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Catching fickle coho requires being colorful

2:40 pm November 19th, 2012

HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
Anyone who has fished for coho can attest to the fact they are fickle when it comes to bait and what color of lure they will hit.
Although coho are usually off the bite by the time they enter fresh water, they will still hit artificial lures if they are the right color. That very subject was addressed in the fall 2012 issue of the Salmon and Steelhead Journal. Under “Strategies, and tips we think you should know”, the editors said it appears there is not one, but several colors that can entice coho to bite. Whether it is plugs, spinners, flies or jigs, it is best to have a box full of red, pink, orange, chartreuse and black lures.
• Red: Is a safe bet that more coho have been caught on red than any other color.
• Pink: If red doesn’t work, there is a good argument that pink is more effective than red.
• Orange: A great standby color. Don’t leave home without it.
• Chartreuse: Fish this after you have exhausted red, pink and orange.
• Black: Is the backup color in this collection.
Although the above colors are recommended, there is nothing in stone when it comes to catching coho or in fact any other species of salmon. Terry Rudnick, noted Washington fishing guide and author, said that besides using the right colored lure, needle-sharp hooks are a must for the coho angler who wants to put more than the occasional fish in the box. Because of the fish’s quick, often surprising strike, anglers need to take every advantage they can get, and a hook that will pierce a patch of flesh on incidental contact may hang there just long enough for the angler to do the rest with an upward sweep of the rod.
 
Odds and ends

• The top pikeminnow angler in this year’s Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Fishery funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was Nikolay Zaremskiy, who caught 9,324 pikeminnows and earned $77,238 in rewards. David Vasilchuk took second place, earning $41,542 by catching 4,616 pikes, and third-place Steven Weber, who caught 4,602 pikes, earned $36,510. A total of 152,631 pikeminnows were caught. BPA paid more than $1 million in rewards.
• Last week, Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, announced plans to explore regulatory options for banning the harvest of giant Pacific octopuses off Seacrest Park near Alki Point and possibly elsewhere in Puget Sound. The hue and cry by concerned citizens over the legal harvesting of one of these animals near the park by a 19-year-old scuba diver prompted the department’s action. Under current rules, divers can harvest one giant Pacific octopus per day in most areas of Puget Sound.
“The harvesting of this animal has resulted in strong, negative reaction from the public and the diving community,” Anderson said. “We believe this area may merit additional restrictions to enhance the traditional uses of this popular beach.”
Anderson announced the department’s plan at the start of a two-day public meeting of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission. Also, the department will hold public meetings this winter to hear Washingtonians’ thoughts of those options. However, the department may consider taking emergency action if another octopus is taken from the area.
Scott Lundy, a member of the Washington Scuba Alliance, presented the commission with a petition signed by 5,000 divers supporting the ban on killing octopuses at Seascrest Park.

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