December 2011 Fishing Report
Fishing Report Sponsored by Whatcom Counties Fishing PRO Shop.
December 3, 2011
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.
If its December then its time for anglers to start thinking steelhead. There have already been reports of fish taken from the Cascade River, a tributary of the Skagit, and rumors of fish hooked in the Nooksack as well. Keep in mind that there is an emergency closure of the North Fork of the Nooksack between the Mosquito Lake road bridge and 1000 feet below the Kendall Creek hatchery to protect brood stock and help achieve egg-take goals. Look for Nooksack hatchery steelhead to show up in fishable numbers by mid December with the peak of the run generally showing up in early January.
The Cascade fishes well using corkies, yarn and eggs. However, jigs or pink rubber worms below a float are popular as well. This stream is best when it begins to drop after a rain and the total water volume reaches approximately 10,000 cfs. The Nooksack River is rarely clear in the month of December making “plunking” tactics the most effective method. This time tested rig consists of using pink, peach or red and chartreuse (to name some of the more popular choices) Spin N Glos with bait eggs or shrimp cast out with enough weight to stay in place on the bottom. Drift fished Corkies and yarn or Spin N Glos and yarn paired with bait are good choices for the Nooksack if fair weather would allow the water to clear.
Don’t give up on chum salmon in the Nooksack during the month of December either. This year anglers have had great success drifting 4 to 6 inch pink worms with a purple or chartreuse/lime Spin N Glo on top. Who would of thought, but that combination looks like a winner for the “dogs”. Also, don’t be surprised if a late coho shows up in your creel count. December silvers are not unheard of in the Nooksack. Salmon season remains open on the main stem Nooksack and the South Fork Nooksack until December 31.
December 1 marked the opening of winter hatchery chinook or “black mouth” fishing in Area 7. Success will largely depend on how much bait is working in the area that you are fishing. As the saying goes, “Find the bait and find the fish.” 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.
Crab season continues to be open seven days a week until December 31. The Dungeness crab limit is 5 with a 6 ½ inch minimum size and all must be males in a hard shell condition. The Red Rock crab limit is 6 with a minimum size of 5 inches of either sex.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Even though the Vedder is in good shape despite recent rains, this fishery is in a definite transition period. There are a few chums and occasional coho still coming into the system, but most salmon are well upstream by now. Mid December marks the beginning of the steelhead season on the Chilliwack/Vedder and metalheads will enter the system all the way into April 2012. Float fishing with yarn tufts, imitation eggs, jigs, pink rubber worms or bait is the primary method here. Look for the Vedder system to be good for steelhead by early January.
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