Blackmouth

#16
Up here in the north sound, the locals use the term "blackmouth" to refer to an immature (under 22") Chinook salmon. However, all Chinook can be identified by their dark mouth and black gum line.

I understand many of the blackmouth in Puget Sound this time of year are the result of WDFW's delayed hatchery release program. Follow this link for more on that program:

http://www.sschapterpsa.com/ramblings/PS_Blackmouth_history.htm

As far as targeting blackmouth, I understand they have a tendency for the bottom of deeper (90'-120' feet) water. I also understand they will forage into shallower water during the night and can be found there during low light conditions such as early morning and late in the day. I'm sure you can also throw the book out the window and catch them on the surface in the middle of a sunny August afternoon.

Because the resident silvers don't seem as prevalent here in the north sound (I'd appreciate any insight on that topic), I've spent some time this fall and winter targeting the local blackmouth. I've had success from the boat at spots known as productive mooching sites. The Calamarko squid pattern featured in Les Johnson's Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon II is my go-to fly. I use a 300 grain sink tip and look for conditions that will allow maximum sink (low wind, tidal exchange).

I've haven't seen much "chatter" on the blackmouth fishery, so hopefully there are others who can correct me where I've gone wrong or just provide more information.
 

Attachments

sean_k

Active Member
#18
I've been told from a few individuals that they have more success on a very low tide. I have a few spots that I checked out yesterday while fishing for src's and rezzies, so I thought I would hit those spots this up coming saturday night during the low tide and was wanting to know if anyone would want meet up and try to catch one.
 
#20
While rezzie fishing in relatively shallow water with intermediate line I got about a 9" blackmouth today with intact adipose fin... it was hard to keep him on he was so small and light. Hehe... but he had the trademark larger spotting on the back and a dark gumline.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#21
My secret spot is Pt Defiance. Don't tell anyone.
SS, would that be the large round local tank with the great fishing access from above and even a landing platform? I love fishing that spot, as a matter of fact I was there yesterday. Sometimes I get cramped up crouching in a small profile waiting for all the staff to leave so that I can have my way with all those fish. Your secret is safe here. When I get a few more skills I'm heading over to the tank with the tuna and trying my luck on them.
 
#22
Tom & Bryan (Brian?), good to see & fish with you guys today - been quite awhile. Thanks for the "glued head" Chum Baby, Bryan, held together much better!
Somebody's gotta tell me how to download the picture of your 'rezzie, Tom......help!....purtty please!

Got home at 4:00 pm and it's been snowing since about 5:00 and have 2 1/2 inches of nice dry powder snow on the ground now (8:30 PM)....sheeeez!....here we go again!!

Jc
 

Tom Johnston

Been around a while
#24
Tom & Bryan (Brian?), good to see & fish with you guys today - been quite awhile. Thanks for the "glued head" Chum Baby, Bryan, held together much better!
Somebody's gotta tell me how to download the picture of your 'rezzie, Tom......help!....purtty please!

Got home at 4:00 pm and it's been snowing since about 5:00 and have 2 1/2 inches of nice dry powder snow on the ground now (8:30 PM)....sheeeez!....here we go again!!

Jc
Well be fishing again together sometime. I should be getting my switch rod tonight(yesssss). Ill have to remember how to post pictures. Been a while.
 

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
#25
This goes without saying to members of the board, but...

Be careful with those small Chinook - the scales fall right off them. When I encounter them I often find A LOT of them together and they are very aggressive feeders. I attempt to release them without handling them and move to a different fishing location when I see swarms of them following to the boat!

The steep beaches can be good for keeper-sized blackmouth. I also look for known sand lance spawning areas where the blackmouth come into shallow water. I am thinking 30 feet or so of water. Slack tides early in the morning are good - especially around March/April.

Now this all from the North Sound perspective...
 

Richard E

Active Member
#26

Preston

Active Member
#28
Blackmouth occur naturally in Puget Sound and are the chinook equivalent of the resident coho. Naturally occurring blackmouth and resident coho provided a fairly intensive winter and spring sport fishery for many decades. If memory serves, the state record blackmouth exceeded thirty pounds. The success of the delayed release coho program led WDFW to experiment with a similar program using chinook, in a effort to supplement declining natural stocks.