Puget Sound Chinook

 Who’s fighting who? hooked up on a beautiful King Salmon

Who’s fighting who? hooked up on a beautiful King Salmon

Now that chinook retention has closed in the Puget Sound, We have a little recap of the season. Marine areas 9-11 had some of the most consistent fishing I have seen in recent years. We fished anywhere from the south end of Whidbey island to the Tacoma Narrows bridge with success throughout. Chinook fishing this year started off with a bang in June and the train never stopped rolling up until the closure of chinook retention in Marine Area 11 in late August.

 

Marine Area 9 was open for a mere 10 days with great fishing out of the gates July 16th. Near the last day it was open our boat pulls up to Point no Point and no longer than 15 minutes we had a QUADRUPLE  HEADER and proceeded to land them all(All hatchery keeper Chinook). As we like to call it here at Cut Plug Charter’s; “Controlled Chaos” at its finest. Many willing biters throughout the area created for some very fishy days! All fish were caught mooching cut plug herring. The light tackle created for some line peeling runs and great epic fights for the anglers on board.

 Limits of Kings for these guys this summer!

Limits of Kings for these guys this summer!

 

Marine Area 10 did not disappoint as steady fishing was to be had throughout the whole area. Resident coho fishing started this area off in June and the kings were right on their heels as the July 16th open was solid. Marine area 10 also known as Central Puget Sound right in the Seattle area had very consistent fishing for a mix of kings and coho salmon throughout the months of July and August. Chinook(king) salmon were prevalent in all areas as times; Edmonds oil docks, Richmond beach, Kingston, Jefferson Head, and Yeomalt to name a few. We primarily mooched for salmon in this area with some vertical jigging mixed in. The latter technique was used with great success when the conditions were ideal. The jigging was great fun as the salmon hits the jigs like a freight train!

 

Marine area 11 the Vashon island/ Tacoma area opened June 1st for chinook salmon and boy was it a nice sight to see that fishing started off with a bang! We were catching chinook right out of the gates in June picking up right where we left off blackmouth season. This area fished well all summer as well with our main efforts fishing in June and late august before it closed. Herring was the ticket to our fish in this area as well.

 One of many successful afternoons! Yes they bite when its Sunny and high 80’s out

One of many successful afternoons! Yes they bite when its Sunny and high 80’s out

 

At this point Im sure you are seeing the trend here. SALMON LOVE HERRING! That is our reason behind using herring as the go to bait day in and day out, it is a proven bait and works give us chances at tangling with salmon consistently. We are in the middle of coho(silver) season right now full steam ahead! This train has not stopped rolling, come on out and get your coho! Give us a call at (206) 920-9482 or shoot us an email at captainjustinwong@gmail.com

Early Summer Salmon in Seattle

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June marks the beginning of summer salmon season, the anticipation has built up since the end of April when blackmouth(winter Chinook) came to a close. May was full of great lingcod fishing in the Puget Sound but now we’re in the swing of salmon season and boy has it gotten off to a HOT start! Fishing in marine area 11(vashon island/Tacoma) took off with a bang for king(chinook) salmon, limits were the norm most days. Like most of us who have participated in the June king fishery over the years stated “Fishing in June has not been this good in years” June 2018 was a memorable June with very good and consistent fishing for chinook salmon. Mooching up these salmon with light tackle made for some brawling fights with these spunky fresh from the ocean fish! These kings made for a great start to the season. 

 June Chinook salmon caught just south of Seattle a short boat ride! One of the best tasting fish of the year! 

June Chinook salmon caught just south of Seattle a short boat ride! One of the best tasting fish of the year! 

On the marine area 10(Seattle area) front; resident coho(silver) salmon has been really good as well. When that resident coho bite comes on it is as good as it gets for salmon fishing! The bite has been lights out at times! These coho are in the Puget Sound feeding to get bigger. Making them aggressive feeders, their stomachs are full on krill and herring making our cut Plug herring the go-to bait! Fishing coho is a fan favorite with a lot of our guests because of the aggressive top water action from these coho. Many of our bites have been surface bites; weight out of the water, just smashing aggressive bites with a mix of many “slack lines”. Once you get a slack line you will be hooked on mooching for salmon, it is one of a kind! With most fishing you feel the fish pull when biting, on a slack line(the bite on the drop) it will be instant slack where you will not feel any weight as the fish has picked the bait up and is swimming to the surface. Nothing beats the adrenaline of catching up to a slack line feeling your rod load up as you tighten and catch up to the fish! 

 Nice stash of coho caught here in early July just minutes from downtown Seattle  

Nice stash of coho caught here in early July just minutes from downtown Seattle  

Seattle Lingcod Fishing

May 1st marks the opener for lingcod in the Puget Sound yearly. The anticipation building up for the month and a half long fishery starts well before May. The preparation getting ready for the season involves getting leaders tied, soft plastics and jigs in order, and figuring out yet some other lure or bait to throw down to the depths to entice a lingcod out of the rocks. Lingcod in the Puget Sound mature in three to five years which is when most are of “keeper” size; the slot limit to keep lingcod is 26 inches to 36 inches. The Puget Sound offers a unique lingcod opportunity in the Seattle Area without having to go out to the Pacific Ocean. Lingcod fishing bridges the gap between salmon seasons as Blackmouth season comes to a close at the end of April.

  First time fishing in Seattle; Caught a Lingcod on the first drop!

First time fishing in Seattle; Caught a Lingcod on the first drop!

Fishing the Puget Sound for lingcod is based on structure, even shallow structure like breakwaters hold lingcod. If you can find rocks or rocky structure you can and will find lingcod. Lingcod techniques range from live bait fishing to jigging metal jigs and soft plastics on jigheads. Just about anything you would thing a lingcod would bite, they will bite. Confidence in your gear is key, if you believe your bait or lure will work. Keep at it and persistence will pay off.

  Would you stick your hand in this Lingcod's mouth? i dare ya! Aggressive Seattle Lingcod didn't fare well against this angler

Would you stick your hand in this Lingcod's mouth? i dare ya! Aggressive Seattle Lingcod didn't fare well against this angler

Gear:

Medium Heavy to heavy action rods

Shimano Tekota Line Counter reels

Power Pro Braided line 30lb test

40lb test monofilament leaders 7/0 and 6/0 Gamakatsu hooks (Solid tied mooching rig)

3-8oz of lead

  He's ready to make this lingcod into some fish and chips!

He's ready to make this lingcod into some fish and chips!

Cut Plug Charter has been fishing Puget Sound Lingcod out of Seattle since the opener with good success. Lots of the fish in the upper end of the slot limit; 30 inches and bigger with a couples oversized fish pulled off the bottom as well. Lingcod are great eating fish, some of the best white meat fish available. Fishing has been consistent since the opener, come out and pull your lingcod off the bottom while its still open in the Seattle area!

 

Contact Captain Justin to book your trip (206) 920-9482 Call/Text

Area 9 Northern Puget Sound Update

Area 9 Fishing has been steady since the Mid-February opener. The abundance of baitfish in area 9(Northern Puget Sound) has made for some great days on the water. The bait in the stomachs of the fish have ranged from sand lance to 5”-6” herring. The usual haunts of Possession Bar, Point no Point, Double Bluff, and Skunk Bay to name a few have been producing fish. Mooching for these feeding blackmouth is the best way to fish for them, the hands-on experience of the pound for pound fight of a blackmouth is in my opinion the only way to go. Area 9 has also put out a few early Spring Chinook lately as well up to about 13-14lbs.

Mooching for blackmouth is a hands-on experience that provides you as an angler a chance to entice these fish to bite, feel the bite, set the hook and fight these fish into the net onto your dinner table! This is a one of a kind experience where you are actively fishing the entire time. You will be hooked on mooching after your first hook up! Come out and mooch with Cut Plug Charter’s, we strictly mooch for salmon with light tackle. Take advantage of our Winter Special were running through the end of April and get hooked up with some blackmouth!

 Young Fisherman hoisting up a couple fish from a good day of limits on the Puget Sound

Young Fisherman hoisting up a couple fish from a good day of limits on the Puget Sound

 Puget Sound Blackmouth (Winter Chinook Salmon) 

Puget Sound Blackmouth (Winter Chinook Salmon) 

Northern Puget Sound Salmon Fishing (Area 9)

Every winter a great blackmouth opportunity comes around, Fishing the northern Puget Sound. North of the east-west line drawn from Edmonds to Kingston. Area 9 is home to places like Possession bar, Point no Point, Mid Channel Bank, Double Bluff to name a few. Many of these areas are great places for blackmouth to go searching for food. Most places in Area 9 have strong currents that can make mooching for salmon intimidating. However, with the right use of your electronics and timing you can successfully mooch all of these areas. Mooching for salmon is great fun as the gear is minimal, there is no flasher to fight. It is you, a small sinker and the fish.

Possession Bar is a staple in Area 9, it’s a convergence zone with fishermen/women coming from Everett, Edmonds, Kingston, and the Seattle area. This centrally located shelf that comes off the south end of Whidbey Island can be very fishy at times. The shelf and ledges in this area make great ambush places for these feisty blackmouth. Likewise, with Jefferson Head in area 10, finding bait will in return find fish. When trying to decipher a big area, looking for baitfish with your electronics and fishing where bait is present can make a world of difference in your success rate. Mooching is different from trolling where you can cover miles of water in a day of fishing. When mooching you won’t be covering water laterally, you will be picking areas to concentrate on and fishing the water column within that small area(drift). Mooch Possession Bar when the weather allows because there will be many days’ mother nature won’t allow you to as this is a very exposed area that is subject to all directions of wind. Point no Point is another good option when fishing Area 9 however this place is an outgoing tide fishery, on the outgoing tide baitfish congregate on the north side of the point, creating yet another ambush place for winter chinook to feed. Point no Point can have strong currents as well, so be prepared to put on some lead to get down to the fish.

 Birds working a ball of herring north of Seattle 

Birds working a ball of herring north of Seattle 

There are plenty of places in area 9 that fish well for blackmouth besides the ones mentioned. This fishery normally stays open until mid-April, which allows for a chance at some larger Spring chinook as well. These early spring fish are some of the best pound for pound fighting fish in the Puget Sound. When the weather allows, get out and chase some of these tasty king salmon. Here at Cut Plug Charter we are running a winter special right now, this is a great opportunity to get out and learn how to mooch for winter chinook. Please give us a call to reserve your spot.

Area 10(Seattle) Blackmouth Fishing

In the greater Seattle area, the winter months bring one thing to mind; blackmouth fishing. Blackmouth fishing is a great opportunity to get outdoors in the winter months. With the close proximity to home it makes for a perfect half day escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The greater Seattle area is also known as marine area 10 by saltwater fishermen and women. Area 10 is home to the central Puget Sound places like Jefferson Head, Blakely rock, Southworth, Kingston and Point Wells are a few of the key places people fish. The tides dictate where the blackmouth will congregate solely because the tide will push smaller baitfish onto different banks and ledges creating an ambush place for the blackmouth. 

  A Couple Nice Winer blackmouth(Chinook) heading home

A Couple Nice Winer blackmouth(Chinook) heading home

 

Places like Jefferson head are vast in size creating opportunities on either side of the tide incoming and outgoing. The different sides of this area will fish good at certain parts of the tide. The main key at Jefferson Head is to find where the bait is congregating and stay on top of it. The fish will be in that general area, don’t shy away from this area just because it’s a big in size and the fish can be anywhere. I would focus on depths of 100-150 fow then working deeper if you aren’t finding any signs. Looking for birds in this area pays dividends as well. Birds are tell-tale that bait is in the area. As the saying goes “Everybody’s got to eat” holds true for birds as well.

 

Area 10 fishes well for Blackmouth from the typical opening in November all the way through February when it typically closes. During the winter months, the size of bait tends to be on the smaller side. Mooching with red label herring is preferred over green label unless shaker blackmouth (undersized juvenile chinook) become a problem then by all means increasing size of bait is highly recommended. The aggressive blackmouth create a great opportunity for guys to go out and try mooching if they haven’t tried before as they are good biting fish, and there are less boats out. So, trying something different than what you normally do will be easier as there’s less traffic on the water.

 

Fishing in area 10 has been fair to good this winter starting in November we have seen a fair number of keeper blackmouth caught in the area. Undersized shakers have been a problem this winter so increasing size in presentation is recommended. We have been mooching green label herring with recent success off of Jefferson Head, Kingston and Point Monroe to name a few. The fishing has been consistent in area 10 all winter and I expect it to hold out for the remainder of the season. If you’re looking to get out on the water and learn how to mooch for blackmouth we’d be glad to give you a run down on the most hands on active style of fishing on the Puget Sound and if were lucky, catch a few fish while we’re at it.

Tight Lines Cut Plug Charter

  Seattle Winter King Salmon AKA Blackmouth

Seattle Winter King Salmon AKA Blackmouth

Puget Sound Blackmouth

The Puget Sound is a beautiful place that hosts a winter fishery away from the rivers. While most are focused on winter steelhead, there are a few guys who target winter blackmouth out of Seattle, WA on the Puget Sound. Winter blackmouth are immature chinook salmon that are in the Puget Sound for one sole purpose; to FEED and get bigger. Winter blackmouth can be voracious feeders. Many times when finding one blackmouth you will find others in the same area. This unique fishery gives saltwater guys another angling opportunity after all the migratory salmon have made their way into the local streams. Cut Plug Charter fishes for blackmouth with the same techniques as migratory kings. Mooching for blackmouth is one of our favorite things because you are actively fishing. What better way is there to keep warm on a crisp winter morning than to keep moving? 

  Hooked up to a healthy winter Chinook just minutes away from Downtown Seattle

Hooked up to a healthy winter Chinook just minutes away from Downtown Seattle

Puget Sound blackmouth are unlike migratory salmon that enter the Puget Sound, there is no set direction these fish will travel. Migratory salmon are passing through the Puget Sound with one mission, to head to their origin, follow their senses to the spawning grounds using the Puget Sound as their highway stopping to eat occasionally along the way. Blackmouth are feeder chinook salmon. They don't have a set direction. These fish can be in Tacoma miles south of Seattle, then change directions and head to central Puget Sound in the Seattle area. This creates a very difficult fish to pattern because of the lack of migratory patterns present. The main keys to fishing for blackmouth are "find the bait, find the fish.",  focus on the bottom third of the water column and to maximize your days on the water; a break in weather means go time with our unpredictable weather we get here in the Pacific Northwest. If you're looking for something to do when the local streams are all blown out come out for some winter blackmouth fishing. 

  Showing off a couple December Blackmouth she wrangled in! 

Showing off a couple December Blackmouth she wrangled in!