People will be able to fish for free on June 11-12 as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife holds its annual Free Fishing Weekend. No license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing. People should note that at this time, Puget Sound remains closed to salmon fishing. For more details, go to wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/free.
American: Rainbow trout have been hitting yellow Power Bait fished off the bottom. Some of the fish have been approaching 20 inches long.
Hart: The trout fishing has been improved, with some 2- to 3-pound rainbows being landed. The crappie fishing has been very good. Night crawlers and jigs have been most effective.
Lost: This lake, as well as Spencer and Limerick, has been fishing well for trout. Wedding Rings, in pink or green and tipped with worms, have been working for people trolling. Worms or garlic-scented Power Bait are working for shore anglers.
Potholes: The walleye fishing has improved, especially for those wanting to catch larger fish. Anglers should try Crab Creek near the power lines and in the front of the sand dunes for the larger fish. Smallmouth bass anglers are targeting the rock piles off Goose Island and the dam, while the dunes have been drawing the largemouth bass anglers.
Silver: The fishing has been consistently good. Power Bait on a 2- to 3-foot leader — fished off the bottom — and worms fished under a bobber are simple methods, but effective.
St. Clair: Anglers are catching plenty of rainbow trout, as well as some steelhead that were stocked more than a year ago. Fishing with worms off the bottom has been working well.
Summit (Thurston): Anglers are catching kokanee about 40-50 feet down in water 60-80 feet deep. Orange Wedding Rings trolled behind a dodger have been an effective method. Most of the fish were measuring 13-14 inches long.
Statewide: Many rivers will open to trout fishing on Saturday.
Columbia: The number of shad passing through Bonneville Dam has been increasing daily. The count last Sunday was 3,162 fish, and it jumped to 45,523 fish by Wednesday. This weekend should be the first of several when the fishing is very good. Spring chinook fishing below the dam reopened Friday, and will run through June 15 or until the annual harvest guideline is met.
Yakima: The trout fishing has been good. Fly anglers are using golden stone, pale morning dun and caddis patterns.
Fly fishing: The fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout has been consistent, but the fish seem spread out. Small baitfish, sculpin and sand-lance patterns have been working well.
Ilwaco: The all-depth halibut fishery is closed as of Saturday because the quota has been reached. Keeping halibut caught in the near-shore area will be allowed Mondays through Wednesdays until the subarea quota is reached.
North Coast: Halibut fishing in Marine Area 3 (La Push) and Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) will reopen for one day on June 11.
South Sound: Crab fishing in Marine Area 13 (Olympia) is open through Sept. 5. Crabbing is open Thursdays-Mondays. The daily limit is five male Dungeness crabs and six red rock crabs. The opening date for Marine Area 11 (Tacoma) has not been announced. Ling cod fishing has improved in the last week, with Toliva Shoals and the Tacoma Narrows producing the most fish.
Westport: The warm weather should help fishing. Charter boats have been bringing back limits of rockfish and some good catches of ling cod. Crabbing in the area has been very good.
Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Carolyn Burdick at MarDon Resort, Westport Charter Boat Association, Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center, salmonuniversity.com, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, The Evening Hatch, northwestfishingreports.com, Joe Pombrio at Puget Sound Fly Co., Hart Lake Resort & Deli, Bill Kenney at Henley’s Silver Lake Resort, Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640