Anglers and campers headed to the eastside of the state this weekend need to be cautious of the extreme temperatures in the forecast. Daytime highs will range from 106 degrees in Yakima to 105 in Ephrata to 107 degrees in Moses Lake.
If you are going to fish, go early in the morning or very late in the day. Trout anglers need to release the fish as quickly as possible if you are not going to keep it. Also, take plenty of water to drink and be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t come home looking like a fresh boiled Dungeness crab.
As of Monday, the sockeye salmon count at the Ballard Locks was just 14,933 fish. More than 350,000 fish are needed before a fishery can take place.
Cowlitz: People drifting eggs under a bobber have been catching some late spring chinook at the barrier dam. Some of the fish are starting to turn dark, however. The bite has been best in the early morning.
Columbia: The outlook for the sockeye fishery is very good. As of Friday, 423,718 sockeye have passed through Bonneville Dam — the preseason estimate was 425,000. While July 4 is considered the peak of the run, another 150,000-200,000 could make their way upstream. There are already reports of good catches of sockeye below a number of the upriver dams.
Yakima: Flows are returning to normal summer levels, and that is pushing the fish back toward the bank. During the day, run a caddis dry fly-blue holo prince nymph combination through shallow riffles, then look for the caddis hatches in the evening.
Sekiu: Chinook fishing has been fair to good. State creel checks at Olson’s Resort showed a catch rate of around one-half of a chinook per person.
South Sound: Given the number of people on the water over the weekend, salmon fishing was a bit slow. Almost 400 anglers were checked at area docks, and they brought in 26 chinook and one coho. Fishermen in Marine Area 13 had a little better success ratio of fish per angler. Crabbing in Area 11 has been producing some large keeper Dungeness crab. Look to set your pots in water 120-160 feet deep. Some people are using fresh chicken as bait, while others are using fresh salmon parts.
Westport: Fishing has ranged from steady to excellent recently. People are catching chinook weighing more than 20 pounds, and coho weighing 3-8 pounds. Fish seem to be holding close to the beach in water 40-70 feet deep, or in water 275-300 feet deep about 160-210 feet down. Trolling with a hoochie or Kingfisher spoon behind a flasher has been most effective.
Limerick (Mason): Trout fishing has been fair. Casting from shore with a green spoon has been an effective method.
Offut: Trout action has slowed as the water temperatures have increased. Using PowerBait with garlic scent fished in the morning and evening has been best for trout. More bass and perch are being caught. Anglers are using plastic baits for the bass, and worms for perch.
Spanaway: Trout action has been good with people still catching limits. Some rainbows are weighing up to 3 pounds. Try still-fishing from a boat in the southeast corner, using a worm and a marshmallow on a 5-foot leader. Dock anglers willing to put in the time also can take home a limit, with some fish measuring 16-18 inches long.
Tapps: Smallmouth bass fishing has been quite good recently. Fish are holding in water about 10-20 feet deep. Anglers will have to work through their arsenal of grubs, lizards and worms to find the ones fish like best that day. Be aware that the recreational traffic really picks up around noon, so get on the water early.
John Keizer of saltpatrol.com, gamefishin.com, washingtonlakes.com, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Red’s Fly Shop, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center, Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort and Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Lake Boathouse.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 firstname.lastname@example.org