Autumn is creeping up quickly, but don’t stash the fishing pole just yet.
In marine areas the catch has been dominated by a fairly good number of coho, river anglers are still hooking some pinks and a local lake is getting a nice trout plant. Plus, an early razor clam dig was scheduled to start Thursday.
Morton Lake, which covers 66 acres near Covington, was scheduled to be planted Thursday with 1,000 jumbo rainbow trout averaging 2 pounds. There is fishing access and a ramp on the northwest shoreline.
“Fishing should be pretty good in a lake that small and with all those fish being planted,” said Danny Garrett, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.
Coastal razor clam enthusiasts will get a jump start on the season as Twin Harbors was set to open Thursday through Monday for evening low-tide digs between noon and midnight each day.
“There are a lot of clams at Twin Harbors, and we need to get an early start if we want a chance to dig them up this coming season,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “We have 800,000 more clams available to harvest than we had last year.”
Additional fall and winter razor clam digging dates for Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks and Twin Harbors will be announced soon.
The brief Grays Harbor king fishery opened Monday with very good results, but was only fair at best since then. The fishery then switches to coho only from Sept. 23 to Nov. 30. The coho forecast is a whopping 281,985, compared to 198,012 last year.
“It was sensational on Monday, and one of the best openers I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve fished it,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association. “Everybody was catching fish in the south channel (off the Johns River), but there wasn’t as many caught (Tuesday) although we’re seeing them on the fish finder.”
The Everett Coho Derby is this weekend, and the timing couldn’t be better as catches have picked up in recent days in northern Puget Sound. The largest coho is worth $10,000, and there will be two nice boats raffled. Cost is $30, and kids 12 and under are free.
Last year, the derby lured 1,831 adult anglers and 232 kids who weighed-in 1,259 coho over a two-day period, which was the biggest catch in about five years. For more information, visit everettcohoderby.com.
Coho fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Sekiu, where all coho (hatchery and wild) are fair game through Sept. 30, has been very good. From Oct. 1 to 31, Sekiu and Port Angeles anglers may keep one chinook in a two-fish daily limit.
“We saw a lot of coho caught Sunday at Sekiu, but the size of the fish is down from the last few years (8- to 10-pound average with an occasional 12- to 15-pounder),” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait. “It was a 1.3 coho per person average.”
The daily limit is two coho.