Anglers enjoyed a successful fishing outing out of Sekiu in 2021 with captain Tom Burlingame and Excel Fishing Charters.

Anglers enjoyed a successful fishing outing out of Sekiu in 2021 with captain Tom Burlingame and Excel Fishing Charters.

OUTDOORS: Bigger halibut limit, more days to fish

Halibut season is coming up quickly in April with some positive changes for halibut anglers.

The annual limit will be raised to six fish from four when the season kicks off April 4 in Puget Sound and May 2 on the Pacific coast. The one-halibut daily catch limit is still in effect and there’s no size limit.

Anglers will receive two catch record cards — one four-line and one two-line.

Anglers who have already obtained a 2024 license and four-line CRC can still get the two-line CRC.

Sablefish (black cod) may be retained on days open to halibut in Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) west and east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, and in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) with a two sablefish daily limit in Marine Area 5.

Anglers cannot fish for, retain, possess or land halibut into a port located within an area closed to halibut fishing, except anglers can land halibut that they lawfully retained in Marine Area 5 into a port within Marine Area 4 when Marine Area 4 is closed.

During the preseason planning process, stakeholders requested more early season opportunities.

when halibut is more available compared to late summer.

Sekiu (Marine Area 5) and East Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound (Marine Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10) will be open from April 4 through June 30, seven days per week, if there is sufficient quota. If quota remains after June 30, then open to seven days per week in August and September. Puget Sound will be managed to an overall quota of 81,729 pounds.

Neah Bay and La Push (Marine Areas 3 and 4) opens May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 26, 30, 31; June 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15,16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30. All openings are subject to quota availability. If quota remains after June 30, then open to seven days per week in August and September. The combined quota for both areas is 132,366 pounds.

The recreational season is based on a statewide quota of 290,158 pounds. The annual catch quota of 1.65 million pounds in 2024 is the result of an allocation that the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) approved Jan. 26 for fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California.

Beath talks halibut

Expert angler John Beath, owner/operator of SquidPro Charters and a member of the Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula chapter, will discuss halibut fishing in area waters at Wednesday’s club meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road, with people gathering at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

Beath will provide an overview of his halibut charter operations, trips and techniques he uses to get his clients their halibut and how anglers can use his ideas.

A short business meeting, fishing reports and raffle drawings will follow.

The big ticket raffle item is a halibut trip for two with Beath out of Port Angeles.

All raffle drawings are for members only, but guests can join on site for $25 and $35 for a family membership.

Membership also includes The Reel News monthly newspaper.

Free trigger/gun lock

A safe firearm storage event and giveaway will be hosted by Jefferson County Public Health at the Chimacum Grange, 9572 Rhody Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6.

The community is invited to learn about the importance of safe firearm storage, receive a free lock box or trigger lock and to get trained on how to properly use them.

Children are welcome at the event, and one free device will be given out to those ages 18 and older.

Event partners include Seattle Children’s Hospital, Community Health Plan of Washington and Jefferson Healthcare.

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