Trout fishing on the year round and seasonal lakes has been great for both stocked trout and oversized holdovers. Anglers are finding success from both shore and boat. Shore anglers are finding success with powerbait in both the dough and eggs as well as using flavored marshmallows and a piece of night crawler. Boat anglers are finding fish by trolling wedding ring spinners tipped with nightcrawlers or small spoons such as dick nites or needlefish. Make sure to use garlic scent on your presentations to help entice the trout into biting!
Kokanee have been biting well on Lake Stevens with the derby this coming weekend. The kokanee are getting caught right on the surface down to about 60’ depending on the time of day. Anglers looking to take advantage of this fishery should be prepared to use a variety of lures trolled such as wedding rings, kokanee snacks, kokabow spinners, and small hoochies fished behind a dodger. Make sure to tip your presentations with shoepeg corn!
Lingcod fishing has been fair to great depending on which area in the saltwater you are fishing. Anglers that have been spending their time in the San Juans and the Straits and Ocean have been finding lingcod with great consistency. Those fishing more inside are having to work a little bit harder to find the tasty eating lingcod. Live bait has been king for lingcod with anglers reporting great success using kelp greenling or flounder. If you don’t have access to live bait, then using plastic swimbaits such as a KGM TW Swimmer in the 475 and 550 size or single and double tail grubs on a lead head will also catch their fair share of lingcod. Popular colors include motor oil, rootbeer and dark purples or whites.
As for the other bottom fish the sea bass fishing has been great out in the straits and in the ocean alike using soft plastics and shrimp flys. Anglers have been able to find their limits of sea bass before or after filling their limits of lingcod to make for a great eating fish fry!
Halibut fishing got off to a semi slow start due to rough ocean conditions the first two days of the opener. Those that were able to make it out safely off the coast or in the straits were treated to rough water. Those that were able to brave the storm were able to come away with some fish but leaving plenty of halibut around for a few upcoming fishing days on May 23rd and May 25th. Those fishing for halibut need to stock up on big black label herring, octopus and squid. Make sure to bring a variety of weight sizes from 2-4# depending on depth and current that you will be fishing in!
The Cowlitz river has been picking up for spring chinook. Boat anglers are finding success trolling herring down on the lower river or side drifting with eggs and sand shrimp higher up on the river. Bank anglers have been able to catch their fair share of fish around barrier dam fishing eggs and sand shrimp.