Northwest Outdoor Report

Sol Duc Picking Up for Springers
Bill Myer from Anglers Guide Service in Forks says he’s been hooking a few nice spring Chinook on the Sol Duc river every day and the fishing appears to be picking up. Myer said most of his springers have been in the 8 to 14 pound range, but he’s heard of quite a few spring Chinook over 20 pounds already. He’s been backtrolling cured eggs and cut plug herring to get his bites on the Sol Duc. The Sol Duc springer fishery will continue to produce fish well into the month of June.

Trout Fishing Still Great Despite High Flows on Upper Columbia
Jack Mitchell from the Evening Hatch Guide Service checked in from Black Bear Lodge on the upper Columbia River to say that the trout fishing has remained great despite really high flows the past couple of weeks. The upper Columbia has swelled from 85,000 cfs to over 175,000 cfs recently from snow melt in the upper part of the basin. Mitchell says the fishing has remained great right thru the uptick in flows. He said they’re catching trout over 20 inches on a daily basis on anything from carpenter ant patterns to caddis, baetis, mayflies, and pmd’s. Mitchell says the great fishing will continue thru the month of June when the Green Drake hatch takes off.

Hein Bank Comes to Life on Second Halibut Opener
Kevin John from Holiday Sports in Burlington reported excellent halibut fishing on Hein Bank on the second halibut opener on Thursday of this past week. Kevin and the gang from Holiday Sports had their limit of halibut between 25 and 45 pounds before noon on Thursday. They caught their fish on the south end of Hein Bank in 120 to 180 feet of water. He said the hot baits were squid with a big glow in the dark hoochie and a large squid with a whole herring stuffed inside of it. Anglers should have decent weather on the Strait of Juan de Fuca for today’s halibut opener until the wind kicks up later this afternoon.

Last Razor Dig of the Season
Clam diggers will get one more chance to dig razor clams at Twin Harbors beach near Westport next Friday thru Sunday. Twin Harbors will be the only beach open for digging. WDFW coastal shellfish manager Dan Ayres says this has been the most productive clam digging season in over 20 years on the Washington Coast. Since last October diggers have harvested more than 5 million razor clams. The coast will close after this last clam dig to allow the razor clams to spawn and provide another crop of clams for digging next fall.

Kids Fishing Event on Heart Lake
One of the hottest trout fishing lakes in the region, Heart Lake near Anacortes, will close over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend for a kids fishing event. The event takes place on June 1st and the lake is closed two days prior to allow freshly stocked trout to acclimate. Kids that otherwise might not get a chance to catch a trout get the entire lake to themselves on June 1st. The Kids Fishing event has been held for 20 years on Heart Lake and is sponsored by the City of Anacortes and the Fidalgo/San Juan chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers.

First Copper River Salmon Arrives in Seattle
Alaska Airlines pilots carried a 40 pound Copper River king salmon to waiting chefs at Sea-Tac Airport yesterday. It was the first Copper River king to arrive in Seattle and marks the beginning of the yearly craze for this great eating strain of king salmon. Copper River king salmon are prized for their high fat content and restaurants pay as much as $50 a pound to purchase them for their patrons. The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 contained an additional 24,600 pounds of Copper River king salmon and Alaska Airlines said it would run three more Copper River salmon flights like it on Friday.

Minnesota Lakes Test Positive for Cocaine
Associated Press – Scientists just studied 50 lakes in Minnesota for water quality and found a myriad of manmade chemicals in the lakes – including cocaine, DEET, synthetic estrogen, antibiotics, and antidepressants. The bug repellent DEET was found in 76 percent of the lakes and researchers were shocked to find that 32 percent of the lakes tested positive for cocaine. Cocaine was the third most common chemical found in the lakes and scientists were surprised to find it in some very remote lakes that weren’t close to population centers. Before you head to Minnesota and start snorting lake water understand that you’ll probably drown before you catch a buzz. Scientists say the levels of cocaine in the lakes that tested positive is around several parts per trillion…hardly enough to catch a buzz.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Washington Sets Salmon Seasons
Fishery managers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildife just released the 2013 salmon season package this past week. The Columbia River, coastal waters, and the Puget Sound will all see similar seasons to last year. Bouy 10 will open up for salmon fishing on August 1st with a one king limit thru September 1st. The coastal Chinook quota is down to 48,000 fish from a quota of 51,500 king salmon last year and the coastal silver salmon quota is up slightly this year to 74,760 fish. The coastal salmon seasons are somewhat complicated and anglers are urged to visit the WDFW website for the full details on coastal openings and closures this summer. The popular hatchery chinook fishery in northern and central Puget Sound from July 16th through August 31st will happen again this summer. That area could close sooner if the chinook catch guideline is achieved. After that those areas of Puget Sound revert to coho and pinks only from September 1st through October 31st. With over 6 million pink salmon returning to the Puget Sound this year the state is planning to have “bonus limits” for pinks in several areas of the sound excluding the Hood Canal. A comprehensive list of the salmon seasons throughout Washington is posted on the WDFW website.

Queets Should be Strong this Weekend
Flyfishing guide Mike Dickson from Dickson’s Flyfishing said they’ve been catching a few nice steelhead a day on the upper Queets when it’s been in shape. He says there a little rain rain in the forecast for this weekend but the flows should hold up until it closes. Mike says to fish anything big and bright and he’s been having quite a bit of success using a marabou tied fly in a light peach color lately. He says that fly seems to stand out really well in the glacial waters of the Queets. The Queets closes to steelhead fishing on April 16th and then Mike will finish out his season fishing the Bogachiel and Sol Duc rivers near Forks which close the end of April.

Lake Roesiger Kicking Out Koke’s
John Martinis from John’s Sporting Goods in Everett says the kokanee bite on the southern end of Lake Roesiger in Snohomish County has been heating up this past week. He’s heard of anglers pulling limits of kokanee out of the lake trolling dodgers and small pink hoochies tipped with either shoe peg corn or Pautzke Firecorn. Martinis says Roesiger is usually the first lake to heat up for Kokanee because of its smaller size. On nearby Lake Stevens the kokanee bite has still been quite slow.

Kokanee are on the Surface at Lake Merwin
Cameron Black from Gone Catchin’ Guide Service says the kokanee fishing is starting to heat up down on Lake Merwin near Woodland. Black had ten fish to the boat on Friday and said they’ve been really nice so far this season averaging around 13 to 14 inches long. He’s been running a silver Sling Blade on the surface with either an orange or chartreuse hoochie behind it tipped with shoe peg corn. Black has been running the gear 140 to 150 feet behind the boat to get bites and he said the bite has been better on stormy days than calm days because the fish tend to be a bit spooky. Black says the water temperature is 48.5 degrees right now and the bite should get better as the lake continues to warm up.
 
Hit the Yakima Canyon for Redsides
The report from Mike Canady at Red’s Fly Shop in the Yakima River canyon is that the river has dropped back into shape after last week’s high water and fishing should be good the next few days. Canady says there’s been a few March browns and blue winged olive hatches coming off recently and the yearly Mother’s Day caddis hatch should start happening soon also. Red’s will be conducting the 4th annual Red’s Rendezvous event on April 20th with free casting classes, on the water tutorials, beer and wine tasting, and a ton of giveaways. Reds is also hosting the popular IF4 flyfishing film tour the same day. The event is free and tickets for the film tour are $15.

If a Tree Falls in the Woods, Sue the USFS
Associated Press – An Idaho family is suing the U.S. Forest Service for over $1 million after a dead tree fell and injured their son in Boise National Forest back in 2010. Richard and Melinda Armstrong claimed their family was camping at a remote, unimproved camping site in September of 2010 when a gust of wind blew a dead tree onto their son. The 6 year old boy sustained a large laceration, a compound fracture, and a puncture wound on his back that made it difficult to breathe. Even though the campsite was unimproved and in a remote location the family’s attorney is stating that the USFS should have known about the dead tree and had it removed. The Forest Service has not commented on the recent lawsuit.

WDFW Officers Nab Poachers with 242 Trout
Lake Lenore will have quite a few less Lahontan cutthroat trout in it this spring. WDFW game wardens Will Smith and Chris Buschings busted four men last week with 242 of the big cutthroat trout. The men apparently netted the trout out of a fish trap in the dark and were loading them in a plastic fish tote when the wardens rolled up. One of the men jumped in the Toyota Tundra they were driving but was blocked by the warden’s rig and ordered to surrender at gun point. Another one of them gave up quickly and the two other men jumped in the lake and swam for it. One of them was caught holding onto a log to blend in with the surroundings and the fourth individual swam across the lake and disappeared. The water temperature in Lake Lenore this time of year is  40 degrees and the wardens first thought he might have drowned. Several hours later, however, a Soap Lake police officer spotted him walking thru a park 10 miles away with no shoes on and he had his socks full of newspaper to keep his feet warm. The four men have received multiple citations and the trout, weighing over 600 pounds, were donated to the Moses Lake Food Bank.

The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

I-5 Stretch Producing Springers on the Columbia
Eric Linde from Linde’s Sportfishing in Vancouver, Washington says that about a third of the boats are catching springers on any given day on the Columbia and traffic has been light so far. Linde says he’s been getting a few bites a day fishing just above Interstate 5 near Portland International Airport. His go to setup so far this season has been a green label herring behind a chartruese Fish Flash. Linde expects the fishing to continue to get better in the coming weeks.

Chelan Cranking out Phat Kokes
Don Talbot at Hooked on Toys in Wenatchee says the Kokanee fishing on Lake Chelan is starting to heat up. He said the Kokanee are running in the 16 to 17 inch range and most of the action has been taking place around Wapato Point and Rocky Point. Talbot also likes to troll the area between Wapato Point and First Creek in about 300 of feet of water, targeting the water column between 50 and 100 feet to find kokes. He said to use a pink and white mini-Ace Hi Fly tipped with white shoe peg corn behind a Luhr Jensen 50/50 dodger. He also like to run a couple of larger size 1 hooks with his hoochie rig, as it helps to keep these soft-mouthed fish on the line. Don said to be sure to swing into Hooked on Toys in Wenatchee to get help rigging up any of the troll gear necessary to catch Kokanee on Lake Chelan.
Use Swim Baits to Target Sea Bass off Ocean Shores Jetty
John Martinis at John’s Sporting Goods in Everett has gotten some great reports from the jetty at Ocean Shores last weekend. Martinis has a tackle shop customer that’s been catching his limit of nice sea bass casting swim jigs off the jetty. John says the go-to lure is a 4 inch red-flake motor oil twin tail grub rigged with a 2 ounce jighead. The successful angler has been walking to the end of the jetty on days when the weather is nice and working the jig over the submerged rocks.  Martinis says to wear foul weather gear and to watch the weather carefully though, as the surf often pounds across the jetty at Ocean Shores. Martinis notes that ling cod season opens today in Marine Area 2 and the jetty’s are a great place to find them also.

Catch and Release Only for Sturgeon Starting in 2014
Starting May 1st recreational fisherman will be limited to one white sturgeon per year in Washington. By 2014 new regulations require the release of all white sturgeon in Puget Sound, its tributaries, the Washington coast and the Lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam. The new rules were adopted to address drastic declines in the population of white sturgeon in Washington state the last five years. Catch and release fishing will still be allowed for white sturgeon in all the effected areas.

Spot Shrimp Seasons Announced
Recreational shrimp fishers will get more days to fish and a larger share of the catch in areas of Puget Sound under fishing seasons announced by WDFW. The spot shrimp season is set to begin May 4th and will run from one day to several days longer in areas of the Sound due to policy changes recently adopted by WDFW to give recreational shrimpers a larger percentage of the overall quota. In the San Juan Islands the shrimp fishery could be open for more than a month in Marine Area 7-West and the shrimp season is expected to run for 13 days in Marine Areas 7-East and 7-South, up from just 6 days last year. Hood Canal and Discovery Bay shrimp seasons will be open a total of 5 days this year and Marine Areas Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10 and 11 will be open two days this year. Please log onto the WDFW website for a complete listing of the new shrimp seasons.

47 Lakes Stocked with Trout
With Spring Break fast approaching WDFW is stocking dozens of lakes in Washington with more than 250,000 rainbow trout. The 10 to 12 inch trout will be stocked into year-round lakes in Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce, Mason, Kitsap, Island, King and Snohomish Counties. The State is planting the lakes to give families a chance to get out fishing over spring break and to give them a chance to tune up their gear before main trout opener on April 27th. A complete list of the lakes being stocked can be found on the WDFW website.

Blackman’s Lake Planted with Triploids
The Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club just planted Blackman’s Lake in Snohomish County with about 200 triploid trout ranging in size from one and a half to as large as six pounds. Blackman’s lake is on the north edge of Snohomish County and has a large fishing pier and an improved boat launch.

Little League Raffles off an AR-15 in Illinois
Associated Press – A youth baseball league in the eastern Illinois town of Atwood wasn’t happy with the previous fundraiser’s it’s held to raise money for the league, so they’ve decided to raffle off an AR-15 assault rifle. A local gun shop owner provided the Rock River Arms AR-15 for the league, which is in bad need of baseball equipment that it can’t afford. Charidy Butcher of Atwood Armory is the shop that donated the gun and they said the raffle is going gangbusters. They’re phone has been ringing non-stop since 4:30 in the morning the day after the AR-15 raffle item was announced. Butcher says the lucky winner of the AR-15 will need to have a background check and will need an Illinois Firearm’s Owner I.D. card to get the gun.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
TheOutdoorLine.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

“B” Run Steelhead Trickling into the Cowlitz
Phil Stephens from Mystical Legends Guide Service says there’s some really big three-salt hatchery steelhead cruising up the Cowlitz River right now. The “B” run on the Cowlitz just got started and while most of the guides are only picking up a few fish a day it won’t be long before the run gets into full swing. Stephens says these late steelhead hit a yarnie really well and he fishes them almost exclusively when he’s sidedrifting. He suggests using a 4 to 5 foot leader and using a little shrimp scent on the yarn sometimes helps to draw strikes. The Cowlitz “B” run starts to hit the river in earnest in early March and runs strong thru the end of April.

Lake Washington Still Productive for Cutties
Todd Daniels from Tall Tails Guide Service says he’s still catching around a half a dozen nice cutthroat a day on Lake Washington. Daniels says the fish have moved a little deeper and he’s been getting most of his bites trolling 20 to 35 feet deep. His best lures have been orange label cut plug herring and fire tiger needlefish spoons trolled at least 100 feet behind the boat. Daniels said the area between the Cedar River, Mercer Island, and the Boeing plant is where most of the action is occurring.

Skwala Hatch Nearing on the Yakima
Josh Holt from Red’s Fly Shop on the Yakima River says there’s been a few Skwala’s around, but overall the fish are still in their winter feeding mode. He says most of the trout are being caught nymphing with size 16 to 20 red or black brassy’s. The guides working out of Red’s have been getting a couple of trout a day on dries and he suspects that the Skwala hatch should get into full swing in the next couple of weeks when the weather starts to warm up. The forecast is for 60 degrees in the Yakima Canyon tomorrow and if that weather pattern continues the hatches should start to come off soon.

Puget Sound Salmon Forecasts Released
The salmon forecasts for the Puget Sound and the Washington coast were just released and numbers for Puget Sound look very good for the summer of 2013. Salmon runs of note are the Nooksack with a forecast of 46,500 Chinook. The Nooksack run has increased steadily from 23,000 king salmon in 2009 to this year’s forecast of over 46,000 fish. Hood Canal will also see an increase of Chinook with a combination of wild and hatchery Chinook making up the 69,000 Chinook projected to head back to the Canal. On the coho front the Skagit is forecast for 137,200 wild coho this fall, up from just 48,300 last year and the ever-solid Snohomish system is forecast to get just over 163,000 silvers. And the pink salmon forecast for the Puget Sound is for an astonishing 6 million pink salmon to stream into Puget Sound. While it’s too early to tell what the seasons will look like many think that with the rock-solid forecasts for both Chinook and coho they should be much the same as last year on Puget Sound. A more detailed look at the salmon run forecasts is posted in the Outdoor Line forums.

Spring Chinook Seminar at Outdoor Emporium Today
Don’t miss the yearly spring Chinook seminar today from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Outdoor Emporium in downtown Seattle. The seminar features longtime Columbia River guides Eric Linde and Steve Leonard along with Outdoor Line host Tom Nelson. They’ll be covering everything from run timing, where to fish, and how to rig up for spring Chinook. Outdoor Emporium provides a free lunch and there will be a ton of tackle giveaways, as well.

Duck Dynasty Crew Runs off Singer Morissey
Grammy award winning singer Morrissey cancelled a performance on the Jimmy Kimmel show this past week after finding out that the cast of A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty” was also booked as a guest on the show. The former front man for the Smiths is an ardent animal rights activist and said he couldn’t take the risk of being on a show alongside people who amount to animal serial killers. The publicity didn’t hurt Duck Dynasty one bit either, as it posted the largest viewing audience in A&E’s history the night after the Morissey/Kimmel catfight with 9 million viewers.

Squirrel Cookoff World Championships Announced
Joe Wilson of Squirrel’s Unlimited just announced the 2013 World Champion Squirrel Cook Off to be held on September 7th. The event will be held in Bentonville, Arkansas and will feature hundreds of contestants from across the country that are the best of the best at whoopin’ up a mean batch of squirrel. Squirrel’s Unlimited president Joe Wilson says the event will draw an estimated 10,000 people to the area. Last years squirrel cook off will be televised on Bizarre Foods on the Cooking channel on April 1st. Interested parties should log onto squirrelcookoff.com for more information.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 2013 Salmon Forecasts!

A sure sign of spring after a long winter is the annual arrival of our salmon forecasts and the “North of Falcon” meetings. I await the salmon forecast numbers like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. Hello, my name is Tom and I am a “salmon sicko”.

After watching the numbers for a number of years (never mind how many…) I’ve found that you can “call some shots” by digging into the forecast numbers. The WDFW, DFO Canada and The PFMC (Pacific Fisheries Management Council) work very hard to get their chinook and coho abundance estimates out in a timely manner. These figures take some pouring through to find the real “meat” but don’t worry, I’ve done all the leg work for you right here!

2013 Preseason adult Chinook Forecasts (in thousands)

Stock                    2009       2010     2011_    _2012       2013
Willapa fall             34.8      31.1       36.8        45.2         27.1
Hoh fall                   2.6         3.3        2.9           2.7           3.1
Nooksack/Sam       23.0      30.3      37.5         44.0        46.5
Skagit summer       23.4      13.0      15.9          9.6         13.2
Stillaguamish          1.0        1.4         1.9          0.9           1.3
Snohomish Wild      8.4        9.9         7.4          2.8          3.6
Snohomish Hatch   4.9         5.6         5.1         3.9           6.8
Tulalip Bay              4.0         3.4         3.5        5.9          10.9
S Puget Wild          17.2      12.7        8.9          8.9           5.2
S Puget Hatch        93.0      97.4      118.6       95.8       101.9
Hood Canal Wild     2.5      2.4           2.1         2.9            3.3
Hood Canal Hatch  40.1     42.6         38.3       43.9         65.7
Key Stock totals 255,600  253,100  278,900  266,500  288,600

This is a very significant Puget Sound chinook forecast to say the least! Easily the highest number we’ve seen for over a decade.  We can be fairly safe in the assumption that chinook seasons may be similar to last year. Generally these selected stocks are up from 2012, most notably in the Skagit, Snohomish, Tulalip Bay and south Sound. However, on the coast Willapa is down sharply and the Nooksack/Samish checks in with a solid forecast as well which should drive a very strong Marine Area 7 summer chinook season.
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The Silver Story! 2013 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

Stock                     2009         2010            2011__ __2012        2013
Straits Wild              20.5          8.5              12.3           12.3       14.8
Straits Hatch            7.0            7.8              12.7           18.6       15.4
Nook/Sam W           7.0            9.6               29.5           25.2      45.4
Nook/Sam H          25.5          36.0               45.7           62.8      49.2
Skagit Wild             33.4          95.9             138.1          48.3     137.2
Skagit Hatch          11.7            9.5               16.2           14.9       16.3
Stilly Wild               13.4           25.9              66.5           45.5        33.1
Stilly hatch              0.0              5.4                0.6             4.1          3.1
Snohomish W         67.0           99.4            180.0         109.0     163.8
Snohomish H          53.6           24.5               8.4             8.5        12.6
S Sound W              53.6          25.3              98.9           43.1       36.0
S Sound H              188.8       186.4            173.3         162.9     150.9
Hood Wild                48.6          33.2              77.5           73.4       36.8
Hood Hatch              52.0          51.2              72.1           62.6       68.6
Key stocks Total   338,600   320,800      916,000   628,600     783,200

 

Bottom line: we should see a smokin’ coho fishery in Puget Sound this summer. The increase in Skagit stocks is almost double last year’s run and a look at the Snohomish numbers have me thinking that 2013 will not see many anglers stray far from Puget Sound come September! In fact, the overall feeling among fisheries managers is one of optimism bone of increasing oceanic salmonid survival.

Speaking of survival…. We can look for over 6 million pink salmon to stream into Puget Sound this summer as well!!! We’ll have a better breakdown of the “Humpy Hordes” coming to you in this blog in the very near future!

Keep in mind that these numbers are but the “raw material” that the co-managers will use to craft our local seasons and only by attending the North of Falcon meetings can you have an impact on the process. We will keep you posted here but I sincerely look forward to meeting some of you….at the meetings!!!

Tom Nelson
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

New State Record Lake Trout Caught
Phil Colyar from Wenatchee just caught the new state record Mackinaw trout from Lake Chelan on Monday. The huge lake trout weighed 35 pounds, 10 ounces and beat the old state record by just 3 ounces. Colyar caught the fish in 270 feet of water in front of Kelly’s Resort on the south shore of Lake Chelan. After a 35 minute battle he and fishing buddy Jack Stagge raced to the nearby hospital in Chelan, which happened to have the only certified scale in the area. Colyar, Stagge, doctors, and nurses all watched as the scale ticked up to 35 pounds, 10 ounces. Colyar is having the fish mounted and plans to keep fishing for big Mackinaw’s in Lake Chelan, as he thinks there’s even larger Mackinaw to be caught in the lake.

American Lake Still Kicking Out Rainbows
Mike Barr from Bill’s Boathouse on American Lake says that anglers are still getting limits of nice trout fishing off the of the boathouse dock. He says a bunch of small trout in the 7 to 9 inch range just showed up, but the people that are putting in some time are going home with limits of trout in the 13 to 15 inch range. He recommends fishing yellow or lime green Power Eggs on the bottom in 12 to 35 feet of water. Barr says there’s definitely no shortage of trout in American Lake.

First Springer Caught on the Cowlitz
Todd Daniels from Tall Tails Guide Service knows of at least five spring Chinook being caught on the lower Cowlitz River this past week. Daniels says the springers have been caught in the Castlerock area and he knows that at least one of them hit a Kwikfish. There’s been sporadic reports of spring Chinook being caught on the Kalama River, as well. The forecast for both rivers is down this year with only 5,500 springer’s projected for the Cowlitz and just 700 spring Chinook projected for the Kalama River.

“Uncle Pete” Leading in the Roche Harbor Derby
After day one of the Roche Harbor Derby “Uncle” Pete Nelson is leading the derby board with a 16.7 pound blackmouth. Carter Whalen is in a very close second place with a 16.4 pound blackmouth and Derek Floyd and company are leading in the total weight category with 46 pounds 3 ounces. There’s still one more day to go in the two day derby and we’ll have more coverage and the final list of winners available on TheOutdoorLine.com.

Oly-Pen Salmon Derby Offers $22,000 in Cash
Tickets are on sale now for the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby happening February 16-18. The derby area extends from Freshwater Bay all the way to Port Ludlow and includes the banks in the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the western shore of Whidbey Island. Derby weigh stations are located at Freshwater Bay, Port Angeles, Sequim, Gardiner, and Port Townsend. Tickets are $40 apiece and derby chairman Dan Tatum expects well over 1,000 anglers to fish in the event, which boasts $22,000 in cash and prizes. John Otness from Tacoma won the event last year with a 17.60 pound blackmouth. The Outdoor Line will be fishing in the event and broadcasting live from Port Townsend next Saturday. For more information log onto GardinerSalmonDerby.org.

Hood Canal Derby Next Weekend
Tickets are on sale for the Bill Nik Memorial Derby next Saturday at Misery Point boat launch. The derby is ran by the Kitsap Poggie Club and boasts $2000 in cash and a ton of prizes. Last year’s derby was won by Shane Morrison with a 13.6 pound blackmouth he plucked from Hood Canal. Tickets are available at Kitsap Marina, Defiane Marine, Aqua Tech Marine, Brother Dons, Seabeck General Store, Papas Eats and Treats in Port Orchard, and Camp Union Saloon in Seabeck.

Maine Legislators Out to Ban Swim Baits
KeepAmericaFishing.org is reporting that legislators in Maine just introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of all “rubber” lures. The intent of the bill is to ban the soft plastic swim baits that most Maine anglers use every day. The bill would also ban the use of biodegradable swim baits, as well. Extensive tests have proven that plastic baits cause minimal problems for fish and they usually regurgitate them or pass them without problems.

REI Executive Named Secretary of the Interior
The Associated Press is reporting that President Obama just nominated REI’s Chief Executive Officer Sally Jewell as the new Interior Secretary. Jewell has helped push REI to nearly 2 billion in annual revenues and a place on Fortune Magazine’s “Best Places to Work”. The Interior Department manages more than 500 million acres in national parks and other public lands and more than 1 billion acres offshore. If confirmed by the Senate Jewell will replace current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has announced he will step down in March.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

February Razor Dig Scheduled
WDFW just tentatively approved a razor clam dig on the Washington coast for the weekend of February 7th thru the 12th at Twin Harbors. Long Beach will be open February 8-10 and Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will be open February 8th thru the 9th. WDFW will release a final approval for the dig after marine toxin test results come in next week.

Smaller Spring Chinook Run Forecast for the Columbia
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are projecting a run of just over 141,000 spring Chinook for the Columbia River this year. The forecast is down 25 percent from the 10 year average and well below the 203,000 spring Chinook that returned to the upper Columbia River last year. The forecast will allow anglers to catch up to 5,000 upriver springers before the run is updated in early May.

Lake Washington Kicking Out Cutties
Todd Daniels from Tall Tails Guide Service (206-437-8766) is reporting excellent fishing for cutthroat trout on Lake Washington this past week. He had a thirteen fish day on the lake earlier in the week that included a few blackmouth between 3 and 5 pounds. Daniels says that even though the blackmouth have to be released they are a blast on light trolling tackle. The most productive areas have been on the south end of Lake Washington between the Cedar River and Mercer Island and also up on the north end of the lake near Kenmore.

Wynoochee Fishing Well
Derek Anderson from Screamin’ Reels Guide Service (206-849-2574) is reporting steady action for hatchery steelhead on the Wynoochee River the past couple of weeks. Derek has been catching most of his fish backtrolling plugs and baitdivers. Anderson said his biggest hatchery steelhead so far this winter has been 17 pounds and he’s had quite a few chunky fish in the 10 to 14 pound range. He’s been getting his fish on a mix of plugs and baitdivers and Anderson thinks the size 35 Hot Shots in green and blue will really produce this next week in the low and clear water. The Wynoochee River should fish excellent all the way thru the month of March.

Dickson Eye’ing Queets and Hoh for Wild Steelhead
Longtime north sound flyfishing guide Dennis Dickson of Dickson’s Flyfishing (425-238-3537) says the dolly varden are still snapping Egg Sucking Cop Cars on the upper Skagit river, but the steelhead fishing has been poor. With the upper Skagit closing on February 15th, however, he’s gearing up to head to the coast to fish the Queets and Hoh Rivers for wild steelhead. Dickson’s top choice on the coast for flyfishing water is the Queets followed closely by the Hoh River. He suggests tying up pink or black leeches when the water is high and red or blue marabous for low and clear water. Check out Dickson’s weekly flyfishing reports at Flyfishsteelhead.com for up to date river reports!

San Juan Islands Steady for Blackmouth
Derek Floyd from Angler’s Choice Charters (425-239-5740) is reporting fairly steady action in the San Juan Islands this past week. He’s had blackmouth all the way up to 16 pounds and he says the average weight of the fish has been around 9 pounds. He’s been using smaller presentations like 3” and 3.5” Coho Killers and Kingfisher Lite in glow patterns behind a green glow flasher. Floyd says that the northern Rosario Strait has been fishing good as well as the north shore of Orcas Island on the ebb tide. Derek says there’s definitely been some bigger fish in the islands recently and he wouldn’t be surprised if a 20 plus pound blackmouth won the upcoming Roche Harbor Derby.

3 Spots Left for Roche Harbor Derby
Debbie Sandwith at Roche Harbor Resort reports that there are only 3 spots left in the Roche Harbor Derby next weekend. The derby boasts $25,000 in cash prizes and this year there’s a $30,000 jackpot for any winning fish over 30 pounds. The derby is February 7-9 and you can find more information about this great event at Rocheharbor.com.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

Hit Lake Washington for Winter Cutthroat
Tom Pollock from the fishing counter at Sportco (253-922-2222) says he’s been hearing really good reports about the cutthroat fishing on Lake Washington. Customers have been catching cutthroat to 17 inches and one customer landed a 4 and a half pound cutty on the lake last week. Pollocks go-to trolling rig is a pink mini-hoochie 10 to 12 inches behind a mini Sling Blade. He tips the hooks with as many as four Berkley Gulp Maggots and also adds Smelly Jelly Crawfish scent to the dodger. Pollock says to troll 15 to 20 feet down on the downrigger and get the gear at least 100 feet behind the boat before clipping it in. The best fishing on Lake Washington this time of year for cutthroat is the south side of Mercer Island in 100 to 120 feet of water.

Travis Brewer Banded Hunts
Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts Washington (360-333-2488) said the field hunting in Skagit County has been lights out this past week. They’ve been taking limits of greenheads and widgeon in the fields close to Samish Bay. Brewer says  there’s thousands of ducks wintering on Samish Bay and they are pouring into nearby fields to feed in the mornings. He expects this next week to provide some exceptional hunting as North winds push birds down from BC. Brewer says to hunt the fields closest the the bay fronts for the most consistent action.

Forks Area Rivers Fishable This Weekend
Bill Myer from Angler’s Guide Service (206-697-2055) in Forks, Washington thinks the Olympic Peninsula rivers will be in shape and fishable just in time for the weekend. Myer says theres already been a couple of 20 plus pound steelhead caught on the Sol Duc and Bogachiel and either one of those would be his choice this weekend. Bill says the tribal nets weren’t in all week because of high water and this weekend could be a telltale of how the run is shaping up.

Whitetail Buck Crashes into Ohio Classroom
From the Associated Press. Early Monday morning a 10 point whitetail buck jumped through a window at Kings Junior High School in Warren County, Ohio. When officials arrived at the school at around 7:00 a.m. they found the deer trapped in the classroom. Administrators had to have students wait in the auditorium while firefighters and the local game warden tranquilized the deer and removed it from the building. The buck was removed at approximately 8:45 and classes started on schedule at 9:00 a.m..

Spurned Woman Sells Ex-Boyfriends Secret Fishing Spots
This drama actually went down in January of 2012, but it’s just now getting play in the media.  New Zealand’s Stuff magazine reports that an un-named boyfriend had hightailed it to Australia without giving his girlfriend notice. The only problem is that he forgot to grab his GPS containing all of his secret fishing spots out of the garage. When she found it in the garage she immediately placed it up for auction  on the web and was surprised to get more than 90,000 hits on the secret fishing spots. The GPS coordinates went for $3,000, which she spent on herself.  Stuff magazine reports that she’s now dating a new fisherman, but she says she won’t share her ex’s fishing spots with him. She is more honorable than that.

Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.7 million in Japan
A single bluefin tuna just set a record at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market, fetching over 1.7 million dollars. The 489 pound bluefin was caught in the North Atlantic and sold in Tokyo for a whopping  $3,476 a pound. The “New Year Tuna” was purchased by representatives from Tokyo Zanmai, which is a popular Japanese sushi restaurant chain. The tuna more than doubled last year’s record purchase of a 593 that fetched $736,000 dollars. Bluefin tuna have become increasingly rare as stocks worldwide have been overharvested to keep up with demand, which is one of the reasons why they fetch such a high price on the sushi market.

Pro 2nd Amendment March on January 19th
The group “Guns Across America” is holding a peaceful pro 2nd Amendment rally at the state capitol building in Olympia on January 19th at high noon. The group is asking anyone and everyone that’s interested wants to retain their right to bear arms to show up at the rally. Hunters, pistol shooters, gun collectors, and patriots are asked to show up at the rally and show their support of the 2nd Amendment. Rallies are taking place on the steps of every state capitol building across the country on January 19th.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com 

Northwest Outdoor Report

First Razor Dig of 2013 Scheduled

WDFW just approved the first razor clam dig of 2013, starting Tuesday (Jan. 8) at Twin Harbors and expanding to include Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis beaches later in the week. Twin Harbors will be open from January 8th thru January 14th and Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis Beaches will be open Thursday January 10th thru Saturday January 12th.
Commission to Consider Removing Gillnets from Columbia Mainstem
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet January 11th and 12th in Olympia to consider shifting gillnets off the mainstem of the lower Columbia River and into designated off-channel fishing areas. The plan would also shift allocation on many of the Columbia’s salmon runs over to the recreational sector. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 back on December 7th to adopt the plan and now it’s up to their counterparts in Washington to move the plan forward. The meeting will be held in the Columbia Room of the state Legislative Building starting at 8:30 a.m..

Brant Hunt Approved for Skagit County

A flight by wildlife biologists last week determined that brant numbers would support an 8 day hunt in Skagit County. At least 6,000 birds are needed to support a hunt and wildlife biologist Don Kraege counted 8,960 brant in Fidalgo, Padilla, and Samish Bays. The hunt is scheduled for January 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 26, and 27. Be sure to check out the WDFW website for more details on this special brant hunt, as there are special license requirements in place.

Wild Steelhead Showing Early in the Skagit

John Koenig of Johns Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport reports catchable numbers of wild steelhead in the Skagit River right now. He’s been surprised by the number of wild fish this early in the season and thinks that the Skagit could be in store for some excellent fishing in late January and February when the wild steelhead show up in earnest. In stark contrast the hatchery steelhead return on the Skagit has been so poor that the Cascade River was recently closed down so that the Marblemount Hatchery could meet its egg take goals.

Sol Duc Fishing Well

Mike Zavadlov from Mike Z’s Guide Service (360-640-8109) in Forks has been seeing really good numbers of wild steelhead in the Sol Duc already. Mike’s caught steelhead into the low teens, as well as a few Snider Creek steelhead. One of Mike’s go-to jigs lately in the low and clear water has been a pink and purple Beau Mac 1/8th ounce jig. While the Snider Creek broodstock program was discontinued last year, anglers can still expect to catch those fish for at two more years on the Sol Duc River.

Potholes Spotty for Ducks, Good for Geese

Levi Meseberg from Mar Don Resort on Potholes Reservoir reports great goose hunting over the Christmas break with limits or near limits of geese for the last couple of weeks. He says the cold weather that’s made the goose hunting so good has pushed a lot of the ducks south though. While there’s been a few pockets of birds around he says the duck hunting hasn’t been all that great lately. With temperatures forecast into the mid-40’s for the Potholes region next week he thinks the duck hunting could be some of the best of the season. Waterfowl season will close on January 27th this year, so duck hunters have just a few more weeks to get their hunting in.

Kent Man Attacked by Coyotes

When Faron Scarberry moved to Kent two weeks ago he had no idea how dangerous going for a walk with his dogs might be. Last Friday night while he was walking his dogs three coyotes attacked him in back yard. They initially went for Scarberry’s face and he was able to block them, but one of the coyotes grabbed him by the leg. He was able to ward off the coyotes, but he still spent the night in the emergency room and got 24 rabies shots on his leg and hip. Coyotes rarely attack humans, but wildlife officials recommend keeping garbage contained and pets inside at night this time of year to reduce the chance of an encounter.

Gun Map Backfires on New York Publisher

When the Journal News in New York recently published a story called “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood” burglars and crooks immediately took notice. Along with the story was a map of every gun owner in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. While the intent of the insanely stupid article was to “out” local gun owners the article did nothing but help crooks and enrage gun owners. Burglars who needed guns now knew which homes to hit and the information also let burglars know which homes were gun-free and easy to rob. One blogger reacted by posting a map showing where key editorial staffer live. Outraged groups have called for a boycott of Gannett Publishing’s advertisers and the newspaper now has armed guards stationed outside at least one of its offices.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

Northwest Outdoor Report

Kester and McCulloch Scoring Blackmouth in Area 10

Matt McCulloch from Tyee Charters (206-799-2530) on Bainbridge Island has been hitting blackmouth all the way up to 16 pounds at Jefferson Head, Kingston, and Skiff Point. He says the south side of Jeff Head has been really good on the outgoing tide, but the seals have been a real issue there lately. McCulloch’s also been finding quite a few fish feeding on spawning herring and anchovies in as shallow as 40 to 50 feet of water around Kingston. His go-to trolling setup lately has been a glow in the dark Hot Spot with a 4 inch Irish flag Kingfisher Lite spoon. He thinks the stellar blackmouth fishing should hold up all the way thru the month of January.

Nick Kester from All Star Charters (425-327-2421) says he’s been kicking back a lot of shakers in the 21 inch range in the south end of Area 10 this past week to find his keepers. Kester has been scoring his legal blackmouth at Tyee Shoal near Eagle Harbor and he says there’s plenty of blackmouth at Jefferson Head too, but the seals have been horrible there lately. He’s been scoring most of his fish trolling either Cookie’s and Cream or Irish Cream spoons 45 inches behind a Gibb’s glow in the dark flasher.

Humptulips Cranking out Hatchery Steelhead

Joe Superfisky from Superfly’s Guide Service (360-888-7772) says the bank anglers have been outfishing the driftboaters by a longshot on the Humptulips River this past week. Superfisky says the area around Stevens Creek Hatchery has been hot for hatchery steelhead as they bomb upstream in the recent high flows. He was on the river on Friday and says he saw at least a dozen steelhead laying on the beach when he floated by with his customers. He’s been picking off a few nice fish in the boat, but his advice is to hit the bank at Steven’s Creek for your best shot at a nice Humpulips hatchery steelhead.

New Years Razor Dig Underway

Razor clammers will have this weekend and Monday to dig clams on the Washington coast. Twin Harbors, Long Beach, and Mocrocks will be open tonight. Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis Beaches will all be open tomorrow and Monday for digging. The razor clam limit is 15 per person and the best digging usually occurs one to two hours before low tide.

Steelhead Cruising the Green

Daniel Bravo from Auburn Sports and Marine (253-833-1440) says the Green River has been kicking out a few hatchery steelhead above Flaming Geyser Park. Bravo says the word on the street is that sand shrimp, sand shrimp, or sand shrimp hs been the go-to bait on the Green lately. He says he’s heard of a few reports of wild fish in the Green already, as well. The Green received a plant of 116,000 steelhead smolts in 2011 and should provide decent steelhead fishing into January.

Chad Belding at Holiday Sports

Chad Belding of the popular and entertaining hunting show The Fowl Life on the Sportsman’s Channel will be at Holiday Sports in Burlington on December 29th from 2 to 4 p.m. to sign autographs and talk waterfowl hunting with fans of the show.

Pennsylvania Deer Hunter $50 Million Richer

From the Levittown Patch. Roger Custer of Levittown, Pennsylvania bought a Powerball lottery ticket while picking up supplies for a week long hunting trip with some friends in early December. When he returned home from his hunting trip five days later he pulled the ticket from his pocket and handed it to his wife and said, “Check this and tell me how many millions we’ve won.” After checking the numbers his wife began crying with joy. While he was away hunting Custer had hit the Powerball jackpot, winning $50 million before taxes. The Custer’s after-tax winnings amounts to just over $33 million. Custer says he plans on doing a lot more hunting and fishing in the near future.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com