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||Jig & Mootch
Nisqually Summer Chinook
Olympia Big ocean bright kings come rolling in at the beginning of August. They're heading to the south sound mecca where Chinook still school in tide rips in numbers that make depth finders go crazy. Where the bite can happen so fast that the water looks like anglers are having a butterfly-netting contest. Destination the Nisqually River. Home of one of the largest runs of south sound hatchery Chinook.
You will start seeing these fish showing up around Pt. Defiance, Pt. Evans and on the south end of Fox Island near Fox Pt. and Gibson Pt. around the middle of July. Early August Lyle Point on the south end of Anderson Island is where you want to be. Over the years I have fished here that's one of the most popular areas for kings. They take a bunch at Lyle Pt. and by Thompson Cove and fishing the eddies near Anderson Island.
Near the tide changes you will definitely see rips forming off either side of the point near Lyle. This area holds plenty of bait and has been a consistent king producer.
The first part of August, the action switches over to the green can off the mouth of the Nisqually River. Mooching and jigging are most popular here. The incoming and high tides are when the bite happens. Anglers have their best fishing at the tide changes, from one hour before to two hours after.
Lyle Point at Anderson Island is where the action begins before moving to McCallister Creek-Nisqually Delta. Cut plug herring works well at Anderson Island mooched or trolled off downriggers. The green can near the Nisqually Delta Area produces better on Pt. Wilson Darts in white and green.
Thompson Cove is a small cove just north of Lyle Point. Lots of bait in here, light line motor mooching herring works well, kings are taken every year in here in as little as 15-20 ft of water. Troll slow with the current and keep your bait near the bottom.
Off Lyle Pt. the emphasis is on the southwest shoreline where it eddies on both sides. It's a good mooching area. The bottom tapers off near shore from 30-100 ft. There's a trough that holds baitfish. This is great holding & feeding water for kings.
Moochers can get a good drift swinging parallel with the southwest shoreline. That will allow you to drift the deepest point. The water runs south to west. Constant adjustments are needed to stay near the bottom here. You will need 4-6 oz. of lead and a cut-plug. The closer to the flood tide the more emphases you should put on fishing the broken bottom on the shallow ledge. You will be able to see the edge of the ledge by the choppy water created by changing tide.
When the kings move towards the delta fishing off the green can be a jigger's paradise. 60-90 ft of prime water, when the tide run is slow will allow you to work your Dart right on top of the holding Chinook. Use the smallest size you can maintain bottom contact with. Use a stiffer rod like a steelhead back bouncer and one of the new super lines like Tuff-Line to a ball bearing swivel. From the swivel use a 4-5 ft. piece of clear 15-pound leader to the jig. Keep your line vertical in the water; you may have to back your kicker motor into the current to do it. Stay in contact with the bottom raising the rod tip and allowing the jig to flutter back down.
One area that gets overlooked is the shoreline from the Nisqually River north. There was at one time a gunpowder loading pier on the beach, just north of the river. This shoreline all the way up to Ketron Island is good trolling water. A flasher rigged with a whole herring or a Silver Horde spoon in green and white glo can add to your score card. If the tide is out going troll north, on the incoming tide troll south along the shoreline.
The bite is a distinct creature that tends to change day after day. Sometimes its dawn or dusk. Most of the time it will happen at the change of the tide. Fish as many of these prime times as you can to increase your odds.
South Sound Kings
Starts mid July peaks mid August. Fish Lyle Point to start then the green can mid August.
1) Nearest is Zittel’s Marina (360-4559-1950) is a full service Marina.
2) Narrows Marina (253-564-3474) is a full service marina.
3) Steilacoom is just a driveway to the water and only for small boats (16’ or less). Open 24 hours.
Fresh herring, mooching tackle, flashers and salmon spoons. If you jig, Pt. Wilson Darts in 2-4 oz. size.
Zittles Marina 360-459-1950
Narrows Marina Tackle Shop 253-564-4222.