Busy fishing weekend ahead

FISHING: Lowland lakes trout season opens Saturday, followed by lingcod season Sunday

April 27, 2011 

This will be a busy weekend, with the start of the lowland lakes trout season Saturday, the closing of salmon fishing off Tacoma on Saturday and the opening of lingcod season Sunday.

The Cowlitz seems to be coming alive, as are some of the year-round lakes.

LAKES

American: The lake is still producing limits of kokanee, and the trout action is picking up. Look for the kokanee about 20 feet down.

Offut: Still-fishing from boats or the dock seems to be the best. Try using PowerBait or worms. As the water warms, trolling will become more effective.

Riffe: The action has been good for silvers, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Worms and cocktail shrimp fished about 6-to-8 feet under a bobber were working well.

Spencer: The lake has been producing some good catches of rainbow trout.

Washington: People are catching cutthroat trout and largemouth bass, plus the occasional smallmouth bass.

RIVERS

Columbia: Sturgeon action below Bonneville Dam was slow. In the Dalles Pool, bank anglers were catching some legal-size fish, but it was slow for boat anglers. Bank anglers are catching some spring chinook and steelhead in the Dalles Pool.

Cowlitz: Fishing is getting better. Good numbers of winter-run steelhead are being caught around the trout hatchery, and some spring chinook are being caught in the lower river. Fish for steelhead near Blue Creek with sand shrimp, corkies and yarn, night crawler or jig and bobber, Borsom said. While flows are high, around 11,000 cfs, visibility is still pretty good.

Kalama: Winter- and summer-run steelhead are being caught, said a state report. Some spring chinook are being caught in the lower river.

Lewis: The effort and catches have been light. A few spring chinook are being caught, said a state report. A half-dozen springers returned to the Merwin Dam trap last week.

Olympic Coast: Anglers have been catching a mix of a few summer-run steelhead, a few chrome winter natives, as well as some spring chinook, said Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides.

Skookumchuck: The river was producing consistent catches of steelhead late last week, although some are fairly dark. Corkies and yarn, and eggs, have been producing bites.

Washougal: According to state creel checks, nine bank anglers released one wild steelhead, while four boats kept two hatchery steelhead and released two wild fish. Most of the anglers were fishing from Hathaway Park downstream.

Yakima: Nymphing is the name of the game right now, but the fishing is only fair. Start with Pat’s stonefly nymphs with rubber legs, in dark colors. Visibility is an issue in the upper canyon because an irrigation return is pumping brown water into the river. Try the lower canyon or upstream locations like those along Ringer Loop Road, said a staffer at The Evening Hatch.

SALT WATER

North Sound: Salmon fishing has been slow throughout the upper end of the Sound.

Tacoma: The nice weather brought out plenty of anglers, but the results didn’t change much. A creel check of 39 anglers counted two chinook. Salmon fishing will close after Saturday and lingcod fishing opens Sunday.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

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