Tag Archives: bass

Columbia, SW, South-central WA Fishing Report (D-Day-2017)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA WATTS, ODFW, PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         Shad angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the OR/WA Border.  Shad angling is good in the gorge.

*         White sturgeon retention is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna power lines on Saturday June 10 and Saturday June 17 (see special regulations for details).

*         The Bonneville Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon on Saturday June 10 (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Wauna Power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam, and from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).

*         Walleye fishing has been outstanding in The Dalles and John Day pools.

HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM GOT IN ON THE EAST COLUMBIA GORGE POOLS’ GOOD WALLEYE FISHING LAST MONTH, CATCHING HIS FIRST ON A TRIP IN WHICH HE, HIS DAD AND GRANDFATHER CAUGHT 60. (JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update<http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp> page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed 550 shad kept for 121 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:  Weekend checking showed 230 shad kept for three boats (nine anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed 1,296 shad kept, plus 586 shad released for 135 bank anglers.

STURGEON

Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam: Catch and release only.

Gorge boats: Catch and release only.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed 10 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed four sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 293 walleye kept, plus 24 walleye released for 30 boats (77 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 220 walleye kept, plus 69 walleye released for 40 boats (108 anglers).

………………………………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – No effort for salmonids.

Cowlitz River -271 bank rods kept 51 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, 2 cutthroats and released 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats.   46 boat rods kept 7 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 4 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 806 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 20 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 149 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 303 spring Chinook adults and 14 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.

In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 157 spring Chinook adults and eight spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 5. Water visibility is eight feet and water temperature is 47.1 degrees F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.  18 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.

Lewis River – 4 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.  5 boat anglers kept 4 adult and 5 jack spring Chinook.

Wind River (mouth) – 7 bank anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.  36 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

Drano Lake – 171 boat rods kept 16 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

Klickitat River – 22 bank anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 5 adult spring Chinook.

Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Fishing for all species continues to be very slow in the lower Yakima River. Although anglers continue to talk about fishing for spring Chinook no anglers have been observed.  Flows in the Yakima River have remained well above normal all season.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines including adjacent tributaries and Young’s Bay – Reports from yesterday’s opener was it very crowded.  Effort based on trailer counts was likely 500+ boats, not including charters.  Preliminary reports indicate maybe a legal kept per every 2 boats (not including charters).

Next fishery dates are Wednesday June 7, Saturday June 10, Monday June 12, Wednesday June 14, Saturday June 17
Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited
On days open to white sturgeon retention, angling for sturgeon is prohibited after 2 PM, including catch and release.

Mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (except for the sturgeon spawning sanctuary) and all adjacent tributaries- Sturgeon retention will be allowed for one day only, Saturday June 10. Retained sturgeon must measure between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Angling for sturgeon is prohibited from May through July from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

Bass and Channel Catfish

Lower Yakima River Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and channel catfish but in much fewer numbers than in previous years. WDFW staff has interviewed 117 anglers this season (April 28-June 4) with 90 smallmouth and 27 catfish. Total effort is estimated at 756 angler trips with 550 bass and 130 channel catfish harvested (287 bass and 16 catfish released).

By the end of May in 2016, staff had interviewed 460 anglers with 1,629 smallmouth bass and 275 catfish. An estimated 5,141 angler trips were made in May of 2016.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows in SW WA waters.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
440
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
2,058
2.51
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

SWIFT RES (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SWIFT+RES+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
51,440
2.56
SPEELYAI HATCHERY

SWIFT RESERVOIR ON OPENING DAY (Sat. June 3)
51 anglers
121 fish kept
39 fish released
160 total caught
Kept: 2.37/angler
Total fish: 3.14/angler
Several holdovers caught in the 16″+ range. Smaller rainbows were real beefy.  Attached are some pics taken by WDFW Region 5 staff.
Windy and cold but anglers extremely happy. Only complaints were limiting too fast.

————–

Swift Power Canal
15 anglers
7 rainbow kept; 0 released
0.47 fish/angler

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No report on angling success but lots of effort just below the dam with nearly 350 bank anglers counted there last Saturday June 3.   Daily dam counts vacillate between 2,000 and 20,000 fish per day.

Lower Columbia Fishing Update (4-5-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA AND JIMMY WATTS, ODFW,  AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Lower Columbia mainstem sport update thru April 2

FYI – last week on the lower Columbia, anglers made 2,273 trips and caught 29 adult spring Chinook.

Bonneville Dam flows continue to be at record high levels

Yesterday’s average flows at Bonneville Dam were 445,300 cfs.  Flows have never been above 400,000 cfs on April 3 since at least 1950.  The previous high were the 381,500 cfs on April 3, 1969.

Bonneville adult spring Chinook counts reach a new low

Through April 3, only 22 adult spring Chinook have been counted at Bonneville Dam.  The previous low were the 25 fish counted through April 3, 1949.

WHILE THE BONNEVILLE SPRING CHINOOK COUNT REGISTERED A RECORD LOW OF JUST 22 THROUGH APRIL 3, BIOLOGIST JOE HYMER ATTRIBUTES THAT TO “SUPER HIGH FLOWS AND COOL WATER TEMPS,” AND FEELS FISH ARE “COMING.” THIS IMAGE FROM LATE MARCH SHOWS THE BEACON ROCK BOAT RAMP. (PSMFC)

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Catch rate and effort increased slightly this last week.

Gorge Bank: No report.

Gorge Boats: No report.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (seven anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult spring Chinook, and two steelhead kept, plus one steelhead released for 159 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed three adult spring Chinook kept, and two steelhead released for 64 boats (149 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for four bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed no catch for eight boats (14 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  No report.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  No report.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Closed for retention.  No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam):  Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam):  Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed two legal white sturgeon kept, plus six sublegal and one legal white sturgeon released for 32 bank anglers; and five legal white sturgeon kept, plus 12 sublegal and three oversize sturgeon released for 10 boats (27 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale:  No report.

Bonneville Pool:  No report.

The Dalles Pool:  No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye released for five boats (10 anglers).

Smallie Ops Follow Springers

May sees the hungry bass move onto spawning grounds in the Columbia Gorge.

By Jason Brooks

The following story was originally published in the May 2015 issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine.
THE DALLES—Later this month, the prized spring Chinook run will dwindle in the Columbia River Gorge. But don’t put away the rods just yet: The warming water temperatures that speed the kings upstream spark other fishing opportunities.
Smallmouth bass get ready to spawn in early May, and later this month and into June the fish move into the shallows looking for food and places to make their beds. The prespawn also sees them become increasingly aggressive and hungry. This timeframe will see the sloughs, coves, bays and current points found in the backwaters of The Dalles Dam to the base of John Day Dam warm up and bass go on the bite.

WHEN NOT WORKING in the fishing department at Sportco in Fife, Wash., Curtis Blunck can be found bass fishing various American Bass Association and Northwest Bass Circuit tournaments throughout the Northwest, including the Lower Columbia region. Blunck has two top 10 finishes in recent years, and is always willing to talk bass fishing and give some tips on how to find and catch smallmouth.
“A great way to locate fish is to throw out a crankbait and drop the trolling motor, slowly cruising likely areas until you catch a fish,” he says.
Blunck’s favorite crank is a Rat-L-Trap in shad pattern, as it looks like a typical baitfish or smolt that the bass in the Columbia feed on. Another great lure is a crawfish Wiggle Wart.
“Keep in mind this is a river with  current, so you need to think a little like a steelhead fisherman,” Blunck points out. “Look for seams and boulders or points that create a break in the flows, where the fish can sit and rest while food comes at them.”
As water temperatures rise, smallies move up and into the shallow waters in preparation to spawn once the river hits 55 to 60 degrees. But during this period, the fish have more on their mind than nesting.
“They really put on the feedbag once the prespawn starts,” Blunck says.
He switches to tube baits with a ?-ounce jig head, and says he likes white or chartreuse, depending on water clarity.
A pro-staffer for Trokar, Blunck stresses that sharp hooks are a must, as well as changing up to a weedless hook in shallow water, where weeds can become a problem. He also runs braided mainline on his Okuma reels so he can fight the aggressive fish to the boat as quickly as possible, take a quick photo and then send them back to feeding.

If the Columbia Gorge’s notoriously strong spring winds blow you off the water, its banks still provide a good platform to cast for bass, as Chris Spencer of Longview found a few Mays ago. His smallie bit a gold 3/8-ounce spinnerbait at Horsethief Lake. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

If the Columbia Gorge’s notoriously strong spring winds blow you off the water, its banks still provide a good platform to cast for bass, as Chris Spencer of Longview found a few Mays ago. His smallie bit a gold 3/8-ounce spinnerbait at Horsethief Lake. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

I USED BLUNCK’S advice last year while out fishing for bass with my son, Ryan, and my stepfather, Willie Ross, better known as Walleye Willie, a fulltime guide out of The Dalles. We trolled along the edge of an island and a weedbed where smallmouth were waiting for smolts and other small fish. After only going about a hundred yards, the rod bent over and a big bass was jumping and thrashing around. These fish fight hard and are really fun to catch. We lost that one, but a few minutes later it was fish-on again.
We continued to fish until the sun was too hot and we called it a day. This is probably one of the best things about bass angling on this part of the Columbia: the mornings are brisk and calm and the scenery is incredible. By midday, the famed winds kick up and it’s time to motor back to the launch and enjoy other parts of the gorge.
A great base camp for bass is Maryhill State Park, on the Washington side of the river. It offers camping, a small swim area for those hot days and an excellent boat launch. You can even fish from the park’s shores and catch smallmouth. It is also just down the hill from Maryhill Museum and Washington’s Stonehenge, a replica of the one in the United Kingdom.
There are several small rock islands within a few miles upriver of the state park. They create current breaks and often have shallow coves on one side or the other that hold fish. Smallmouth like waters in 5 to 20 feet this time of year.
Just downstream of Maryhill is the large Miller Island, a former cattle ranch that is now a wildlife sanctuary. It has a shallow shelf on the Oregon side and a large cove on the Washington side with weedbeds. It is also large enough to create a wind break so you can avoid being blown around. But keep an eye on the main part of the river, as you will need to navigate it safely to get back to local boat ramps. If the waters get rough, it is time to head in.

JUST BELOW MILLER Island is the mouth of the Deschutes River, on the Oregon side. The calm waters at the mouth are great for bass fishing, but if you’re a Washington-licensed angler and enter the river’s mouth, under the I-84 bridge, be aware that you are now in Oregon waters and need an Oregon fishing license. Also be sure to check the regulations, as the Deschutes is heavily regulated.
When fishing the main Columbia, a fishing license from either state is valid, but you must follow the state laws that you hold the license for and make sure to check the regulations for size and slot limits if you want to keep any. Most of those who fish for smallmouth like the challenge and fight of these aggressive fish and release them to catch another day.
In addition to another camping option, Deschutes State Park, there is also a rough launch just inside the river’s mouth for smaller boats.
Another option is to stay downstream at Columbia Hills State Park, which has a rough launch with no dock on the Columbia. It also contains Horsethief Lake, a great place to swim and relax or do a little bass fishing. NS

Crankbaits in salmon-smolt-imitating shad patterns or crawfish are great options for spring smallies in the Columbia Gorge, where the author landed this one. (JASON BROOKS)

Crankbaits in salmon-smolt-imitating shad patterns or crawfish are great options for spring smallies in the Columbia Gorge, where the author landed this one. (JASON BROOKS)