October 2017

This is a very exciting moment in my life as I turn over another page to a new career adventure that will be beneficial to the Pacific Northwest sport-fishing and boating communities for years to come.

I recently joined the Northwest Marine Trade Association staff as the Director of Grow Boating Programs – including the Northwest Salmon Derby Series – after working 33 years at The Seattle Times and 25-plus years as outdoors columnist.

First and foremost, the fishing boots I fill in longtime NMTA director of fishing affairs Tony Floor will be a worthy task. Thank you Tony for all your hard work and dedication!

Tony’s Tackle Box has been a very informative way for anglers to get the “know how” and “where to go” on Pacific Northwest fishing scene over the years.

As I take over the helm of this column, I’ve been lucky enough to have spent numerous days fishing and working side-by-side with “The Truth” aka Tony. That said this hand-off of the rod-and-reel will be a very smooth transition.

Just to provide a little background, I was born and raised in South Seattle neighborhood of Seward Park just steps away from Lake Washington my backyard fishing ground, and I’ve had a fishing pole in hand since I was six years old.

It was then my father Jerry took me out trout fishing on a rental boat at Green Lake in Seattle where we caught our limit of fish. It was the starting block on getting hooked.

To further solidify my life of fishing fun, I was born into a family of salmon anglers dating back three generations.

I got my saltwater slickers first wet when grandfather George Yuasa launched us one summer morning on a rental boat at Ray’s Boathouse off Shilshole Bay to pursue kings. And while I can’t actually recall if we caught anything, it did set the foundation for who I am today.

I fondly remember the first coho salmon I caught off Pillar Point at Sekiu when I was eight years old. It was here that I’ve kept in my memory bank watching grandpa delicately prepare herring into cut-spinner baits and tying mooching rigs in our cabin at Olson’s Resort. Seeing those baits spin enticingly in the water the next morning just showed how much time he devoted to making sure everything worked in our way to catch fish.

Fast forward as I now teach my two son’s Taylan and Tegan all the nuances of salmon fishing, jigging for squid, setting pots for Dungeness crab, digging up razor clams or casting our luck for fish into lakes and streams.

I’m confident my many years as an outdoors columnist will provide you with an array of beneficial tips, advice and latest word on where to go catch a fish.

So here we go!

Now that we’ve moved into autumn, it’s time to switch up from our summer fishing habits, and start looking at different areas and techniques to catch salmon and other fish species.

While we may be a bit skinny on saltwater salmon opportunities – due to closures to protect poor stocks of migrating salmon – all one needs to do take these words of advice: “You can complain about what’s closed or you can simply go to an area where the fish are lurking.”

And right now there are some choices for good selective hatchery-marked coho in central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10) or seeking out a coho or hatchery king in south-central Puget Sound (11) and southern Puget Sound (13). Many overlook Hood Canal (12) where hatchery chinook can be found.

On the coast look no further than eastern section of Grays Harbor in October for large football-sized coho, but be sure to look at the regulations closely since you can’t keep chinook.

Those looking for a river option can head to Columbia River in Hanford Reach area for what’s sure to be a decent upriver king fishery. These kings are known to exceed 30-plus pounds and will have the word “fun” screaming out of your mouth if you get the picture.

As water temperatures cool, be sure to not overlook a wide range of statewide lakes open through this month or year-round for that matter. Lake Washington situated in Seattle’s backyard will continue to produce great autumn yellow perch, bass and trout fishing.

I haven’t even glazed on what you can catch in Washington’s waterways, and a little legwork will certainly get you into some fish year-round.

Next up on the Northwest Salmon Derby Series is Everett No-Coho Blackmouth Salmon Derby on Nov. 4-5. This year’s grand prize – an $85,000 fully-loaded Hewescraft 220 OceanPro powered with Honda 250- and 9.9-horsepower motors on an EZ-Loader Tandem axle galvanized trailer – will be given away at the derby in a raffle drawing to one lucky person. Details: http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

Hey, I’m itching to fishing, and so should you!