By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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As expected, Sekiu has been the hotspot for saltwater salmon, especially now that wild and hatchery coho can be retained in Marine Area 5.
“Sometimes, it's taking only an hour and a half to get limits,” Brian Menkal of Brian's Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.
Gary Ryan of Van Riper's Resort (360-963-2334) in Sekiu said the east winds occasionally wreak havoc on the fishing. When there's no east wind, though, the fishing off Sekiu has been fantastic.
He said anglers are having the most success in about 650 to 700 feet of water, about 3 miles out.
By the way, Marine Areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (Port Angeles, Sequim) will reopen to chinook fishing Tuesday.
Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, reports that beach fishing in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) has been “excellent for coho.”
That is particularly true on South Whidbey Island, but Norden said it also should apply the North Olympic Peninsula side of Admiralty Inlet.
“With the weather as bad as is predicted for this weekend, with high winds and flooding rivers, the points [Point Wilson, Marrowstone Point] may be the only game in town,” Norden said.
Even better news for beach casters: Saturday is National Public Lands Day, which is a free day at state parks, meaning you don't have to shell out $30 to cast from Fort Worden (Point Wilson) and Fort Flagler (Marrowstone Point).
“If anglers are looking to fish at Fort Flagler, just fish the incoming tides, and don't bother when the tides go the other way,” Norden said.
He recommends using Buzz Bombs and Rotator Jigs with a mini-plankton trolling squid over the hook.
“The best colors lately have been greens for the jigs, and pinks or UV whites for the squids,” Norden said.
One more thing: Salmon haven't been the only thing beach casters have been reeling in.
“One bit of interesting news is that a few winter steelhead have been sprinkling in among the coho for the beach casters,” Norden said.
“Hopefully, that is a good sign for the upcoming winter.”
Fish in the rivers
The rivers are rising with the rain, and then falling when the rain takes a few days off. So, keep an eye on the water levels before heading to the West End.
Menkal said there are salmon in the bottom of the Quillayute River and near the Sol Duc hatchery.
“Fish low or high, nothing in between,” Menkal said.
High is the hatchery, low is such places as the Leyendecker Park or the Bark Hole.
The best lake in the Peninsula, at least in the opinion of this column, might be ready for its fall fishing limelight.
“This recent storm probably 'turned over' Lake Leland, so trout fishing should be improving,” Norden said.
“'Turning over' means the wind mixed the deeper, cooler water in the lake with the surface water, breaking down the thermocline.”
Norden said this causes the bigger trout to move toward the surface to “hunt the edges of the weed beds for newly exposed minnows.”
“It can be an amazing time to fish,” he added.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has tentatively scheduled two rounds of razor clam digs for October.
The dates will be confirmed after marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
Here are the dates, beaches and evening low tides for the first series of proposed digs:
■ Friday, Oct. 4: 6:56 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
■ Saturday, Oct. 5: 7:36 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
■ Sunday, Oct. 6: 8:17 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors Mocrocks.
■ Monday, Oct. 7: 9:48 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
■ Tuesday, Oct. 8: 10:40 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors.
The Coastal Conservation Association North Olympic Peninsula Chapter will meet Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The meeting's guest speaker will be James Beasely, owner and creator of Wicked Lures, which is a Port Angeles company.
James will share videos of his product in action and will discuss their uses in rivers, lakes and saltwater.
The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Sequim Library at 630 N. Sequim Ave.
East Jefferson anglers
Beasley will also speak at the next meeting of the East Jefferson Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited.
The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Marina Room at Hudson Point Marina at 103 Hudson St. in Port Townsend.
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Sports Editor Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.