Springer Bite Improving

I received a message from Jason Bauer’s iPhone sent at precisely 9:12 a.m. today. He had the boat back on the trailer and was pulling away from the Marine Park launch in Vancouver to go get some breakfast.

Bauer, who’s more of a bugeye guy (he runs Northwestwalleye.com) has been pestering me for a week or so to email him this spring Chinook rig and that river’s report in preparation for a recon trip. He promised he’d send news.

And today’s news is good: A photo he sent showed a pair of hatchery kings in the fish box.


Details, man, details, I immediately demanded.

“We started out the first drift right in front of the red can just where the condos start on the Washington side about one mile up from the I-5 bridge,” Bauer emailed. “Fifteen minutes into the troll, green-dyed green-label herring, 8-foot leader in 32 feet of water.

“First fish chewed twice before it got a 3/0 Gammie drilled to its upper lip.

“After trolling under the I-5 bridge, we watched a takedown that didn’t stick, but that ‘Nook came back for seconds.

“We were at the ramp at 8 loading up.

“Fish checker said he had already counted five fish before ours,” Bauer wrote. “It’s game on!!!”


I’m not quite sure about “game on,” BUT according to Joe Hymer, the oft-quoted fisheries biologist/watcher at WDFW’s Vancouver office, fish are beginning to be caught up and down the lower river.

“Checks are showing a steady improvement,” he tells me this morning.

Best days are seeing a half a fish per boat on average.

Earlier this week he reported a total of 800 Chinook landed since Feb. 1, with 698 of those being kept, and of those, 68 percent were from lower Columbia tribs.

But the action is still “bouncing around,” says Hymer.

Chris Spencer, a friend of mine, and his father were fishing further downstream yesterday, and were literally bouncing around on a 3-foot chop.

“I counted 40 boat trailers in the Kalama Marina.  Average two fisherman per boat so conservatively guessing around 80 people fishing out of Kalama today.  As of 1:30pm the fish counter reported one fish caught,” he emailed.

No, that one fish didn’t hitch a ride back to the marina with Clan Spencer.

Twenty four hours later and just downstream from Kalama, Buzz Ramsey called HQ to say that he’d just landed one on a red Mag Lip with a sardine wrap. He and three pals, and some nine other boats, are hog-lined up off Prescott Beach; he’s seen one other fish caught and another lost.

Upstream, dam counts at Bonneville are still well below what one would expect for so large of a run. After having the first double-digit day of the year on Wednesday (a whopping 11 fish), the count dipped back to six yesterday. Only 63 fish have gone over the dam so far this year.

“Everybody still has their eyes on the count,” says Hymer.

Two commercial test nettings have yielded a total of eight springers, results so poor that the past two weeks’ fisheries have been canceled.

Hymer indicates there may be some more commercial test netting this weekend, at night.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: