(Long time reader, first time poster.) Went out of Elliott Bay to chase silvers this morning. I normally prefer to go from Edmonds, but figured it would be a zoo all over the sound today because of the Everett Salmon Derby this weekend (rules this year allow fish from MA9 and MA10, and not MA8-2 b/c it's closed, so not just Everett). I was sure it would be chaos anywhere north of Meadow Point, but thought if I fished West Point then the boat population would at least be more manageable.
Was really looking forward to getting a chance to hook a couple of those big coho we've all been hearing were coming our way. I go out a lot, and so far I've only gotten resident silvers, but word (e.g. Outdoor Line, or master angler rseas on this site) was that they were arriving.
Unfortunately, WDFW just announced that the fish are fewer and smaller than expected, so limits are going to 1 on Monday. Still, I was hoping for 2 big ones today.
On the water before 7am. Didn't count, but 50-100 boats at West Point at 7am. So much for avoiding the crowds. I would be fishing solo with downriggers so planned to stay away from other boats -- it's always a circus when bringing in a fish as a one-man-band steering, fighting the fish, and netting at the same time. Throw in wind and current and there are many opportunities for mishaps or worse.
So I fished a little further south and east of the West Point buoy than usual. That turned out to be a good decision as I hooked a small 20" hatchery coho at 730am. Hoochie with brined herring strips @ 60 feet. Not big, but at least not a shaker like others were catching, and anyway it looked more like 22" to my optimistic eyes.
I was happy to get it and kept it. Beautiful chromer, nice well-developed egg skeins for salmon "caviar". Many other boats swooped in after they saw my net fly, it seems. Not sure they would have if they knew it was only 20". Fished the same area a little longer but got nothing more there.
Water and wind were calm so I explored areas where other boats were fishing, hoping I'd be able to find a safe trajectory if I got a fish on. But I fished another 4 hours and got nothing, only a single drive-by. Didn't see many fish on the radar, and only saw a couple nets fly (all were small fish). Saw several porpoises but no killer whales.
Talked to a well-known guide later who said West Point had been hot all week but slowed down yesterday and was dead today, so he eventually went up to Jeff head, Richmond Beach and oil docks but still got nothing. Talked to a couple other anglers who got skunked also. I always feel grateful for every fish I get, but hearing this made me feel extra lucky for getting my little 20" silver today.
Best of luck to the roughly 2000 anglers participating in the Everett Coho Derby. At least the funds go to a great cause! Surely some folks will hook up some big ones.
A lot of words for one 20" salmon. Will be more brief in future, but I had fun writing it and hopefully there's info that helps someone. Beautiful day on the water, but not a great day fishing.