MA11 Pink run analysis

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by DennisE, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. I just got done running the MA11 creel report numbers compared to 2011. Yes, for all intents and purposes the Pink run is over for this year, at least in MA11.

    What's interesting is that the absolute numbers of reported Pinks are almost identical. There were 3617 in 2011. So far this year there are 3539, with (in theory) a couple of weeks of a few fish left to go.

    What's really different is the spread. There was one really good week in 2011 with nearly 1500 fish. Had a very bell shaped results curve otherwise. This year the results were flatter but more evenly distributed. The fish were just spread out more.

    To me this very much reflects what I saw on the water. Now back to Sea Runs (and Coho?).
  2. I'd have to agree with your analysis. I had a couple of really good days this year but for the most part the fishing was hit and miss, literally. The fish never seemed to school up this year as they have in the past. They also did not follow the beach line because of this. They just sort of milled around and moved through in smaller, more spread out numbers.
  3. Very interesting. That must mean that the good numbers of pinks still moving through MA9 are heading to the Stilly, Snohomish, and Green River systems. Creel numbers are still fairly strong for pinks up here, but coho are catching up.
  4. Seems you might be on to something...

    My contacts at WDFW assure me that the scale samples they are getting from fish in MA 9, all the way up to Vancouver Island indicate a large percentage of those fish are Southern Puget Sound Fish. In fact, based on the number of fish still being caught up north that seem to be headed south, some are saying that the initial estimates for the Puyallup and Nisqually may have been low.
    Whether these fish are going to doddle and mill around, or just head straight for the rivers is anyone’s guess. If you want to hang up your rods already I’m not going to complain, but you might think twice.
    Anecdotally, I have a friend who guides in the Queen Charlottes and he reported to me that their Humpy runs were about 2-3 weeks late on average.
    ten80 and plaegreid like this.
  5. The 2 big rain events pulled them into the rivers that much faster. They have also evolved to run deep and silent, away from the beaches.
  6. Seems like it's been much the same in MA10. They came in fits and starts, though most days there were a few there.

    Yesterday was one of my best days for pinks. Interestingly, this morning it was all about the coho. Hooked into what might have been the fish of the season for me this morning, but after about 4 or 5 jumps and a great fight at the beach, it took one last jump and spit the hook right at me. I swear I saw it raise one of the middle rays on it's pectoral fin as it splashed back down and swam away.
  7. I'm noticing the north sound fish are a bit later than previous runs as well. But my god has this run been big. Many, many more fish around up this way than in 2011 and 2009. In the past 2wks, my slowest days have been in the 20ish fish range. Best days were in the 50+ range between three of us.

  8. I agree with the former, but it is unlikely that pressure from bank anglers has caused evolutionary changes in pink salmon behavior. I wonder if the particularly warm summer caused pinks to stick to deeper water, especially in the south sound where there is less mixing with cooler water from the ocean.
  9. I wonder if WDFW tracks how many anglers are having to purchase multiple catch cards during each season. Seems like that might be a good metric for how well the season is going, even before all the catch cards are sent in. Not sure the creel reports are consistent in the frequency per each location from year to year.:confused:
  10. Gregg,
    I'm not sure the punch card stats will help much since the last punch card data posted on the WDFW website is for 2009.
    If they can't give more up to date stats then a report from four years ago, good luck trying to to manage or forecast things in season.
    As an example, just look at the what used to be a great Snohomish system chum run.

    As far as pinks go, I had my best season in years with only five to hand.
    Jason Rolfe likes this.
  11. Stonefish,

    I hear you on that.

    Regarding your pink season though, you had five to hand probably doing everything you could to avoid hooking them(given your avatar and signature credentials). ;)
  12. still some fish up here in the san juans
    native boat caught 40,000 yesterday
    last opening for non natives tomorrow
    finally get to go home
    hope to flex my new 7 wt but seems like its getting late for south sound pinks

    we've seen some massive chums already
  13. No hate for the fish themselves. They are fun to catch for young and old alike.
    Just not a fan of big crowds, litter and the general lack of etiquette and ethics these big runs bring with them.
    My catch numbers reflect trying to a avoid all of the above the best I can. ;)
  14. I've caught countless humpies this year and have easily avoided said crowds. I can imagine it might load up a few choice coho beaches, though.
  15. SF, I have you beat with no pinks to hand! Although I was secretly hoping to catch some for my smoker. Not a ton of pinks on the west side beaches this year. I saw some caught but no real numbers.
  16. Same analysis. They seem to be deeper this year and away from the beach. That's a shame because I like to catch them from the beach but I have noticed that as they have become more difficult to find, the crowds have dwindled. Heck, I even found a parking spot at the pier in Dash Pt the other day. I was snooping for Coho and saw a lot of blood on the dock so that tells me the Pinks are still around though more difficult to find and catch. Wierd year. I like the hot summer theory and the last two rain storm thoughts. The Puyallup river is thick with them.
  17. This pink year has been different, no question. The fish are moving, and have moved, through marine areas 11 and 13 differently than in the last 3 pink years. These 4 pink runs are the only ones that I have fished, so I have no on the water observations from other years.

    Yesterday I fished and I saw thousands of fish. They are still moving through.
    Speculating on why the fish are not behaving like I have observed them in previous years is an exercise that I go through, kind of like chewing gum.

    Things that I wonder about....I have not caught any males with a pronounced hump, all the fish that I have caught have had much more sea lice that in previous years, they have all tended to be bright, and the buggers are not jumping as much making the locating even harder.

    The worst part is that my sister is out fishing me a gazillion to one and she is fishing out of Anacortes. They are jumping there.

    I have not caught the numbers this year, but I am enjoying the fishing more. It is more like flats fishing in that you have to be super observant, stealthy and have lots of time on your hands.

    I'm not hanging up the rod just yet, in fact I'm hitting the water in a few. Just need to buy some more chewing gum.
    plaegreid likes this.
  18. We were catching pinks the end of July 120' on the downriggers scraping bottom while fishing for kings. I've been out pretty much 5 days a week for the past 2 months fishing for fish I actually enjoy eating. But, I've seen more pinks finning the surface this year than I ever have in area 9. Not so much in close but out in deeper water.

    Salmon runs don't do the same thing every year. You won't find them in the same places every year. Guessing why they are where they are from year to year is pure speculation. They'll do what it is they are going to do. Last years silver run inside Puget Sound was the best I've ever seen (since the early 80's). That doesn't mean there were more fish, just that they were better biters. The previous year supposedly had better numbers but the fish were not great biters. We still caught a lot of fish, but nowhere near the numbers we got last year. A lot of the fish we caught in 2011 were down 130+ feet whereas last year we could fish them in the more normal 65-95' range.
    Evan Burck likes this.
  19. There was also a lot of humidity in the end of August and into early September, really atypical for this part of the country. You could also speculate about arctic oscillations and all kinds of stuff that disrupt normal jet stream flows with diminished sea ice over the pole. Either way, still looks like an enormous amount of biomass is coming into Puget Sound and if that means all the fishing picks up, well terrific.

    I have been having a spectacular flounder season. My fishing has become floundering in just about every sense.
  20. I'm still catching dime bright kings out in the shipping lanes at depths we don't usually get them at. Almost every trip. If I were to target them right now, the catching would be really good.

Share This Page