Salmon fishing has finally taken off in Marine Area 11 (Tacoma–Vashon Island). Pinks have moved into the area in good numbers and are providing angling action that is as good as, and possibly better than, anything central Puget Sound has to offer.
Saltwater fishing continues to be red hot for coho and pinks in Sekiu and Ediz Hook waters and some pinks have been caught in Hale Passage near Bellingham. Also catches of pink salmon have been good in the Everett area.
Marine areas I (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport–Ocean Shores) are producing easy limits of coho and decent catches of chinook. Bottom fishing has been excellent in both areas.
Steelhead fishing has been good in the Cowlitz and just about as good in the Columbia below Bonneville Dam. The Kalama has been producing some steelhead, and North Fork Lewis boat anglers have been catching a few steelhead. Coho are starting to move into Olympic Peninsula rivers and are being caught predominantly in the Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers.
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Anglers targeting pikeminnows have had good catch rates in Ridgefield, Giles French, Boyer Park and Greenbelt areas. Overall, anglers averaged 4.2 pikeminnows each last week.
Lowland lake fishing is improving for trout, but the main action continues to be provided by bluegill, crappie and perch. Last week, a 33 pound, three ounce channel catfish was caught by Tacoma angler Gorge Baker in Pierce County’s Harts Lake.
Salmon fishing couldn’t be much better in the waters around Tacoma. Pink salmon have stormed into the area and have been providing some of the hottest action anglers have seen in months. Sunday at the Redondo boat ramp, fish checkers counted 220 boat anglers with five chinook, four coho and 220 pinks. On the same day at Point Defiance, 419 boat anglers had 10 chinook, one coho and 141 pinks. Anglers can find pinks pretty much everywhere, A good bet is probably near the mouth of the Puyallup River where the pinks have been congregating, Art Tachell of Point Defiance Boathouse and Marina said.
COWLITZ: Last week, 585 summer steelhead, 15 chinook, eight jacks, 118 minijacks and four cutthroat returned to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. Also 103 chinook minijacks were released into Riffe Lake at the Mossyrock State Park boat launch. Two unmarked summer steelhead and two hatchery cutthroat were recycled to barrier dam’s boat launch.
Fishing hasn’t been amazing, but it has been steady for steelhead at barrier dam and Blue Creek, which also has been producing good catches of cutthroat trout, Karen Glaser of Barrier Dam Campground said.
COLUMBIA: During the first nine days of August, 771 bank anglers were sampled from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to Bonneville Dam with 199 steelhead, and 275 boat anglers (131 boats) had 115 steelhead, one adult chinook and two chinook jacks. Best bank catches of steelhead were taken from Longview downstream while boat anglers were doing well from Vancouver downstream.
The river water temperature has cooled a few degrees and fish counts are back on the rise at Bonneville Dam. On Sunday, nearly 500 chinook and 5,700 steelhead were counted.
Then on Tuesday, a record 18,671 fish were counted, smashing the previous daily mark of 14,432 that was set in 2001.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reported steelhead fishing was good last weekend for boat anglers, especially in the St. Helens to Longview area.
Bank anglers had the highest catch rates in The Gorge with the average of 0.31 steelhead per angler. At Buoy 10, anglers averaged 0.26 chinook and 0.68 coho per boat.
BUOY 10: Effort and catch are increasing. On better days last week, anglers averaged a fish each. A majority of the catch has been coho.
NISQUALLY: Tribal fishers have been catching a few chinook throughout the system and there have been reports of a few pinks in the river. Fishing has been slow for nontribal fishers in the handicap area and the same below the Mount Road Bridge.
TOUTLE: Anglers have been catching fair numbers of steelhead at the river’s mouth, Jarrod Ligh of 4 Corners Store in Castle Rock said.
SKOKOMISH: The river is loaded with chinook and catching has been good, but angler activity has been heavy, Walt Harvey of Verle’s Sports in Shelton said. Anglers should be aware of possible changes to fishing regulations.
KALAMA: There are a lot of recycled fish in the river, plus a slew of steelhead, Barbara Orzell of Pritchard’s Western Angler said. Fishing has been very good in the canyon, but only fair in the lower river.
OLYMPIC PENINSULA: Coho have moved into the Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers in good numbers, Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks said. The catch hasn’t been too bad, but the rivers are low and clear, and it will take early morning effort if fish are to be caught.
GREEN: No fishing report available. The lower river opens to fishing August 22.
PUYALLUP: Opens to salmon fishing Sunday.
LEWIS: On the North Fork, boat anglers are doing better for steelhead than bank anglers.
WIND: Angler effort has been light and so have the steelhead catches.
WHITE SALMON: Including fish released, bank anglers averaged about .5 steelhead each, plus a few chinook jacks.
SKYKOMISH: Opens to salmon fishing Sunday from the mouth to the Lewis Street Bridge. Steelhead fishing has been fair to good, said Craig Holman of Sky Valley Traders.
Walleye and bass
Boat anglers in the Camas/ Washougal area are catching some walleye. In John Day Pool, 38 boat anglers caught 83 walleye and 93 bass. Also, 108 bass were caught and released by seventeen bass anglers.
Last week, 1,130 pikeminnows were caught at Boyer Park and 700 were caught at Greenbelt. The best average catch per angler (9.9 fish) last week was at Ridgefield where 38 anglers caught 378 pikeminnows.
At Gils French, anglers averaged 5.8 pikeminnows each. Fishing was pretty good at Willow Grove where 100 anglers caught 499 pikeminnows.
MINERAL: Trout fishing has been improving in the lake since the arrival of cooler weather. Fishing continues to be best at the northern end of the lake near the Mineral Creek inlet. Rainbows and browns have been holding in the area and are starting to go on the move with some eagerly chasing trolled flies, spinners, worms, Power Bait and Power Eggs, Mike Gordon of Mineral Lake Resort said. Boat anglers are reminded they must have in their possession an alarm S.O.S. sounding device, such as a horn or whistle while on the lake.
RIFFE: Fishing has been slow near the dam.
MAYFIELD: Bank and boat anglers are catching some rainbows. A plant of 5,000 catchable-size rainbows is scheduled sometime this week.
AMERICAN: Trout fishing has slowed during midday hours but has been much better during early morning hours. Power Bait, Power Eggs and shrimp have been the preferred bait of anglers although some anglers have been using maggots and worms.