|The Fish Journal"
Issaquah Press, Published September 2, 2009
By Dallas Cross
have been asked several times where to go to catch and keep fish if one
does not have access to a boat. Well the biennial answer has just
arrived in Puget Sound. The pinks are in and ready to run up virtually
river emptying into the sound.
"Pink" is a nickname for the salmon that arrive in August to spawn in
our rivers every odd numbered year.
Their official name is Oncorhynchus
gorbuscha, (The Russians named them first) but they are commonly known
as Pink or Humpy Salmon. They are the most numerous salmon in North
and in American rivers mainly spawning from Alaska to the Columbia
with scattered groups going south as far south as Northern
are called pinks because unlike other salmon with salmon-red
flesh, their flesh is much lighter and pink in color. Their nickname
double meaning because to catch them you can't go wrong using pink
lures. When mature and ready to spawn the males have exaggerated dorsal
humps evoking the humpy tag
Pink Salmon hang out shallow salt water and close to shore, especially
during their migration back to the river where they hatched. This means
you can fish for them from many beaches and shores with a public
With a fly rod be prepared to wade out to cast a number 4 or 6, pink or
chartreuse fly with flashy tinsel strips about as far as you can throw;
or with a spinning rod you may stay relatively dry near the beach and
floating bobber with flies or jigs beneath it. Successful folks also
pink- or red-striped metal lures; retrieving them with rapid jerks.
fishing time for salt water pinks is at first light in the morning and
incoming tidal currents.The
place to fish for pinks is not really a secret. All you have to do
is scout the public parks (shown in green on city maps) and go where
they border salt water. The most popular and productive ones are near
mouths or on points of land. You will know when you are in a good spot
you will invariably see other fisherpersons maneuvering for casting
the shore. Lincoln Park, Golden Gardens near Shilshole Bay, Kayak
Dash Point, Smokey Point, Brown's Point beach access, and Carkeek Park
have pink salmon fishing opportunities. Use public accesses to them and
respect private property.
you hook up with a pink salmon, you will find they don't give up
easily, even though they only weigh from 3 to 5 pounds. When you bring
them to net, loosen your line drag and be prepared for the violent last
struggle they usually make. You should confirm the identity of the
salmon as a
pink because Chinook, or King, salmon juveniles, and resident
salmon, look similar. Now, all Chinook salmon must be immediately
into the water. The Washington State Fish and Wildlife has increased
emphasis on discovering illegal salmon catches and are surveying more
docks and shores to find law breakers.
identify pink salmon you need to review the descriptions posted
along with the current fishing regulations by the WSFW in their
on the internet. Check there also for limits and limitations in gear.
Salmon are legal to keep within current salmon limits and you may
in addition to the regular salmon limit. They are characterized by a
mouth with black gums, no teeth on the tongue, large oval-shaped black
spots on the back and a V-shaped tail with no silver color on it.
Salmon make fine fare if properly dressed and cooked shortly after
catching. It is especially important to cut the gills and bleed out the
fish immediately after catching. I usually do this in my net so as to
again loose another salmon that wriggled free before being dispatched.
out the salmon as soon as possible and keep it on ice in the chest you
are sitting on while fishing from the shore.
is an encore. After the pinks enter the rivers to spawn they can
be caught from river banks or by wading. Fly casting is productive in
slower waters but pink spoons and especially drifting corkies with pink
fished near the stream bottom do very well in faster water. You can catch Pink
Salmon in the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Green, Skagit, and
Stillaguamish Rivers, all not very far away.Now,
you don't have the excuse of not fishing because you don't have a boat.
So take that young friend or relative out to enjoy the thrill of
a good fighting fish that is as nice in photos as on the grill.