Tag Archives: CRAPPIE

Rainbows And More To Catch On Eastside Trout Opener, Y-R Lakes

Washington’s big late April trout opener is just eight sleeps away and Westside lakes are sure to be packed.

While there may be fewer lowland lakes in Eastern Washington, it’s just as big doin’s as west of the crest, and not just for rainbows.

We checked in with a pair of state fisheries biologists to get their thoughts on how this year’s season will go in two of the best regions on the Eastside.

PHIL REICH HOLDS A NICE RAINBOW HE CAUGHT AT AN EASTERN WASHINGTON LAKE A COUPLE SPRINGS AGO. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

PERHAPS SOME OF THE BEST PROSPECTS can be found in Spokane-based biologist Randy Osborne’s district.

“I would guess that Badger is going to be one of the better trout lakes this spring,” he said about the upper Channeled Scablands lake which was rehabbed in 2015 and then restocked with a very heavy hand. “There’s a lot of fish there to be caught.”

“Williams Lake should fish good as well,” he adds. “West Medical – we killed that after last fall, but it will be stocked with a healthy dose of catchables and broodstock fish to get it going.”

Yellow perch are starting to cut into the productivity at Fish Lake near Cheney, but it still should fish “OK” this season, forecasts Osborne.

He also expects Clear Lake near Medical Lake to be consistent.

Osborne also has two year-round options: Lake Spokane/Long Lake, which has been producing good trout fishing this past winter and last year.

It also has walleye, and he encourages anglers to target them. “We’ve sampled some to 10 pounds.”

And Pacific Lake, north of Odessa, for rainbows.

“I went out there last year and it was crazy good,” says Osborne. “I was just sampling with rod and reel and in two hours caught 36 fish. They ranged from 14 to 17 inches. When the ice gets off, it should be good.”

A WILLIAMS LAKE ANGLER SHOWS OFF A WDFW STATEWIDE TROUT DERBY-TAGGED RAINBOW, CAUGHT ON LAST YEAR’S OPENER AT THE SPOKANE-AREA WATER. (WDFW)

YES, RAINBOWS GET A LOT OF ATTENTION, but they’re far from being the only fish to catch in spring, especially in the Okanogan.

That’s where Ryan Fortier is based, and he gave us his best bets for this season.

“Kokanee fishing has been gaining in popularity, with Alta and Conconully Lake being the two most popular and consistent fisheries,” the WDFW District 6 fisheries biologist says.

“The Alta pressure is getting a bit heavy, but Conconully can handle the larger crowds well. Patterson Lake near Winthrop has a good age-class coming up this year compared to the last five years. The other stocked lakes are Bonaparte, Spectacle and Conconully Reservoir. Palmer is not expected to have a fishery for another two more years.”

On the spinyray front, there are plenty of options too.

“Palmer, Leader, and Washburn Island Pond have been the most popular fisheries,” says Fortier. “There are lots of campers staying at the DNR campgrounds at Palmer and Leader who fish and swim on the lakes. Washburn Island was stocked with some largemouth two years ago and has produced some good sizes.”

But if your sights are set on trout, he has options for those too. He expected Pearrygin, Alta and the Conconullies to produce as usual at the opener last month, and that is likely to continue into May.

“Wannacut near Tonasket has produced the largest fish on average over the previous two summers,” he says.

Unfortunately, Fish Lake, not too far to the south, is “in need of a rehab” to get rid of overabundant bullheads, Fortier says.

It sounds like he expects quality trout waters like Aeneas, Blue, Chopaka and Davis to continue as they have, but there are two other lakes to start plugging into your radar.

“Buzzard (Loup Loup Pass) has been growing in popularity, and Campbell (Winthrop) has received low pressure despite better than usual sizes since the 2014 fires,” he hints.

Speaking of fires, Black Pine Lake high in the mountains west of Carlton was closed much of last summer due to wildfire activity, so it “should probably have some good carryovers for cutthroat when the snow clears in late May,” Fortier says.

And if you’re looking for something a little exotic that affords a chance to break a state record, you could do worse than Bonaparte Lake and its brook-brown hybrids.

SPRING IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TIMES TO CHECK OUT THE HIGHLAND LAKES OF EASTERN WASHINGTON. HERE’S THE VIEW DOWN ONTO BONAPARTE LAKE, WHERE THE SIZE OF TIGER TROUT BORDERS ON BEING “TALL TALES,” ACCORDING TO THE DISTRICT FISHERIES BIOLOGIST. THE STATE RECORD 18.49-POUND HYBRID CAME FROM HERE IN MAY 2015. (USFS)

“The tiger trout sizes reported in the lake have been bordering on tall tales,” says Fortier. “We will try to do a more intense survey this year to get an idea of what has changed and if the rumors are true.”

And don’t forget Lake Rufus Woods! It will be stocked with 22,000 2-plus-pound triploid trout between March and June, according to tribal managers’ plans.

Lake Chelan, Area Fishing Report (5-23-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT WAS WRITTEN AND SUBMITTED BY ANTON JONES OF DARRELL AND DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE

What’s hot is trolling for Lake Trout on Chelan early in the morning at Colyar Ledge.   Also hot is trolling between Chelan Shores and Lakeside for Lake Chelan Kokanee.  Finally, Roses Lake is smoking hot for quality Bluegill and Crappie.

PEPE HERNANDEZ SHOWS OFF PART OF A RECENT ROSES LAKE CRAPPIE CATCH. (DARRELL & DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE)

When the wind lets you fish the early morning bite at Colyar Ledge, it is very good.  The best depths seem to be between 220 and 270 feet.  As always, fish within 3 to 5 feet of the bottom and keep your speed around 1.2 mph.

The Mack’s Lure Bead and Blade combo our guide, Jeff Witkowski has developed has been very productive.  He uses a bead combo to give the rig about a 4” long profile.  Bait this rig with a chunk of Northern Pikeminnow.  T4 Purple Glow Flatfish and Silver Horde Kingfisher Lite spoons have also been productive.

Trolling between Chelan Shores and Lakeside for Kokanee has been very productive.  Mack’s Kokanee Killer behind Sling Blades baited with shoepeg corn scented with Pro Cures Bloody Tuna or Pautzke’s Fire Corn in Natural is standard fare there.  Most people are having success working suspended fish over depths of 35 to 70 feet.

THE BROTHERS ENDRESEN POSE WITH THE RESULTS OF A FINE DAY OF FISHING FOR LAKE CHELAN KOKANEE. (DARRELL & DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE)

Finally, Roses Lake has yielded monster catches of Bluegill and Crappie.  These are 8 to 9 inch bluegill and crappie from 11 to 13 inches.  Slip bobbers with bait or cast and retrieve small jigs will yield as many as you want to fillet…

Your fishing tip of the week is to remember scent.  I use Pautzke’s Kokanee fuel on everything as a cover scent.  Jeff is partial to Pro Cure’s Bloody Tuna.  You don’t want those fish to shy away as they charge your lure.

The kid’s tip of the week is to keep the fishing foray’s short this time of the year.  A couple of hours is plenty.  With the first big hot spell of the summer rolling in you don’t want to make it a survival test out there.  Work the hours of low light and cooler temperatures.  Mid-days this time of the year are good for swimming and staying cool inside.

 Your safety tip of the week is to keep a sharp look out for floating debris.  The lake is filling rapidly and floating loads of woody debris off the shoreline.  You don’t want to hit them!

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, I want to remember my friends, Terry Gilden who died in the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing and Randy Shughart who died in the 1993 Mogadishu incident made famous by the movie, Blackhawk Down.  Both were members of Delta when they died.  I had the privilege to serve with them in the Rangers when we were young.  I get to do the things I love doing and spend time with my grandkids because of their sacrifice.