Fishing

Crowds brave heat for Skokomish River chinook

With temperatures headed for 90 this weekend, the question becomes fishing or swimming. Area lakes have been fishing well, but go in the morning.

The Skokomish continues to draw crowds with reports of large chinook. The local saltwater action has been fair.

LAKES

Clear: Folks are catching smallmouth bass, some approaching 3 pounds. Plastic baits and topwater lures seems to be the most effective, said Len Throup at Eatonville Outdoor.

Black: Fishing has been slow, plus anglers are having to contend with plenty of boaters and folks on personal watercraft.

Kapowsin: Bass fishing continues to be very good, as does the action for crappie and perch, said Harry Erickson at Erickson Boat Rentals. Trout fishing picked up over last weekend, but should slow with this new warm weather.

Munn: Fishing has been best on those mornings when the sun has not burned off the clouds. I fished it Thursday, and there were plenty of rising trout before the sun came out around 11 a.m. Fly anglers should try damselfly or hare’s ear nymphs fished close to the weeds. I also landed some largemouth bass and bluegills tossing a popper at the weeds. The evening bite also has been productive.

Offut: The best action has been for perch and bass, said Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. The trout have been hitting Power Bait on short leaders. Worms and jigs are the best setup for perch.

Spanaway: Anglers are catching a few fish, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse. The fishing has been best before 10 a.m. Trout anglers are using Power Bait and worms are working for perch and rock bass.

RIVERS

Columbia: Steelhead fishing remains good, especially for anglers fishing in the gorge. An estimated 8,070 steelhead were kept from the river below Bonneville Dam in July, just 150 shy of the record 8,221 caught last year, said state fish biologist Joe Hymer.

Lewis: There are plenty of steelhead from the mouth to the dam, said Bob Kratzer of Anglers Guide Service. He recommends side drifting with a small piece of yarn and a small cluster of red eggs or shrimp in the faster water. Also effective has been drifting into the holes a Hot-n-tot with a pink or purple coon-stripe shrimp or floats with small baits or dark-color jigs.

Nisqually: The river has been really slow. The fishing could pick up with reports of more salmon being caught in the Sound.

Puyallup: Anglers are reporting a better bite in the last few days, but the action is still on the slow side. Size 12 dark-colored corkies and yarn seem to be the popular setup.

Skokomish: This is the best river for chinook right now. That also means there are plenty of people there. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is patrolling the area for snagging and other violations.

Yakima: The staff at The Evening Hatch recommends hitting the water late in the morning and fishing until dark. The nymphing has been best through the heat of the day, giving way to dry-fly action. Try patterns like caddis, baetis, pale morning duns, terrestrials, summer stoneflies and yellow sallies.

SALT WATER

Ilwaco: Anglers averaged .8 salmon per rod last week, said a state report. Last week also produced the most anglers checked, 5332, since the season started.

South Sound: Action has been slow but showing signs of improving, according to several angler reports. People have been trolling or jigging. Try off Johnson Point, Devil’s Head and the green can at the mouth of the Nisqually, said a staffer at Zittel’s Marina.

Tacoma: Salmon action remains slow, said a staffer at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. The crabbing remains good, with a number of limits being reported.

Westport: Chinook fishing continues to be good, with anglers averaging 1.04 chinook per person last week. So far, 54.2 percent of the chinook guideline has been caught.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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