The ever-popular 2012 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, sponsored by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, will attract from 800 to 1,000 anglers this President’s Day weekend.
Luckily, there is a lot of room to fish for the out-of-towners and all the area anglers. Like last year, the derby includes 500 square miles of fishing and five weigh stations. And besides the fun of fishing, this giant derby also has a grand prize of $10,000 for the biggest fish.
The winter blackmouth classic is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s “Northwest Salmon Derby Series.”
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said this weekend’s derby could very well attract 1,000 anglers. “The derby gets a lot of people,” Menkal said. “Especially a lot of local people. It is a huge area for the derby.
“Last year they added the Port Angeles and Freshwater Bay area to the derby and they picked up a huge amount of people. “People in Port Angeles could fish at their favorite spots.
For more information, go to Salmon Derby details
At the Big Bend on Hood Canal near Shelton, snaggle-nosed chum salmon take over the fishing spotlight about this time each year. Between the Coho and winter steelhead runs, I can report the Chum have arrived right on time.
State Fish and Wildlife Department checked at the Hoodsport Hatchery on Hood Canal one day last week and counted 23 beach fishermen with 76 chums. That’s hard-to-beat salmon fishing, particularly considering you don’t need a boat. These fish are in good shape and plentiful but they won’t stay that way very long.
The tribal beach fishery started on the Olympic Peninsula Nov. 14, according to a state spokesman at the hatchery, running Monday, Wednesday and Friday at least through the end of the month. Sport fishing is concentrated along the hatchery stream channel, using steelhead-type gear, and since it’s necessary to keep firm control of hooked fish, thicker line is better than light. Fly fishermen score as well, working surrounding water.
This area of Hood Canal also has a handicapped fishing platform for wheelchair-bound anglers, best at high tide. Call the hatchery’s recorded fishing line for current conditions, at 360-877-5222.