2013 Puget Sound Pink Salmon Fishing

2013 Should Be Great for Pink Salmon

Nothing is more fun than coming home with a limit of salmon for the boat and every other year, Puget Sound Pink Salmon fishing delivers on that dream.  With their abundant returns and proclivity to biting, Pink Salmon traditionally fill buckets and the bellies of anglers all across the Puget Sound region in the fall months of odd numbered years.

This year looks to be as good as it ever is and Pink Salmon fishing will be explosive!

Pink Salmon are the most abundant of the Pacific Salmon species though they trade that off for being the smallest. Pink Salmon or Humpies average only five pounds.  Unlike Chinook which can stay out to sea for years, Pink Salmon rigidly adhere to a 2 year life cycle, giving us our odd numbered Pink Salmon runs here in Puget Sound.

Pink Salmon get a bit of a reputation for being the “junk fish” of the salmon family along with the Chum, primarily because they are less flavorful and degrade pretty quickly if handled improperly after they are caught.

Personally I have grilled Pink Salmon up after we get home from fishing and it tastes GREAT!  I also fillet up a bunch and smoke it which is my absolutely favorite way to eat salmon.

smoked pink salmon
Flavorful brines and a good smoking are my favorite way to prepare Pink Salmon!

WDFW 2013 Pink Salmon Predictions

The WDFW is predicting that more than 6 million pink salmon are expected back to the Sound in 2013.  A pretty good showing and a far more abundant run than the Coho or Chinook salmon.

“It’s a pink year, which is a great time to introduce a friend or family member – especially children – to salmon fishing,” said Lothrop. “Fishing this summer should be similar to 2011, when anglers were catching limits of pink salmon throughout the Sound and its rivers.”

Pink Salmon River Fishing

If you are lacking a boat to get out on Puget Sound with, you can either fish the shores, or wait until the Pinks start to head up the rivers.  Action will be fast and furious, and you can expect there to be a lot of other people out there fishing with you!  Here are the rivers you will want to try and get out on for Pink Salmon Fishing:

  • Nooksak River
  • Skagit River
  • Stillaguamish River
  • Snohomish River
  • Green River
  • Puyallup River
  • Nisqualy River

The big months for Pink Salmon fishing on the rivers are August and September, so if you are racking up the paid time off, my suggestion is to burn it then and fish mid-week!

Kayak Fishing for Pink Salmon

This year, you will find me sneaking out of Mukilteo and fishing for Pink Salmon between there and the shipwreck.  What better way to spend a beautiful morning than chasing Pink Salmon around with a trout rod?  I have watched them running through the weeds along the shore, so I know they go through there, and a lot closer to shore than you might think!

So if you see some crazy dude out in a bright yellow Trident Ocean Kayak this year, it probably will be me!

Humpies Persist in Puget Sound But Are Tight Lipped

The stars of Orion’s Belt twinkled brightly at Capt. Thomas and I as we motored quietly out of the Everett Marina.  Our goal was to repeat the previous fishing trip’s feat of limiting out on Pink Salmon.  With no real rain, we were hoping that a week long pause in our fishing had not seen all the fish move up the rivers yet.

2011 Puget Sound Humpy Run is Still Going!

A moonless sky revealed an eerily calm Puget Sound as we cleared the breakwater as we made our way down and around the corner of the Mukilteo ferry dock.  We are so used to riding the chopped up waves along this stretch that it felt wrong for the ride to be this smooth.

Two cooked fillets of Pink salmon
My one Humpy was delicious cooked that evening on a cedar plank.

Other boaters were out too for the Labor Day holiday and the water was scattered with little white lights like so many stars fallen upon the sea.  The sky was turning pink as we dropped our lines and fired up the kicker.

Where to fish is always the question for me.  Out in the fray where the other boats are? In by the shore where I know the fish like to hide? At the drop off to deeper water?  We zig-zagged our way South looking for a school of Humpies to show itself to our hooks.

Finally my rod started jerking on the downrigger and with the grace of a middle aged zoo kept Tiger suddenly being forced to leap after a Gazelle I bounded from my perch on top of the motor and grabbed my line.  My foe was hooked and pulled to the boat, but as I got him close I could see that he was hooked very daintily in the very tip of his jaw.

“Don’t spit that hook” were the words that went through my head as Thomas got the net under my fish.  Continue reading Humpies Persist in Puget Sound But Are Tight Lipped