Fishing Report for Feb. 12

jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.comFebruary 12, 2014 

RIVERS

Columbia: Fishing has been slow for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon.

Cowlitz: The action remains on the slow side, based on a state creel check at the trout hatchery. Nine bank anglers kept one hatchery steelhead, and four boat anglers kept one hatchery steelhead.

Lewis: A reminder that beginning Monday, all chinook must be released when caught in the mainstem from mouth to forks and in the North Fork from mouth of forks upstream to Merwin Dam. The North Fork from Johnson Creek to Merwin Dam will be closed to fishing Monday through May 31.

Olympic Peninsula: Rain has brought river levels up, and people are already catching more steelhead. If the area gets more rain, the action might be best this weekend and into early next week.

Skookumchuck: There were some positive reports after the weekend, with people catching some steelhead using purple or nightmare-colored jigs.

Smelt: Only a half-dozen people were seen dipping Saturday in the Cowlitz, and they had no catch on the first of four Saturdays dipping is allowed. The river is open Saturdays 6 a.m.-noon through March 1. Dip nets used from the bank only. The daily limit is 10 pounds per person.

Snoqualmie: Steelhead action has been slow, although a few fish are being hooked. Most people are using a jig under a float.

Tilton: Tacoma Power employees last week released 50 coho adults and three winter-run steelhead adults into the river at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

Yakima: People are catching a few rainbow trout, but they are also having to dodge ice floating downstream.

LAKES

Potholes: People are catching plenty of perch through the ice. Some of the fish are topping 12 inches in length. Try plunking a worm or a copper-colored jig close to the bottom. If you aren’t catching fish in 45-60 minutes, consider changing locations.

Riffe: Trout action has been slow.

Washington: Cutthroat trout action has been slowed by poor weather.

SALT WATER

Fly-fishing: Fishing for resident coho has been poor to fair, with a few more fish being caught than in recent weeks. Sea-run cutthroat trout action remains good for this time of year. Try using small Clouser minnows or Shock and Awes in chartreuse or olive over white.

North Sound: A reminder that the daily limit in Marine Area 9 has been dropped from two to one fish. The change took effect Monday. State fishery managers made the change to try to stay within the chinook guideline for the area.

South Sound: Nasty weather kept most people off the water over the weekend. A few blackmouth are being caught along the slag pile near the old smelter site, off Les Davis Pier and at Quartermaster Harbor. Troll a flasher and hoochie near the bottom at a depth of 120-160 feet.

Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, gamefishin.com, The Evening Hatch, washingtonlakes.com, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, Dan Knickerbocker at Puget Sound Fly Co., Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com thenewstribune.com/outdoors

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