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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Baker Lake sockeye fishery picks up steam as more fish are placed into the lake

The Baker Lake sockeye fishery has turned on in recent days, and state Fish and Wildlife has trucked up many more fish to the lake.

“It looks like the forecast is bigger than predicted, and right now we’re settling on 39,000 sockeye for the Baker, and we’ll meet again in a few days to see where we’re at,” said Brett Barkdull, state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Sockeye numbers at the trap have been up and down, and the very high water flows in the Baker River may have some effect on how the fish are entering the fish trap.”

Through July 23, 10,227 sockeye have been transferred up to the lake with a total of 15,764 trapped. Fishing in Baker Lake has improved with most fish caught just 25 to 35 feet deep.

“I think the good fishing will continue on for a while,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood who caught his breath for a moment to chat in between serving a gamut of customers on Tuesday (July 24) afternoon.

“Not all the good fishing is at the upper end of the lake, and a lot of the fish are taking time to filter throughout the lake,” Chamberlain said.

Some of the sockeye are tipping the scales at 10 pounds with most running about 4 to 8 pounds.

Try using a chrome or 50-50 (brass-chrome) 00 dodger with bare red or black hooks attached with a piece of coonstriped shrimp. Others are also adding a Smile Blade as an added attractant.

The majority of the sockeye are in the upper water column down just 25 to 35 feet so downriggers are necessarily needed and just a four to six ounce banana lead weight will do the job. Remember to troll very slow like about 1.3 miles per hour.

A new regulation change allows boat limits aof sockeye now through Sept. 4.

Every angler onboard a boat may continue to use angling gear until the sockeye daily limit has been retained for all licensed and juvenile anglers on the boat.

Anglers must release all bull trout. The two-pole endorsement is allowed for this fishery. The Catch Record Card Code for Baker Lake is 825.

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