LFS Marine & Outdoor of Bellingham is putting on a free seminar Saturday, Nov. 10, in preparation for the Saturday, Dec. 1, resumption of Marine Area 7's saltwater salmon season that will focus on key aspects of winter blackmouth angling.
The workshop starts at 9:30 a.m. at the spacious Zuanich Point Boathouse at Squalicum Harbor with a presentation by LFS Marine and Outdoor's Zack Miller on downrigger fishing.
Miller will focus on the rigging, repair and use of electronically controlled Scotty Downriggers. He'll go through a basic troubleshooting procedure anglers can perform on the water to clear problems that might develop with the mechanism and its linked black box.
Miller will also talk about the fundamental decision to go with steel or braided lines for downriggers.
At 11:30 a.m. Ken Pinnell of Q Cove Fishing Tackle Company steps to the podium to reveal, from a fisheye's view, what colors salmon actually see.
Headquartered in Marysville, Q Cove's signature line of products is the Jim's Break-a-Way Flasher series, a different type of in-line salmon attractor that partly detaches from the main line on a strike, releasing the flasher's drag when fighting the fish.
Jim's Break-a-Way Flashers come in a range of basic colors and a variety of decorous mylar light- scattering and reflecting patterns.
Besides these, Q-cove offers a variety of additional fishing accessorial items for nearshore and ocean tuna fishing.
At 1 p.m. Alaska and now Washington charter skipper Derek Floyd will present his solution to the equation (tackle plus depth and transitions times the tides) for successful blackmouth fishing in the San Juans.
Owner and summer operator of Reel Class Charters out of Sitka, Alaska, Floyd now owns Anglers Choice Charter Service, fishing Washington's northern inland waters in the off-season (winter).
With real values plugged in for the five key variables, Floyd has 'proofed' his blackmouth fishing formula in recent years catching the first place chinook in the 2010 Resurrection and 2011 Roche Harbor derbies as well as netting the boat total catch weight cash in three events.
LFS Marine and Outdoor asks that persons wanting to attend reserve a seat by stopping by the store located just off Roeder Avenue at the older entrance (Coho Way) to Squalicum Harbor or by calling 360-734-3336.
TAKE MOST OF THE MONTH OFF
Marine Area 7, the watery locale off western Whatcom and northwestern Skagit counties surrounding the San Juan Islands as well as neighboring Marine Area 6 (at the east end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca) are closed throughout November to fishing for salmon and most other popularly sought fin fishes except cabezon.
Both management zones are, however, open seven days a week for personal use crab gathering through the end of December. Don't forget a winter catch record card.
Hardcore salmon anglers here, unable to shake the habit, do have options within striking distance to the south in Marine Area 8.1 the Deception Pass/Skagit Bay and Marine Area 8.3 (Port Susan/Port Gardner and Marine Area 9 Admiralty Inlet that are open for chinook straight through to April.
All three have good ramp launch options within two hours landward drive or several hours cruising time on calm waters to the north side of Marine Area 8.1 via Deception Pass or Swinomish Channel.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking candidates for appointment to two of its many citizen advisory panels:
- Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Enhancement Oversight Committee, 10 positions all up for appointment, quarterly meetings. The term of service is January 2013 to December 2014.
Key responsibilities of the program are to restore and enhance recreational fisheries in Puget Sound, and ensure the productivity of sustainable populations of salmon (hatchery origin feeder chinook) and marine bottomfish.
Submit a letter of interest and a resume by Nov. 9 to Steve Thiesfeld at email@example.com or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Steve Thiesfeld, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA, 98501-1091. Reach Thiesfeld at (360) 902-2715.
- Steelhead/Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group, 20 members all positions open, quarterly meetings and review of written material at other times. The term of service is January 2013 to December 2014.
This panel provides guidance to WDFW on statewide issues of steelhead and cutthroat management as well as serving as an important communication link between WDFW and its constituents.
Submit a letter of interest and a resume by Nov. 15 to Steelhead Program Manager Bob Leland at firstname.lastname@example.org or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Bob Leland, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA, 98501-1091. Reach Leland at (360) 902-2817.
Appointees will have a broad and keen understanding of these fields of interest and will participate in their committee activities without compensation.
Any group or individual can submit a nomination and self-nominations are also accepted. Nominees do not need to be affiliated with an organized group.
Nominations must include the candidate's address and telephone number as well as his or her affiliation, if any, plus the name, address and telephone number of the organization making a nomination. Also include a summary of background, experience and references.
The last of the calendar year salmon returnees, the chum or dogs, have begun entering their freshwater streams heading for natural spawning grounds or several area fish hatcheries.
Skagit River anglers have to take a pass on upstream bound dogs as the regulations forbid retention of them this year.
The pre-season forecast is for 59,167 chum to return of which all but 1,000 are wild fish and because this is close to the targeted escapement goal, no fish can be taken out of the run.
Skagit fishers, however, do have a fairly robust coho run on which to work.
Whatcom Creek has a well-publicized return of chum salmon bound for the Bellingham Technical College's training hatchery located at the mouth of the stream east of C Street and two blocks north of Holly Street.
A return in the range of 3,000 fish is expected and anglers may legally ply for them from the footbridge below the Pickett Bridge on Dupont Street.
The creek's estuary also is open to salmon fishing out to a line across the waterway from the Port of Bellingham North Terminal Dock to the southeast corner of Old Georgia Pacific's wastewater lagoon.
Beyond this line Marine Area 7 waters are closed for salmon in November.
One mistake anglers make here is to generously and erroneously interpret the regulations as allowing the keeping of six chum salmon per day.
The rule actually is six salmon per day of which only two may be adults.
Since the chum species does not practically speaking have a 'jack' return, anglers may only take two chum home each day.
Besides simple catch and release, the only alternative to this is the catch and donate category, which allows anglers to slip each chum brought to hand into a long water-filled PVC slide tube near the ladder steps that conveys them to the hatchery's holding pond where they become part of the facility's broodstock for spawning.
Anglers are allowed to put as many chum into the hatchery tube as they catch and they don't count against the take-home limit.
The main Nooksack River and North Fork also are open to the taking of salmon, including chum, from the Lummi Nation Boundary near Marine Drive upstream to Maple Creek.
Conceivably, anglers could keep up to four salmon per day from the mainstem and north fork as long as two are chum and two are coho.
Anglers should note that breeding chum in North Fork side channels are off-limits and as spawning fish are protected by state law and may not be disturbed.
The South Fork Nooksack is open up to Skookum Creek for coho with a special proviso to release all chum.
For chum salmon in clearer water, anglers may resort to a surprisingly simple terminal rig, a drifted chartreuse yarn fly.
It is a much smaller chum run, no longer augmented by egg-box out-plantings, that returns now to the Samish River, but surprisingly until the end of November chum may be kept if caught below Interstate 5. The same is not true for the wild coho of this small north Skagit County stream, which must be released.
Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent, since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at http://pblogs.bellinghamherald.com/outdoor.