With a little more than a month — depending on the quota — of salmon fishing season left for anglers out of Westport, coho are dominating the catch, but some Chinook are still coming into the marina.
Chinook have come across the Westport Charterboat Association derby scales this week in the 15-pound range. According to the most recent counts from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in the week of Aug. 5-11 with 2,568 anglers reported, 158 Chinook were caught. During that same week, that same number of anglers combined to catch 3,672 coho.
For the season, according to Fish and Wildlife counts through Aug. 11, a total of 1,586 Chinook have been caught this season, 12% of the area guideline. A total of 13,668 coho have been caught, 23% of the Westport sub-area quota. The salmon season is scheduled to end Sept. 30 but could end sooner if quotas are met.
As for bottomfishing, some nice lingcod are still coming in, including a 21.5-pounder caught by Bradley Morrison of Yakima Aug. 20, and most anglers are coming home with limits of rockfish.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 20, the albacore tuna were being sport-caught just 30-40 miles off the coast, with some reports of albacore as close as 28 miles, according to Michael Cornman at Westport Seafood Inc. He said it’s likely the fish will move due to the weather system that rolled into the region Wednesday.
The Westport Charterboat Association derby rolls on, as it will into the fall. Some larger fish have been caught, but by anglers without derby tickets. As most will tell you who have been in that position, it’s always worth the $5 derby ticket, available at charter offices, “just in case,” with prizes for the largest fish of the season ranging from $10,000 for the largest Chinook to $1,000 for the largest halibut and tuna, and $1,500 for the largest lingcod and coho.
Here are the seasonal leaders as of Aug. 19.
26.2 pounds, Dennis Klain of Port Ludlow aboard the Stardust July 22
25.25 pounds, Diandra DeCampos-Kundahl of Pensacola, Florida aboard the Sea Angel Aug. 8
23.6 pounds, Mike James of Glasgow Montana aboard the Hula Girl Aug. 7
22.8 pounds, Walter Nakatsukasa of Seattle aboard the Cormorant Aug. 5
22.5 pounds, Mark Worchester of Kennewick aboard the Fury June 22
22.5 pounds, Jeff Chapman of Graham aboard the Advantage July 1
10.35 pounds, Robert Fronia of Puyallup aboard the Monte Carlo Aug. 5
10.35 pounds, Wayne McCartney of Montesano aboard the Blue Eyes Aug. 4
9.95 pounds, Roger Goodwin of Federal Way aboard the Sea Angel July 25
9.5 pounds, Thomas Ott of Seattle aboard the Hula Girl July 15
8.5 pounds, Marty Dong of Bellevue aboard the Hula Girl July 8
8.5 pounds, Robert Skipper of Brighton, New Jersey, aboard the Sea Angel Aug. 12
29.65 pounds, Steve Naval of Bonney Lake aboard the Ms. Magoo July 28
27 pounds, Mike Gornick of Missoula, Montana aboard the Fury Aug. 18
25.85 pounds, Mark Bartness of Spanaway aboard the Fury Aug. 11
23.35 pounds, Peter Abeyta of McKenna aboard the Fury Aug. 4
33.7 pounds, Todd Lakin of Sumner aboard the Tornado June 21
31.95 pounds, Ron Jennerjohn of Yakima aboard the Hula Girl May 12
30.5 pounds, Lauren Hayes of Bonney Lake aboard the Tornado June 14
29.25 pounds, Joe Haney of Olympia aboard the Predator June 26
28.9 pounds, Todd Fraser of Snohomish aboard the Slammer June 7
60.55 pounds, Jeromy Jording of Olympia aboard the Ultimate May 12
56.4 pounds, Mat Walton of Fife aboard the Fury June 6
53.5 pounds, Barbara Isbell of Tacoma aboard the Fury June 29
52.8 pounds, James Riley of Imperial, Missouri aboard the Stardust June 28
51.25 pounds, Lane Glasoe of Burien aboard the Advantage June 20