Riffe Lake might be Southwest Washington's hottest place to fish.
The Lewis County lake is attracting hordes of anglers seeking out the lake’s current abundance of land-locked silver salmon.
Sockeye salmon fishing opens today on the Columbia River. Also on the Columbia, the white sturgeon fishery is being extended 15 more days.
Local lake fishing has warmed up with the rise in temperatures.
American: Fishing for kokanee has been good, said David Anderson of Bill’s Boathouse. “They’re 33 feet down so you’ll need a downrigger, leaded line or weighted line,” Anderson said. Kokanee are ranging from 10 to 20 inches. From the dock, anglers are catching lots of perch and smallmouth bass.
Alder: Plenty of fish but they’re not biting, said one local angler. Water level is high.
Riffe: It’s elbow-to-elbow on the fishing bridge as anglers are targeting land-locked silver salmon. “People are limiting between an hour and an hour and a half,” said Arne Lund of Tacoma Power Taidnapam Park. “It’s almost too good.” Lund said anglers are using pieces of cocktail shrimp that should first be heated to toughen them and keep them on the hook. The fish are averaging 18-20 inches, he said. The limit is five.
Kapowsin: “People went out today (Friday) and got limits,” said Harry Erickson of Erickson Boat Rentals. The key to catch trout, Erickson, is to troll slowly, not too fast. Most anglers are trolling with worms or spoons tipped with a worm. A 2.5-pound rainbow trout was caught last weekend.
Offut: The warmer weather has brought hotter fishing to this Tenino lake. Some anglers are catching trout in the 2-pound range, said Rob Pogue of Offut Lake Resort.
Spanaway: Trout anglers are catching some limits both trolling and still-fishing, said Bud Herlitzka of Spanaway Lake Boathouse. Fish are running between 12-16 inches with some brown trout showing in the catch. Power Bait is working best for still fishing. Trollers are using flies, lures and worms.
Columbia: Anglers will get a chance to catch sockeye in the Columbia starting today. The recreational fishery was opened after the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife increased its projections of the Columbia sockeye run based on recent counts at Bonneville Dam.
A preseason forecast of 125,200 sockeye is now expected to double. Anglers may catch sockeye on the Columbia from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. Daily limit for adult sockeye is two. The sockeye fishery will last through July 31.
Also on the Columbia, the white sturgeon fishery was extended for 15 days beginning Sunday. That fishery extends from the river mouth upstream to the Wauna power lines near Cathlamet.
Cowlitz: The water is high and clear with visibility 12 to 14 feet, said Karen Glaser of Barrier Dam Campground. The water was running at 10,100 cubic feet per second Friday, Glaser said.
Green: Slow for steelhead but pretty good for sea-run cutthroat, said Mike Harry of Auburn Sports and Marine. Anglers are using spinners for cutthroat. He said steelhead fishing typically picks up by mid-July.
Kalama: River is clear and high, said Wayne Orzel of Pritchard’s Western Angler said, adding that he’s never seen so much water at the end of June in 25 years on the river. So expect the steelhead to be spread out, he said.
Tacoma: Fishing for chinook salmon remains slow with extreme shifts in tides probably playing a role, said Art Tachell of Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. “It usually scatters the fish,” said Tachell, adding that tides will start to level out Sunday, improving fishing conditions. He said anglers should get to the boat ramp early this weekend because of traffic for the Taste of Tacoma.
South Sound: Not a lot of salmon anglers but plenty of happy crabbers, said Bill Carr of Zittel’s Johnson Point Marina in Olympia. Crabbing opened June 18 in South Sound. He said the Dungeness are good size and there have been no reports of soft-shell issues.
Westport: Chinook salmon fishing is fair with anglers averaging about one fish per person, said Lindsey Green of Westport Charters.
Anglers can catch chinook each day till Wednesday. Coho season begins July 4 and is open Sundays through Thursdays.