Salmon Fishing Report 7/13
North side of Orcas Island and Waldron Island
We woke up to clear skies and 55 degrees in the Puget Sound area and put on our fishing hats. In typical fashion, this morning’s departure from Squalicum Harbor through Bellingham Bay was very rough. Two to three foot swells pounded the boat about 500 feet outside the rock wall making for a slow 40 minute ride at low speeds across to Portage Island. Once we reached the channel between Portage Island and Lummi Island it was smooth sailing out to Orcas and Waldron Islands.
We started off trolling the north side of Orcas Island moving west along the beach from the Smuggler’s Villa Resort. The water was clear and glassy with slight wind gusts from the south. Many other fishing boats were in the area because of the local fishing tournament going on. Using two poles and downriggers we fished at 95 feet and 104 feet; on the 95 foot rod we had a red flasher and medium sized herring and on the 104 foot pole we fished with a green flasher with a yellow spotted Hoochie. We did this for about two hours moving with the outgoing tide down the beach to Point Doughty. We weren’t seeing any fish so when the tide started to make a drastic change we went around Point Doughty and into Presidents Channel.
In Presidents Channel we changed our gear and our depths a little, moving both poles so they were fishing with Hoochies. Inside pole (depth 65 feet) had a neon yellow flasher with a blue squid while the outside pole (75 feet, 10 feet off the bottom) moved to a pink flasher with a day glow white squid. Trolling at slow speeds with the tide we managed to get several hits from smaller fish that we weren’t able to keep. Presidents Channel was also very busy because of the local tournament but we didn’t see that much success from other boats. We continued fishing that stretch of Orcas into the early afternoon with no success. So, we picked up our gear and headed back into Bellingham Bay. The ride in was glassy with a slight breeze coming out the south, which was much better than our experience from the morning.
Steve Chapman was born and raised in Bellingham, WA and was drawn to the outdoors from an early age. As a member of the boy scouts he learned to love camping and hiking in the local mountains, eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. Steve grew up elk hunting in Eastern Washington, a family tradition carried on to this day. As an adult, he took up deer hunting, salmon fishing and crabbing. His other passion is baseball; he plays in and manages a men’s hardball team. Steve is a married father of two girls and works locally in the beverage industry as a craft beer specialist.