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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last Saturday I fished for resident coho for the first time this winter. The weather(overcast/light wind) and moderate tidal exchanges were perfect. The fishing was excellent using a Delia's squid or olive/white clouser minnow pattern with the resident coho in 12 to 15 inch range. I kept 1 fish for dinner and it's stomach contained

Insect Plant Twig Arthropod Art


amphipods(reddish/brown) and 3 to 4 inch baitfish which were probably small herring rather than sand lance. The amphipods were about half the size( less than 1/8 inch) in comparison to previous years for this time of year.

The day started off great as 9 bald eagles were seen soaring and above a high cliff. Sometimes they would do snap rolls which was awesome to watch before I got anxious to start fishing.

When resident coho are feeding on amphipods, their flesh is a bright red. IMHO these fish are as good or better eating than adult sockeye salmon. They have a mild, sweet taste and great texture. My wife sure liked the resident coho which was kept for dinner. Since I mostly fish for sea-run cutthroat, she normally give me a bad time for not bring home any fish for dinner;).

I was surprised that the resident coho were aggressively striking the clouser minnow pattern even though the fish were schooled up and slowing moving as they dimpled the water surface while feeding on the amphipods. In past years it is often difficult to hook resident coho under these conditions since they are so spooky. The schools of resident coho were also feeding on small bait and is probably the reason why they clobbered the clouser minnow pattern. Since the schools of resident coho were moving up and down a couple of beaches, the best strategy was to anchor the boat and wait for them come back. Chasing after them will put down a school of resident coho.

A location which over the last 25 years has always had a lot of resident coho was almost devoid of fish on Saturday. However, resident coho were found at numerous locations where they have not been seen for the last 8 to 9 years. In the 1990's and and early 2000's these areas had large numbers of fish so it is good to see resident coho back at their past haunts. It means that I will have to check out a lot more areas where they use to hang out:).

It was a very encouraging day of fishing for resident coho and hopefully it will be good for a few more months.

Roger
 

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Good info and report Roger, I've been taking some home (from the beach) as well, all the ones I've been catching have been full of euphausids, mostly white or shrimp pink and about a inch in length. Besides krill patterns (squimps) also caught many on small simple baitfish pattern, stripped fast.
Had some for dinner tonight and I'd agree with your wife, they are outstanding, my favorite !!!

Mark
 

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Do the resident coho sort of "take up the slack" this time of year? I'm thinking that the SRC in south sound are heading up the streams in Feb. and Mar. to spawn. That about right?

I really need to get my butt out there and try the salt again.
 

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Good info and report Roger, I've been taking some home (from the beach) as well, all the ones I've been catching have been full of euphausids, mostly white or shrimp pink and about a inch in length. Besides krill patterns (squimps) also caught many on small simple baitfish pattern, stripped fast.
Had some for dinner tonight and I'd agree with your wife, they are outstanding, my favorite !!!

Mark
Hi Mark,
Did you happen to notice if the coho filled with euphausids were caught during / right after spring tides (full / new moons) or were the catches scattered throughout the month? The reason that I ask is that euphausids are good swimmers and are known to vertically migrate. They swim down to depths that have little light during the day to avoid visual predators and swim up to the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton and small zooplankton. In the San Juans, I seem to remember seeing more euphausids at the surface during periods of high tidal exchange, as if the currents were too strong for them to go where they wanted.

Steve
 

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Hi Mark,
Did you happen to notice if the coho filled with euphausids were caught during / right after spring tides (full / new moons) or were the catches scattered throughout the month? The reason that I ask is that euphausids are good swimmers and are known to vertically migrate. They swim down to depths that have little light during the day to avoid visual predators and swim up to the surface at night to feed on phytoplankton and small zooplankton. In the San Juans, I seem to remember seeing more euphausids at the surface during periods of high tidal exchange, as if the currents were too strong for them to go where they wanted.

Steve
Hi Steve, they've all been caught in the last two weeks or so on the morning high tide with a few during the day, makes since that the morning low light would bring the euphausids to the surface which would concentrate the fish keying in on them ?
Caught a couple this morning and they were full of, I'm guessing, juvenile coonstripe shrimp as they were two to three inches long, which kind of surprised me as it was the same beach as the others, no sign of euphausids when I cleaned the two I kept.
Hope this helps.

Mark
 

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Do the resident coho sort of "take up the slack" this time of year? I'm thinking that the SRC in south sound are heading up the streams in Feb. and Mar. to spawn. That about right?

I really need to get my butt out there and try the salt again.
Salmo_g,
Yes, they do help take up the slack as many cutt's are, and have been up stream for awhile, some as early as late fall. In fact I've already caught a couple post spawn cutt's but I expect to start seeing more each week as more early spawners return to the salt.
Besides rezzies are fun (and delicious) and sometimes can be selective and hard to figure out, which just makes it more fun.

Mark
 

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Hi Steve, they've all been caught in the last two weeks or so on the morning high tide with a few during the day, makes since that the morning low light would bring the euphausids to the surface which would concentrate the fish keying in on them ?
Caught a couple this morning and they were full of, I'm guessing, juvenile coonstripe shrimp as they were two to three inches long, which kind of surprised me as it was the same beach as the others, no sign of euphausids when I cleaned the two I kept.
Hope this helps.

Mark
Hi Mark,
Just very interesting how opportunistic they can be at times.
Steve
 

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Last Saturday I fished for resident coho for the first time this winter. The weather(overcast/light wind) and moderate tidal exchanges were perfect. The fishing was excellent using a Delia's squid or olive/white clouser minnow pattern with the resident coho in 12 to 15 inch range. I kept 1 fish for dinner and it's stomach contained

View attachment 133017

amphipods(reddish/brown) and 3 to 4 inch baitfish which were probably small herring rather than sand lance. The amphipods were about half the size( less than 1/8 inch) in comparison to previous years for this time of year.

The day started off great as 9 bald eagles were seen soaring and above a high cliff. Sometimes they would do snap rolls which was awesome to watch before I got anxious to start fishing.

When resident coho are feeding on amphipods, their flesh is a bright red. IMHO these fish are as good or better eating than adult sockeye salmon. They have a mild, sweet taste and great texture. My wife sure liked the resident coho which was kept for dinner. Since I mostly fish for sea-run cutthroat, she normally give me a bad time for not bring home any fish for dinner;).

I was surprised that the resident coho were aggressively striking the clouser minnow pattern even though the fish were schooled up and slowing moving as they dimpled the water surface while feeding on the amphipods. In past years it is often difficult to hook resident coho under these conditions since they are so spooky. The schools of resident coho were also feeding on small bait and is probably the reason why they clobbered the clouser minnow pattern. Since the schools of resident coho were moving up and down a couple of beaches, the best strategy was to anchor the boat and wait for them come back. Chasing after them will put down a school of resident coho.

A location which over the last 25 years has always had a lot of resident coho was almost devoid of fish on Saturday. However, resident coho were found at numerous locations where they have not been seen for the last 8 to 9 years. In the 1990's and and early 2000's these areas had large numbers of fish so it is good to see resident coho back at their past haunts. It means that I will have to check out a lot more areas where they use to hang out:).

It was a very encouraging day of fishing for resident coho and hopefully it will be good for a few more months.

Roger
You guys know that fishing for coho in marine area 13 and 11 is closed right now right? Definitely would not be advertising that you are bonking them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You guys know that fishing for coho in marine area 13 and 11 is closed right now right? Definitely would not be advertising that you are bonking them.
On Oct. 22, 2016 a rule change by WDFW allows for retention of 2 hatchery coho in Marine Area 13. Last Saturday I was fishing in Marine Area 13 and kept one hatchery coho which is allowed by the rule change.

Roger
 
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