The Snohomish system is full of pinks and more silvers are showing up in the lower river by the day. The pinks have been spread out from the lower Snohomish river all the way up to the Sultan area on the Skykomish river. If you are planning to target the pink salmon make sure to arm yourself with plenty of pink jigs and buzz bombs as well as dick nite spoons. Those finding the best success have been targeting the moving schools with pink or white jig heads with either a pink or white hoochie on the back. Those fishing dick nites have been using colors such as 50/50, pink, plain silver or orange. If you are planning to throw either jigs or dick nites we recommend adding some shrimp scent to your offering or adding a piece of shrimp to your jigs to increase your bites.
The silvers are starting to show in the lower Snohomish. The numbers seem to be increasing by the day and the next little bit of rain we get should help encourage more to enter the system as well as move further up river. Those wanting to target the Silvers can employ similar tactics as you would for pinks. Those fishing from a boat can find success using plugs casted or trolled behind the boat such as brad’s wigglers and mag lips in the 3.0 & 3.5 sizes. Popular plug colors include firetiger or red herring bone as well as other plugs that are red or purple in color. Other tactics to catch the Snohomish system Silvers include dick nites, spinners, twitching jigs or fishing bait. Dick nites can be deadly while fished on a sliding weight rig using a cannonball weight. Some popular color dick nites include frog in all variations as well as the most popular, the 50/50. Fishing spinners can trigger the aggressive nature of silvers and get them into a biting mood. If you are planning to fish spinners make sure you have a variety of colors to rotate through such as pink, purple, blue, chartreuse and orange. Besides adding scent to your presentation, a proven addition can make the difference for the day by adding a squid skirt to the spinner. Twitching jigs can be another technique to fill the boat with silvers on a river system. Most popular sizes are 3/8 and 1/2oz in a variety of colors. If you have thrown all these presentations and are having trouble getting bit try fishing a gob of eggs either drift fished or fished under a float. Pro Glo cure and Zilla salmon egg cure in red razzberry have been the go to for many anglers this past year.
Area 10 has been red hot for the Silvers as they make their migration into the local river systems. The bite has been great for easy limits of Silvers in Area 10. To catch the Silvers in the saltwater guys are trolling either off of a downrigger or using a diver to get down to the desired depth. The Silvers have been very willing to eat a variety of presentations such as spoons, herring or a hoochie with a herring strip. Those fishing spoons have been using coho killers or smaller kingfisher spoons in herring aide, irish cream, white lightning and cookies and cream. For the hoochies or ace high flys we recommend glow white, green splatterback or purple haze. Make sure to always run a herring teaser on the top hook of your double hook leader inside the hoochie for a little added scent and incentive for those Silvers to latch on! Most guys have been finding success from the surface down to 120’ or so depending on time of day and sunlight penetration. Make sure to troll faster as you would for Kings while using s turns as Silvers are notorious for following a bait and will bite on a direction or speed change. Popular areas for the Silvers in Area 10 are West Point, Richmond Beach, Meadow Point and Kingston. We expect this fishery to remain strong until it closes at the end of October.
Area 7 and 11 have been producing kings still as they head both north and south to their local spawning rivers. Those fishing those areas should be prepared to fish deep with downriggers and flashers. Bait choice for the kings is the same as Area 10 Silvers. The kings have been eating spoons in both the coho killers and kingfisher spoons in herring aide, white lightning and cookies and cream. Trolling hoochies or ace hi flys in green splatterback or white. Area 7 closes for Chinook at the end of September while Area 11 closes at the end of October.
The Columbia River has remained a red-hot fishery farther upriver and should continue into the fall. The stretch of the Columbia from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam has been excellent fishing. The fishing on the river will continue to be great as the fish make their way up river to their desired spawning locations. For those heading down to the main Columbia make sure to bring a selection of “finned flashers” from Pro Troll and Shortbus 360 flashers. Behind the flashers we recommend running the Brads Superbaits in the ladybug, rotten banana and the hotter tamale. In addition to the Brads Superbait we encourage people to try spinners such as the fatal flash or vip spinners. If you plan to fish the mouth of the Cowlitz try fishing a wobbler such as a simon or brads. Guys can also find success trolling at the mouth of the Cowlitz with spinners or superbaits in the above-mentioned colors or even fresh anchovies or herring.
As fall approaches an overlooked fishery right in our backyard turns red-hot. That fishery being Lake Washington Perch. Lake Washington perch are abundant and easy to catch in numbers. Look for any sort of schools on your fish finders along any of the weedlines or out in 40’-60’. To target perch, use Swedish pimples vertically jigged or use a drop shot rig with a piece of nightcrawler or perch meat. These fish travel in big schools so it’s not uncommon to catch a 5-gallon bucket full in a couple of hours. It is a great fishery right in our own backyard to get the whole family involved.