Fishing reports for Washington, Oregon, Puget Sound and the Columbia River. Salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, walleye, bass, trout and kokanee.
The steelhead fishing on both the Skykomish and Wallace River has stayed consistent with multiple fish being caught every day on both rivers. Our steelhead derby is still running till January 15th so make sure to bring in all those fish you guys catch for a chance at some great prizes. Anglers are finding success fishing both rivers with a variety of techniques such as jigs, beads and spoons. The most popular jigs have been those in either a white, pink or nightmare pattern in either 1/16 or 1/8oz size. Anglers fishing beads have been finding success either drift fishing or fishing them under a float. The most popular bead sizes have been those in the 12-14mm range in lighter more natural colors as the river levels drop clearing up in between rain storms. Lastly the other technique anglers are using to coax the steelhead into biting is throwing spoons at them in the fast water. Spoons in the 2/5-2/3oz size in either a gold, brass or nickel finish have been responsible for some of the fish we have weighed in our derby. The best advice to anglers heading up to either the Skykomish or Wallace is to be patient and bring a variety of tackle to fish different techniques to maximize your catching potential.`
The Snoqualmie River and Tokul Creek continue to be kicking out some steelhead in both the main river near plum landing and big eddy and up Tokul Creek. The Tokul Creek fishery opened a few weeks early do to meeting their hatchery escapement numbers. Anglers have been finding success in Tokul Creek fishing either pencil lead and bait or pencil lead and yarn fishing behind the main big rocks in the creek. Those fishing the main river have been focusing their efforts around plum landing or just upriver at big eddy. Anglers fishing either of those spots have been fishing with a bobber and jig. Popular jig colors for the Snoqualmie have been white, pink, nightmare as well as red. These fisheries will close either January 31st or February 15th depending on what part of the river you are fishing.
Blackmouth fishing recently opened on January 1st in Area 7 and remains open in Area 10. Results have been good in both areas for those getting on the water. The blackmouth in Area 7 tend to run bigger than those in Area 10 for those wanting to catch bigger fish. Anglers out chasing blackmouth have been using techniques such as spoons, hoochies and plugs. Those looking to avoid the smaller fish and target the bigger blackmouth should use Tomic plugs in both the 4” and 5” tubby size in colors 602 and 603. Those wanting to use spoons should pick up silver horde coho killers in White Lightning, Herring Aide, and Cookies and Cream to match the candlefish the blackmouth are feeding on during the winter. The best hoochie colors have been any sort of glow green splatter back or purple haze. Remember during the winter to keep your gear down near the bottom as that’s where the blackmouth spend the majority of their time feeding. Area 7 is scheduled to stay open until April 30th while Area 10 is set to close February 28th.
Remember to keep bringing in your Snohomish, Skykomish, Wallace, Snoqualmie and Tokul Creek steelhead as our derby has a week to go. Any fish can win you a random drawing. So the more you weigh the better chance of a prize!
The Skykomish and Wallace River have still been putting out winter steelhead. The fishing has been red hot in comparison to last year. Last year during the 3 Rivers Marine & Tackle Winter Steelhead derby we weighed in 45 fish in comparison to the 70 fish we have already weighed in this season and the derby continues until January 15th, 2018. Anglers fishing both the Skykomish and the Wallace have been finding success fishing a jig under a float as well as beads. Popular jig colors have been nightmare, peach, white, pink, orange and black patterns. Popular bead colors have been light pink and orange colored beads. The fish have been caught all throughout the day, so it has not been just a morning bite. Make sure to bring in your hatchery steelhead for our derby for a chance to win some great prizes!
With the Tokul Creek reaching their hatchery quota they were able to open the remainder of Tokul Creek earlier than expected. We have been hearing of anglers catching the winter steelhead in both Tokul Creek as well as the main Snoqualmie river around Big Eddy or Plum Landing. Those fishing the creek are fishing short leaders with yarn as well as beads. Those fishing the main Snoqualmie are finding success with floating jigs and spoons. The most productive jig colors for the Snoqualmie have been pink, white, and nightmare. Make sure to bring in your hatchery steelhead for our derby for a chance to win some great prizes!
Squid fishing in Puget Sound has remained hot in certain areas while slowing in others. Edmonds pier has seen a bit of a drop of after being red hot for over a month, while the piers in downtown Seattle have remained hot for those willing to brave the cold air temperatures to jig up some squid. We have also been receiving great reports for the south sound piers around Redondo. The best squid jig colors have been any jig that glows in a green, pink or white color.
The Skykomish and Wallace River have been producing Winter Steelhead daily over the last two weeks. We have been checking in a handful of fish a day for our Winter Steelhead derby that have been caught out of both the Skykomish and Wallace River. Most anglers fishing the Skykomish have been finding the best success up around the Reiter ponds area. The average fish we have been seeing so far have been in the 6-7# range. Fishing a jig under a float has been the number one technique for guys fishing the Skykomish the last two weeks, but anglers are also finding success fishing beads as well as spoons. The best jig colors as of late have been nightmare, white, pink or peach in a variety of brands such as Johns jigs, Aerojigs, BK jigs and Getemdry Jigs. Remember when fishing a jig that tipping it with a piece of sand shrimp can help increase your odds of getting a bite. As the water keeps dropping and clearing up on the river, bead fishing becomes more productive with the more natural colors producing the best in the low clear water. Spoon fishing has accounted for some winter steelhead as well. We tend to favor the pen-tac spoons for steelhead fishing. Colors such as copper, silver and 50/50 in the 2/5 and 2/3 size tend to be the most productive.
Make sure to remember to bring in all your hatchery winter steelhead from the Snohomish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Wallace and Pilchuck to be entered in our steelhead derby. We have great prizes for most fish, smallest fish, biggest fish and random drawings as well. So bring in your steelhead to be weighed in!
A great wintertime fishery that is often overlooked right on our own backyard is fishing for Cutthroat on Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. The action can be fast and furious in the winter time with a good day resulting in 10-20 fish to the boat. The gear used to catch these cutthroat is simple. Spoons such as the needlefish in frog and metallic perch colors. Wedding ring spinners tipped with a nightcrawler in green or red trolled behind a dodger or pop gear is another way to target those feisty winter cutthroats. If you want to stay away from trolling dodgers or pop gear then consider trolling smaller plugs such as a mag lip 2.0 or 2.5 in frog, bleeding frog or anything red.
Areas to fish for the cutthroat on Lake Sammamish would be around Issaquah Creek, as well as the weather buoy in the middle of the lake. On Lake Washington anglers should focus their efforts around the Cedar River, South end of Mercer Island and around both the I-90 and 520 bridges.
Puget Sound Squid Fishing has been great whether you are fishing from shore or by boat. If you are looking to fish from shore then piers such as Edmonds, Seacrest, and Redondo are a great start to catch some squid. The best squid fishing has been at night although you can catch them all day. The gear needed to catch squid consists of a light spinning rod the longer the better with a spinning reel. Squid jigs made by Beau Mac or Goldstar in a glow white, pink or green are great starts. It’s best to carry a variety of jig colors and jig sizes as the bite can be better on a certain size or color of jig at any given time. You can also run multiple jigs on one line as well to increase the amount of squid you may catch on a given cast Go out and enjoy catching a bucket full of squid because nothing is better than fresh calamari.
The Skykomish and Wallace River has been putting out some hatchery coho still as well as the occasional winter run steelhead that is starting to make their return upriver. The steelhead fishing should continue to get better turning red hot as the temperatures get colder and more water fills the river system. Most anglers can find great success bank fishing up by the Reiter Ponds Hatchery as well as the mouth of the Wallace River. To target these fish anglers can employ a variety of techniques such as float fishing with a jig, drift fishing with bait or a corky and yarn or beads, or even fishing spoons or spinners. Pink, white, peach and nightmare pattern jigs tend to be the most productive for winter steelhead depending on water clarity. Tipping your jig with a piece of shrimp if allowed can help increase your catch rate.
The Snoqualmie river will also produce a fair amount of winter steelhead and those looking to target these fish should look to fish around Tokul Creek, Plum Landing, Big Eddy, or downtown Fall City where the Raging River flows into the Snoqualmie. Anglers can use the same tackle for the Snoqualmie as you would in the Skykomish River.
Those looking to learn more about catching winter steelhead should come and check out our free winter steelhead seminar on December 9th to listen to some of the top steelhead fisherman in the state!
Those looking for a battle should head down to the Green River to play tug of war with some feisty Chum Salmon. Anglers can find great success either floating a jig tipped with prawn or drifting a corky and yarn. Chum tend to like colors such as Purple and Chartreuse or Black. The Chum run continues all the way into Mid December with the peak of the run around Thanksgiving. Those looking to fish for chum should fish around the Metzler park area.
Although Area 8-1,8-2, and 9 have been closed to Blackmouth fishing for now Area 10 remains open and fishing has been good. The best places to fish in Area 10 have been Jefferson Head and the Kingston area. If you are looking to chase these Blackmouth in Area 10 expect to have to weed through some undersized fish to find a few keepers. The blackmouth have been biting on coho killer spoons in cookies and cream and herring aide and hoochies in green splatterback or glow white. One way to try and avoid the smaller undersized fish is to run Tomic Plugs without a flasher. Both the 4 and 5” Tomic Tubby are great choices for a bigger bait that appeals to the bigger blackmouth while limiting the amount of shakers you will catch.
Beaver lake in Sammamish has received jumbo trout plants on October 20th as well as November 20th. These trout average about 2-3# and are a great fight on light tackle. It’s a great winter time fishery to catch some big trout. To target these trout anglers can either still fish or troll. Those still fishing will use powerbait or power eggs on the bottom or a worm floated with a marshmallow. Leader length for the best success is around 2-4’ in length. Those looking to troll can use baits such as wedding rings or flatfish or needlefish spoons. Don’t be afraid to fish in less than 10’ of water as when the fish first get released they tend to hug the shallow shorelines and swim in big schools so doubles can be common.
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.
Cowlitz River: The Cowlitz River is hot for steelhead and some of the steelhead being brought in are of great size. Guys in boats are side drifting with beads or eggs as well as pulling plugs. For beads, guys have been opting for a bigger size bead such as a 10 or 12 mm due to the higher water we are facing this spring. Natural red, pinks and oranges have been the hot bead colors. As we get farther into spring springers will start to become more common. Shore anglers have been drifting with bait and beads as well around the blue creek or barrier dam areas.
Puget Sound Blackmouth: Puget Sound has been on fire for the anglers willing to battle the rain and wind on the water. Anglers are finding lots of success using the new silver horde two face kingfishers and coho killers. In addition to the two face spoons, anglers are finding success pulling tomic plugs as well as other coho killers and kingfishers in a variety of colors such as herring aide, white lightning, and cookies and cream. Some anglers are also having success pulling hoochies in a white or green splatterback pattern behind a flasher with a strip of herring.
Trout Fishing in lakes: The lowland lakes are starting to see their spring trout stockings making catching a limit easy as can be. Beaver lake in Sammamish was planted with 7000+ planter size rainbow trout on March 13th. To catch these fish in numbers guys in boats are trolling any sort of spinners such as wedding rings or rooster tails. Fly fisherman are having great days pulling wooly buggers in black and olive patterns. For the guys that want to just catch and keep powerbait off the bottom is great for both shore and boat anglers. Fishing the area of the lake around the boat launch area will be good for a week or so as the fish start to disperse down the lake. Rattlesnake lake was recently planted as well in the last couple weeks and should provide a great opportunity for anglers that want to use spinners or flies and catch a bunch of nice trout. Remember though that Rattlesnake lake is selective gear rules so single point barbless hooks and no scent or bait.
Lake Roosevelt Kokanee: Lake Roosevelt Kokanee fishing is kicking out giant kokanee and limits on the regular. Anglers looking to target the biggest kokanee Washington state has to offer should bring with them a variety of wedding rings with mini squids in orange, pink and red. In addition to the wedding rings anglers should make sure to pack some kokabow spinners and small crankbaits such as the Berkley flicker shad in colors such as firetiger or red tiger. The kokanee commonly caught are in the 18-20” range with the potential of a new state record kokanee a real possibility any day.
Westport Bottomfish: Westport Bottom fishing just opened March 11th for lingcod and the fishing has been fantastic! Lingcod limits are two per person with no minimum size as well as your rockfish limit you are able to bring home a freezer full of great eating fish. The best part about this fishery is you don’t need a boat to catch these tasty fish. Anglers are finding success off the Westport jetty with jig heads and some sort of single or twin tail grub as well as running a swimbait like a kgm tw swimmer on a swimbait head. Colors that are most popular for the grubs are white, motor oil, rootbeer or black. Anglers on a boat can expect to find success running live bait or herring as well as using jigs such as a point Wilson darts. Anglers who can’t find live flounder can also find success using a flounder imitation such as the kgm swim dabs.
Coastal Steelhead: Fishing on the coastal systems for steelhead has been productive with a lot of Big Native Steelhead being brought in by the anglers braving the windy, wet and snowy cold conditions we have been plagued with. Anglers fishing the coastal systems should come prepared with a selection of pink worms as well as a selection of beads. Guys fishing pink worms have has success with the WFO and Holey Worms both on a drift fishing or bobberdoggin setup. Bead colors that have been productive are beads in a natural red, orange or pink just depending on water clarity. Spoon fishing as well has accounted for some big steelhead such as the R and B and Pen Tac spoons.
Skykomish River coho fishing has been really good, lots of big late season coho and not that much boat or bank pressure. Backtrolling Maglip 3.5 and Kwikfish K13/K14 plugs have been the ticket, a small sardine wrap on the underside of the plug will double your takedowns at times and also entice those gnarly Chum as well. For the boat crowd, fishing throughout the Skykomish from the mouth to the Wallace has been great, but I would imagine the Sultan area would have the highest concentration of fish, as they stage to head up the Wallace River, and the smaller feeder streams in the area that host runs of wild fish. Bank anglers have been doing well at the Lewis Street Bridge access in Monroe, Cracker Bar and Jim’s Rock in Sultan, and of course near the hatchery in the Wallace River itself. Go out and get em! Also, there are a few very soft-spoken customers of ours that have been buying sand shrimp, steelhead jigs and spoons… it wouldn’t surprise me if a few of them have already found a number of Winter Steelhead at Reiter and Cable Hole!
Fishing with John Thomas of Rotten Chum Guide Service. Skykomish River Coho caught this week on a Mag Lip 3.5 Misty River!
Skagit River has been making plenty of north end anglers happy. Some locals are calling 2016 one of the best Skagit River Coho years in recent memory! Lots of big fish, and plenty of fish still moving into the river even here in November! Primarily a drift boat or jet sled show, backtroll Mag Lip 3.5 plugs, twitch jigs, roll spinners, float fish eggs, you know the drill. Bank anglers can still walk into the Cascade River and find plenty of nice fish.
Skagit River Coho, photo courtesy River Chrome Guide Service.
Puget Sound Blackmouth will be open in our favorite local fishing areas. Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 10 offer so many great Blackmouth fishing spots that they are too numerous to count. West Possession Bar, Tin Shed, East Possession Bar, Hat Island, Race Track, Columbia Beach, Jeff Head and President’s Point are a few places to hit. Blackmouth don’t mind a faster troll compared to Summer Chinook fishing. Trolling with the new 11″ quick-detach Extractor flasher from Dick Nite has really increased the hook-up to landing ratio for guys using them, stop by 3 Rivers Marine for a full selection of colors. Fishing a flasher and Silver Horder Kingfisher 3.5″, Silver Horde Coho Killer, Ace-Hi Fly or old-school Hoochee are always standby setups. If you are fishing in a zone that is loaded with small “shaker” Blackmouth, cut off the flasher set up and run a Tomic 4″ plug directly on the end of your mono top-shot. The larger profile really helps to lower the catch of those pesky undersized “shakers”.
Lots of keeper Blackmouth to be caught in Central Puget Sound. Here is Cory Warnock with a dandy.
Puget Sound Squid and Crab! Lets talk Squid and Crabbing. Squidding has been off to a fast start and will only get better as we get closer to winter. Squidding is primarily a pier fishing endeavor, and here are a few great public fishing piers to hit.
Boat anglers have been catching limits in Seattle’s Elliott Bay near the anchored barges just north of the Duwamish Waterways and near the piers of the Seattle waterfront. Glow squid jigs in pink, green or blue glow are key, also finding source of light into the water will increase your odds. Crabbing has been off to a great start as well since it reopened. Crabbing near Everett has been great! Great time to get both squid and crab for a seafood feast!
Folks get lined up for the evening squid bite at West Seattle’s Seacrest Pier.
Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish anglers are catching some beautiful Cutthroat right now and fishing will just keep getting better into late winter. Trolling for Cutthroat Trout here is one of our favorite backyard opportunities, and with fewer pleasure boats are on the lake, it is a great time of year to escape for a couple hours of solitude close to home. Trolling just under the surface where the cutthroat feed, this fishery has some big fish that are great fun to catch on light tackle. Troll a Wedding Ring with tandem hooks and a portion of a nightcrawler a short leader length behind a Dick Nite 4/0 Dodger, Ford Fender or Mac’s Flash Lite (these are all attractors that draw in fish from a greater distance because of their flash and noise).
Cowlitz River is a great choice for anyone wishing to head South. Coho fishing at Barrier Dam has been consistent, but as the month ends most anglers will shift over to targeting Winter Steelhead. The beauty of the Cowlitz is that there is always something to fish for every month of the year! Bank anglers fishing the main river near Blue Creek should have a decent shot a catching Steelhead or Coho. Drift fishing with Cheater/Yarn or Eggs is the ticket to target both species. From a boat, side drifting or bobber dogging with fresh eggs is the go-to.
Coastal Rivers: Several Olympic Peninsula rivers are set to open November 16th. Calawah Ponds on the Bogachiel already have seen a ton of winter steelhead return. This early winter fishery is one of the best steelhead fishing options in the Pacific Northwest with a huge return and well worth the drive to Forks. Bring the floats, jigs and fresh sand shrimp if you plan on banking or floating the Bogey. Sol Duc, Bogey, Calawah and Hoh Rivers all open this month for salmon fishing, so check the rule book and plan your late season Coho/Chinook/early Winter Steelhead combo trip! Big Blue Fox Vibrax Spinners (#4-#6) and twitching jigs are standard issue out on the westside of the OP.
Lots of Chum to be caught around Western Washington!
The entire staff at 3 Rivers Marine lives and breathes fishing. Stop by the shop for up-to-date reports, where to go, and gear. We would love to help you succeed on your next fishing adventure.
Fishing opportunities are really starting to open up around Western Washington! We have options on the Snohomish, Green, Skagit, Lake Washington, Skykomish and much more, and our crew and customers have been out catching! Stop by 3 Rivers Marine for daily fishing reports and get geared up!
Snohomish River opened for two 4-day periods, and as Coho continue to flush into the system, we should see more opportunity. The reports have been great with lots of aggressive coho biting. Early reports have showed good numbers of coho being caught drifting dick nites in the size 1 in the frog and 50/50 pattern.. Others are finding success trolling and casting wiggle warts in a variety of color patterns. Reports have also showed that anglers are finding willing coho to strike spinners such as the blue fox vibrax. Make sure you get out this coming Thursday thru Sunday for this local coho fishery. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1876
Skykomish River around the Reiter Ponds reopened and the reports have been fantastic for steelhead. Anglers are finding great success on these hard fighting fish floating jigs, bait and beads, as well as casting spinners and spoons in the faster water. The water is low and the fish are hungry making it a great local fishery to get your line wet!
Skagit River has also opened for coho fishing and the reports have been good up there as well with the limit being 4 coho a day. Anglers are finding fish throughout the river system but the lower river seems to be holding the majority of the brighter fish. These coho are being taking with twitching jigs in a variety of colors, drift fishing dick nites, bobber and eggs, as well as guys throwing spinners such as the vibrax just like the Snohomish. WDFW has confirmed that the run is much stronger than anticipated and the Skagit is open through November 30th giving anglers plenty of time to catch them! https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1873
With local rivers reopening, crowds have started to thin out at Lake Washington but fish are still being caught with some regularity. The majority of the fish are still being taken off of the Kirkland waterfront and Hunts Point area as well as off Sand Point. Anglers are finding success with trolling as well as jigging. The guys trolling are doing well with wiggle warts, brads superbaits, cut plug herring and hoochies. Anglers jigging are finding success when they find the coho schooled up jigging a 1 oz point Wilson dart above them.
The rest of the lake has been great for other species of gamefish. The cutthroat have been a nice incidental catch for the guys trolling for coho or those targeting them specifically. They are being taken on wedding rings, needlefish spoons, and cut plug herring. The perch fishing is in full swing with plenty of perch being caught to fill buckets, catch as many as you can, no limit on Perch! These tasty little fish are being caught on Swedish pimples with perch meat as well as anglers using a dropshot rig with a piece of night crawler.
Razor Clam season is almost upon us! Coastal beaches have been scheduled to open in October and offer a great weekend getaway. http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/sep1216a/
Cowlitz River has been kicking out great numbers of Chinook with a few Coho and Steelhead being caught as well. Focus on the lower river from Castle Rock down to the mouth. Free drifting eggs or hover fishing have been getting the best action.
Don’t give up on Albacore Tuna out of Westport and Ilwaco just yet! Strong reports are still coming out of both ports, and as long as we have a weather window the fishing can remain good through mid-November!
With the Fall fast approaching in Washington it’s time to start taking advantage of some of the fisheries we have here in the state!
Puget Sound salmon options are a little light this year, but the Tulalip Bubble near Everett will be open weekends from September 17 through September 25 for a limit of 2 hatchery coho. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1865
Green River will be reopening for Coho from 1st Ave South bridge up to 405 on September 16. Troll Brad’s Wigglers or small cut plug herring for the best action. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1866
Lake Washington is a great fishery come the fall for many species but even more so this year with the chance to catch Coho salmon starting September 16. Fishing for Coho in Lake Washington is typically done by trolling either a Brads Wiggler or Storm Wiggle wart off a downrigger, other tactics consist of trolling a protroll or shortbus finned flasher with either herring, a brads superbait or a mini hoochie as you would use for cutthroat. http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/sep0816b/
In addition to the salmon fishing anglers can take advantage of the awesome perch and bass fisheries that Lake Washington boasts in the fall. For the perch fishing look for schools of perch around deep weed lines or deep water points or structure in 20-40’. To catch these fish use a drop shot rig with a piece of night crawler or small jigs like a Swedish Pimple to get your limit of these great eating fish. Bass fishing in the fall on lake Washington will take place around any of the deep weed lines, bridge pilings or many rocky bottom areas in the lake between 15-35’. Techniques to catch these fish consist of football head jigs with some sort of crawdad or sculpin style trailer like a Yamamoto hula grub, a drop shot rig with some sort of finesse worm such as a fisher brothers ds minnow or a Roboworm, throwing a swim bait on a jig head as well such as a Keitech fat swing impact can be a great way to target some chunky Smallmouth in the fall.
The Cowlitz River has been hot for both salmon and steelhead. The upper part of the Cowlitz has been great for summer run steelhead with most the fish coming from side drifting. Reports of big angry summer run hatchery steelhead has been the norm with multiple hookups per day.
The lower Cowlitz has been great to red hot for salmon with the fish being taken either by trolling or sitting on anchor. Those trolling are finding great success with trolling a Protroll finned flasher with a brads superbait behind that as well as guys pulling bait. Those sitting on anchor are having success with putting down Simon Wobblers as well as the Superbaits with bloody tuna scent.
The Columbia River has still been great for both Chinook and Coho salmon. Those finding success are trolling both protroll finned flashers or shortbus flashers. Behind the flashers anglers are either trolling with cut plug herring or brads superbaits filled with tuna or herring scent. Some of the areas that have been productive have been the Wind/Drano Lake area as well as the mouth of the Klickitat river. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1864
Local lakes will start picking up for trout as the water temperatures start to cool bringing the trout to a more active feeding cycle. Some of the top lakes in the area consist of cottage lake, beaver lake, pine lake, as well as lake langlois. Trout will be willing takers of small spoons such as dick nites or spinners trolled like a wedding ring. For those that want to fish bait, powerbait on a slip sinker rig will be the best producer.
Bass in the local lakes will be looking to feed up in the fall and will be aggressive as the water temps cool. To catch the bass look to target shady cover such as docks, wood laydowns, pads or surface vegetation. They will be willing biters to Yamamoto Senkos, spinner-baits, jigs, and crank-baits with a little bit of top-water mixed in.