The ocean salmon fishing season is open in all four marine areas. This summer’s fishery focuses on chinook because the Columbia River coho run is forecast to be poor. The coho quota of 18,900 fish is the lowest since 1998. Anglers will be allowed to fish for hatchery coho only in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco).
Fishing in Area 1 is scheduled to close Aug. 31 while marine areas 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) close Aug. 21.
Check the state regulations for more information, including limits for each marine area.
American: Anglers are catching fish from the dock and trolling. The lake is expected to be busy over the holiday weekend.
Clear (Piece): It’s a mix of rainbow trout and kokanee ending up on stringers. Spinnerbaits seem to be more effective at this time, although a hoochie fished with Wannafish A Lure’s Gilded Lily has been working.
Mayfield: Tacoma Power released 4,000 rainbow trout here; plan to release another 4,000 this week.
Offut: Trout fishing is best in the mornings and evening as temperatures climb. Bass and perch are also biting.
Spanaway: A young girl landed a 1 1/2 pound rainbow trout this week according to Bud Herlitzka of the Spanaway Lake Boathouse. He suggests still fishing with a worm pumped up with a needle or marshmallow. Anglers are still catching perch and rock bass with worms.
Summit (Thurston): People have been catching a mix of kokanee and rainbow trout, including some limits. A pink hoochie, tipped with corn, pulled behind a sling blade has been very effective.
Tanwax: Trout fishing has slowed as temperatures have increased, but anglers are catching crappie.
Columbia: Fishing picks up in July for both summer salmon and steelhead. A better than expected sockeye salmon run has allowed the state to open a sockeye fishery from the U.S. Highway 395 bridge in Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam. Check the regulations for daily limits and other restrictions.
Skykomish: People are catching some steelhead and chinook salmon, but the fishing has been far from great.
Yakima: River flows have jumped above normal levels for this time of year, giving fish more places to hide. Look for them holding close to the bank as they work to avoid heavier currents. On hot days, look for fish rising to summer stoneflies.
Fly fishing: The action for sea-run cutthroat trout has been good. Most of the action has been on flies fished under the surface. Remember that searuns caught in salt water must be released.
South Sound: The fishing for chinook salmon has been fair the past few days. Most of the action is off the clay banks on Point Defiance and off the Girl Scout camp on Vashon Island. Trolling has been effective near the camp, while mooching, jigging and trolling are working off the point. Crab fishing in Marine Area 11 (Tacoma) and all but the San Juans and Bellingham areas of Puget Sound are open.
Westport: The deep-water fishery for ling cod has been very good. Anglers are using larger grubs, pipe jigs and live bait, and fishing among rocks and ledges. Tuna are being caught about 35 miles out, and to the north. Some tuna are topping 30 pounds.
Contributors: Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop, Kevin Lanier of KC Sportfishing Charters, salmonuniversity.com, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center, northwestfishingreports.com, Rainbow Resort, Bill’s Boathouse and Becky Pogue of Offut Lake Resort.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640