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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 6, 2009 at 10:44 AM

National Fishing and Boating Week begins today

National Fishing and Boating Week is June 6-14, and this a perfect time to get the family and kids outdoors and away from the distractions of everyday life like the TV, computer, video games, iPods and cellphones.

For boating, the Northwest Marine Trade Association has started an innovative boat giveaway contest to begin promoting the new Web site.

Contestants enter to win the use of a new Cobalt 222 for a week from Seattle Boat Company. The boat, which is wrapped in the graphics of KING-TV’s Evening Magazine television program, will be awarded to 12 different families to use the boat for one week each this summer.

“We are thrilled to kickoff the new Seattle Boat Show Web site with a dynamite boat giveaway this summer,” John Thorburn, the NMTA’s Director of Communications and Marketing said in a news release.

“ is now the place in the Pacific Northwest for boats, and boating resources,” said Thorburn. “The same great products, services and information that boaters in the region have come to enjoy at the boat show each January, can now find it all online year-round.”

Visitors to the site can take advantage of several tools to help them research their boat purchase, including requesting the value of a trade-in, requesting a brochure of a specific listing, tips on finding financing and insurance, and more.

“Boat buyers are doing their homework online before they walk into the boat show or dealership,” said Thorburn. “The new puts those tools of research and comparison into the hands of buyers so they can connect to boats and services offered by the dealers and brokers in the region.”

The NMTA is also offering free sailboat rides June 11 to Aug. 13, and are being given away by organizers of the Seattle Boat Show.

Pairs of free passes will be handed out each week, and two lucky people will get to be aboard a luxurious racing sailboat during the Downtown Sailing Series out of Elliott Bay Marina. The sailing event draws hundreds of boaters out on the water every Thursday.

To enter, go to Seattle Boat Show’s Web site.

For more information about the Downtown Sailing Series, visit the Elliott Bay Marina Web site.

For more information local boating, go to the Northwest Marine Trade Association Web site.

In the United States there are thousands of places to fish and boat, and some of the best resources to use for fishing is the Take Me Fishing Campaign Web site.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) relaunch of reports that its Web site has received 2.4 million unique visitors – up 129 percent from 2008 and 243 percent from 2007.

For a listing of more than 12,000 places to fish and boat, local events taking place during National Fishing and Boating Week, and information about free-fishing days, visit

Locally, this is Free Fishing Weekend (June 6-7) and what better way to introduce someone to the sport of fishing than by taking them out to experience the wonders of fishing.

Anglers are required to obtain a catch-record card to catch some species like salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut and crab.

Statewide, there are more than 500 miles of coastal shoreline and more than 2,000 miles of inner marine shoreline offering decent fishing and shellfish gathering.

Add 4,000 rivers and streams, more than 7,000 lakes and 208 reservoirs, and you’ve got plenty of places to wet a line.

I asked some experts to limit the options to a few best bets.

“I would tell them to take a look at Pine or Beaver lakes because those are both planted very heavily and offer some good bank access,” said Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “Padden Lake in Bellingham has fairly good shoreline access too. Martha Lake [at Alderwood Manor] has some public access in the south end of the lake.”

Chamberlain said Grimes Lake located north of Jameson Lake in Douglas County is a quality water fishery for Lahontan cutthroat trout that can weigh up to 12 pounds.

Good reports have also come from Fish Lake up by Wenatchee, and anglers can fish off the dock at Cove Resort or rent a boat there. Fish has been great for pan-size trout of late.

It is not one of the more peaceful places to fish but Green Lake in North Seattle has wide open bank access and docks to choose from, and the lake is heavily planted so fishing should hold up through this month.

Other lakes recently planted or offer good fishing are American, Meridian, Stevens, Battleground, Mayfield and Mineral (boat rental available).

Another good place to take out the beginner for pan fish such as bluegills, perch and catfish are the finger docks and shoreline of Foster Island located in the Montlake lake Cut across from the UW Husky Stadium, which is part of Lake Washington.

By far one of the easiest and most accessible things to do this weekend is to go shellfish-gathering at Puget Sound and Hood Canal beaches where another series of low tides occur.

As a standard rule all eastern mainland beaches from Everett south into southern Puget Sound are closed for shellfish harvesting due to unsafe pollution levels. Before going to a beach is to call the shellfish safety hotline at 800-562-5632.

Puget Sound low tides: Saturday, June 6, minus-1.9 feet at 10:43 a.m.; Sunday, June 7, -2.0 at 11:17 a.m.

Fishing from a saltwater pier is a good option for older kids or beginning adults. Try Edmonds, Pier 86 in Elliott Bay, Seacrest, Point Defiance Boathouse and Les Davis piers.

Down in the Columbia River, there is a no-brainer bank fishery creating a buzz, with the shad migrating in by the thousands and thousands. As of June 2, almost 500,000 shad had passed up the Bonneville Dam fish counter so far this spring.

“The [single day] numbers are still up there between 60,000 and 80,000 the last few days,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Bank anglers can find ample access from the shoreline from Bonneville in the gorge down to Woodland, Kalama, Cathlamet and Longview.

Many rivers open this Saturday (June 6) for fishing, and while most are running high and swift from snowmelt run off some should be fishable like the Green, Cedar, Skagit, Cascade, Cowlitz and Snoqualmie.

Those willing to hop on a charter boat should head to Westport this Sunday for the halibut fishery’s final day. Anglers were averaging almost a halibut per rod and they weighed on average about 19 pounds.

All rules still apply when fishing, including daily limits, lure and bait restrictions and size limits of fish. If you aren’t sure be sure to pick up a regulation pamphlet at the local tackle shop.



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