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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 15, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Casting for sockeye fishing tactics in Baker, Skagit and Columbia River fisheries

With the short window of a sockeye fishery set to begin on the Baker and Skagit rivers many anglers are scrambling to find out what is the best tactics to use to catch these delicious fish.

According to Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood here are some ways that he would point out to those planning a trip for the three-day fishery that begins Friday, July 16 through Sunday, July 18.

The plunkers will use a small Spin-N-Glo with a red bead and trailed on a hook with a small piece of sand shrimp. Cast it out and set it on the bottom.

The drift gear guys will floss using a small corkie on a tiny hook with a piece of pink yarn while others will float a bobber with a pink/white jig and a piece of sand shrimp.

The Columbia River sockeye return is close to 400,000, and the latest fishing reports indicate some hot action at Brewster and Wells Dam area.

This fishery should hold up for another 10 to 14 days, but go sooner than later as many of these fish are shooting up the Okanogan River.

Troll with a chrome scaled dodger trailed behind a short leader with two 3/0 or 2/0 bare red hooks with a small piece of sand shrimp or Power Bait for scent. A pink mini squid or U20 Flatfish are also getting their good share of the action.

While no sockeye fishery will happen in Lake Washington this summer (350,000 is the spawning escapement goal before any fishery can happen), the good news is that fish returning to the huge urban watershed are still coming in at a strong rate.

On July 13, the single-day count at the Ballard Locks was 7,822 sockeye, and on July 14 it went up to 8,867. The total count so far is 117,220. The preseason forecast was 123,654.

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