April 2012 Fishing Report Mayberry

Fishing Report provided by Mayberry Sporting Goods


Lakes       Rivers     BC, Canada    Saltwater

April 2012

Submitted By Eli Michael of Mayberry Sporting Goods.

Note: Always check Regs. and check the WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) website before you head out so that you do not get a ticket. Regulations often change without notice throughout a season so the best way to make sure you are legal is to check the regulations yourself.

April is what I consider the New Year of fishing. Our local lakes open for fishing. This is what many fishermen refer to as opening day and is without a doubt the most celebrated and highly fished day of the year. We begin to see the true colors of spring and everything just keeps getting better from here on out.

I will be teaching my Northwest Fishing Basics class on Wed. May 2nd, and 9th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. and Saturday May 12th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. The class will cover the basics of local lake, river, and saltwater fishing. On Saturday we will have a field trip to Lake Padden which will include a day of fishing and a fish B.B.Q. The fee for the class is $70.00

Jim Jorgensen local fishing legend will be teaching his well-known “SALMONAR” class at Mayberry this month classes will take place April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. These classes will cover a spectrum of saltwater salmon fishing tactics as well as bottomfishing techniques. Cost is $110.00 and is all inclusive except for chart.

Our 2nd annual Opening Day Fishing Contest will be taking place Saturday April 28th. There will be lots of prizes for the top 3 biggest trout in a number of age categories. Check in for details. This will be lots of fun for everyone and a chance to show off your catch!

Lake Report


Baker Lake: Closed until Saturday April 28th.

Baker Lake will open this month and offer fishermen the opportunity to catch Kokanee.

Chumming is legal on this lake and is generally the most productive method.  There are a variety of productive recipes some of which are public knowledge many of which are guarded secrets.  Chum is essentially a mixture of chicken feed and feed eggs.  The set up for chumming is pretty basic.  Fishermen will set up a double anchor system to keep their boat stationary.

For the set up you will want a very sensitive rod with a very soft tip that will tell you that a fish is biting before they figure out that you are on the other end.  For the terminal tackle you will want to use a few split shot or a slip sinker (about ¼ oz. of lead) about 24 inches up your line.  Use a size 6 to 10 single egg hook (I prefer Gamakatsu) baited with a single egg and a maggot.  Berkley makes a series of gulp artificial maggots which would be a suitable substitute for maggots.

Drop your presentation over the side of the boat so that you are fishing vertically.  Slowly lower your presentation through the water column.  Let your bait sit still for a few minutes every time you drop your line a few minutes until you begin to get  bites.  If you do not get bit for a while consider moving to a new spot.

The most popular areas to fish Baker Lake are drop offs and creek mouths.  Anderson Creek is one of the most popular areas for chumming.  I believe that fish become accustomed to frequenting areas that are frequently chummed because these areas commonly provide them with food.

Trolling is another option but I have never personally found it to be as productive as chumming on this lake.  Standard Kokanee trolling methods should work on this lake.  Dick Nites, Wedding Rings tipped with corn or Gulp Maggots, and small hoochies tipped with bait behind a small dodger or gang troll should all work on this lake.

If fishing is slow near the opener it does not necessarily mean we are going to have a bad season on this lake it might just mean the fish are still a little too cold to be active and just need some warm weather to wake them up.  As a general rule Kokanee fishing usually improves in May.

There are other species of salmonids in the lake including Dolly Varden, Bull Trout, Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout.  These other species are not considered abundant enough to target but are occasionally caught while targeting kokanee.  Depression Lakeis a small lake near Baker that can be very excellent for rainbow trout and does not require a boat to fish.  Lake Shannon below Baker Lake is another option that can be very good for Kokanee fishing.

Cain Lake:  Cain Lake is 72 acres.  The two pole endorsement is valid on this lake.  Closed until Saturday April 28th.

This year Cain Lake is being planted with 9000 Rainbow Trout.  This gives us an average of 125 trout per acre.

Cain Lake is never the most densely stocked lake but that does not keep it from being a productive one.  There is no good access for a shore bound fisherman and a very discouraging and shoddy ramp that would be hard to negotiate with a boat over 14 ft. long.  These factors will keep Cain Lake productive throughout the summer when more popular more densely populated lakes have been over fished.

I prefer to troll Cain Lake but it is also a good lake for still fishing.  Cain Lake has a population of large bass that will feed on the planted trout.  Keeping this in mind I prefer to troll offshore.  It seems as if the trout seem to learn to stay away from the shoreline where bass may be ambushing them.  Trolling wet flies such as Wooly Buggers, Spoons such as Dick Nites, or a Wedding Ring and night crawler are a few good choices.  This time of year fish will be near the surface and will be aggressive enough that you should be able to catch fish without the assistance of a dodger or gang troll.

Due to poor shore access still fishing will done out of your boat unless you live on the lake or have a friend who does.  The north end of the lake is good for still fishing in about 12 to 20 ft. deep water.  If you are not catching getting bites after about 20 minutes then try a different spot until you find fish.  The east side of the lake should also hold fish although I have most often seen people fishing for trout on the north end.

Cain Lake is also known among some fishermen for its Largemouth Bass fishing.  The fishing should improve as the weather warms.  This is a lake that would fish well using trout imitating swim baits as well as the usual suspects such as spinnerbaits, soft plastics, and crankbaits.

There are also Yellow Perch and Bullhead Catfish in Cain Lake both of these tasty fish can be caught by fishing nightcrawlers near the bottom.

Lake Fazon:  Lake Fazon is 32 Acres.  Two pole endorsement is valid on this lake.  Lake Fazon is open year round.

February was a cold month this year but fishermen reported catching a few catfish despite the cold weather.  Expect things to heat up this month if the weather heats up as well.

Bass, Catfish and Bluegill are a warm water fish and their activity level correlates directly with the temperature of their surroundings.

Even though April is considered springtime bass will still be a little slow this month so try to present your gear in a slow and methodical fashion.  Spinnerbaits with large blades, crankbaits, weedless jigs and soft plastics are all good choices.  Bass will often be in deeper water at this time unless a stretch of warm or sunny weather draws them into the shallows where they will bask in the warmer water.

Catfish have been caught through them month of March and should only improve this month.  A bonus of catching catfish this early in the year is that they will be especially good eating.  Catfish are drawn to scent.  Nightcrawlers and chicken liver are two popular baits but other strong smelling baits should also be good candidates for catching catfish.  Adding scent is another key factor in catfish catching success shrimp, garlic, anise, or any other strong scent is an important addition to your bait.  Even in these cold spring months catfish are more active during the morning and evening.

Bluegill fishing should still be pretty slow this month as it takes them a bit of time to wake up from our long winters.  Bluegill fishing usually gets going pretty good in May and lasts all summer.

Tiger Trout (a hybrid Brook and Brown Trout mix) have been planted as fry in previous years as have Tiger Muskie (a sterile Musky and Northern Pike hybrid).  I have heard one report of a tiger trout being caught last year but no reports of Tiger Musky over the past few years.  That does not mean that there are not a few of them in the lake to fish for and catch.

 Padden:  Lake Padden is 152 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on this lake.  Closed until Saturday April 28th.

This year Padden will be stocked with 20,000 Rainbow Trout.  This gives us an average of 132 trout per acre.

Lake Padden is by far the most popular lake for the opener in Whatcom County.  There is a bounty of shore access an excellent boat launch and is close to town.

With all of the access the lake has to offer it might still be the hardest lake on which to find a place to fish due to its popularity.

Still fishing with Powerbait or scented marshmallows is the method of choice for shore bound anglers.  Trolling is the way to go if you are fishing from a boat.

The set up for still fishing consists of a slip sinker a swivel a leader and a hook.

For this lake I would recommend a ½ sinker to help you reach the fish and a long leader (36 in. or better).  Commercially pre-tied leaders are a bit short (around 24 inches) so I would recommend tying your own.  We also offer hand tied leaders that are the proper length.  Small single egg hooks in size 6 or 8 work well and are light enough to keep the bait from sinking.  Light line will help you cast further and keep the fish from figuring out that their free meal may come with a price.  I would recommend 4 to 6 lb. test for both leader and mainline.

As for bait I have found Berkley Gulp in egg or paste form to be superior bait.  There is something about the scent that trout seem to find irresistible.  Adding scent to your bait will also help increase your odds for success.  Scent is so important that I believe it is more important than color when still fishing.

Popular colors for bait include chartreuse, green, pink, orange, and a variety of mixed colors such as pink and white, or chartreuse and orange.

Trolling is the way to go if you have access to a boat and do not mind waiting in a long line to get in and out of the water.   This will be the case on opening day but not most other days.

This time of year the fish will be in the top 5 ft. of water so you should not need to use more than ¼ oz. of lead to reach the fish.

Popular lure include spinners (Wedding Rings tipped with nightcrawlers, Rooster Tails, etc.), spoons (Dick Nites, Triple Teasers), plugs (flatfish, hot shots), and flies (wooly buggers, prop flies).  Any of these lures will work but every fisherman including myself has definite favorites.

Productive colors include silver, gold, pink, chartreuse, red, orange, frog (green with dark spots), olive, black, and brown.

This early in the season it is best to keep things simple.  It should not be necessary to use dodgers or gang trolls to attract fish and since the fish will be near the surface little or no weight will be required.  As the season progresses fish will move deeper and become less abundant making heavier weights and the use of attractors more common.  Speed is a very important factor and slow is the key.  One thing you will see a lot of is fishermen trolling as fast as there small trolling motors will allow as if they are fishing for blue water big game fish.

Kokanee are also planted in Lake Padden although far less targeted than the Rainbow Trout for which the lake is known.  Kokanee are landlocked Sockeye and behave far differently than trout.

Trolling will be the primary method to target these fish.  They are generally located deeper than trout although they may be found shallow at this time of year.  Gang trolls and dodgers are needed to draw these fish to your bait.  Due to the lesser drag and added action of dodgers they are being favored by most fishermen these days.  A snubber is also an addition to your set up because it will keep the hook from pulling out the Kokanee’s soft mouth most of the time.

A few popular setups are dodgers followed by Wedding Rings, Dick Nites, or small hoochies or flies.  Popular colors for kokanee include the most popular pink followed by purple and green as well as many other color combinations.

The subject of Kokanee is covered in more detail under Lake Samish and should apply to Lake Padden as well except for depth recommendations.

There are also Yellow Perch in Lake Padden they are not generally targeted but can be caught by using nightcrawlers near the bottom and may be caught occasionally while trolling hear the bottom.  There are also some potentially large bass in Lake Padden.

Lake Samish: Lake Samish is 814 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on Lake Samish.  This lake is open year round.

This year Lake Samish will be planted with 673,504 Kokanee fry.

Lake Samish has Kokanee, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Yellow Perch.  Peamouth Chub are also abundant in this lake.  People often refer to them as Squawfish.

I have not heard much about anybody catching Kokanee for a while.  With our cold weather if any are available they may be found in deep water.

Lake Samish has a healthy population of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.  They may be a little slow to get active on this large deep lake but expect fishing to improve rapidly once we get into the swing of spring.

Yellow Perch are abundant in this lake.  Your problem may not be catching them but finding ones that are big enough to eat.  They will often school according to size.  If you find some large ones then you are good to go.  If you decide to keep some to eat you will discover that they are one of the best eating fish in fresh or salt water.  With the weather we have had I would expect the perch to be in fairly deep water (40-80 ft.).  Fish a nightcrawler along the bottom at different depths.  Once you start catching fish then it is a safe bet that you have found the depth at which they are hanging out.

Lake Samish is also a good lake for catching crawdads.  Check regs. for details.

Silver Lake:  Silver Lake is 172 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on Silver Lake.  Closed until Saturday April 28th.

This year Silver Lake will be planted with 14,000 trout.  This gives us an average of 81 fish per acre.

Silver Lake is also a very popular lake on the opener.  The park offers camping and boat rentals.  There is also a fishing derby and pancake feed on the morning of opening day.  Another perk to fishing this lake is the fact that there are two boat launches one at the park on the south end and one on the north end.

Silver Lake does not offer as much fishable shore access as Padden but there are still some good areas for still fishing off the bank.  If you are still fishing out of a boat then the area around the Boy Scout camp is particularly popular.  This area is located in about halfway down the lake on the eastern shore.  There is a point of land where a creek feeds into the lake and the property is undeveloped.

Trolling is a very productive method on this lake and makes it easier to find the fish by covering a lot of water.  Flies such as Wooly Buggers or Prop Flies in olive, black, or brown are very popular lures for trolling on this lake.

The South end of the lake is very shallow and is not the best place to troll or still fish due to weeds.

For more details regarding lake fishing for rainbow trout read the Lake Padden report.

There are also Cutthroat Trout in this lake and they will often be found a little deeper than the Rainbow Trout.  They prefer nightcrawlers over dough bait and will also bite well on lures which are trolled.

There are some very big Largemouth Bass in this lake which have probably gotten so big by feeding on hatchery trout.  They will probably be a little lethargic this early in spring and can be a challenge to catch in such clear water.

Squalicum Lake:  Squalicum Lake is 33 acres.  A two pole endorsement is notvalid on lake.  Squalicum Lake is open year round.  Squalicum Lake is a fly fishing only lake. 

This year Squalicum will be planted with 178 Triploid Rainbow Trout in May and 4,000 Tiger Trout smolts in October.  This averages out to 5 Triploids per acre.

This year Squalicum Lake was planted with 162 Triploid Rainbow Trout in April and 20,000 Tiger Trout fry.  This averages out to 5 Triploid Rainbow Trout per acre.

I have talked to a few fishermen that have been having some luck on this lake and on a nice day it might be a good option to avoid going stir crazy from spending too much time indoors.  The weeds will be cleared out on this lake which should make fishing a whole lot easier.

Lake TerrellLake Terrell is 438 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on Lake Terrell.  Lake Terrell is open year round.

This year Terrell will be planted with 836 Triploid Rainbow Trout between April and May as well as 10,000 Cutthroat smolt in October.  This gives us an average of 2 Triploid per acre.

Not much is happening on this lake at the moment.  There is a good amount of shore access on and there may be a few large triploid rainbows biting.

If you have the patience you can also try slowly working lures such as plastic worms or jigs for largemouth bass.  Slow rolling spinnerbaits or slowly retrieving plugs are also good options.  Seek out the deeper parts of the lake or fish shallow if we have a stretch of warm weather.

Catfish should be waking up as we get closer to spring.  Lake Terrell has both Channel and Bullhead Catfish.

Toad Lake:  Toad Lake is 30 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on Toad Lake.  Toad Lake is closed until Saturday April 28th.

This year Toad Lake will be planted with 5,000 Rainbow Trout and 250 Triploid Rainbow Trout in April.  This gives us an average of 167 Rainbow Trout per acre and 8 Triploid Rainbow Trout per acre.

By the numbers Toad Lake is the most densely stocked of all of our local lakes.

I would guess that based on current and previous triploid stockings this lake would also be the best bet for catching a trophy size Rainbow.

Toad Lake has a small public access site on its Southwest end.  There is a shoddy boat launch which can comfortably handle boats up to 14 ft. long but it would be possible to launch a 16 ft. boat.  There are a few small areas from which to fish from shore and a public dock which is the popular spot on opening day.

The nice thing about Toad Lake is that it is deep near shore.  This does not make it necessary to make long casts to catch fish.  For still fishing I would use a ¼ oz. slip lead because a ½ oz. lead is not necessary.  A bobber and worm is also an excellent choice because long casts are not necessary.  Trout love worms and it is always exciting to watch the bobber go down.

If you are still fishing from a boat then the east and west ends of the lake are reliably productive.

If you are trolling then the entire lake will have good fishing.  If you are getting a lot of fish in a certain area then it never hurts to troll back through that area.

For more details regarding trolling or still fishing refer to Lake Padden.

Toad Lake is planted with kokanee some years and I have heard of large fish being caught.  Kokanee are generally located deeper than trout.  Keeping that in mind I would focus my fishing efforts in the deeper parts of the lake.  If you catch a few trolling then double anchoring and still fishing with a single egg and a maggot or Berkley Gulp Maggot might also be worth a try.

I have been told that there are large bass I this lake but I have only heard it from one person.

There are also large crawdads in this lake so dropping a pot may be worth a try.  Check regs. for details.

Lake Whatcom:  Lake Whatcom is 5003 acres.  A two pole endorsement is notvalid on this lake.  Lake Whatcom is closed until Saturday April 28th.

This year Lake Whatcom will be planted with 4,451,400 Kokanee smolt.

Lake Whatcom hosts a variety of fish species including Kokanee, Cutthroat Trout (closed to fishing), Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Pumpkinseed, and Bullhead Catfish.

Lake Whatcom consists of three basins which are denoted by bottle necks.  There is a north basin a middle basin and a south basin.  The north basin has a maximum depth of 95 ft. and an average depth of 30 ft. and is the first to warm up.  The middle basin has a maximum depth of 69 ft. and an average depth of 38 ft.  The middle basin will begin to warm up long before the south basin and soon before the north basin. The South basin which is by far the largest has an average depth of 178 ft. and a maximum depth of 328 ft.

Lake Whatcom is a premiere Smallmouth Bass lake often referred to as one of the best in the state.  Additionally there are also a few big Largemouth in this lake as well.  Things should start up slow after the opener as this large lake takes a lot of time to warm up.  Most of the activity early in the season will take place in the north end of the lake.

Bass should be in pre-spawn mode at this time of year and will often be hanging around ledges and drop offs in deep water parallel to shallower water.  If we get a stretch of warm weather then the bass will move in shallower to soak up the heat.  1 or 2 degrees temperature can mean a lot with bass fishing and all fishing for that matter.

The easiest way to fish a lake like this is to use your depth finder and take note of the shoreline.  If there is a steep shoreline chances are the water along this shoreline will also drop into deep water same goes for a gently sloping shoreline etc.  Fishermen who spend a lot of time on the lake will find offshore structure such as reef or humps.  These areas often are less fished and provide premium structure for holding bass.  As the lake warms there will always be bass located on shallow water structure such as docks weed lines and rock gardens.  This structure is easy to fish because you can see where the fish will be holding.

Small (3-5”) soft plastics such as grubs, tube baits, and senko type baits all work well on this lake.  This lake is less weedy than traditional lakes so it is more conducive to a variety of presentations.  Fishing tubes or grubs on jig heads, drop shotting, Carolina, Texas, or wacky rigging will all work on this lake.  Early in the season fish these presentations slowly and methodically.  Earth tones such as browns, blacks and greens are good choices for soft plastics.

Fishing plugs is another productive option crawfish patterns or minnow patters which imitate kokanee, sculpin or perch.  Early in the season use deep diving plugs as bass are generally still holding in deeper water.

Kokanee fishing may be a little slow right after the opener but should get going once we get into May.  Early in the season fish will be closer to the surface.  Fishing tends to be better on the North end of the lake this time of year as the water will be warmer.  Strawberry Cove, Agate Bay and the bottleneck between the first and second basin are a few good places to troll for Kokanee.

Perch should be available to catch.  Early in the season expect them to be in deeper water (20-60 ft. deep).  Nightcrawlers fished within 12 in. off the bottom should do the trick.   If you catch a perch try putting a thin strip of perch meat on the hook.  It is more durable than nightcrawlers and is a very effective bait.  Adding scent such as shrimp or shrimp-anise seems to equal more bites.

Wiser Lake:  Wiser Lake is 103 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid at Wiser Lake. Wiser Lake is open year round.

Not much is happening at the time.  Bass fishing might be worth a try though they might still be in winter slow mode.


River Report

Cascade River:  Opens June 1st. to Feb. 16th.  Closed until June.

The Cascade River hatchery released 266,000 Steelhead Smolt in 2007, 185,000 in 2008, 146,000 in 2009, and 201,000 in 2010.

From Rockport Cascade Rd. Bridge upstream including forks:  Catch and release except up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Check regs. for details.  Closed until June

Nooksack River: Closed until June.

Smolt release counts for the Nooksack River: 2007-160,000 2008-164,000 2009-146,500 2010-106,200

From Lummi Indian Reservation Boundary to Hwy. 544 Bridge at Everson. Closed until June.

From Hwy. 544 Bridge in Everson to yellow marker at FFA high school barn in Deming.

Closed until June

From yellow marker at FFA high school barn in Deming to confluence of the North and South Forks.

Closed until October.

North Fork: from mouth to Maple Creek.  Closed until June.

Smolt release counts for the Nooksack River: 2007-160,000 2008-164,000 2009-146,500 2010-106,200


Check Regs for details.

North Fork: from Maple Creek to Nooksack Falls:   Closed until June.

Nooksack River: Upstream of Nooksack Falls including all tributaries and their tributaries: Closed until June.

Middle Fork: From mouth to city of Bellingham Diversion Dam. Selective gear rules check regs. for details.  Closed until June.

South Fork:  From mouth to Skookum Creek.  Closed until June.

Whatcom Creek: Most of the creek opens First Saturday in June check regs. for details.

From Mouth to Yellow markers below foot bridge below Dupont St.  Closed until June.

Steelhead smolt release counts for Whatcom Creek: 2007-0, 2008-5,000 2009-44,462 2010-0

.From footbridge below Dupont St. to Woburn St. Bridge: Closed until June

From Stone Bridge at Whatcom Falls Park to Lake Whatcom: Open from last Saturday in April to October 31st.  Open to juvenile anglers only (under 15 yrs. Old).  Closed until next April.

Samish River:  Opens first Saturday in June

From mouth (Samish Island/Bayview Edison Rd. Bridge) to 1-5 bridge.  Opens for Salmon Aug. 1st.

Steelhead release counts over the past few years: 2007-0 2008-34,800 2009-0 2010-0.  The Samish River Hatchery is no longer releasing Steelhead Smolt. Closed until next June.

From 1-5 Bridge to Hickson Bridge:  Open from 1st. Saturday in June until March 31st.

Closed until next June.

Skagit River:

From mouth to Hwy. 536 at Mount Vernon: Open year round:  Closed until next June. Skagit River Steelhead counts. (These counts include fish released from Skagit River tributaries such as the Cascade River.)  2007-511,600 2008-235,010 2009-174,000 2010-231,500

From Hwy. 536 at Mount Vernon to mouth of Gilligan Creek:  Closed until next June.

 From Mouth of Gilligan Creek to the Dalles Bridge at Concrete: Closed until next June.

From Dalles Bridge at Concrete to Hwy. 530 Bridge at Rockport: Closed until June.

Hwy. 530 bridge at Rockport to Cascade River Rd.:  Closed until June.

Skagit River from Cascade River Rd. to Gorge Powerhouse at Newhalem:  Selective Gear Rules Catch and release except up to two hatcheries Steelhead may be retained. Closed until June.

B.C. River Report

Fraser River:  The Fraser River is open year round.  Be very sure to check the regs. before you head out as BC fisheries are highly dependent on emergency openings and closures. 

Sturgeon fishing is always an option and allows us an opportunity to fish big game fish right in our back yard.  This time of year sturgeon will be less active but more concentrated.  Look for them in deep slow stretches of river where they will often stack up at this time of year.

Cutthroat Trout fishing should also be an option this time of year.

Vedder/Chilliwack River:  The Vedder will open to all methods of fishing July 1st.

Steelhead fishing should significantly pick up on the Vedder this month as fishing on the Vedder gets much better as the season progresses.

The Steelhead run on the Vedder typically starts a little later than other rivers.  It usually starts to heat up in January and gets better from then on out.

There will be quite a few Steelhead in the river this month and the fishing will definitely be worth a shot.  As we get closer to spring we should start seeing some bigger fish in the river.

As with all fishing on the Vedder float fishing is the most popular method for Steelhead.  Popular baits include roe, shrimp, jigs, and yarn.  Artificial eggs such as Jensen Eggs and EZ Eggs are also a productive and popular choice.  Spinners and spoons are also good choices especially in deeper and slower stretches.

The Vedder is a premier Steelhead river and can produce good numbers of Steelhead all winter and spring some of which can exceed 20 lbs.

Area 7 Saltwater Report

Note: all fishing in Area 7 limits fishermen to 2 single point barbless hooks.

Salmon: Open from December 1st. to April 30th.

March was a rough month for getting out on the water.  Not a lot of fishermen made it out but at times the fishing was very good for those who did make it.

There will be a couple of derbies this month.  The Frank Wilson Memorial Derby begins February 1st. and the Roche Harbor Derby takes place February 3rd. and 4th.

Derbies and fish counts can often give an indication of the numbers of fish being caught.  The best way to find out how the fishing has been is through personal experience.

The Resurrection Derby had taken place from December 1st. to December 3rd.

This year 200 fishermen entered and weighed in 96 fish.  This number is quite a bit lower than last year.  The winning fish were bigger than last year’s however.

Trolling is by far the most popular method of Blackmouth fishing in the San Juans.  Black and white, green and white, white, and chartreuse are the most popular colors for trolling.  Spoons such as Coho Killers, Kingfisher Lites, Tailwagger Spoons, and Coyote Spoons are all very effective and popular. 3.5 to 4 in. being the most popular and productive sizes.  Hoochies and needlefish squid are also very popular and productive.  When using a hoochie it is best to add a tinsel skirt and tip the top hook with either a strip of salted herring or a piece of Berkley Gulp herring strip.  Herring either cut plug or fished in a helmet is also a productive choice.  Brining your herring will bring out the shine in your bait and toughen it up a bit.  All of these presentations can enhanced with a flasher.

Blackmouth generally run along the bottom so for the most part you will have most of your luck fishing the lower 15 ft. of the water column.  Note that there will be an angle on your downrigger cable.  Let out extra line on the downrigger to compensate for this angle to reach the proper depth.  Blackmouth are generally caught in water that runs between 90 and 120 ft. deep.

When you are trolling for Blackmouth (or salmon in general) it is important to troll with the current.  The best trolling speed will be between 1.5 to 3 miles per hour.  If you are trolling with the current realize that if the current is going a mile an hour then if you are going 3 miles an hour your bait is only being trolled at 2 miles an hour.

Blackmouth follow bait.  If you can find bait then there is a good chance there will be Black mouth also present.

Popular areas to troll include:  Alden Bank, Pt. Migley, West Bank a.k.a Hummer Hole (Flood), Parker Reef (Ebb), Point Disney, Point Lawrence (Ebb), Thatcher Pass (Ebb), Eagle Point (Flood), Tide Point (Ebb), Fidalgo Head, and Lopez Flats to name a few.

Halibut: This year Halibut will be open from May 3rd through the 19th. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  May 24th. through the 28th. it will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  From May 31st through June 2nd it will be open Thursday Friday and Saturday.

Lingcod: Opens may 1st.

Cabezon:  Opens May 1st.

Rockfish: Closed year round.

Clamming/Oysters: Open year round unless listed otherwise.  Always call the shellfish hotline to assure that the beach you choose is safe for digging.  Check regs. For details.

As of this posting beaches are closed due to Red Tide.  Call the shellfish hotline for an update.  Hopefully the beaches will re-open soon.

This month we start to see a few good daytime tides coming up and clamming is a good way to enjoy nature and get some exercise while making good use of nature’s bounty.

There are some good daytime tides from March 10th.-14th, and March 25th -29th.

Shrimping: Opens Saturday May 5th.  There will be additional openings Friday May 11th, Saturday May 12th, Thursday May 17th, Friday May 18th, and Saturday May 19th.  There will be additional openings if there is still a remaining quota.

Crabbing: Closed until next summer.  It will likely re-open in July.

Steelhead:  Not much happening until next fall.



This report is just a guideline there are many techniques for every type of fishing so this is just an overview.  If I tried to cover all the bases this report would be several hundred pages long.

Thank You very much for reading my report.  Hopefully it has been helpful.

Eli Michael

Here is a list of a few websites which might prove helpful.  Let me know if I am missing any websites which are particularly helpful.

Here are a few good websites for fishing reports: www.salmonuniversity.com, www.steelheaduniversity.com,www.saltpatrol.com, www.fishwhatcom.com, www.fishtactics.com

Washington and British Columbia fishing regulations:www.wdfw.wa.gov (Washington), www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca (British Columbia)

Washington River flows:www.usgs.wa.gov

BC River flows:www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca

This Fishing Report is provided by Mayberry Sporting Goods in Bellingham.www.Mayberrysportinggoods.com

Post your own reports and read other users Fishing Trip Reports and discussions.

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