Tag Archives: jerry han

Family Enjoys Trout, Perch Fishing At Curlew

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade — or at least in this case, a fish fry.

As Curlew Lake transitions from a rainbow fishery to one gradually being overrun by perch, it provided good angling for both species for members of the Han family of the Tri-Cities area.

AUSTIN HAN LIFTS A HOOKED YELLOW PERCH OUT OF THE WATER AT CURLEW LAKE. (JERRY HAN)

They were making their annual pilgrimage to Washington’s northeastern corner over Memorial Day Weekend.

“Curlew may be a great destination for trout, but my parents and kids sure do love the perch fishing there!” says Jerry Han, a Kennewick dentist.

Getting in on the action was his 90-years-young uncle P.P. Han who  has just started getting into fishing this spring.

“He is turning into a fishing machine,” reports Jerry. “He caught the biggest trout of the day and got into a kayak for the first time to try kayak fishing.”

AT 90 YEARS OLD, P.P. HAN HAS TURNED INTO AN AVID ANGLER, FOLLOWING UP HIS FIRST CATCH AT THE TUCANNON LAKES EARLIER THIS SPRING WITH A NICE RAINBOW FROM CURLEW LAKE. (JERRY HAN)

Jerry reports rainbows to 17 inches, perch to more than a foot long.

“The trolling for trout is pretty standard with dodgers and Wedding Ring spinners with a chunk of nightcrawler. Easy limits of great-tasting pink-meated trout,” he says.

Afterwards, he switched everyone’s rigs up to target the perch using 1/16-ounce jigheads and 1 1/2-inch crappie tubes tipped with a piece of worm or strip of belly from an already caught perch.

“The perch belly is way more durable if the perch are biting aggressively, but a crawler will get bites guaranteed,” Jerry tips.

As for tube colors, he says red/chartreuse was tops, followed by all chartreuse.

CORBIN HAN HOISTS A NICE CURLEW PERCH. (JERRY HAN)

Han says that using his sidefinder he located a “huge” perch school mainly in 12 to 16 feet of water and suspects similar gatherings be found in the lake’s shallower bays.

In the short term, the yellowbellies are adding to Curlew’s plethora of species to fish for, which also include largemouth and smallmouth bass and tiger muskies — Jerry says he saw several 3-footers lurking in the shallows — but state fishery biologists don’t expect it to last after the illegal introduction of perch around 2011.

Their numbers jumped from just four in 2012 to at least 840 two years later, a “startling increase” that initially spawned a derby called the Perch Purge.

But WDFW has also changed its tune, promoting the fishery, though their collective teeth might be gritted about the likely demise of one of the state’s destination trout fisheries, not unlike what happened to Oregon’s Phillips Reservoir.

“We anticipate that over time perch will become overabundant and may stunt to sizes that are not favorable to anglers. In addition, we expect to see trout survival and growth negatively impacted by the presence of perch,” an agency spokesperson stated on WDFW’s Facebook page in a post this past winter pimping ice fishing for perch.

P.P. HAN DISPLAYS ANOTHER CURLEW TROUT AS ANGLER JERRY HAN’S PARENTS LOOK ON. (JERRY HAN)

They said it was likely the number of rainbows would be reduced to account for competition with perch, though it’s possible trout sizes could be increased as part of that.

“Anglers should expect trout catch rates to go down as perch abundances increase,” WDFW said. “Anglers can help with the trout fishery in Curlew by removing as many perch as they can. The bonus is that perch are pretty darn tasty.”

That, no doubt, is exactly what the Han family is finding on their return home, and that’s what the Walgamotts will be doing when we camp here for a week later in summer.

Besides the state park, there are three resorts on Curlew — Black Beach, Tiffany’s and Fisherman’s Cove.

GET OUT THE FILLET KNIVES, TIME TO GET TO WORK, BOYS! (JERRY HAN)

Night On The Columbia Leads To Big Walleye Catch

While you were dreaming of catching fish last night, a crew was pulling some pretty hefty walleye out of the Columbia, including two new boat records for a local guide.

CHAD DAWSON GOT THE TRIP OFF TO A GREAT START WITH A THEN BOAT RECORD 15-PLUS-POUNDER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Four fish with a combined weight of nearly 60 pounds came over the gunnel for Tri-Cities angler Jerry Han, a local dentist, and two friends.

“We were hoping to get a quality fish or two, but never expected what was about to happen!” Han emailed just after 2:00 this morning as he thawed out from his late evening on the water.

JERRY HAN FOLLOWED WITH AN 11-PLUS-POUNDER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

With the moon coming off full, they were out with Isaac Case, who has been posting a string of pics of nice-sized ‘eyes caught in the overnight hours in recent days and weeks.

“We trolled plugs for a little while and had nothing for an hour or so and then my buddy Chad Dawson hooked up and landed a huge walleye that went 15 pounds, 11 ounces,” Han reports.

KEN HOWARD’S FIRST WALLEYE WENT 13 POUNDS, 3 OUNCES. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)


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“We thought that was great and would have been happy, but I got the next one at 11 pounds, 11 ounces. Then my buddy Ken Howard got one at 13 pounds, 3 ounces,” he says.

“The star of show, however, was the next fish that Ken caught that shoved the scale to 18 pounds, 13 ounces! The 15-pounder was the new boat record that lasted four hours until the almost 19-pounder came along,” Han notes.

A DIGITAL SCALE SHOWS KEN HOWARD’S SECOND WALLEYE WEIGHING IN AT 18 POUNDS, 13 OUNCES. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

If this was still the first years of the millennium, it would have been a new Washington record fish too. The current high mark is John Grubenhoff’s 20.32-pound walleye, caught in late February 2014.

WDFW doesn’t do creel checks for the species, but local fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth tries to keep up on the scene.

“Heard they were doing well this winter. Decent numbers and mostly nice fish, size wise,” Hoffarth notes.

So, uhhh, Jerry, what sort of setup did you say the skipper was running, again?

ISAAC CASE SHOWS OFF THE BIG ONE OF THE NIGHT. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

“I can say that color didn’t seem to matter, as all the fish bit a different plug each time,” he cagely reveals.

“I can say for sure that it was pretty rough getting up this morning — thank goodness for coffee!”

You can say that again!