Take advantage of red hot salmon fishing in Ilwaco


Saltwater fishing is hot at Ilwaco and Westport. It has also been good at Sekiu for pink salmon.

Ilwaco charters are limiting very early with mostly silvers and a few chinook. The story is the same at Westport, where the boats are fishing roughly ten miles off shore.

Salmon fishing has also been good in the Tacoma area. It has been fair in the South Sound and Hood Canal but slow in Commencement Bay.

Steelhead fishing continues to be sluggish. Catches did improve slightly in the lower Columbia, but remained only fair in the rest of western Washington rivers which are mostly low and clear. A 21-pound fall king was caught at barrier dam Sunday.

The pikeminnow fishery is going strong with good catches being had throughout the Columbia River. There has not been much angler interest in the sturgeon catch-and-release fishery in the lower Columbia.

Lowland lake fishing continues to be good; trout fishing has been fair.


ILWACO: Fishing has been red hot. Boats have been limiting within 30 minutes with silvers and a few chinook weighing up to 35 pounds.

One-day tuna trips have also been red hot. Boats are averaging seven to eight fish per rod, Sarah Gudell of Pacific Salmon Charters said. Bottom fishing has been holding up well and it too has been very good.

WESTPORT: Fishing has also been red hot. The boats are fishing 10-12 miles off the coast and limiting before noon, Dennis Moss of Angler Charters said. The catch has been mostly silvers. A few kings in the 30- to 40-pound range have also been caught.

Monday's derby-winning fish was a 31-pound king. Bottom fishing continues to be very good.

SEKIU: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel sampled 195 anglers with 24 coho and 278 pinks. Anglers have been limiting almost daily on pinks. Coho Killers and herring have been the baits of choice.

Marine areas 5 (Sekiu and Pillar Point ) and 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) closed retention of chinook Sunday. The closure for chinook does not effect fishing for coho and other species.

HOOD CANAL: Salmon fishing has been pretty good in the Illiwaup, Ayoch and Bald Point areas. Most anglers are using Point Wilson Darts and Coyote spoons. Catches of pinks in front of the Hoodsport Hatchery have been fair.

SOUTH SOUND: Fishing slowed the last few days, but a few chinook are being caught near the Green Can and fish trap by anglers trolling Coyote Spoons and anglers jigging with herring. Fishing has been fair.

TACOMA: Fishing has been very good lately. Tuesday 21 fish came out of 30 boats.

Just about everyone has been returning with limits, Joey Stanton of Point Defiance Boathouse and Marina said. The fish are being caught near Point Dalco, the slag pile and clay banks. Some anglers are mooching while others are trolling Point Wilson Darts. Tide changes have been best bite periods.


COWLITZ: A 21-pound king was caught Sunday on a spinner at barrier dam, Don Glazer of Barrier Dam Campground said. A few Chinook have been hooked at Blue Creek, but anglers who were targeting steelhead could not hold them because of the light gear they were using. The fish were reported to be in good shape.

Angler activity at barrier dam has been light. Most anglers are fishing below Blue Creek. Bank anglers have been drifting bait or corkies and yarn. Boat anglers are also drifting baits, pulling plugs and using divers with bait.

Because of the clear visibility anglers are using longer leaders and small baits. Best success is being had during early morning hours and late in the evening.

At the lower end of the river, fishing has been spotty, Jarrod Lich of 4 Corners Store at Castle Rock said. Now through December 31, the daily limit for salmon is six fish, two of which may be a Chinook.

The non-buoyant lure restrictions remain in effect from Mill Creek to barrier dam until November 1. Flows have been hovering around 2,500 cubic feet per second.

KALAMA: Fishing slowly is improving. A couple of steelhead have been caught in Beginners Hole and in the canyon, but most action is being had down river.

Eggs have been the bait of choice. Colors for jigs have been camouflage-green and black. The steelhead have also been hitting deer hair and orange colors. The river is low and clear.

OLYMPIC PENINSULA: Fishing has not been very good. The Hoh has been coughing up a few steelhead, kings and cutthroat, but it has been slow fishing.

The river is low and clear and so are the rest of the rivers, Bob Gooding of Olympia Sporting Goods in Forks said. Angler activity is a way down compared to the past few years.

LEWIS: A couple steelhead and a chinook were caught Sunday in the Columbia near the mouth of the Lewis. In the river itself some, steelhead have been caught, but overall fishing has been slow, Elaine Byrnes of Anglers Workshop said. The river is low and clear.

WHITE SALMON: Bank anglers averaged about one steelhead per every other rod when including fish released. Some chinook also were being caught. Effort continues to increase with 40 watercraft observed Saturday morning.

KLICKITAT: The river is clearing; however, no effort has been observed on the lower river.

WIND: Not much is going on.

DRANO LAKE: Bank and boat anglers are catching summer-run steelhead. Some Chinook also are being caught.

COLUMBIA: Last week, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel sampled 428 salmon anglers with three adult and one jack fall chinook, 100 steelhead and one cutthroat.

Bank anglers averaged a steelhead every four rods, while boat anglers averaged one every five rods. Best success was found in the gorge, although fish were being caught throughout the river. Overall, 62 percent of the steelhead caught were kept.

Joe Hymer of the department's Vancouver office said through Sunday, over 100,000 steelhead had been counted at Bonneville Dam, the highest daily count since 2002. Nearly one-third of the fish counted through Sunday had crossed the dam during the first five days on August.

SNOHOMISH: Chinook numbers in the river are a way down from since the initial opening, however fishing has been fair, said Walt Harvey of Verges Sports in Shelton. Purple and black corkiest and yarn have been producing the best results.

NISQUALLY: Chinook continue to trickle into the river but not in great numbers. The river is low and clear. Anglers are out trying their luck, but fishing has been slow.

No catches were observed Tuesday at the lower end of the river.


On the lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam, effort has been light during the catch-and-release only fishery. A compact/joint state hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Wednesday to consider additional recreational sturgeon fishing opportunities in the area above the Wauna power lines.

The meeting will be held at the Clark County Commissioner's Office hearing room on the sixth floor of the Public Service Center Building at 1300 Franklin Street in Vancouver.


Last week, 1,210 anglers caught 6,459 pikeminnows. Five of those fish were tagged. To date, 127,550 pikeminnows have been caught by 18,719 anglers.

At Cathlamet, 143 anglers caught 950 pikes. Two hundred pikes were caught by 78 anglers at Kalama.

At Willow Grove, 125 anglers caught 674 pikes. Fishing was also good at Cascade Locks where 39 anglers caught 398 pike. At Washougal, 104 anglers caught 257 fish. Monday, water temperature was 71 degrees at Bonneville Dam.


MINERAL LAKE is still producing nice catches of fish even though the weather continues to raise water temperatures. The fish are holding at about three feet off the bottom and have been very active at the far end of the lake during early morning hours, an employee of Mineral Lake Resort said.

Last weekend, a four-pound rainbow was part of string of trout caught, and two rainbows weighing two pounds each were part of another string. The fish were hitting worms and marshmallows.

Dean Farmer of Summer was also a happy angler with his catch: two browns weighing 2.5 pounds.

Michael Lean of Seattle proposed to his fiancee Sunday and said she was the best catch he ever made.

Fishing activity has picked up on both sides of RIFE Lake's Mossyrock Dam. The fish are starting to go deeper and anglers are fishing from 15 to 40 feet, Frank Abbruzzese of Fish Country locate near Ethel said.

Boat anglers putting in at Mossyrock State Park are fishing near the boom line in front of the dam and outside of the island for silvers. Anglers fishing at the east end of the lake are doing well for silvers. Last week, 165 mini-jack chinooks were released into the lake.

MAYFIELD LAKE is producing trout throughout the lake as well as in the Tilton Arm and around the trout hatchery. Tiger muskies have been hitting black, yellow orange Bucktail spinners and shallow running plugs.

SWOFFORD POND boat anglers fishing near the shoreline are catching bass and bluegill. Boat anglers trolling in the center of pond are catching trout. Bank angler have also been catching all three species.

Boat anglers in LAKE SCANEWA are catching silvers in the Cowlitz and Cispus arms using baits and plugs. Bank anglers using baits and spinners are also catching some nice trout.

OFFUT: Trout fishing has been good during early morning hours, but slow in the afternoon. Rainbows from 12 inches and up to two pounds with an occasional four-pounder are being caught.

Worms and light color Power Baits have been the baits of choice. Bass, bluegill and perch are biting well. Worms are working for perch and bluegill and plastics for bass.

SPANAWAY: Fishing has slowed a little and so has the traffic. Trout being caught are averaging 12 to 14 inches and have been hitting lime/twist Power Bait on a five-foot leader.

Still-fishing has been better than trolling. Bank angling has been spotty. Bank anglers are using the same bait as boat anglers. Surface water temperature is 72 degrees.

HARTS: Catches of bluegill and perch have been very good. Trout catches have been light. Channel catfish are on the bite and so are the bass.

MASON COUNTY LAKES: Anglers report just about all the lakes are producing good catches of fish. Best fishing is being had during early morning hours and late in the afternoon. Worms, Power Bait and worm with marshmallows have been the baits of choice.


Bass fishing around the Olympia area has been consistent in producing good catches of largemouth during this awkward summer, Nick Barr president of Timberline High School Fishing Club said.

Anglers using regular-size baits will catch plenty of smaller bass, but the key to catching larger fish is to use bigger baits in deeper water. This is due to the baitfish and crawdads becoming larger as the season progresses. Try targeting the edges of weed bed around the lakes which are about 10- to 15-feet deep.


Several anglers have reported good catches throughout the Deschutes River. Most are catching cutthroat averaging around 10 to 12 inches with a few larger fish being picked up as well.

Tom Bolender of Fishy Business said the surprise over this past week was a report saying an 18-inch rainbow was caught in the river. There are not that many rainbows caught normally, and a fish that big is a real trophy from this little river.

The flies of choice have been dries. A hopper pattern near grassy areas has accounted for some of the larger fish while both parachute Adams and elk-hair caddis also are working quite well.

A couple of reports from the Nisqually near Yelm said the trout fishing has been great. Surface action has been good, but fishing subsurface with a conehead muddler minnow has been exceptional. Several fish between 16 and 18 inches have been fooled by this fly.

Several reports from Yakima River anglers said they have caught lots of rainbows in the past week. In the late morning and early afternoon a good pale morning dunn hatch has been keeping the fish feeding.

From early evening until dusk, fishing a Caddis imitation has been the best.

Reports have come in from all over the South Sound for both sea-run cutthroat and resident coho. One angler reported having a hard timed getting to the coho because so many sea-run cutthroat were getting his fly first.

His largest coho over the past week or so weighed eight pounds.

Other reports of five to six pound coho have come in as well. Just about any baitfish pattern seems to be working for either fish.