Fishing Report Sponsored by Whatcom Counties Fishing PRO Shop.
February 10, 2012
By Ken Shagren, Fishing Pro Staff, Dave’s Sports Shop
“Remember to check the official WDFW regulations before going out!”
Welcome to the Dave’s Sports Shop fishing report. Check in with us as we attempt to keep you informed on where the fish are biting and what is working to catch them. We will try to keep the information current so that we can help you decide where the best opportunity for success will be located.
Steelhead fishing on the north fork of the Nooksack River and on the Skagit River from highway 530 to the Cascade River will close on February 16 in what effectively ends the river fishing season for 2011/2012. With the closing of these rivers it’s time to look at what other fishing opportunities exist until the lowland lakes open in late April.
Both Whatcom and Skagit counties have lakes that are open year-around. In Whatcom County Samish, Squalicum, Fazon, Terrell, Wiser, and Boundary lakes are open all year and each of them has opportunities to explore. Lake Samish might be the most interesting of the group with its population of kokanee. All of the gear choices that are used during spring would still apply to late winter such as small flashers with a mini squid, pink fly, or wedding band spinner tipped with a real or Gulp maggot. The fish will be in the top 10 to 15 feet at this time of year. You can also look for both smallmouth and largemouth bass in Lake Samish. Dave’s Sports Shop has received reports of both species of bass being hooked on tube baits using a drop shot technique in deep water. Squalicum Lake, which is fly fishing only, is always a good lake for spring fly fishers to work out the casting kinks. Try chironomids or woolly buggers here. Fazon holds several species of fish including trout, bass, perch, blue gill, and channel catfish. Lake Terrell has some trout, but bass are the primary target here. Wiser and Boundary are warm water specie lakes that both hold largemouth bass and perch. Wiser holds brown bullhead catfish while Boundary has a good population of crappie.
Here is a short list of lakes open year-around in Skagit County: Clear, Beaver, Campbell, Cavanaugh, and Pass. Clear Lake is three miles south of Sedro Woolley and contains rainbow trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, cutthroat trout, and brown bullhead catfish. Beaver Lake is one mile south of Clear Lake and holds Cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, crappie, and yellow perch. It is best known for its warm water species. Lake Campbell is located five miles south of Anacortes. Its fish species include largemouth bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead catfish. There is a slot limit on bass. Cavanaugh is located 10 miles east of Arlington. This lake features rainbow, cutthroat, eastern brook trout, and kokanee. It also has largemouth bass for the warm water enthusiasts. Finally, Pass Lake is an intriguing trophy fly fishing only lake located six miles south of Anacortes. It can be excellent in early spring for rainbows, cutthroat, and brown trout averaging 15 inches but fish up to 28 inches are reported each year.
Great weather greeted anglers who participated in the 9th annual Roach Harbor Salmon Classic. The fishing was decent as 85 teams of nearly 300 anglers boated 93 hatchery blackmouth. The top four finishers each weighed in fish over 16 pounds. Jason King and his team from Bellingham took home the $10,000.00 top prize with a blackmouth weighing 16.6 pounds. They reportedly found the fish off of Waldron Island. Congratulations guys!
By the end of February we should start to see larger fish in the San Juan Islands from the Fraser River spring chinook run. One of the many places you can find these fish is Thatcher Pass on the outgoing tide and the Eagle Bluff area at the north end of Cypress Island on an incoming tide. The fish that are at Thatcher Pass on the outgoing tide will be off Cypress Island on the incoming tide.
In the San Juan Island group the best areas tend to be the north end of Orcas Island at Point Thompson, Point Doughty and Parker Reef, President’s Channel, Point Lawrence, Eagle Bluff and Tide Point Area, Thatcher Pass, Lopez Pass and Spring Pass.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Steelhead fishing on the Chilliwack/Vedder has been excellent in late January and early February and there is no reason to believe the action will stop any time soon. Much of the action has been in the Vedder Crossing area and above. This year the fish seem to be scooting quickly through the lower river and holding in the middle sections. While there have been several fish weighed in over 15 lbs, the largest fish weighed in for the Wally Hall Memorial Steelhead Derby is still19.08 lbs. caught on January 5. New fish should be entering the river daily especially after a rain freshet. The Vedder clears quickly after a day of rain.
Float fishing is the primary method here making pink worms and jigs solid choices. The locals also use roe sacks, yarn tufts (wool), rubber egg imitations and wool combinations, dyed prawn tails, spoons and spinners. As for fly fishermen, the local shops are recommending egg sucking leaches, glow bugs, prawn patterns or intruders. The Vedder will peak in late January or early February but should fish well until the current license year ends on March 31.
We will resume reports from Vancouver Island and vicinity in early spring. Check back with us then.
This Fishing Report is Sponsored by Dave’s Sports Shop in Lynden. Check them out for all of your fishing and hunting needs. www.DavesSports.com