By Lee Horton
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Eric Elliott of Fish N Hole (360-385-7031) in Port Townsend reports he has been selling a lot of gear to people fishing off the beaches, and that lately more of those anglers have been using bait over lures.
The most popular bait has been cut plug herring combined with Sure Spin herring helmets.
To rig a cut plug, you cut off the herring’s head at about a 45-degree angle and then remove the entrails.
Then you pull one hook through the belly and out one side and then leave it trailing.
The final step is to run the other hook through the top of the spine.
“It gives the herring a nice spin,” Elliott said of the cut plug technique.
Salmon University gives step-by-step instructions on cut plugging here: http://tinyurl.com/cutplugherring.
You can also watch a YouTube demonstration here: http://tinyurl.com/cutplugdemo.
Elsewhere, Sekiu is still the place for salmon but Elliott had heard reports of the waters off Port Angeles picking up.
Salmon derbies update
Here is a reminder of the two upcoming salmon derbies discussed in Thursday’s column (read here: http://tinyurl.com/outdoors10-04):
■ Don’t forget the Last Chance salmon derby in LaPush on Saturday and Sunday.
Cash prizes for the derby total $1,700, and will go to the anglers who catch the three biggest coho and chinook.
There will also be drawings for all derby ticket holders at the close of the derby.
For more details, visit www.forkswa.com/salmonderby.
■ The Oktoberfish Sekiu derby is now called the Sekiu Salmon Derby. The new name isn’t near as fancy, but I suppose it gets the job done.
Even with the new title, the derby is still scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14.
The first prize coho and chinook will make each of their respective harvesters $1,500 richer. Second place for both will receive $500.
The angler with the third largest coho will get a chartered saltwater salmon trip for four, and the third largest chinook will win a river charter for four people.
Fourth-place coho will get one month moorage and the fourth largest chinook gets a case of bait.
Fifth place coho gets a custom salmon rod from Compass Rose, and fifth place chinook receives an Abu Garcia reel.
There are many more prizes, including a $500 drawing on Sunday in which anyone with a derby ticket is eligible.
Finally, a free lunch will be served Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
Due to the dry conditions, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has beefed up its fire regulations for hunters and others recreating on state lands in an effort to avoid wildfires.
The following are now prohibited on all agency-managed lands:
■ Fires or campfires: However, personal camp stoves or lanterns fueled by liquid petroleum, liquid petroleum gas or propane are allowed.
■ Smoking: Unless in an enclosed vehicle.
■ Target shooting: Except at shooting ranges developed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
■ Welding and the use of chain saws and other equipment: Operating a torch with an open flame and equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.
■ Operating a motor vehicle off developed roads: Except when parking in areas without vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway and parking in developed campgrounds and at trailheads.
As everyone’s favorite bossy bear has been saying for decades, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking for up to 20 qualified individuals to join the Steelhead/Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group for 2013-14.
Any group or individual can submit a nomination, and self-nominations are also accepted.
Nominees should have a broad interest in steelhead or cutthroat management and the ability to communicate effectively with large segments of the public.
Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 15.
To learn more about the nomination process, visit: http://tinyurl.com/WDFWnoms.
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More in Sequim (360-683-1950) will start up his two-part rivers salmon and steelhead class Tuesday evening.
The class covers the basics of fishing the North Olympic Peninsula’s rivers, including tips on where to go.
Part two will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Both sessions run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 542 W. Washington St. in Sequim.
Bring a pen, chair and notepad.
For more details, call Menkal at 360-683-1950.
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Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.