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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 1, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Don’t throw in the towel on fishing activities just yet, some of which are blossoming this month

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Here are what a local tackle manager, state Fish and Wildlife biologist and fishing expert had to say about fishing this week.

Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood.

There was a real good bite for winter steelhead at Reiter Ponds, and a good amount caught (on Tuesday). John (Albertson) who works in our store hooked five and landed four, and a lot of our customers had limits,” Chamberlain said.

“It seemed to be a pretty good bite and word got out so there will probably be more people up there. Most of the fish were caught on the pond side with the height of the water. Most of the fish were typical sized winter runs in the 7 to 9 pound range though there were a few smallish 4 pound fish caught.”

Chamberlain reported about 18 fish landed on Tuesday morning, and says there was not a single method that seems more productive than others as fish were caught on floats and jigs as well as conventional drift gear.”

“The North Fork Stilly (and Snoqualmie River) goes back to conventional gear and bait, and there will be up at Fortson Hole some anglers who can clean up the summer runs and they’ll get an odd winter run.”

“I haven’t heard of too many winter-run steelhead caught on Whidbey Island, and one of our customers who fishes it a lot says he saw a few hooked (at Lagoon Point), but not any of them landed, which is a good sign though.”

“On the coast, the anglers at the Bogachiel on Friday and Saturday did quite well, and then the river went out on Sunday. It did come back down now and they are doing quite well again. Also heard places like Cook Creek anglers were getting double digit numbers of steelhead, and the same at the mouth of the Salmon River where I know someone who did quite well on Saturday and Sunday. There aren’t very many people out on the north coast, and some trees were down on the road, and I know the person I talked to had to walk a couple of miles to get to the river because of downed trees, but who cares if you are going to catch fish.”

“Squidding has been pretty darn decent in the Seattle area pier, and I haven’t heard much on the Edmonds Pier, and my son and I went down on Saturday for an hour and a half and we saw no squid caught. We heard that the day before they had a good amount of squid, but it has been spotty. One of my buddies had been down on the Edmonds Pier on Saturday and all he caught was two squid and he got those really early in the evening.”

“There haven’t been a lot of people smelt jigging at the Cornet Bay Pier, but it has been good. Normally we get a ton of people going, but it hasn’t been that way for some reason.”

“Crabbbing has been quite good for the few guys going out there, and not a lot of people are partaking in it. The trout fishing in all the year round lakes has been very good. Hearing a little bit from places like Beaver Lake, Lake Goodwin, and Ballinger and Stevens has been decent.”

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Tony Floor, longtime salmon angler and director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in Seattle.

“I wouldn’t base what happened in October (poor salmon fishing), and I am not worried about that at all. If you go back and look at the Department (of state Fish and Wildlife) that published those sport catch reports books they show catches by week and in some cases in the ocean by day. When you look at those books there is a clear pattern and if you look at that time frame 30 years ago, and the timing is what I’m after then something happens in the islands in December, and cannot explain it, but those fish appear in all directions. I’m absolutely confident the fish will be there, and the bigger question is how many and what size of fish.”

“A year ago when it opened it was explosive with a lot of fish caught, and they were big averaging 10 to 14 pounds, and I’ve never seen anything like it. There was fish just about everywhere, and I’m going with the big picture and the long term picture is the San Juan Islands should have fish. It should be good for the next three months, and you will get bad weather and good weather during the winter. The forecast the next five days is good and I can hardly stand in one place without getting excited.”

Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Vancouver.

I heard from John Weinheimer (a state Fish and Wildlife biologist) and he and Buzz Ramsey did well on Friday at Rowland Lake.”

The Lewis North Fork has been kind of off and on for coho and steelhead, and there aren’t many folks around. Cedar Creek is pretty dirty. Some of the smaller (rivers) are producing some steelhead. These are the ones that aren’t regulated by dams.”

(Photos taken by Gerald Chew of Mercer Island)

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