LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Derbies highlight fall fishery

By Lee Horton

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THE CONVERSATION ALMOST always starts off the same when I talk to knowledgeable anglers throughout the North Olympic Peninsula lately.

Here are two examples from this week that will give you an idea:

“We need rain,” Jerry Wright of Jerry’s Bait and Tackle (360-457-1308) in Port Angeles said.

“Just waiting on water,” Gary Grahn of Olympic Anglers Guide Services (360-640-4819) in Forks said.

Even in Sekiu, the lone hot spot on the Peninsula, claims to be waiting for rain, but Gary Ryan of Van Riper’s Resort (360-963-2334) waited until about a minute into our conversation before mentioning the impact rain would have on the Marine Area 5 salmon fishery.

Though the coho still aren’t shy in Sekiu, a funny thing happened earlier this week.

“Sunday, everyone bailed out of town,” Ryan said. “Everyone’s left.”

Donalynn Olson of Olson’s Resort (360-963-2311) in Sekiu said that although her resort has had less customers this week, the fishing remains great for those who hit the water.

“People are still limiting in one and a half, two hours, or three hours,” Olson said.

Olson also reported that a 21-pound silver was caught Wednesday afternoon.

She said most weigh between 8 and 13 pounds.

Ryan said 14- and 15-pounders are fairly common.

But, he said, rain would bring the bigger silvers down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the large hooknose (mature male coho).

To entice people to give salmon fishing one more go, derbies have been scheduled in Sekiu and LaPush.

Last chance derby

In Marine Area 3 (LaPush), the salmon fishery reopened last weekend after closing the weekend before, and will remain open until Sunday, Oct. 14.

The hatchery and wild versions of kings and silvers are both harvestable during the LaPush late-season fishery, which includes the annual Last Chance Salmon Derby on Saturday and Sunday.

Cash prizes for the derby total $1,700, and will go to the three biggest coho and three biggest chinook caught by derby participants.

The anglers who catch the largest coho and chinook will receive $500 each.

The second-place coho and chinook will earn $200, and third place for both salmon types will take home $100.

There also will be a drawing for prizes, which will be held on the dock at the close of the derby Sunday.

Only ticket holders who are present at the drawing are eligible for the prizes.

The entry fee is $25 per person for two days.

For more information on the Last Chance Salmon Derby, visit www.forkswa.com/salmonderby.


The Oktoberfish Sekiu derby will occur Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14.

Like the LaPush derby, prizes will be awarded to the largest kings and silvers that are caught, with $1,500 going to each of the first-place anglers.

But the prizes don’t end with the fish that are caught during the derby.

The best smoked salmon will get $75, and the best photograph taken while on the water will earn $25.

Other prizes include a fishing trip for four with guide Eric Hodgson of Strait Fishing LLC (360-460-2237) in Sekiu, and a trip for two with Randy Lato of All-Ways Fishing (360-374-2052) in LaPush.

The cost to participate in the Oktoberfish Sekiu derby is $15. So, if you win first place, your return will be 100 times your investment.

Ramp reports

Here are the sport fishing results from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife:

■ Olson’s Resort — Tuesday, Sept. 25: 138 boats with 322 anglers caught 542 coho; Wednesday, Sept. 26: 33 boats with 86 anglers caught 165 coho; Thursday, Sept. 27: 68 boats with 169 anglers caught 304 coho; Friday, Sept. 28: 91 boats with 256 anglers caught 350 coho; Saturday, Sept. 29: 172 boats with 518 anglers caught 659 coho; Sunday, Sept. 30: 51 boats with 153 anglers caught 214 coho.

■ Van Riper’s Resort — Thursday, Sept. 27: 38 boats with 88 anglers caught 144 coho; Friday, Sept. 28: 25 boats with 56 anglers caught 72 coho; Sunday, Sept. 30: 13 boats with 33 anglers caught 46 coho.

■ Curley’s/Straitside Resort — Thursday, Sept. 27: 14 boats with 32 anglers caught 56 coho.

■ Ediz Hook — Thursday, Sept. 27: 11 boats with 21 anglers caught five coho; Friday, Sept. 28: 10 boats with 19 anglers caught seven coho; Saturday, Sept. 29: 17 boats with 42 anglers caught 15 coho.

■ Port Angeles west ramp — Wednesday, Sept. 26: Two boats with four anglers caught zero coho; Friday, Sept. 28: 10 boats with 19 anglers caught seven coho; Saturday, Sept. 29: Nine boats with 26 anglers caught 16 coho; Sunday, Sept. 30: 11 boats with 28 anglers caught 21 coho.

■ Cline Spit — Tuesday, Sept. 25: Two boats with two anglers caught zero coho.


Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 03. 2012 5:47PM
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