“Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2) areas will open to all-depth halibut fishing for three additional days in August and three days in September including the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Open dates are: Friday, Aug. 19; Thursday, Aug. 25; Sunday, Aug. 28; Saturday, Sept. 3; Sunday, Sept. 4 and Friday, Sept. 23.
Additional halibut days for the Neah Bay and La Push (Marine Areas 3 and 4) will open on Thursday, August 11, five days per week, Thursday through Monday. Starting Sept. 6, the Neah Bay and La Push will be open seven days per week.
Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5 – 10) will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 11, seven days per week. Halibut is quota-managed and the season runs through Sept. 30 or when the quota is taken.”
When is the best time to fish? When you have a day off, right? For most of us that is reality, but you may also want to take into consideration some factors that will help you catch more fish. Let’s say for example you have 3 days off and you plan to fish one of those days? Which day should you go to have the best chance at landing some nice fish?
I like to look at the factors in order, starting with weather and the swell (if applicable), because if you have 30 knot winds and an 8 foot swell all the other factors really don’t matter.
About 100 years ago a man named John Alden Knight experimented with a theory as he researched variables that were believed to affect the behavior and feeding habits of animals, including fish. He started with 33 different variables that affect fish and game and by the time he was done eliminating the variables, there were only three left: the sun, the moon, and the tides. These 3 variables showed strong correlation to the behavior of fish and game.
One of my favorite places to fish (that is not saltwater) is Lake Washington for cutthroat trout in the winter. It took me a little while to figure out how to catch these fish, but once I did I can now consistently catch them.
he secret to catching Lake Washington Cutthroat is not tackle. Most trout anglers know that small dodgers and spoons work well. However, my go-to set up for Lake Washington cutthroats is a Mack’s Sling Blade Dodger (usually green) and a Brad’s Mini Cut Plug (usually the MCP-14 or MCP-37). However, you can also run a dodger and small spoon or Wedding Ring. A good spoon that I have had luck with is the Fire Tiger or the Krocodile, but I’m sure any good small spoon would work.
Being a detail-oriented fisherman can certainly have its benefits. Paying attention to the little things can make the difference between catching fish and not catching fish. As ‘they’ say “preparation is separation” and nothing could be truer. If you are unprepared and having to tie up tackle, sharpen hooks, or mess around with putting line on your reel, then you likely do not have your line in the water fishing. Spend some time, write a list, or do whatever you have to do to be prepared. Think of all the things you need to ahead of your fishing trip that will keep your line in the water.
If you’re like me, you like to take multi-day fishing trips and camp on your boat. Those are some of the funnest trips. Or sometimes you find yourself with no moorage available and you need to anchor. This has happened to me before salmon fishing at Neah Bay and Sekiu. Part of staying on your boat also means having fish in possession. Maybe you clean your fish for the day and put it in the cooler. Then after multiple days of fishing, you seal and freeze your fish when you get home. If you do this, you should be aware that the rule book (WDFW Annual Fishing Pamphlet or Sport Fishing Rules) is confusing and contradictory on this subject……no surprise, right?
In the Washington State Sport Fishing Rules (Effective July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023) you will find two different rules for possessing fish that you need to be aware of.
I don’t know about you but one of my favorite places to fish for big Chinook in the Puget Sound is Marine Area 9 Possession Bar. Marine area 9 is opening this Thursday, July 14 and includes Possession Bar and a lot of other hot spots around Whidbey Island. Over the years I have caught some of my biggest Puget Sound kings trolling Possession Bar, with the East and West banks, the Tin Shed, and the Bait Box. My last big king I actually caught in the middle of possession bar which can also hold fish.
On the East and West sides of Possession Bar are deep drop offs where you will find Salmon hanging around the edges to ambush bait. Along the West side I like to start all the way back by the end of Whidbey Island and troll down about 100 to 200 feet deep all the way to the end of the bar. Of course you want to troll with the tide, north to south.