Tag Archives: lake chelan

Tourney Catch Data Shows Central Washington Waters Shine Bright For Bass

Updated 9:10 a.m., March 27, 2019 at bottom with additional details on the impact of bass retention liberalizations on the Columbia.

Draw a straight north-south line from Oroville to Plymouth in Central Washington and it will touch the four waters producing the fattest tournament bass in the Evergreen State.

WDFW reports that the average weight of largemouth and smallmouth caught in contests at Lake Osoyoos, Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and the John Day Pool was 3.34, 2.74, 2.57 and 2.45 pounds.

TOURNAMENT BASS ANGLERS FISH A LAKE WASHINGTON SHIP CANAL BAY DURING AN EVENT LAST MAY. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The agency posted the rundown on its Facebook page today, and it also might help noncompetitive anglers figure out where to go catch bucketmouths and bronzebacks.

In listing the top 18 waters, WDFW said that it had crunched the weights of 146,124 bass caught during events held across the state over the past decade.

Four other Central Washington waters are also on the list:

5 Bonneville Pool, 2.36 pounds
7 McNary Pool, 2.24 pounds
10 Lake Chelan, 2.15 pounds
15 Banks Lake, 1.84 pounds

Further east, far Eastern Washington posted four:

11 Long Lake (Spokane), 2.13 pounds
13 Box Canyon Reservoir, 2.05 pounds
16 Lake Roosevelt, 1.81 pounds
18 Little Goose Pool, 1.33 pounds

But the Westside has its share of lunker lakes too:

5 Bonneville Pool, 2.36 pounds (we’re calling it a liner for two regions)
6 Lake Sammamish, 2.31 pounds
8 Lake Washington, 2.22 pounds
9 Lake Whatcom, 2.21 pounds
12 Silver Lake (Cowlitz), 2.11 pounds
14 Riffe Lake, 1.86 pounds
17 Lake Tapps, 1.67 pounds

As part of receiving a permit to hold a tournament, organizers must report how many fish were caught during the event and how much they weighed.

That Osoyoos stands so far above the other waters may (or may not) be due to the relatively few are held there, if WDFW’s 2019 fishing contest calendar is any indication. It lists just two this year on the Okanogan River reservoir that stretches from Oroville into British Columbia, so a couple events with relatively hefty catches might have pushed its average up. Or not.

A pair of Grant County lakes are particularly popular with bassers; Potholes and Moses will host dozens of events this year.

WDFW’s rundown comes as a bill in the state legislature would require the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to liberalize bag limits on bass, as well as walleye and channel catfish, in all anadromous waters of Washington to reduce predation on salmonid smolts.

That would essentially extend the current no size/bag limit regulations on the Columbia and Snake systems to places like Lakes Washington and Sammamish, where the Muckleshoot Tribe has been conducting warmwater test fisheries in recent years.

There have been no restrictions on how many or what size bass you can retain on the Columbia above Tri-Cities, the Snake and their tribs since 2013, and the Columbia below Tri-Cities since 2016.

A month or so ago I asked WDFW biologists if they’d seen any effect of that in terms of bass as well as similarly affected walleye and channel catfish, but they couldn’t say as they don’t conduct creel or population samples specifically for those species, though walleye and bass are monitored by ODFW through the northern pikeminnow program.

However, the tourney bass data does offer an unexpected window.

In responding to feedback on its Facebook post yesterday, WDFW said, “Average weights of bass weighed in tournaments have not changed significantly in the Columbia River Pools. The average since 2016 is slightly higher than the 10-year average.”

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.

Lake Chelan, Area Fishing Report (6-12-17)

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

What’s hot is fishing for Kokanee fishing in the lower basin.  Additionally, Roses Lake is blistering hot for Bluegill and Sunfish.  What is just beginning to heat up is the Bar on Lake Chelan for Mackinaw.

We are continuing to have great success fishing for Chelan’s Kokanee.  Fishing 60 feet deep in the lower basin with Mack’s Lure wedding rings and mini squid rigs baited with corn scented with Pro Cure’s Bloody Tuna have gotten these delicious Landlocked Sockeye to bite.  Pautzke’s Fire Corn has also been productive when baiting these rigs.

BOBBY LOOMIS SHOWS OFF A MESS OF KOKANEE AND TWO BONUS MACKS HE CAUGHT WHILE FISHING WITH GUIDE JEFF WITKOWSKI ON LAKE CHELAN RECENTLY. (DARREL & DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE)

Roses Lake has been smoking hot for a variety of panfish including Bluegill, Redear Sunfish and Pumpkinseeds by slip bobbering a worm.  The big Channel Cat is an odd bonus.  Try a chunk of one of the smaller bluegill as bait for these bonus fish!

A POTPOURRI OF PANFISH PLUS AN 8-POUND CHANNEL CATFISH FROM ROSES LAKE FOR PEPE HERNANDEZ. (DARREL & DAD’S FAMILY GUIDE SERVICE)

On Lake Chelan for Mackinaw, the “Bar” is heating up.  June is normally the time where the Bar will kick out some nice double digit fish.  Worden Lures T4 flatfish in GPLF has proven to be the go to lure for enticing those big fish.  However, Jeff’s Drift Rigs has been our most consistent bite producer when baited with with some Northern Pikeminnow doused in Pautzke’s Krill Juice.

Your fishing tip of the week is to remember to check your gear periodically when trolling.  Towing around lures that are fouled up with weeds and sticks is a waste of that valuable angling time.

The kid’s tip of the week is to get them ready for life by allowing them to struggle some.  After telling a kid how to play a big fish, sometimes you have let them lose a few before they connect the directions with their actions.   While we always want to see our grandkids and kids succeed, bumps in the road make us pay attention more and improve our technique to better prepare for what comes later in life.   And that is not just about fishing.

Your safety tip of the week is to strap on our patience, helpfulness and friendliness as we welcome the crowds of visitors to our beautiful valley!