By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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“The silver horde is in at Sekiu,” John Albiso of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association wrote to me in an email.
Humpies are still out in force, but more and more the coho are making their presence known in Marine Area 5.
In fact, both species of fish had big weekends in the waters near Sekiu.
Between 247 and 315 pinks were reported caught Friday through Sunday, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's creel reports of the ramps of Van Riper's Resort and Olson's Resort in Sekiu.
Those same three days, the coho catch totals ranged between 135 and 154 at those ramps.
Albiso said the fishing was quick when he went out earlier this week.
“We had a limit in less than two hours of fishing,” he said.
“I was in at Sekiu at 7:20 a.m., and we were headed for the dock at 8:53 a.m.”
On their way to deeper water, Albiso and his crew noticed “fish jumping and surfacing at the entrance to Clallam Bay.”
“Within five minutes of trolling, we had our first of many bites. The silvers were hitting hard and often.
“We trolled in an area in front of the caves going to within 150 yards of the shore and out about a quarter mile.
“Salmon were leaping all over, and the schools of salmon could be seen breaking the surface with their backs.”
Even better news, most of the silvers were hatchery fish, so the anglers could keep most of what they caught. (Only hatchery coho can be retained until Sunday, Sept. 15.)
Wait, even better news: These were feeding fish.
“We trolled at a depth of 18-24 feet with light-green flashers and white or light-green hootchies,” Albiso said.
“Both worked well; I am not sure if the fish wouldn't have hit whatever you put in front of them.
“This bodes well for the Sekiu 'No Fin, You Win' derby this weekend, because the hatchery silvers were in and hungry.”
Fins can't win
Ah, yes, the “No Fin, You Win” derby, which is put on by the Clallam Bay-Sekiu Chamber of Commerce.
The derby is this Saturday, and as the name implies, hatchery coho are the targets.
Entry is $15, and are available at Van Riper's Resort (360-963-2334) and Olson's Resort (360-963-2311) in Sekiu. (No ticket sales after 8 a.m. Saturday.)
The more anglers who enter, the larger the prize money.
First place wins 50 percent of the overall ticket sales, second place receives 20 percent, and third place takes home 10 percent.
The derby ends at 3 p.m. Weigh-in is at Olson's Resort.
Last year, Jon May of South Carolina pocketed $1,133 for winning the No Fin derby with a 10.02-pound silver.
Second place earned $453, and the third prize was $227.
Nice fishing in Area 9
Boat fishing off Port Townsend has slowed significantly since the chinook season came to a quick end in early August.
But, there's still some quality boat fishing in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet).
Brenda and Wayne Chisholm went fishing on their boat Ponytail with Kim Sands, the owner of Port Townsend Brewing Co., over the weekend.
Brenda Chisholm said the fishing was “hot.”
They caught eight fish in three hours near Lagoon Point with pink Coho Killers at 30 feet deep and apple core hoochies at 60 feet.
Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears in the Peninsula Daiy News on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.