salmon fishing Jeffhead 001.jpg
What:
Elliott Bay Coho Salmon  
Where:
I caught it while in a boat 5 miles out from Shilshole Bay Marina, Ballard  
When:
Sunday at

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I Ate This: Elliott Bay Coho Salmon

Elliott Bay Coho Salmon... the one that didn't get away!

salmon fishing Jeffhead 001.jpg
What:
Elliott Bay Coho Salmon  
Where:
I caught it while in a boat 5 miles out from Shilshole Bay Marina, Ballard  
When:
Sunday at 4pm
Cost:
$72.00 for fuel, $67.00 for tackle, bait and launch fees 
Would I do it again?
Absolutely

Official Fishing/Tasting Notes:  There's nothing like catching your own food!  Having spent two days fishing Elliott Bay, it wasn't until late in the afternoon on Sunday that we had a fish on ice (next to the beer, of course). I'm not a big fan of getting up at 4 a.m. for anything, but that's when the fishing is good. My friends, Jason, Tom and I made our way to Shilshole Bay Marina Saturday morning bright and early to test our skills on the open water. The morning started out rough when Jason, insurance claims extraordinaire, couldn't find the boat key. Three calls to his girlfriend trying to coerce her to deliver the key to us in Ballard resulted in him going back to his vehicle to check one last time. The key ended up being in the glove box. We were off! 

The ten-minute ride across flat water to a spot called Jefferson Head proved that we weren't alone in our goal of catching a fish. Fifty other anglers had beat us to our fishing spot. The water boiled with schools of herring for what seemed like miles. Our fishing poles jiggled about in place as millions of passing herring ran into our suspended lines. We watched as several sea birds and spiny dogfish corralled the bait at the surface for a morning snack. Jason would motion to each boat passing by with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down as a way of questioning other anglers if they were catching anything.

We ended up reeling in several dogfish until Tom grabbed one of the fishing rods that was bent over. A few short cranks of the reel and we had a salmon near the boat—but not near enough, because the fish managed to release itself. We jabbed Tom throughout the day about how he lost what might be our only fish.

Sunday was a new day, though, and we slept in due to a "small craft advisory," which is code for "stay off the water with your tiny boat." We headed out to Jefferson Head again and didn't see the same competition as the day before. Had all these boats caught their limit of two fish? We dropped our lines and trolled for a couple of hours.

The first fish caught us by surprise. We landed what we thought it was an undersized king salmon and quickly released it back into the water. A quick glance at the pictures in the fishing regulations guide, though, proved that the fish we'd let go had been a legal-size coho. A few minutes later, another bent rod and a keeper. Tipping the scales at 5 pounds, the Elliott Bay coho finally gave us something to show for our two days of fishing.

salmon fishing Jeffhead.jpg

Armed with a fillet knife and some of my secret dry rub (three varieties of dried chili pods, brown sugar, onion powder, and kosher salt), I shared this with friends at Sustainable Ballard's monthly meeting. They're kicking off their 100 Mile Diet Challenge in August. Not knowing exactly how far this Elliott Bay Coho travelled, it was nice to be able to enjoy good food close to home.

 
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