November 2012 Fishing Report

Fishing Report provided by Mayberry Sporting Goods


Lakes       Rivers     BC, Canada    Saltwater

November 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.

There has been a lot of rain in October which brought a lot of fish up the rivers. 

Silver fishing will still be good on the upper Skagit, Cascade, and the South Fork of the Nooksack. 

The Nooksack, the North Fork, and Whatcom Creek will start to fill up with Chum.  Chum have already been showing up in the Skagit which is not open for Chum retention. Hopefully we will have a good season for them. 

At the end of the month Steelhead will start to show up in the Cascade and the Skagit.

Crabbing re-opened in September for 7 days a week and will remain open until December 31st.



Lake Report



Baker Lake:   A two pole endorsement is allowed on Baker Lake.  Limit for trout is 5 between 6 and 18”.  Chumming is permitted on Baker.

Closed until next April

Cain Lake:  Cain Lake is 72 acres.  The two pole endorsement is valid on this lake. 

Closed until next April

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

Things will start to slow down on Fazon as we enter late fall.

Bass will become less active as their metabolism begins to slow down.  They become less aggressive and eat less often.  Keeping this in mind bass will react to large baits which are slowly presented to them.

Try twitching Senko type lures along near shore structure.  The best colors have been blacks and browns.  Slow rolling spinnerbaits is another option and can be a good way to seek out bass and then target them more methodically with soft plastics.

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.  Catfish are more active during the morning and evening.  They will be more active in low light conditions.

Bluegill fishing will be pretty slow.  If there are any biting they may be in deeper water.  Try fishing a worm near the bottom.

There are perch in Fazon and they should bite during the winter if you find them in then deeper parts of the lake.  Try fishing nightcrawlers with a little added anise oil or shrimp scent to help get their attention.

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 next April

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.

Fishing for Kokanee in the late fall is not a common practice but it is worth a try.  Fishing may slow down at this time of year because the fish that spawn in the fall may be the fish that were available in the summer.

I would try trolling a dodger with a small pink fly or hoochie, Wedding Ring, or Dick Nite.  Tip these presentations with Pauzke’s Fire Corn, Berkley Gulp Maggots or white shoepeg corn.  I believe that it is critical to tip your lure unless you are trolling a spoon like a Dick Nite.

If you are using a hoochie or fly keep your leader short (12 inches) and heavy (12 to 15 lb. mono).  This allows the action of the dodger to transmit to the trailing lure.  If you are using a spoon or spinner then use a longer lighter leader (24-28 inches) and lighter line (8 lb. test.).

You can either troll with a 1 to 3 oz. weight or off of a downrigger.  Place a sinker and a snubber a couple of feet above your dodger.  Of you are using a downrigger then just tie a snubber above your dodger.

I would try a variety of depths.  As the water cools then going deep might be the best choice.

When trolling remember to keep your speed down (1 to 1.5 mph).  Early in the season most Kokanee will be caught from out in front of the boat launch and on up toward the north end of the lake.  Another key is to get out on the lake early when they are feeding more aggressively.

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 next April.

Squalicum Lake:  Squalicum Lake is 33 acres.  A two pole endorsement is not valid 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.

Fishing will slow down on Squalicum as we get into the colder months.  That does not mean whoever that the fishing will stop.  Trout feed less in the winter but they are tolerant of colder water and will be active all winter.

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.

During the winter the best fishing will often be on the sunny days or during periods of warmer than average weather.  The warmer weather will cause the fish to become active and to feed more aggressively.

Lake Terrell:  Lake 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.

Things will slow down this month and continue to slow down as we move into fall.

Terrell has been exceptionally productive for bass fishing so far this season with good numbers of 5 plus lb. fish being caught.

Try slowly working lures such as plastic worms or jigs for largemouth bass.  This will get them upset as the lure spends more time in their face making them quite upset and unable to resist attacking your presentation. With the warmer weather more aggressive approaches will also produce results such as working topwaters such as buzzbaits, poppers, frogs, and large minnow baits such as Rapalas.  Spinnerbaits are also good seeking bait and can show you where the fish are concentrated.

Catfish should be getting active on Terrell.  In additions to Bullhead Catfish there are also some Channel Catfish which at times can get very large (20 plus lbs.).  Catfish respond best to bait and can be caught on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or commercial stink bait.  Adding scent such as garlic, shrimp, anise, or herring will also help you get bit.  Catfish will bite all day but are much more active during periods of low light.

Perch and to a much lesser extent Bluegill and Pumpkinseed are also present in Lake Terrell.  They are willing biters and fishing for them is a great way to introduce youngsters to the sport.  The most basic approach is to fish for them with a bobber and worm.  If you are running low on bait then a good trick is to cut a thin strip of tail meat off of a perch and use that for bait.  For more details on the subject refer to Bluegill fishing tactics for Lake Fazon.

Toad Lake:  Toad Lake is 30 acres.  A two pole endorsement is valid on Toad Lake. 

Last year Toad Lake was planted with 5,000 Rainbow Trout and 250 Triploid Rainbow Trout in April. This averages to 167 Rainbow Trout per acre and 8 Triploid Rainbow Trout per acre.

Closed until next April.

Lake Whatcom:  Lake Whatcom is 5003 acres.  A two pole endorsement is not valid on this lake.  Lake Whatcom is closed until Saturday April 28th.

Last year Lake Whatcom was planted with 4,451,400 Kokanee smolt.

Closed until next April.


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

Fishing will be slow in the late fall and winter months.

Bass can be caught during the winter but they will be lethargic.  Try fishing slowly with bulky presentations.


River Report



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

The Cascade River hatchery released 266,000 Steelhead Smolt in 2007, 185,000 in 2008, 146,000 in 2009, and 201,000 in 2010. 2011-210,000 Opens for salmon fishing September 16th.

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

After the 1st. heavy rain around the middle of October things began to really heat up on the Cascade. Fishing will remain productive throughout the month of November.  When the Coho start to slow down Steelhead will start showing up to fill in the gap.

The Cascade River opens for Coho salmon September 16th.  The fishing usually starts out slow after the opener unless there is a substantial amount of rain.  Things usually start heating up as we get into October.


Silver fishing on the Cascade can be very productive and is a great place to get into some fish.   One of the nicest things about the Cascade is that it is quick to drop into shape after a heavy rain and is fishable when most other local rivers are not.  This can be a problem when there is a dry spell because the river will get too low and clear.

Float fishing with eggs is one of the most productive methods on the Cascade.  Most of the time it is best to go with a toned down presentation such as a size 4 hook with a small cluster of eggs or 1 to 3 EZ Eggs with or without a small bit of yarn and 8 to 10 lb. test.  Drifting a Glo-Bug or small yarn fly can also do the trick in low or clear water.

Lures are also a good choice for silvers and make it easy to cover a lot of water.  Size 3 to 4 spinners, small spoons, or un-weighted spoons such as Dick Nites, and ¼ oz. jigs are all good choices.  Productive colors include green, orange, red, pink, purple, black, and blue.

Nooksack River:

Smolt release counts for the Nooksack River: 2007-160,000 2008-164,000 2009-146,500 2010-106,200 2011-99,999

From Lummi Indian Reservation Boundary to Hwy. 544 Bridge at Everson.  Open Saturday June 2nd. Open for salmon fishing September 1st.

From Hwy. 544 Bridge in Everson to yellow marker at FFA high school barn in Deming.  Opens Saturday June 2nd.  Opens for salmon Sept. 1st

The focus on the main fork of the Nooksack will shift this year from Coho to Chum.

When fishing for Chum look for them to be holding in both deeper, slower water and faster water if it is on the inside of a bend.  Chum will often run through faster or shallower water because they are in a hurry to get to their spawning grounds.

Try drifting corky and yarn, or pink worms with or without a float.  Fishing jigs with a float or twitched is also very effective.  Pink, green, purple and blue are all productive colors for chum.

Tipping your presentation with shrimp or adding shrimp or shrimp/anise will also help sweeten the deal.

Throwing spinners or spoons will also work for late returning silvers and will also work for chum.

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

This stretch of river is now open and can be some of the best water to fish as fish begin to move upstream. There are usually some good deep holes in this stretch.  Fish will also hold in this area before they head up the North or South Fork.

I would fish this stretch of river much like the lower river by throwing hardware or drifting eggs for silvers. For Chum try fishing corky and yarn, jigs or pink worms.

North Fork: from mouth to Maple Creek.  Opens June 2nd.  Opens for Salmon October 1st.

Steelhead Smolt release counts for the Nooksack River: 2007-160,000 2008-164,000 2009-146,500 2010-106,200 2011-99,999

This month the focus of fishing on the North Fork will be for Chums.

The hatchery run of Chum  on the Nooksack are bound for the Kendall Creek Hatchery and the wild returning Chum are either headed to the north fork or the middle fork which is not open to the retention of Chum.

When looking for Chum in this stretch of river be willing to cover lots of water as Chum bite well and should bite if they are in a hole you are fishing.  Chum do not jump very often so you will have to look for water that should hold Chum and see if there are actively biting fish in the hole.

The North Fork is good water for float fishing so fishing jigs, corky and yarn or pink worms can be very productive.  Twitching jigs or a pink worm on a jig head will also produce results.

The North Fork does have a fair return of Coho and is worth a look especially if fishing is slow on the South Fork.

Look for deeper water and if possible slower water.  The North Fork does not have as much classic holding water for Coho so look for them in less than ideal spots.  In swifter current Coho will be less likely to jump so do not rely on jumping fish to know where to find them.

In the swifter water drifting eggs or yarn/corky and yarn with or without a float can be productive.  In the slower water hardware such as spinners spoons or jigs will be a good choice.  If you are fishing less than prime it is best to not spend too much time on one hole and be willing cover water to find holding fish.

Trout fishing is an option on the North Fork.  Small presentations should catch fish.  Check the regs. for tributaries that are open.  These small creeks can often have healthy populations of small native trout.

Check Regs for details.

North Fork: from Maple Creek to Nooksack Falls:   Opens June 2nd

Trout fishing is an option in this stretch of river and its open tributaries.  Try throwing small spinners, spoons, flies and bait such as single eggs and nightcrawlers.

Nooksack River: Upstream of Nooksack Falls including all tributaries and their tributaries: Opens June 2nd.

This stretch of river has potential for good fishing for native trout.

Middle Fork: From mouth to city of Bellingham Diversion Dam. Selective gear rules check regs. for details.  Re-Opens June 2nd.

I have not fished much or heard a lot about the middle fork.  I would suspect there would be some good trout fishing on this stretch of river.  Lures will be the bait of choice because bait or scent is not allowed on this stretch of river.

South Fork:  From mouth to Skookum Creek.  Opens June 2nd.  Opens for salmon October 1st.  Selective gear rules check regs for details.

When the river has been in shape in October fishing has been excellent for Coho and it is definitely a good year to fish the South Fork.

The South Fork provides the most productive Coho fishery in Whatcom County given the conditions are correct.  This can be tricky because not only is this stretch of river quick to blow out it has a tendency to run low and clear after about a week without rain.

The best time to hit this stretch of river is a few days after a heavy rain brings the river up.  The fish will move in with the high water and be more active when the river is on the drop.  There will still be fish in the river when it is low they just get a lot of pressure from all the fishermen casting at them and get uneasy in the clear water.

If the river is running at moderate to low flows than going with small light presentations is the key to success. Try throwing sz. 3 spinners, small spoons, or trolling spoons such as Dick Nites.  1/ 8 to ¼ oz jigs are also worth a try.

Another excellent technique for fishing the South Fork is to fish a small bit of yarn on a size 2 or 4 hook or a fly known as a Glo-Bug which is tied with yarn under a float.  Keep the presentation light and use 8 to 10 lb. mono or fluorocarbon.  Set your float so that your presentation is just about 1 ft. off bottom.  This is a very productive way to cover water and catch fish on the South Fork and is the next best thing to drifting eggs which is not allowed on the South Fork.

If the river is running high then try throwing sz 4 or even 5 spinners or drifting bright yarn on a sz. 2 or 1 hook.  Adding a small Corky or Spin-N-Glo might help bulk out your presentation and make it easier for fish to find.

Fish will come through in waves so if the fish do not seem to be in or are running dark then wait for the next rain and there is a good chance a fresh push of fish will come through.

This stretch of river can be good at times for native Rainbow Trout and reportedly has a small return of native Steelhead.

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.  Re-Opens June 2nd.  Opens for salmon August 1st.

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


Chum have already begun to show up toward the end of October and fishing will pick up towards the middle of November and then slow down towards the end of November.

Two things affect this fishery more than anything else.  Tide height and creek flow.

Whatcom creek flows for a few short miles before it is dammed at the base of Lake Whatcom.  This makes creek flows dependent on the water which is let out of the dam.  When the gates are raised and excess water is released from the lake salmon are compelled to make their spawning run.

Once the creek is raised the higher flows will last until spring.  The amount of water being released from the dam will fluctuate.  Fishing will be best when there is a steady flow of water but not so much as to create whitewater rapids for the fish to navigate.

Tide is another factor.  Fishing will be best on an incoming to high tide as fish will move in with the tide. Fishing will be good on either tide.  If you can choose when to fish then high tide will be best.

The worst part of fishing Whatcom Creek is the crowds.  Not only is the fishing area small but it is also crowded and fishing can often get a little confrontational.

The other unfortunate part of fishing at Maritime is the fact that a significant number of the fishermen are openly snagging salmon which if given a chance will potentially bite.

The majority of fish are hooked along what is referred to as the wall.  The fish will line up along the wall before they make an attempt to run up the first set of rapids in the creek.

The best way to fish this area is with pencil lead and a corky and yarn.  Chum are very fond of pink worms so it may be worth a try to rig one of them up instead of the corky and yarn set up.

Lower down the creek on the opposite side there are less crowds due to a lower concentration of fish.  This does not mean that fish are not caught down here and it is a good place to experiment with different methods.  I have had good luck fishing this area with a float and jig and also with twitching jigs.  Plunking a spin-n-glo with shrimp may also be a productive presentation.  Drifting a pink worm and float should also work well.



From footbridge below Dupont St. to Woburn St. Bridge:  Opened first Saturday in June.

This stretch of river offers excellent fishing for small trout.  Try tossing small spinners or spoons or drift a single egg or worm under a bobber.

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).  Opened April 28th.

Fishing has been good so far in the Juvenile fishing section of Whatcom Creek.  In the pond Power Bait on a long leader to stay above the weeds is always a good choice.  Fishermen have also done good throwing small spinners such as Rooster Tails.  A bobber and worm can also be a good choice and will catch more than just trout.  There are also Bullhead Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, and Yellow Perch in the pond.  Some of the deeper pools above the stone bridge also are good for some good size trout and Smallmouth Bass.  I prefer drifting worms with or without a bobber and throwing small spinners or spoons.

Samish River:  Opens first Saturday in June. 

From mouth (Samish Island/Bayview Edison Rd. Bridge) to Farm-to-Market Rd. Bridge Opens for Salmon Aug. 1st. to Nov. 30th.  From Aug. 1st to Nov. 30th.  Bait or lure must be suspended below a float.

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.  Re-opens June 2nd.

“From August 1st to Nov. 30th bait or lures must be suspended below a float.”

There are a few Chum that go up the Samish river as well as wild Coho which are not open to retention. Fishing a shrimp tipped jig under a float may be well worth a try if you would like to try Chum fishing in solitude.

The lower Samish River also has a few sea-run cutthroat.

From Farm-to-Market Rd. Bridge to 1-5 Bridge.

Opens for Salmon from August 1st. to November 30th.

From 1-5 Bridge to Hickson Bridge:  Open from 1st. Saturday in June until November 30th.

Might be worth a try for Chum and also can be good for Sea Run Cutthroat at times.

Opened June 2ndThis small stretch of river can provide good opportunities for cutthroat fishing.

Skagit River:

From mouth to Hwy. 536 at Mount Vernon: Open from June 1st to January 31st.  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          Re-Opens for salmon September 1st

The lower river opens first for Coho on the Skagit River and it will be the 1st. place to look for the 1st silver that will start showing up in the Skagit.

Fish are finally starting to show throughout the Skagit but have been hard to get to bite due to low clear conditions.

The most popular method for fishing the lower river is with hardware.  Small spoons such as Dick Nites, Spinners, trolling plugs (Brad’s Wigglers for example), and jigs will all produce in the lower river.

Popular colors include chartreuse, green, pink, red, orange, blue, purple, black, firetiger, silver, gold, and copper.

Look for fish to be holding in deeper slower pools as well as the many sets of pilings and brush piles which are present in the lower river.

Plunking eggs is another option though fishing bait is not a very popular method for Coho on the lower Skagit.

There should be some opportunities for sea-run cutthroat.  This stretch of river is popular for fly fishing when the river is in shape.

From Hwy. 536 at Mount Vernon to mouth of Gilligan Creek:  Opens June 2nd.  Opens for salmon September 1st.

I would fish this stretch of the river much like I would fish the lower river.

There may also be a few Dolly Varden and sea-run Cutthroat in the system that might be worth fishing for.

From Mouth of Gilligan Creek to the Dalles Bridge at Concrete: Opens June 2nd.  Opens for salmon September 16th.

There will probably be a few Coho up this high around the opener especially if we get some rain.  Expect fishing to improve as we move into October.

When fishing the upper river fish Coho will hold in the soft water wherever an obstruction or side channel slows things down.  They like the slow stuff as long as it is deep enough for them to feel comfortable.

Fishing marabou jigs has become very popular on the upper stretches of the Skagit River.  The method is referred to as twitching which is jigging with a short sweep (18 to 24 inches) of the rod.  3/8 to ½ oz/ jigs in pink/black, red/black, purple/black, pink/white, pink/purple, chartreuse, chartreuse/orange, chartreuse/blue, and blue are all productive.  Jigs with black in them seem to be the most popular on this river.  Lots of fishermen like to tip their jigs with sand shrimp, coonstripe shrimp or prawn meat.

Size 3 to 5 spinners, plugs, and small spoons will also work well in this stretch of river.  Green, chartreuse, pink, orange, black, purple, firetiger, copper, silver, and gold are all productive colors for Coho.

There may be a few Dolly Varden and sea-run Cutthroat in this stretch of river.

From Dalles Bridge at Concrete to Hwy. 530 Bridge at Rockport: Opens June 2nd.  Opens for salmon September 16th.

Fish this stretch as you would the Gilligan Creek to Dalles Bridge stretch.

There will be some Cutthroat and Dolly Varden in this stretch of river.

Hwy. 530 bridge at Rockport to Cascade River Rd.:  Opens June 1st.  Opens for salmon September 16th.

Fish this stretch as you would the Gilligan Creek to Dalles Bridge stretch.

There may be some Dolly Varden and Summer Run Steelhead in the river right now.

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. Opens June 2nd.

This stretch of river can be good for resident trout as well as Dolly Varden.  Try throwing spinners or spoons or dead drifting or swimming streamers.

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.  Chinook retention begins on July 16th.  Check regs. for details. 

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.  Currently Fly Fishing only and only opens from Vedder Crossing downriver.

The heavy rains of October have brought a lot of fish into the Vedder and there is currently a good number of Chum Coho and Chinook in the Vedder.

Fishing will start out strong and then begin to wind down towards the end of the month.

This year fishing has been exceptionally good for Coho on the Vedder.

Drifting yarn under a float is the most popular technique on the Vedder River and is very productive.  Popular colors of yarn include peach, pink, red, white, and chartreuse.  Roe or artificial eggs under a float are also productive.

Another productive though less popular technique is throwing spoons spinners or jigs.  This can be especially effective if there are areas along the river than have been dug out for gravel or where the river forms deep pools.

I would fish the lower river early on.  As the season progresses or as we get rain fish will be spread throughout the river.

If you go to the Vedder expect there to be a lot of fish and a lot of fishermen.  The river can be phenomenal so much in fact that people will come from as far as Europe just to fish it so do not expect to have the river to yourself.


Area 7 Saltwater Report


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

Salmon: Closed until Dec. 1st.

Halibut: Closed until next spring.

Lingcod: Closed until next May

Cabezon:  Opens May 1st. Closes November 30th.

Cabezon are hard to clean but excellent to eat.  They are generally caught as a bonus while fishing Lingcod.  If you would like to specifically target them then try fishing curly tails particularly near kelp beds.

Cabezon primarily feed on shrimp and crab so adding some shrimp scent or crab scent if you can find it will help you increase your catch of Cabezon.

Rockfish: Closed year round.

Clamming/Oysters: Open year round unless listed otherwise.  There have been health advisories all summer but this may change as the weather cools.  Always call the shellfish hotline to assure that the beach you choose is safe for digging.  Check regs. For details.

Call the shellfish hotline for an update.

There has been a closure due to toxins on all clamming this summer and fall in area 7.  Hopefully we will get a chance to dig before too long.

Shrimping: Closed until next spring

Crabbing:  Re-opened from October 1st to December 31st. 7 days a week

This is excellent news.  Some days we get some nice weather in the fall and winter.  It might be a good idea to drop some pots as there will not be much pressure from other crabbers and it might be nice to have some crab around the holidays.

There are also a few piers in Whatcom County that are good for crabbing.  In Bellingham there is the Alaska ferry terminal, the boardwalk at Boulevard Park and a public dock at Zuanich Park.

With crabbing open 7 days a week it will be possible to leave a pot out throughout the season provided it is marked with your required personal information.

Crab prefer a sand or mud bottom and are commonly found in calm bays especially ones that have a river feeding into them.  Most sport crabbing is done in water from 20 to 100 ft. deep with water from 50 to 100 ft. deep generally being the most productive.  Pots are best if you do not plan on checking them too often (45 minutes or more) and rings work best if you are able to check them frequently (every 15 to 45 minutes).

Fish is the best bait with salmon being the top choice chicken or turkey also is excellent bait.  The most important thing is that your bait is fairly fresh and not rotten smelling.  Adding catfood or oil packed canned tuna will also help leave a scent trail for crab to follow.

 Steelhead:  This month is a good time to try for Steelhead at Fort Casey State Park.

This area is a convergence zone for Steelhead bound for a number of rivers throughout the Puget Sound up our way and into Canada.

Fishermen fishing this area use a unique set up.  The set up consists of a 2 3/0 hooks tied on a 3 ft. leader with a pink hooch, a bead and a size 4 Spin-N-Glo.  This set up is attached to enough lead to tap the bottom on a slow retrieve.

The Steelhead that are caught with this rig will run right along the bank so it is not necessary to make long casts and it is important to reel in your setup all the way to the beach as the fish will often hit at the last minute.



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:,,,,

Washington and British Columbia fishing (Washington), (British Columbia)

Washington River

BC River

Here are some helpful phone numbers to call to get netting schedule information for our local waters.

Lummi Tribal netting schedule:  (360) 384-2252

Sauk Suiattle Netting Schedule: (360) 466-4112

WDFW Commercial Netting Schedule: (360) 902-2500

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