vikings run into a “buzzsaw” and finish as state runners-up after a 44-7 loss to G-K.

Kevin Clark / The Herald ***Silvertips Special Sections***** Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015 Sports: Silvertips Special Section Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips blasted by Portland in 7-1 loss

The Winterhawks scored the game’s first six goals in a rout of Everett.

Winter prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Saturday, Dec. 4

Prep results for Saturday, Dec. 4: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson High senior Dominic Hellman, a University of Oregon commit, batted a .558 this season with five home runs in 13 games. Shot on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Local athletes who have signed to play sports in college

The early signing period for all NCAA sports except Division I and II football opened Nov. 10.

Lake Stevens' Micah Avery, left-right, Ashten Hendrickson, Grant Lynch, Dylan Slezak and Bryce Slezak are the starting offensive linemen for Lake Stevens state championship run. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Unsung O-line plays key role in Lake Stevens’ run to title game

Smaller and less experienced than usual, the Vikings’ offensive line has still found ways to excel.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Late goals sink Silvertips in loss to Giants

Everett falls to Vancouver 6-5 for just its second regulation loss of the season.

Most Read