April Is Here!
April has arrived and with it there are a multitude of fishing opportunities to go along with Spring and better weather. (Though this winter has been one for the books as far as mild goes.)
We have some fairly good steelhead fishing on the Cowlitz going on at present with a few Spring Chinook thrown in for good measure. The steelheading should be good through at least mid April before slowing down. Fish the Trout Hatchery area down through Blue Creek and the clay banks for the best results. With the clearer water conditions small presentations have been producing the best such as beads, yarnies, small corkies and cheaters as well as smaller jigs.
The springer number will just continue to increase throughout the month and into May. Fish the deeper holes if you are targeting the salmon. Fish deep and slow with various baits such as eggs, shrimp, or herring. For boat fishermen try fishing divers with bait or plugs such as Kwickfish or Mag Lips with or without a bait wrap. The salmon bite is best first thing in the morning, though if you work at it you can still catch fish throughout the day.
If you are a saltwater salmon fisherman then there is still some time for you to chase blackmouth and perhaps luck out and get one of the early returning chinnok destined for a Puget Sound stream. Marine Area 5 (Seiku and Piller Point) and Marine Area 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) are open through April 10th and have been putting out some outstanding blackmout fishing this season. Both these areas should continue to put out good fishing until they are closed and without a doubt are the best chance at scoring. Marine Area 8-1 ( Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) with be open through April 30th and though these areas were extremely slow this season have in fact picked up a little the past few weeks giving one a reasonable chance to catch a blackmouth. With the April 30th closure there is also a good chance of catching a chinnok that is on its way to the Skagit, Stillagumish or Snohomish system. Marine Area 9 (Admirality Inlet) will close on April 15th. Fishing in this area has been fair the past few weeks and should continue until the closure. This area could aso give you a chance a intercepting an early returing Chinook. Marine Area 11 (Tacoma - Vashon Island) will stay open through April 30th. The reports that we have been getting from this area have been few and far between and those we have been getting haven't been very good. Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) also will be open through April 30. The reports from this area have alos been few and far between with the catches being likewise. Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound) will remain open through April 30th. Fishing in this area has also been guite slow.
We will have to see what comes out of the North of Falcom meetings to see what salmon fishing oprotunities await us for this next season. Some the the proposed oprotunities look extremely promising and some look quite bleak. We'll just to see what the results are.
April is also the general opener for seasonal lowland lakes this the fourth Saturday in April being the day! This year it will be the 25th. There will be lots of trout stocked into these lakes to provide lots of fishing oprotunites for anglers. I will post the stocking numbers a little later this month to provide you a gauge for where you might go.
We have more razor clam digging on the coast this month. This season has proven to be the best clam digging we have seen in years! Not only good numbers of clams making for easy limits but also good sized ones. With all the low tides now being in the morning digging is a lot easier as you no longer are having to carry a light. If you haven't dug so far this season you should at least get a day in before we finish the spring digs.
We still have a little time left for Spring Chinnok on the Columbia. The season will wrap up on April 10th, though we have been hearing some rumors that we just might get a few more days. We'll have to see it that occurs! Reports that we have been getting have been better this past weekend and there is no doubt that the success rate has been higher. Once the main stream fishery has finished up there will still be lots of oprotunities to fish them is some of the tributaries as well as upstream in the Columbia.
Kokanee fishing should start to ramp up later this month in the local kokanee lakes. So far this season fishing has been slow. With the good weather we have had this Winter and early Spring everyone thought things would start early but they have not!
For a simple outing you might want to go jig a few smelt at Coronet Bay. The fishing has been outstanding lately and should continue for a while for this tasty little fish. This is a great family outing for a weekend day requireing the basic of tackle and expense. No license is required to smelt fish, but if you catch a herring or pogy you will have to let them go as a saltwater license is required for those 15 or older.
This is just a few things that are there to partake of during the month of April. There are lots more that you can do!