If you are looking to avoid the mall and want a better reason to be up before dawn than some deep-discounted toy, considering going fishing for some big rainbow trout.
Starting Friday, anglers will find thousands of “holiday specials” during a seasonal Black Friday trout fishery at six lakes in Southwest Washington.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will plant each of the six lakes with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 11/4 pounds each.
All of the lakes will be closed to fishing Monday-Thursday, during which they will be stocked with trout from the Mossyrock and Goldendale fish hatcheries.
The six lakes scheduled to receive the fish are Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County, Kress Lake in Cowlitz County, Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County and Rowland Lake in Klickitat County.
“If you’d rather be out on the water than shopping in a mall, this fishery is for you,” John Weinheimer, a fish biologist based in Vancouver, Wash., said in a prepared statement. “These big rainbows should provide good fishing for several weeks after the holiday.”
Chris Donley, the department’s inland fish program manager, said the Black Friday fishery is an experiment, which could lead to similar events in other parts of the state. The challenge, he said, is finding the hatchery capacity and stocking support to make that possible.
If you don’t want to make the drive to any of these lakes, the department also has recently stocked these South Sound lakes with rainbow trout: Bradley and Harts lakes in Pierce County; Black, Lawrence, St. Clair and Long lakes in Thurston County; and Island, Lost, Nahwatzel and Spencer lakes in Mason County. You can get complete stocking reports at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing.
For local anglers seeking big fish, Munn Lake in Thurston County was recently planted with 500 rainbows weighing about 21/2 pounds each. Fishermen need to check the state fishing regulation pamphlet so they follow the selective gear rules on the catch-and-release lake.
In the spirit of the special, state fishery managers offer the following recipe:
• Preheat cast iron skillet or griddle, preferably on outdoor grill, until very hot.
• Dip thick (at least one-half-inch) fish fillets into melted butter and then into cajun blackening spice mixture (equal parts black, white and cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme).
• Cook in hot skillet about 2 minutes or until bottom is near black but not burned.
• Turn fillets, drizzle with more melted butter, continue cooking about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping butter.
Source: State Department of Fish and Wildlife