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.