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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Single-day shad count at Bonneville Dam hit six-digits, along with hot action on Lower Columbia River

ShadColumbiaRiver.jpg

If you haven’t noticed the shad counts at Bonneville dam have soared even higher with 54,707 on Tuesday, 61,664 on Wednesday and then boom another 142,265 flooded the gates on Thursday bringing the total this season to 341,743.

“It is time to go shad fishing, and especially with the free fishing weekend, and with no limits on shad,” Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist said. “We checked up toward Bonneville Dam (on Thursday, June 7), and 125 bank anglers had 1,620 shad based on incomplete trips.”

That Hymer says, averages out to 13.0 shad per rod.

“One party of four anglers had 175 shad, and lots of other anglers with 20s and 30s, and other parties with 60 or 70 fish,” Hymer said.

In the prime areas just below Bonneville Dam try Cascade Island (open to fishing but closed to access) on the spillway side; below the Hamilton Island boat launch, northern shore below the Second Powerhouse Dam; and near the transmission towers.

Fishing was also very good for shad from Longview upstream.

Shad tend to like a fast running current, and most fish are usually caught no further than 30 feet from shore.

Shad darts are the most effective lure, but red and white colored flies with a small hook; olored beads like red or a metallic silver or gold; small crappie-like jigs; and small wobbler type spoons or spinners will do the job.

(Photo by Seattle Times staff photographer Steve Ringman)

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