Persistent westerly winds have been pushing tons of bait into the fishing grounds this week and with the bait comes all forms of sea life! Humpback whales are a constant presence in the quiet coves between the Mazzaredo Islands and Green Point. It’s amazing to watch them work their massive bodies around the rocky outcrops, doing headstands underwater, their broad tails waving at us as they corner schools of needlefish against the rocky walls below. They go about their business patiently, moving back and forth along the shore for hours. Savvy anglers recognize the feeding whale as a good sign that the salmon will also be there to get their share. Many a good salmon catch has come right from the whale’s dining room!
Cape Naden continues to be the most productive spot on our grounds, partly because it’s seen the most boats but also because the bait is hanging in that area. Parker Point, Bird 2 and Yatze have all produced decent action at some time during the day. While we haven’t had much problem with sea lions this summer, there were a couple of busy ones at Cape Naden and Bird 2 on Sunday, helping themselves to the odd Chinook. With the approaching full moon the flood tides have been more productive than the ebbs and the slack periods are brief but rewarding for those who get their timing right!
We’ve seen some nice big Chinooks come to the scale in the past few days – 35, 35, 36 on Tuesday, 30, 31, 37, 38, 46 on Wednesday, and 32, 38, 38, 43 on Thursday. It promised big things for the weekend Kingfisher Derby, our 14th annual. But the action slowed considerably and derby participants worked very hard to find Tyee-class salmon for our popular Catch & Release event. A handful of Tyees were recorded but no one was able to best Steve Rule’s catch on Saturday that taped out to 33.3 pounds, winning him the $40,000 top prize. Miles D boated the largest salmon of the weekend with a beautiful 37 pounder on Sunday afternoon, but he wasn’t in the derby! (shades of 2015 when Russ B weighed in a 50-pounder to not win the derby for the same reason!) Congratulations go out to Steve and his Denver team who did very very well in the overall scoring!