Lincoln Park Humpies

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Two years ago I worked a miserable summer as a day camp counselor at Lincoln Park in West Seattle.  It was low-wage work for what was essentially glorified day care and that’s beside the point.   Towards the end of the summer I began to see men coming through the park carrying strings of pink salmon they had caught at the point of Lincoln Park’s beach by the pool.  I was filled with envy.  I told myself that the next time the pink salmon (aka “humpies” for the hump spawning males grow on their backs) ran through Puget Sound and into Elliott Bay before heading up the Duwamish, I would be on that beach, rod and reel in hand.  Today was the first of those days and it was quite a spectacle.  My friend Scott came and picked me up at 7am and we headed out there, tackle boxes filled with the pink buzz bombs the pink salmon favor.  Scott hooked a beauty and I had a bite, just enough to secure the desire to head back out next Monday to hook one of my own.  The shore was the definition of “combat fishing”, with 80+ anglers crossing casts and reeling in the pinks.  The action was amazing to watch.  A school would come through and you could look down the beach and three or four guys would be pulling salmon onto the beach.  I’m glad we headed out for the early bite because by the time we left it was totally bananas.   The pink salmon run happens every other year, on odd-numbered years, and this time the people that count fish predict 6 million coming through.  They should be out at Lincoln Park for at least three more weeks, before the fishing moves to the Green River and Puyallup and the shore space gets even tighter.   Scott and I will be out there again next Monday and if we get a wild hair in us may head north to Golden Gardens or Carkeek during low tide to see how the action is up there.

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