This weekend’s success — and safety — will largely be predicated by the weather. Rivers were rising Friday, so if the rain continues it could make some waters unfishable. The strong winds in the forecast will make fishing Puget Sound difficult and could make for dangerous conditions for the weekend razor clam dig. The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory until noon today for the North and Central coasts. Waves in the surf zone were expected to be 25-29 feet and very powerful.
Offut: There have been few people fishing in the last few days because of the weather. Those who have been out there, have had some luck if the wind is not blowing too hard. They have been using PowerBait and worms.
Potholes: The ice is melting all over the area. Bank fishing with PowerBait, Pautske’s Eggs or nightcrawlers with marshmallows are the main baits. Good spots are Medicare Beach and behind the MarDon Resort office, or Canal, Heart and Corral lakes.
Saint Clair: The lake has been fishing well for rainbow trout. People have been hooking trout in the 13-to-16-inch range.
Washington: The south end of the lake and the south end of Mercer Island have been producing decent catches of cutthroat trout, some weighing up to 5 pounds. Most of the fish are measuring 14-19 inches. Most people are fishing orange or yellow label herring about 25-35 feet deep.
Columbia: Anglers looking for spring chinook in the lower river are having limited success. One was caught near Vancouver early in the week. There were 49 boats and 138 bank anglers observed during the Feb. 16 effort flight count. Bonneville Dam counted its first springer Feb. 13. Sturgeon anglers are catching some legal-size fish in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Cowlitz: Fishing remains slow. Last week, Tacoma Power recovered just 10 winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The river level was raised Wednesday by about 2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).
Skookumchuck: There are reports of people starting to catch some steelhead, but just one here and there. People are using corkies with eggs or jigs.
Yakima: Trout fishing has been fair in recent days. The fish seem to be moving from slow water in the channel and moving closer to the banks looking for skwala stonefly nymphs. Trailing a Zebra Midge will also result in some hookups.
Beaches: A razor clam dig takes place today and Sunday at Twin Harbors and Long Beach. No digging is allowed before noon. The evening low tides times are: today, 5:12 p.m., plus-0.3 feet; and Sunday, 5:47 p.m., plus-0.1 feet. The best digging occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.
Hood Canal: There were 22 fish checked in during the Billy Nik Derby a week ago. The winning fish was a 12-pound, 15-ounce blackmouth caught by Matt Dornan.
North Sound: Fishing has been best around the San Juan Islands, while the action has been slower on Possession Bar and off Port Townsend. Most people are trolling small spoons such as Coho Killers or Kingfisher Lites, keeping the lure right on bottom in water 80-150 feet deep.
South Sound: Fishing around Tacoma is still very slow, but there are some reports of people catching blackmouth off Three Tree Point on tidal changes. Trolling with spoons seems more effective right now. The sea-run cutthroat trout fishing has been fair to good, but the cutthroat must be released.Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure Contributing to this report: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mike Meseberg of MarDon Resort, Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, salmonuniversity.com, Gary Krein at All-Star Fishing Charters,Tom Pollack at Sportco, gamefishin.com, Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort, and Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center.