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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 2, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Time to pack up the shad fishing gear and head to Lower Columbia River

Bradford Island Fish 062613

If shad is your fishing fad, then right now is time to make a trek south to the mighty Lower Columbia River where fish counts at Bonneville Dam are high.

Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist nearly 100,000 shad (99,981 to be exact) crossed Bonneville this past Saturday (June 1), the highest count so far this year.

“Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam averaged 2.4 shad per rod while those at Steamboat landing in Washougal averaged about a fish per rod,” Hymer said in his weekly report. “Boat anglers from Kalama upstream were also having some success.”

The total count this year is 570,942 and this is just the start as returns in recent years has easily topped one-plus million shad. On Sunday, the count was 83,356.

Shad anglers below Bonneville Dam were having good success. Head east on Highway 14 about two miles past the town of North Bonneville, and take the right hand turn by the transmission towers. The access road allows anglers about three miles of prime shoreline in either direction.

Other can’t miss spots are the Camas Slough and Washougal area.

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.

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