Can't find fish? Might try for a bear permit

OUTDOORS: Anglers are having little luck; applications due soon for hunting permits

March 9, 2011 

This might prove to be a tough week if you’re hoping to catch fish.

“There isn’t anything ultra fantastic out there right now,” said Mike Chamberlain of Ted’s Sports Center. “Most guys are having a tough time. The fish are few and far between.

That sentiment seemed to be echoed around the Puget Sound area, with only a couple of exceptions.

The fishing seems to be picking up on the Cowlitz River, according to several reports, and the rivers on the Olympic Peninsula continue to be good. And Spanaway Lake is yielding trout.


Columbia: The action has been slow for spring chinook. “I think we are still a little way out before it’s really good there,” Chamberlain said.

Cowlitz: The fishing is improving daily, according to the staff at Fish Country Inc. in Ethel. The staff there reported that one angler landed a 26-pound salmon on Friday. Using eggs or shrimp with divers has worked well for landing both salmon and steelhead. Bank anglers are doing well with shrimp or a jig and bobber.

Kalama: Try the slab hole for steelhead.

Olympic Coast: The rivers on the Olympic Coast continue to be the state’s hot spot for river fishing.

Satsop: The fishing has been good, but count on dealing with crowds.


Eastern Washington: Some anglers are heading east to catch fish as lakes start to warm up. On Chelan, there are trout to be had near the yacht club and the trench.

Mayfield: Use Power Bait and worms off the bottom of the lake for the best chance to land trout.

Munn: Still a good place to try for fish.

Riffe: Still not many reports coming from this lake.

Spanaway: Bud Herlitzka of Spanaway Park Boathouse said the trout fishing has been good here in the middle of the day. He’s seen anglers land browns as long 19 inches both still-fishing and trolling. Anglers also have had luck using Power Bait off the dock. Herlitzka said there’s even been an occasional cutthroat caught.

Stevens: Anglers are having occasional success here.

Swofford Pond: The staff at Fish Country Inc. suspect that this Lewis County spot is worth trying.

Washington: There are cutthroat and kokanee to be had, according to a report posted at


Tacoma: The staff at the Point Defiance Boathouse recommends using a flasher and spoon at a depth of about 150 feet in Dalco Passage or Quartermaster Harbor, but warns that the action has been very slow.

North Sound: The action has been slow around Deception Pass, according to several reports. The few anglers having success typically are catching decent- sized blackmouth, Chamberlain said.

Penrose: Penrose Point State Park is open for those looking for a place to try for clams and oysters.


Applications for spring black bear hunting must be purchased and submitted by Thursday. A drawing will be held in the middle of the month for 370 permits in Western Washington and 209 permits in Eastern Washington.

Deer and elk hunters have until March 31 to apply for multiple-season permits.

Check for more information.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497

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