Summer Run Steelhead: Popular River Fishing Starting to Hit at Barrier Dam
By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
The Cascade Musky Association’s tiger musky tournament this weekend on Lake Mayfield turned up four fish — the biggest one was 44.5 inches.
Stacie Kelsey of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Region 5 Inland Fish Program, who worked as the tournament judge, said although all four fish were caught on Saturday, as she and Mossyrock Fish Hatchery employee and jet boat driver Mario Troche cruised the waters Sunday waiting for catch call, they spotted “the mother lode of tiger muskies” along a 100-yard stretch of shoreline.“We counted 13 muskies, they biggest one was easily 50-plus inches,” Kelsey said. “It was so cool, like watching a Discovery Channel episode of ‘River Monsters.’”
Kelsey said she will be losing her boat driver for next year’s tournament. Troche said he was going to toss his tiger musky hunting hat in the ring.
Read Your Regs, Check Hotlines
Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center, said he’s had a lot of people come in lately asking what they need to use to catch fish on waters that aren’t legal to fish right now.
“They really need to read up on the regs before they go anywhere,” McElroy said. “It’s a pretty hefty fine if you get caught where you aren’t supposed to be.”
Call the fishing hotline, (360) 902-2500, or visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov for more information, or pick up the latest 2011/2012 Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet at your local bait and tackle shop.
Rivers and Streams
“The Columbia is still really good yet,” said McElroy.
Sturgeon are really hit and miss, McElroy said, adding “they’re either catching shakers or not a thing.”
Shad are doing really well. “Anchor up below the Sandy Island, use a Dick Nite 50/50 or white with a red head,” he said.
Fishing on the Cowlitz River is still going OK.
“We are starting to see more summer run steelhead arrive at Barrier Dam now,” said Tracy Borsom, of Fish Country in Ethel.
“We’ve had a few reports of nice adults taken all the way up to the dam. Shrimp and eggs, diver and coon shrimp, corky and yarn are just some of the baits being used. We also have good reports of a lot of springers being taken also — nice bright adults and lots of jacks. Big jobs of eggs, some with sand shrimp tail are working the best for the bank anglers from the pool down to the ramp,” she said.
Lakes and Ponds
Offut Lake is still very good, according to McElroy.
The upper end of Riffe Lake, near the fishing bridge, has a congestion of silvers.
The triploids at Rufus Woods Lake in Douglas County are giving anglers little to no contest.
“They’re hauling limits of 4 to 6 pound triploids in easy, in just a couple of hours,” McElroy reported. “And they’re hitting just about anything and everything.”
On the Beach
Crabbing opens on July 1.
“The jetties and ocean beaches are fishing pretty good for sea bass and other fish,” said McElroy.