Steelhead fishing has been productive in some of southwest Washington's most popular rivers.
Sockeye salmon are running in record numbers on the Columbia River but have proven to be tricky to catch.
Lake fishing remains generally good for trout, while land-locked silver salmon are still going strong at Riffe Lake. Meanwhile, Kapowsin Lake was particularly rewarding for one bass angler.
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American: Anglers are still doing well trolling for kokanee, said David Anderson of Bill’s Boathouse in Tillicum. He recommends fishing about 33 feet down using a downrigger or weighted line with a flasher and Wedding Ring lure tipped with a maggot. For still-fishers, perch are being caught “by the bucketful,” Anderson said. Target those in about 30 feet of water fishing at the bottom with a worm.
Spanaway: The bite was fair Friday with boaters getting some trout, including browns, in the 10-to-14-inch range, said Bud Herlitzka of Spanaway Lake Boathouse. Dock fishing has been slow.
Silver (Pierce County): Trout fishing has been good in recent days, said Travis Tapia of Henley’s Silver Lake Resort near Eatonville. Anglers have fared well dock-fishing with worms just off the bottom as well as with Power Eggs tipped with a worm.
Mineral: Trout fishing continues to be hot, said Jared Collman of Mineral Lake Resort. Three anglers sitting in a boat near the dock caught six trout in about a half hour as they waited for their fishing party to arrive Friday morning, Collman said. Chartreuse sparkled Power Eggs about 4-to-6 feet off the bottom has been working.
Kapowsin: Fishing has been good for trout, bass and all panfish, said Harry Erickson of Erickson Boat Rentals. One angler caught a 61/2-pound largemouth bass using a yellow crankbait at about 3 p.m. Sunday. “He wouldn’t tell me exactly what he used,” Erickson said with a laugh.
Offut: The fish are still biting, said Becky Pogue of Offut Lake Resort, noting that it’s near the time of the year when the bite slows. Trout are being caught in the 12-to-18-inch range. Still-fishers are using worms or Power Bait off the bottom. Trollers are finding success with Wedding Ring lures and light gear.
Riffe: Fishing remains excellent for land-locked silver salmon but it’s starting to slow, said Arne Lund of Tacoma Power Taidnapam Park. “We’ve gone from limiting in an hour to an hour and a half to having to work it for three hours,” Lund said. “That’s still not a bad day of fishing.” Park camping spots are all taken for this weekend, Lund said.
Cowlitz: Steelhead fishing is “still good, not red-hot,” said Karen Glaser of Barrier Dam Campground Tackle Shop in Salkum. The water level has dropped in recent days, running at 6,200 cubic feet per second Friday morning, Glaser said.
Kalama: Steelheading was slow Friday but has been good this week with the water level remaining steady, said Barbara Orzel of Pritchard’s Western Angler. “People who fish a lot are giving me really good reports,” Orzel said.
Columbia: Fishing is excellent for steelhead, spotty for chinook salmon and tricky for sockeye, said Brad Schoenborn of Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview. The sockeye forecast for the Columbia has ballooned to a record 375,000 fish, however nearly 300,000 had already reached Bonneville Dam on Wednesday.
Fishing for sockeye opened Thursday on the mainstem Columbia above the Priest Rapids Dam and in the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers. It opened below the dam on June 26 after it was clear the preseason prediction of 125,200 fish would be easily surpassed.
The daily limit is six salmon (up to three adult chinook) with a minimum size of 12 inches for sockeye.
Sockeye have been tough to catch, Schoenborn said. Successful anglers are using “anything with pink in it,” with a night crawler trailing behind, he said.
North Sound: Chinook fishing will close on the Skykomish on Tuesday because of low numbers of fish returning to the Wallace River Hatchery. Steelhead fishing on the Skykomish has been spotty, said Mike Chamberlain of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood.
Tacoma: Chinook fishing has been fair, said Bernard Iese of Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. He said nine salmon had been reported caught by afternoon Friday. Anglers are mostly fishing the slag pile and clay banks.
South Sound: Not much pressure from anglers, although some chinook are being caught, said Mike Zittel of Zittels Johnson Point Marina in Olympia. Crabbing continues to be good, he said.
Salmon are being caught along the Gig Harbor shoreline, said Mark Wickes of Narrows Marina Bait & Tackle. Wickes said he continues to hear reports of good crabbing.
Westport: Coho season starts Sunday and will be open Sundays through Thursdays.