Each week one of the Salmon University experts answers reader questions in our “Ask a Pro” feature. This week’s questions are answered by Tom Nelson. Submit your own question here.
Q: Which hoochie colors are best to use in Prince William Sound, Alaska? – Bruce
The best hootchie colors to use in saltwater depends on how deep you are fishing. If you are fishing in the top 50 feet of water, almost any color will do. Deeper than 50 feet, stay away from red, yellow and orange colors. Fishing deeper than 50 feet, stay with greens, blacks and purples. Also use UV and Glo Lures in the deeper water.
Q: When are the salmon typically returning to Dabob and Sinclair Inlet (Washington) and how long is fishing good? – Mike
Fish are present in Dabob Bay and Sinclair Inlet almost year round. However, from July 1st to October 15th, you must release all Chinook and Chum north of Ayock Point. You are allowed to keep up to 4 Coho and Humpies combined. Be sure to look in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules Booklet put out by WDFW and check the WDFW Rules and Regs for that area (very confusing – at best). Normally, fishing is good in August for Humpies and excellent in September for Coho. This area also has a good winter blackmouth season.
Q: What would be a good setup to catch Sockeye in Baker Lake (Washington)? Would downriggers help? – John
An eight inch flasher or dodger with 18-24 inches of leader with a bare red hook or a hot pink mini-hootchie with all the legs pulled but six. Use a very slow troll and fish deep. Downriggers would definitely help.
Q: I recently purchased the Lowrance HD7 chartplotter from Sportco but I have to download a good fishing and chart map. What is the best and most effective one for the Puget Sound and Westport? – Mark
I sent this question to Kevin Lanier of KC Sportfishing who responded:
The internal Navico insight map should be all you need.That is the map I use and I am very happy with it for Westport and Puget Sound. The detail is incredible. If you really want another map you can choose a Navionics Chart or a CMap chart.
Q: I am 72 years old and have decided I want to catch these wonderful fish! No boat, and can use some good info. I live in Area 6. – Raea
Be sure and avail yourself of all of the “How-To” information on the Salmon University website. You may also want to join a chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers as there you should find capable fishermen who would be more than willing to share information with you. For a good shore fishery for Coho in the fall and Chinook in the summer, give the Point Wilson Lighthouse area in Port Townsend a try.
Prince William Sound photo courtesy Madeleine Deaton (CC BY 2.0)