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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 30, 2009 at 4:25 PM

How to fish for Lake Wenatchee sockeye

So the Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery has got your attention and you want to know some details about it before it opens on Aug. 5.

“It is a pretty easy fishery to figure out, and last year all a person needed to do was look where the other local boats are clearly fishing, and start trolling right around them,” said Frank Urabeck, a sport fishing advocate from Auburn who fished it last summer with his grandson.

“Last summer we slow trolled down with downriggers about 30 feet deep [in water 130 to 140 feet deep],” Urabeck said. “We found around one mile per hour more or less was the best trolling speed or making sure your line is at a 45 degree angle.”

Downriggers are most effective to catch sockeye, but a 4- to 8-ounce lead crescent sinker attached to two bare red, blue or black hooks on a short 9- to 12-inch leader trailed behind a 0-size chrome dodger works best.

The last fish counts taken at Tumwater Dam was on July 22 when 6,984 sockeye were counted. The numbers of fish leading up to that date were well over a 1,000 fish per day.

There are two places to launch a boat. One is a small, primitive ramp on U.S. Forest Service property and the other is located at Lake Wenatchee State Park, but parking is limited.

Campgrounds near Lake Wenatchee are: Dirtyface Campground, 0 miles away; Glacier View Campground, one miles away; White Pine Campground, five miles away; Finner Creek Campground, six miles away; Lake Wenatchee State Park, six miles away; Fish Pond Campground, six miles away; and Rock Creek Campground, six miles away.

For more details on camping, go to the Lake Wenatchee Visitor Guide Web site.

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