Don't put away those clamming shovels just yet

Fishing: Digs are set for later this month and for mid-February

January 8, 2011 

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife on Friday announced dates for two more razor-clam digs, one later this month and one in February. The digs will take place if marine toxin tests show clams are safe to eat.

The next dig is scheduled for Jan. 20-22 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach. The National Park Service has also scheduled a dig Jan. 21-22 at Kalaloch, located inside the Olympic National Park.

The February dig has been scheduled for the 17-19 at Twin Harbors and 18-19 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch.

No digging will be allowed before noon on any of those days.

RIVERS

Cowlitz: Some good-sized steelhead are being caught, with some weighing in the mid-teens. Drifting eggs and/or corkies, or backtrolling divers and bait seem to be working best. With the water running clear, it’s a good idea to switch to smaller gear and baits.

Green: Fishing was good until the rain the last few days raised the water level. Also, a slide below Flaming Geyser State Park has dirtied the water, which means it will be best for plunking only for a few days, said a staffer at Auburn Sports and Marine.

Lewis: Steelhead action has been fair to good in the last week. Flows on the East Fork are fairly low, so boaters should be wary.

North Sound: There have been good reports from anglers catching steelhead on the Snoqualmie and Skykomish.

Olympic Coast: Looks like the rivers will be out of shape for this weekend. Once the levels drop, plan to make a trip because there are plenty of hatchery steelhead in the systems.

Yakima: The staff at Red’s Fly Shop said there is still ice along the edges and some floes in the water.

SALT WATER

Fly-fishing: Action for resident coho has been good some days and poor others, said a report from Gig Harbor Fly Shop. Much of it depends on the tides and if the fish push within casting distance from the beach. Look for sea-run cutthroat trout around beaches close to estuaries.

South Sound: Few people have been on the water the last few days, said Mike Zittel at Zittel’s Marina. He said people were fishing while crab season was open, but crabbing has closed. Marine Area 13 remains open to salmon fishing until April 30.

Tacoma: Anglers willing to make the trip to Marine Area 10 are catching blackmouth in the Allen Bank, Jefferson Head and Keystone areas, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Squid are still being caught off local docks.

LAKES

Offut: Action for trout has picked up a bit with the warmer weather, said Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. Floating a worm with a marshmallow or Power Bait off the bottom on a leader 2-3 feet long is the most effective setup, she said.

Potholes: Folks heading east of the mountains might be able to do some ice fishing on the lake with some more cold weather, said Mike Meseberg at MarDon Resort. He said a dock angler recently caught a 13-pound, 8-ounce walleye.

Spanaway: Brown trout are being caught at the south end of the lake, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse. A brown Woolly Bugger fished right on the bottom has been the most effective method. Rainbow trout are holding on the west end of the lake, but the bite has been slowed by the colder water.

Spencer: This Mason County lake is a good winter option. It is known to produce some good trout during January. A float tube, pontoon boat, or small boat is the best way to access the water.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 Jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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