Spring chinook angling off to strong start on lower Columbia

Fishing: February catch included several fish over 20 pounds, WDFW report shows

March 2, 2011 

If March proves to be anything like February, the lower Columbia River will be a good place to fish this month.

In a report released earlier this week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said spring-chinook fishing was off to a strong start.

“Many of the chinook sampled during February were larger, 5-year-old chinook exceeding 20 pounds,” the report said.

On Tuesday, the stretch between Interstate 5 and Rooster Rock opened to boat angling. Bank angling is currently permitted between Buoy 10 and Bonneville Dam.

Sturgeon fishing could pick up as the water warms in the Dalles and John Day pools. These pools are also a good place to fish for smallmouth bass and walleye.

RIVERS

Cowlitz: Fishing has been fair at best, according to Fish Country Inc.

“We’ve seen a few nice steelhead come through the store and heard of a few springers being caught,” an e-mail report from store owners Marshall and Tracey Borsom said. “The hatchery had its first springer last Thursday. Boaters running divers with coon shrimp or eggs and sand shrimp have been doing the best. Bank anglers using sand shrimp under a bobber or free-drifting, corky and/or jigs are also doing OK.”

The action started heating up in early March last year.

Olympic Coast: The action has been consistently good on the rivers around Forks.

Hanford Reach: The WDFW opened the upper reach of this section of the Columbia River for the first time in many years this winter and the action has been very quiet. In fact, no steelhead were reported in February. However, on the lower reach an estimated 174 steelhead were caught in February, according to an agency report.

Yakima: Try nymphing with stoneflies to land trout.

LAKES

American: Best bet is to try for trout in shallow, warm water.

Chelan: Trolling continues to be hot along the face of Manson Bay, said Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad’s Family Guide Service. Jones recommends using Worden’s Lures’ F7 flatfish in chartreuse and purple. Fish at a depth of 175-200 feet.

Mayfield: The lake is “still colored up,” according to the Fish Country Inc. report. There have been no reports of catches recently.

Riffe: Several anglers are trying their luck, but Fish Country Inc. had no report on how they fared.

Rufus Woods: Try bait-fishing the net pens for the best chance for triploid rainbows. Jones suggests using rainbow colored Pautzke Fire Bait.

SALT WATER

Puget Sound: The Point Defiance Boathouse Marina reports that rough weather kept most anglers off the water over the weekend. Flashers and spoons have worked well of late, and fish were biting along the shoreline between the clay banks and the Les Davis Pier.

Penrose: The sport clam and oyster seasons started Tuesday at Penrose State Park.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497 craig.hill@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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