Three Top Gear Combo’s for Puget Sound Winter Blackmouth

By Rob Endsley

Winter blackmouth season is upon us here in Puget Sound and it’s time to talk about a few lethal rigs to catch these immature king salmon. In the winter months the bait size in Puget Sound is generally a lot smaller than during the summer months and “matching the hatch” can be critical to getting them to snap. Small herring, sand lance, and hooligans make up the bulk of the baitfish in the sound during the winter blackmouth season.

Green Crush/Ace Hi Needlefish Combo

This is a go-to rig anytime there’s candlefish around. I’m a big fan of Luhr Jensen’s “Green Crush” and “Blue Crush” flashers because they have UV on one side and full glow on the other. No matter what the lighting conditions these flashers will give you some “pop” down below in the blackmouth zone. The “Blue Crush” works just as well as the “Green Crush” for me. Pick a winner!

Any time I’m fishing Ace Hi’s or hoochie’s I run a minimum of 50 pound fluorocarbon leader. Flourocarbon is a lot stiffer than monofilament and the combination of that stiffness and the heavier line transmits a lot of action from the flasher back to the Ace Hi. The short 30 inch leader helps with that also. These lures don’t impart their own action so you’ve got to get them shake’n and bake’n with the flasher. Don’t worry about spooking fish with the heavier leader. If the flasher doesn’t spook ’em, the leader sure as heck isn’t going to.Luhr Jensen Coyote "Green Crush" Flasher - Ace Hi Fly Combo

I tie two 3/0 Mustad Ultrapoint hooks back-to-back and very close together for this rig. Next I’ll run four Silver Horde glow beads as spacers to push the hooks toward the back of the Ace Hi “Needlefish”. I like these particular beads because they’re football shaped and it’s takes fewer of them to get the job done. Plus they glow for days.

Ace Hi "Needlefish" Rigged with 3/0 Mustad Ultrapoint Hooks - Photo by Rob Endsley

The best needlefish colors I’ve found so far have been green splatterback and blue splatterback. The chartreuse, purple, black, and white Ace Hi “Needlefish” patterns work great also though. And if you ever get into a situation where there’s squid around run the orange splatterback pattern. I’ve terrorized the kings on that pattern when they’re gorging on squid!

San Juan Islands Blackmouth with a "Blue Crush" flasher - Photo by Rob Endsley

Blue Crush/Coho Killer Combo

Tom Nelson and I refer to the Coho Killer spoon as the “fish detector”. Like the needlefish pattern mentioned above the Coho Killer is also an excellent candlefish imitation and it imitates small winter herring too. Don’t let the name fool you though. This spoon will flat-out murder the blackmouth in the winter months and summer Chinook will hammer this spoon also.

I run a longer 42 inch, 30 pound monofilament leader for this rig because the spoon has it’s own action and doesn’t need any help from the flasher. The flasher brings ’em in for a look and the action of the spoon seals the deal. Monofilament is much more limber than fluorocarbon and lets the spoon dance around freely behind the flasher.

Coyote Flasher and Coho Killer Combo - Figure by Rob Endsley

Like most lures the Coho Killer works pretty good right out of the package. A few minor tweaks to this nasty little lure will turn it into a freak show down on the bottom though. The first thing you want to do is accentuate the bends in the lure. By increasing the lures two bends the Coho Killer turns into a blur at trolling speeds and this tweak also makes it switch direction every so often.

Adding Custom Bends to a Coho Killer - photo by Rob Endsley

Next you’ll want to remove the hook from the tail of the Coho Killer and add a split ring to the rear hook ring. Then add a swivel and a 2/0 Mustad Open Eye Siwash hook to the split ring. This setup allows a hooked salmon to twist and turn when it’s hooked without applying a bunch of torque to the back of the spoon. These spoons are exceptionally lightweight and the addition of the swivel reduces the chance of seriously damaging the spoon every time a fish is hooked.

Coho Killer Spoon - photo by Rob Endsley

The top Coho Killer colors for winter blackmouth are Irish Cream, Cookies and Cream, White Lightning, Mexican Flag, and the green, blue, and purple splatter back patterns. The glow and UV patterns work best in the winter months when blackmouth are hugging the bottom in deep water and the chrome plated patterns seem to work better in the summer when salmon are suspended.

Coho Killer spoon with small herring - photo by Rob Endsley

Coyote Flasher/Kingfisher Lite Spoon

This is the same rig as above but with a Kingfisher Lite spoon. As I mentioned earlier both the “Green Crush” and “Blue Crush” flashers work excellent as attractors. Run blue on one downrigger and green on the other and see which one is performing better. I started running blue quite a few years ago after noticing that everyone else was running traditional green. Guess what? It worked!

The smaller 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 Kingfisher Lite spoons do a great job of matching the size of small herring and hooligans in the winter months in Puget Sound. Small herring abound in the sound itself and hooligans can be plentiful in the San Juan Islands in the winter time. Hooligans are small smelt that are between 2 and 4 inches long in the winter and blackmouth love them.

Coyote Flasher/Kingfisher spoon combo - photo by Rob Endsley

The Kingfisher Lite spoons that seem to get bit the most are Cookies and Cream, Irish Cream, Mexican Flag, Kitchen Sink, Herring Aid, Resurrection, and Yellowtail. Yellowtail doesn’t look remotely like anything you’d find in Puget Sound but the blackmouth don’t seem to care. That’s definitely one of our top spoons for blackmouth year-in, year out. Nelly’s got a couple of these spoons on his boat that have little to no paint left on them.

The Kingfisher Lite spoon also swims a little better by accentuating the bends. Here’s a video from Tom Nelson that shows how to give a little bend to these great spoons to make them fish better.

The Attraction of Scent

John Martinis with a 16 pound blackmouth caught opening day 2016 on Possession Bar - Photo by Les Jacober

John Martinis caught this 16 pound blackmouth on Possession Bar on November 1st, 2016. A 3 inch “Herring Aid” spoon did the trick!

I like to add Pro Cure gel scents to all these lures to help seal the deal. The new Outdoor Line Downrigger Dynamite gel scent is a proven winner for saltwater salmon and includes UV attractant, herring, anchovy, sardine, and bite stimulants in the form of amino acids.

If I’m putting scent on a flasher I will always apply it to the bottom end of the flasher on the glow side. There’s no sense in dulling down the shiny side of the flasher with a bunch of gel. Herring scent is the name-of-the-game in most situations unless I’m trolling around rocky structure that might hold shrimp. In that case I’ll go with a shrimp-based scent like Pro Cure Shrimp/Krill or Shrimp/Anise. Another scent that works great is Pro Cure’s Bloody Tuna Anise. On occasion I’ll cut a small herring strip and add it to the top hook of my hoochie or Ace Hi Fly to make it a little more enticing.

A Note on Shakers

These three rigs will catch blackmouth throughout the Puget Sound and that can include undersize blackmouth, as well. If you continue encountering these small blackmouth either leave the area or switch to bigger gear. 4 inch spoons, whole herring, and even 4 and 5 inch plugs will greatly reduce the number of shaker encounters. Not only are we responsible for taking care of the resource but you’re not fishing effectively if you’re towing around a small shaker on your gear all day.

Fish any of these rigs near the bottom where there’s bait and blackmouth around and you’ll catch fish. These are time-tested rigs that have filled plenty of punch cards for both myself and Tom “Nelly” Nelson.

Good luck to you this winter blackmouth season and don’t be afraid to share your fish pics and stories with us over on the Outdoor Line forums. And if you’ve got any other blackmouth fishing tips I’m all ears!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

One week, two tags!

As anyone who has hunted for big game in Washington can attest, filling your deer tag can be challenging. Notching your elk tag in Washington is even harder. Accomplishing both of these tasks in a week? That takes a pile of preparation, a realistic opportunity and to be completely honest, one whale of a lot of luck!

The first stroke of luck came in the form of the Skagit Valley Quality Bull tag that I’ve been applying for since the Bush Administration.. . Once that bit of luck was in pocket, another bolt from the blue was in store as my good friend Steve Stout who lives in the unit also was drawn for the hunt and was as fired up as I to start scouting! This hunt opened on the second weekend of October so my September which is usually spent chasing coho (but we won’t go there..) was spent on glassing, bugling and rifle range time.

Robbo has an unbelievable talent for spotting game and is putting them to use as the misty early arrival of fall envelops the north Cascades. On this day, I was given an opportunity on a magnificent bull and missed. I sincerely believe that a day will never go by for the rest of my life without me thinking of that moment.


I would hunt for nearly another week before getting another opportunity and this time there would be no miss. This tremendous 6×6  was standing among his harem of cows and fell so quickly after the shot that he simply disappeared and scared the heck out of me until I saw him lying there and WHAT A GREAT FEELING!!!


Getting that massive bull out was not all that bad thanks to the Can Am Defender Max XT1000 4-seater ATV. The built in front end winch and tilt box worked hand in hand to slide the big ol’ bull right in!


The antler mass of this elk is quite impressive and most I’ve talked to place this specimen in the 320 inch class. My second Washington State 6×6 and easily the largest of my life.


After delivering the bull to the butcher and shaking my head over the 487 pounds of hanging weight, my hunting season was already a success by any measure but, I was not done. My black lab Bailey was not-so-patiently waiting for me to finish up big-game so she could terrorize the pheasant release site roosters. So, over to Whidbey Island we go and sure enough the pheasants cooperated!


Our host on the Whidbey Island hunt was my friend Bob Maschmedt who just happened to pack a couple of slug-ready shotguns and suggested we go looking for an Island Blacktail. It was a GREAT suggestion as the first place we looked, here’s a nice 2×3 that was way more interested in his does than he was in me!


Bob Maschmedt and I are all smiles as now I’ve filled two tags in the same week and it’s back to the butchers with a fat blacktail buck!


All told, the butcher got a hefty 607 pounds of venison in the space of one week. Without question, it was the certainly a magnificent big-game season and certainly a strange feeling to be tagged out in mid October but I’m ok with it!

Now it’s back to the drawing board, starting back at “zero” on the elk-tag drawing points but as long as I can buy a tag, I’ll be putting in for WDFW Special Permit hunts and who knows? I guy can get lucky two years in a row…right?…Right???

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

New Driftboat – Tricked to the Hilt

By Josiah Darr. When it comes to drift boats there are a fairly endless number of options and accessories available if you have the money and are willing to spend it.

Do you want a metal boat? Fiberglass? Maybe a classic wooden boat? Willie and Koffler make great aluminum boats and Ray’s River Dories makes a wooden boat like none other, but with friends already working for ClackaCraft Drift Boats, knowing how easy they were to row and maneuver, my decision to guide out of a Clack was a no-brainer.

Deciding the model was also a piece of cake. A ClackMax 18’ Sidedrifter with the flat floors and box seating is easily the most versatile and fishermen friendly boat I’ve ever been aboard.

Bill battles another while Ryan, his little brother Owen and their dad Brett look on.

Once the stickers were stuck and the rods were loaded I took to the water. Luckily the fall Chinook fishing here in the Tillamook area has been better than most people ever remember so it didn’t take long to get the boat bloody. And like my warm up trips with friends were supposed to do, they pointed out a few minor oversights in my options and design that I wanted corrected ASAP to dial the boat in even further and essentially create the ultimate river and tidewater killing machine.

Julieanne with her first ever chinook on her first ever trip into the Oregon Coast tidewater.

The first little add-on that was obviously was an oversight when ordering was the fact that there were going to be a lot of times when I needed a kicker besides just the sticks. With a little help from Rodger in shop at Clackacraft and a few minutes the drifter was ready for power.

The small plate Rodger installed not only gave me a place to put my kicker, but it did it in such a way that that I was able to leave the anchor centered. The plate kept the motor just high enough that is cleared the anchor are giving me full mobility. It also kept the motor tipped slightly more upright so the nose of the boat stayed down when I was cruising.

The motor mount easily supports a gas or electric motor.

With the elevated motor mount, the motor can turn freely.

The last little touch I needed just to make the motor mission complete was my prop guard, but not just any prop guard. We’re talking the mother of all prop guards made right here at Clackacraft. Not only is the guard made out of heavy duty galvanized steel right there in the shop, but it’s attached with a compression fitting so no holes need to be drilled in your new kicker. The guard with it’s oversized fin also helped keep the boat plained out when cruising along while deflecting any gravel bars or logs I might hit…..Okay, will hit.

The cage is ready for fish seeking navigation.

The compression fitting only take a few second to install. So easy even I can do it.

Another feature that I quickly realized I couldn’t live without with the bow drop front anchor. It’s so easy to use and when bobber fishing and especially backbouncing. I found out quickly precise boat placement is the difference between one fish and quick limits.

A simple tug on the front anchor rope and the boat settles right into position.

After a trip I realized when I’m running my motor I don’t need the anchor hanging in the way so one more call to the shop and 3-5 business days later the anchor holder was installed and the problem was solved. The anchor is in the water when needed, out of the water and securely stored when it’s not.

The anchor next keep the anchor when fishing or trailering.

Most the extra boat features like a walk-around rowers bench, upgraded Lamiglas oars and the holes drilled for the ability to place and secure the seat boxes depending on the type of fishing and type of fishermen were all already taken care of, but a few more little tweaks to the boat once it was out and fishing took the brand new Clackacraft from a really nice boat to one of the most functional boats on any river, anywhere.

The counterbalanced Lamiglas oars were an easy decision.

When it all comes together, it’s a beautiful thing!

Nate with his first ever backbounced chinook.

It doesn’t get much better than big chinook on the coast in the sun!

World Class boats for world class rivers….

If you’re interested in fishing the Tillamook area rivers for either salmon or steelhead out of my new Clackacraft give me a shout at (206) 660-1490. Fish On!

Josiah Darr – Outdoor Line “Young Gun”
JDarr’s Guided Fishing
Tillamook, Oregon
(206) 660-1490

Northwest Outdoor Report

Bogachiel Best Bet in Forks Area
Bill Myer from Anglers Guide Service (206-697-2055) in Forks said the Bogachiel River is currently fishing the best of all the rivers in the area. Myers said fishing has slowed down quite a bit with the low and clear water, but he’s still getting a few fish a day out of the Bogey fishing 1/8th ounce Beau Mac jigs. He said that decent numbers of wild steelhead have pushed all the way into the upper Bogey already and that there’s been fishable numbers of hatchery steelhead stacked up around the hatchery. He’s just waiting for rain to jump back over to the Sol Duc, which has been really slow the last few days because of the low water.

San Juans Still Hot for Blackmouth
Kevin John at Holiday Sports in Burlington (360-757-4361) says the blackmouth fishing in the San Juan Islands is still rock solid. He says Tide Point and Eagle Bluff are still producing good numbers of blackmouth and anglers should also take a look at Lopez Flats and Fidalgo Head in front of Washington Park. He’s getting reports of really small bait in the islands and anglers should match-the-hatch by trolling Coho Killer’s and 3 inch Kingfisher Lite spoons. The go to color lately has been any spoon with purple in it. Kevin says that anchovies are also catching a lot of blackmouth and he’s having to continually order more anchovies into the shop on a regular basis. He recommends trolling the anchovies in a JDS or Bullet Roll hood 6 feet behind an 11 inch purple or green UV flasher.  If the weather holds for the big Roche Salmon Derby in a couple weeks we could record numbers of fish caught in the derby.

Seattle Boat Show Open Now
The largest boat show on the West Coast opened at CenturyLink Field yesterday and runs thru February 3rd. The doors open at 10:00 a.m. on the weekends and 11:00 on weekdays and tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for kids between the age of 11 and 17, and free for kids 10 and under. The show features more than 1,000 watercraft, boating and fishing seminars, and the latest in boating accessories and it’s all indoors at CenturyLink field in Seattle.

Puyallup Sportsman’s Show Closes Tomorrow
You’ve got today and tomorrow to attend the Washington Sportsman’s Show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. The show boasts a one-of-a-kind indoor “Steelhead River,” over 150 hours of free “how to” seminars, camp cooking demonstrations, the Kid’s Free Trout Pond, the “Head & Horns” competition and much more. You’ll find plenty of fishing lodges, river guides, hunting outfitters, and the latest and greatest tackle and hunting products at the show. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for kids under 16, and free for kids under 5 years of age. Save some money by clicking on the Washington Sportsman’s Show banner on the to print a coupon worth $2 off on your entry ticket.

Harrisburg Sportsman’s Show Postponed After Vendors Pull Out
Reed Exhibitions, who operates the Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has decided to postpone the popular sportsman’s show after a decision to limit the display or sale of “assault rifles” caused hundreds of vendors to pull out. The show was originally supposed to be held February 2nd thru the 10th, but there was enough controversy surrounding the show that Reed has decided to postpone it for now. While Reed Exhibitions has always kept attendance figures confidential it’s estimated that as many as 1 million people attend the show every year pumping approximately $80 million into the local economy. They will announce a new date for the show soon, but for now the largest sportsman’s in American is shrouded in controversy.

The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Stabicraft 2600 Pilothouse

There’s a dirty, little secret in the boating industry that no one is willing to admit or even talk about. The fact of the matter is that the Florida and southern California boating markets are so large that they tremendously influence domestic boat designs.

If you want to appeal to warm weather markets…you build a warm-weather boat. So, here comes another Boat Show season and what do you get along with it? The endless array of plastic, “T-top” boats with “Clear Canvas” windows. Or, as they have been come to be called, “Florida boats”.

Friends, if the only time I used my boat here in the Pacific Northwest was during weather you could call “warm”…my boating season would be quite short indeed. The Northwest is hardtop boat country. Boats that will keep you -and your expensive marine electronics warm and dry. T-tops with clear canvas windows need not apply.

Stabicraft of New Zealand recognizes that most folks want to use their boats more than a couple of months per year and outfits their hulls with diesel heaters, insulated fishboxes and a ride that makes even winter waves whimper…

Introducing the Stabicraft 2600 Pilothouse

Stabicraft Marine pioneered positive buoyancy boats, turning out the first rigid hulled aluminum pontoon boat from a back street workshop in Invercargill, New Zealand. Word quickly spread about the reverse chine pontoon design boat that posessed a ride that had to be experienced to be believed.

The original Stabicraft design was a compilation of the wish list of local divers. They wanted an evolution of the traditional Rigid Hulled Inflatable boat – one that retained the RIB’s superior buoyancy, stability on the water and ease of handling, but within a sturdier construction framework to make it even safer in rough waters.

Need serious fishbox space? The 2600 Pilothouse will challenge any angler to fill these three fish coffins! The aft box (top of pic) even has cutting board lids!


We’ve been talking a lot lately about the ride, safety and stability of reverse chine hulls. Stabicraft has -without a doubt- the “gold standard” of reverse chine.


I actually got a shot of this Stabi 2600 before the top was attached to the hull. Here is a unique shot of the interior giving you a perspective of the “fisherman friendly” layout of this model.

Stabicraft 2600 Pilothouse Specifications

Length:  26 Feet
Max Adults – 9
Recommended HP – 225hp
Maximum HP – 300hp
Fuel Tank – 95gal
External Beam – 8ft 2in
Internal Beam – 6ft 8in
Deadrise (Transom) – 21.8
Tube Thickness – 5/32in
Hull Thickness – 1/4in
Reserve Buoyancy – 930gal*
Dry Hull Weight – 3858lb
Tow Weight – 6172lb
Length on Trailer – 31ft 2in
Height on Trailer – 10ft 3in

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Duck Dynasty Sets Ratings Record
A&E’s breakout hit Duck Dynasty just set a record for the network of 6.5 million viewers in the season finale last Wednesday. The reality show about a quirky Christian family that makes duck calls and decoys is A&E’s most-watched telecast ever and has topped ratings for even the major networks. Duck Dynasty is now A&E’s top rated series ever.

Commission Meeting Focused on Gillnet Removal
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will be briefed on the plan to remove gillnets from the Lower Columbia today at the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Tumwater. There will be a public comment period after the briefing and hundreds of both sport and commercial fisherman are expected to turn out. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission already voted 4-2 last week to remove non-tribal gillnets from the mainstem of the Columbia River. The Commission will make its final decision on the harvest reform package at the January 11th and 12th Commission meeting.

Shinman and Norling take Resurrection Derby
75 angling teams descended on Friday Harbor last weekend for the 3rd annual Resurrection Blackmouth Derby. Fishing was quite good in the San Juan Island for those that attended, with over 200 fish weighed in compared to 120 last year. Bob Norling and Mark Shinman from Anacortes took first place and $10,000 in the derby with a 15.67 blackmouth. The duo took second place in the derby last year. Next up in the Northwest Salmon Derby Series is the Roche Harbor Derby held February 7th thru the 9th, followed by the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby held in Port Townsend the weekend of February 16th thru the 18th.

Colville’s Open Hunting for Wolves
The Colville recently announced that it would open the hunting season for gray wolves on its 1.4 million acre reservation in Northeastern Washington. The tribe says that wolves have caused a crop in both the deer and elk populations on the reservation that remain a valuable food source for tribal members. They are allowing up to 3 wolves to be taken in along the southern portion of the reservation north of Spokane. No wolves have been killed yet and the season is set to close on February 28th.

Scant Hatchery Steelhead on the Skagit
John Koenig from John’s Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport reports very slow fishing for hatchery steelhead on the upper Skagit River. Koenig says there’s more wild steelhead in the river than hatchery fish right now. Aside from the slow steelhead fishing he said the dolly varden fishing has been excellent. He’s been catching plenty of dollies on the upper Skagit sidedrifting eggs, with a few over 25 inches in length. Dolly Varden congregate in the upper Skagit this time of year to feed on eggs left behind by spawning chum and silver salmon.

Gale Force Winds Should Move Skagit Ducks
Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts Washington (360-333-2488) in Mount Vernon thinks the gale force winds forecast for this weekend will make for some great duck hunting in the Skagit Valley. Brewer says there’s been thousands of ducks rafted up on both the Samish and Skagit Bay’s and high winds should have those birds flying over the weekend. The high winds and rain could make for some of the best duck hunting of the entire season.

Big Trout Hitting Streamers on the Yakima
Erin Smith at Red’s Fly Shop (509-933-2300) on the Yakima River reports that some bigger trout are being caught swinging streamers on the river right now. The hot patterns have been either a Dolly Llama or Sculpzilla in a size 6 and she recommends fishing the deeper holes to find wintering trout this time of year. She says the most productive stretch of river has been between Umptanum and Red’s Fly Shop.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Humptulips and Satsop Kicking out Coho
Patient anglers that waited until the end of the season to fill their freezers with coho were rewarded with great fishing this past week on the Humptulips and Satsop Rivers. Scott Sypher from Canyon Man’s Guide Service (206-518-4982) and Phil Stephens from Mystical Legends Guide Service (206-940-0052) both reported excellent silver fishing on both rivers. They both got quick limits on the Humptulips fishing eggs under a float two days ago and the fish have been big…running between 10 and 15 pounds. Over on the Satsop several fish in the 18 to 20 pound range have been reported the last couple of days, as well. These fish are often called the Christmas coho because the fishing usually remains good right up until Santa Claus rolls into town. The only problem is that the Northwest River Forecast Center is predicting that these rivers will be well out of fishable shape until as late as next weekend.

Cowlitz Slow for Steelhead
Outside of just a few winter steelhead being caught on the Cowlitz River fishing has been really slow there this past week. Derek Anderson from Screamin’ Reels Guide Service (206-849-2574) thinks the next high water should bring some fish into the system in the next week or so. The Northwest River Forecast Center is calling for the Cowlitz to ramp up to over 16,000 cfs by mid next week after a series of wet weather systems hits Western Washington, which is much too high to effectively fish for steelhead.

Blackmouth Still Holding off South Whidbey
When the weather allows for it Derek Floyd from Angler’s Choice Charters (425-239-5740) has been stroking the blackmouth at Possession Bar off the South end of Whidbey Island. Derek said he landed 13 legal blackmouth last Saturday on the bar and released another 5 wild fish before calling it a day. Floyd said it’s been tough to fish lately with all the wind, but when it lay’s he thinks the fishing will remain good. The Floyd fishing team will be heading to Friday Harbor the middle of this next week to compete with 70 other fishing teams and $15,000 in cash prizes in the Resurrection Salmon Derby.

Gillnet Removal on Tap for Columbia River
Sportsman may soon get their wish to have non-tribal gillnets removed entirely from the lower Columbia River. The Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissions will meet at the Holiday Inn in Portland on December 7th and on January 11th and 12th in Olympia to vote on a plan to push gillnets off the mainstem of the lower Columbia and into designated off-channel netting areas. If the plan goes thru the sportfishing quota on runs like summer Chinook would be increase to 100% of the non-tribal catch. Sportsman would also see an increase in spring Chinook, fall Chinook, coho, and sockeye quota if the plan is approved. While the plan is very complicated many are hopeful that the gillnets will be removed and that a new era in sportfishing will dawn on the Columbia River.

Resurrection and Roche Harbor Derby Tickets on Sale
Tickets are still on sale for the Resurrection Blackmouth Derby in Friday Harbor next weekend. The Outdoor Line crew will be fishing in this derby and broadcasting live from the derby on Saturday. The derby is December 7th and 8th and boasts $15,000 in cash with $10,000 for 1st place. Log on to for more information about this event. The next  big derby in the series is the Roche Harbor Derby held February 7th thru the 9th at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. The Roche boasts $25,000 in guaranteed cash prizes and this year the resort will kick in an additional $30,000 for a winning blackmouth over 30 pounds. Tickets are $700 per boat for the Roche and registration forms can be found at

Arizona Fish and Game Corrects False Press Release
Television, radio, newspaper and online news outlets carried a story this past week that elk hunters who hadn’t filled their bull elk tag at the end of the season would get a weeklong extension to their season. The Associated Press released the article without checking credentials and now Arizona Fish and Game officials are scurrying to clarify the situation. Officials aren’t quite sure where the press release came from, but suspect that an elk hunter with media access is behind the hoax.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Clam Dig Next Weekend
WDFW just announced another razor clam dig next week. Twin Harbors beach will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, and on Thursday Long Beach will open up and over the weekend Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks beaches will all be open for razor clamming. Clamming generally starts two hours before the low tide in the evening.

Black Friday Trout Fishing Special
If you’d rather go fishing than shopping the day after Thanksgiving then WDFW has the deal for you. They’ll be planting Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County, Kress Lake in Cowlitz County, Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County, and Rowland Lake in Klickitat County with 2,000 rainbows apiece. Chris Donley from WDFW called the Black Friday fishery an experiment that could lead to similar events in other parts of the state.

Southwest Washington Elk Opener Toughest in Years
Mike Jenkins from Upfront Outfitters (360-560-7620) said that fog descended on his camps in Southwest Washington just in time for the elk opener. He said the fog spotting elk nearly impossible and that the success rate for the entire area hit an all time low. The upside is that the last part of the season could be very good for elk hunters, since there’s a bunch of bulls still out there and hunter numbers are generally low the latter part of the season. Jenkins thinks the drop in temperature this week could make hunting very good!

Silvers Piling into the Humptulips
Scott Sypher from Canyon Man’s Guide Service (206-518-4982) is reporting wide open coho fishing out on the Humptulips the last few days. He limited out his customers quickly Thursday morning throwing #4 and #5 hoochie spinners into the lumber. Sypher says that gold and copper spinners seemed to be the best color. The Humptulips has a 3 fish daily limit for silvers this fall, only one of which can be a wild coho.

Ranker Digging into Wolf Pack Removal
Senator Kevin Ranker from Friday Harbor, who chairs a committee that oversees WDFW, says he’s going to hold a hearing about the department’s decision to remove the Wedge wolf pack in Northeast Washington last month. The wedge wolf pack had killed two cattle and injured 15 others on the Diamond M ranch north of Colville before the department made the decision to remove the pack. He thinks officials and the rancher could have done more to deter the wolves from attacking cattle. While he won’t be asking for resignations or reprimands, he will be using the hearing to more clearly clarify the states position on wolf removal and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Pikeminnow Angler earns 77,000
Portland angler Nikolay Zaremskiy earned $77, 238 last year catching pikeminnows from the Columbia River. The state has a bounty on the pikeminnow in the Columbia, which has a voracious appetite for salmon and steelhead smolts. It’s the second year in a row that Zaremskiy has earned over $70,000 dollars catching pikeminnows. Last year he earned over $71,000 dollars. Eric Winther, who manages the program, called him the Michael Jordan of pikeminnow fishing. The bounty program starts in early May and runs thru September and last year it dished out over one million in rewards.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Do you have “The NAK” for fishing

I’m often asked which scents I use. And, while there are many options available, most of the time, I use three: Pautzke Nectar, anise and krill. These scents, when combined and mixed properly, make a difference. Nectar, Anise, Krill or “NAK”, as I call it, is the additive I rely on for Northwest salmon and steelhead fishing.

Let me explain how to use these scents to your benefit. Nectar is only found in the Pautzke line up. For those who are not familiar with this product, you’re missing out. Nectar is created when the factory is cooking Balls O’ Fire salmon eggs. In essence, it’s the run-off of all that egg juice, salts, sugar and additives, which are drained into large vats and bottled.

Bottled salmon egg juice is your friend. It comes in five colors. However, for fall salmon red is my favorite. I also invest in krill, the liquid form (Liquid Krill) and powder form (Fire Power).
To create “NAK” for steelhead the first thing I do is pour a small amount of Nectar out of the bottle to make room for the krill and anise. (Only pour a little out, keeping the level to the top of the label). Then pour half a bottle of Liquid Krill and one heaping tablespoon of Fire Power.

With Nectar and krill mixed in, it’s time to add anise. I purchase 100% pure anise and add 10-15 drops. That’s it: simple and effective. With this mixture it’s best to pour some in a small container and dip your baits in it every few casts.

For salmon it’s important to add a half-teaspoon of sodium sulfite. However, when fishing an area where salmon respond better to a higher percentage of sulfites I add a full teaspoon.

Normally, I carry three bottles of NAK: one of the basic mixture (the steelhead version), one with a half teaspoon of sodium sulfite and one with a full teaspoon. It’s best to let the fish tell me what they want.

To dress up my eggs by giving them extra scent and milking ability I cut pieces of roe and place them in a separate tray adding a shot of NAK on some of them. Traditionally, I won’t do a whole skein if I think there is a chance that the fish may not respond. Once I add it, the skein has the scent/additives and if it doesn’t work I’m stuck fishing eggs that the fish don’t want.

One other tip; don’t be afraid to give your sand-shrimp a quick squirt. You’ll be surprised with the results. Give NAK a try. You’ll be glad you put in the extra effort.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle


Northwest Outdoor Report

Man Loses Eye Shooting at Salmon
A 51 year old man is recovering from injuries he received while shooting at salmon with a .22 caliber rifle on the Deschutes River near Olympia last Sunday. The man took a shot at what he thought was going to be dinner, only the bullet hit a rock and ricocheted back hitting him in the head. KIRO News talked to the man’s mother in law, who said she thought he was going to lose his sight in one eye from the accident. The maximum fine for shooting a salmon with a gun is up to one year in jail.

Mean Mountain Goats Paintballed in Olympic Park
The Mount Ellinor trail in the Olympic National Park just reopened after being closed since July 3rd due to a rash of mountain goat sightings. One wouldn’t think that mountain goats would pose a problem, but in 2010 a mountain goat killed a hiker in the park and the Forest Service isn’t taking any chances. Since the closure Forest Service employee Kurt Aluzas has been using paintballs, repellent and yelling and screaming to clear goats from the trail. The goats have become aggressive from years of feeding by hikers on the trail, a practice the Forest Service says need to stop. The trail is now open again and hikers are advised to stand their ground and yell at the goats if they are confronted.

Sekiu Awash with Silver Salmon
Jackie Tonzales at Olson’s Resort (360-963-2311) in Sekiu says the silver salmon fishing is nothing short of amazing there right now. She weighed in a 24 pound hatchery coho at the resort last night and a 35 pound king salmon was also weighed in yesterday. She says people are catching limits of coho all day long in front of Sekiu and even the beach fishing has been outstanding. Jackie says anglers fishing off the jetty in front of the resort and off the beach in Clallam Bay are finding limits of silvers in the 10 to 12 pound range. Olson’s is having a king and silver derby at the resort next weekend with $4500 in cash and prizes. Tickets can be purchased at the resort for $15. With such great fishing they expect a big crowd at the event.

October Caddis Hatch Underway on the Yakima
Mike Canady at Reds Fly Shop (509-933-2300) on the Yakima River says the October Caddis hatch is just getting started in the upper reaches of the Yakima River. He says the best hatches have been around the farmlands above the canyon, but he expects the hatch to spread up and down the river as water temperatures continue to cool down. Canady’s heard of rainbows up to 19 inches on the river this past week. October is typically one of the best months to dry fly fish on the Yakima River because of the huge caddis hatch that happens there every fall.

Wenatchee Fire Update
Mick Mueller from Incident Command on the Wenatchee Fire Complex says that crew have made significant progress this past week on the fires surrounding Wenatchee. He reports that  most of the Chiwawa River road is now open and the Entiat River road is also open 25 miles up from the mouth of the river.  The south side of Lake Chelan is also now open. Mueller says the area east of Highway 97 on Blewett Pass, however, is still closed from Liberty over to Ruby Creek and that the Table Mountain fire has been acting up again with the recent winds. He urges anyone planning to hunt in a burned area to be very away of fire spotting. Hunters travelling to the area for opening day of deer season should visit for updates on fire status and road and area closures.

River Days at Defiance Marine
Don’t forget to stop by Defiance Marine next to the Bremerton Airport today for River Days. The event is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features river fishing seminars, screaming deals on tackle, and a tackle swap meet to unload some of your old gear. The event will feature special guests Bob Kratzer from Anglers Guide Service, a representative from custom rod builder Batson Enterprises, James Beasley from Wicked Lures, and Rob Endsley and Duane Inglin from the Outdoor Line will be at the store to do seminars and answer questions. Attendance is free for this fun event!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle