Buoy 10 Update: Way Better Than Expected

By: Toby Wyatt

After a dismal preseason forecast we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how good the fishing has been at Buoy 10. It’s way better than expected. Way better. In a normal year you don’t often experience a good Chinook and coho run. It’s usually one or the other. However, this season we’ve been catching both. It’s been great. I probably had 25 bites today. Half were from kings and half coho. So far, it’s been a great run for both.

I expect the kings to subside daily. In fact, king season closes to retention tomorrow (August 20) even though large groups of kings will continue to migrate through Buoy 10. (The fact that it closes) will be very good for upriver fisheries. We knew management wasn’t going to give Buoy 10 anymore fishing days for kings. Those surpluses will be distributed through the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, which will provide excellent sport fishing opportunities upriver in September.

From now on for a few weeks we’ll be targeting coho. The good news is there’s suppose to be 1 million of them coming, at least that’s what the forecasts are. The coho run has just begun. Today we saw far more coho than we’ve been seeing and it’s only going to get better daily. There’s several weeks of good Buoy 10 coho fishing in front of us. I think by Labor Day it’s going to be epic.

The Gear

I’m running mostly bait, but some spinners, too. I’m rigging Fire Brine anchovies whole, and with three hooks. I’m running Blue, Chartreuse and Natural Fire Brine herring daily. In the morning the chartreuse works best and on cloudy days blue is the best. Natural works best when it sunny. However, they’ll bite any color at any time. Scent is part of the trolling game, too. I add Fire Power (pure krill powder) to some batches and Atlas Mike’s Anise Glo Oil to others.

In addition to brined bait I’m also dragging a Pro Troll 360 flasher with a 3.5 spinner. Scent is a big deal with spinners. Everyone runs some sort of scent on the blades. I’m smearing Atlas Mike’s Herring/Anise Lunker Lotion on mine. Meanwhile, today I took all my spinners out of the rotation. I was still hooking salmon on the spinners, but the land ratio isn’t as good as with bait. We do catch fish on spinners, but the bait is where we catch most of our fish.

High tide

The fish always seem to bite best around the high tide. That will be three hours before high tide, all the through high slack and then three hours after. It can slow during low slack, but otherwise the bite has been impressive. We troll with the current about 90 percent of the day. Sometimes the ocean is coming in and sometimes it’s going out. We’ll troll that direction 90 percent of the time and other 10 percent we hover fish.

Editor’s Note: Toby Wyatt operates Reel Time Fishing. For more info on his guided Buoy 10 trips please visit http://reeltimefishing.com or https://www.facebook.com/reeltimefish.