What’s Fishing In WA (4-27-11)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This version corrects the original Weekender sent out by WDFW which stated that the lower Yakima opens for spring Chinook May 1. That was incorrect.)

No doubt about it, this coming weekend in Washington is all trout, all the time. The annual lowland lakes opener is Saturday, and, if the weather cooperates, 300,000 of us will be out there chasing millions of rainbow trout.

But Fishmas this year falls darned close to May, and the fifth month of the year brings its own host of fishing activities — everything from halibut, lingcod and shrimp in the Sound to sockeye and steelhead in the Lower Columbia to catfish and bass on both sides of the state.

For more on all the options, and in keeping with my brand-new policy of letting other people do all the hard work, here is WDFW’s Weekender report, in its entirety:

NORTH SOUND

The blackmouth salmon season comes to a close at the end of April, but openings for halibut, lingcod and shrimp fisheries are coming up. For freshwater anglers, one of the most anticipated fishing opportunities gets under way at the end of April with the lowland lakes trout season.

Beginning April 30, anglers can cast a line in many of the region’s lakes, where thousands of legal-sized trout have been planted. “This is the biggest fishing day of the year,” said Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Lakes in every county are well-stocked, so fishing families can keep travel costs down by enjoying good angling close to home.”

Under statewide rules, anglers have a daily limit of five trout on most lakes. Released legal-sized trout, caught with bait, count toward the daily bag limit. Before heading out, anglers should check the Fishing in Washington pamphlet for all regulations.

Even after the opener, fishing should be good throughout the season as WDFW continues to stock lakes with trout. Information on stocking schedules for rainbow, cutthroat and triploid trout is available on WDFW’s website.

On saltwater, selective fisheries for hatchery blackmouth – resident chinook – are coming to a close. Marine areas 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) close at the end of the day April 30. Marine areas 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) are already closed to salmon fishing.

The halibut season, however, is just around the corner. The fishery is scheduled to run from May 5 through May 29 in marine areas 6-10. Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) will be open May 26 through June 18. These fisheries will be open three days a week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) but are closed Sunday through Wednesday except for Memorial Day weekend when they will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

All areas that will be open to halibut fishing have a one-fish daily catch limit, with no minimum size, a possession limit of one fish while on the vessel, and a possession limit of two fish in any form once the angler is on the shore.

Halibut fishing will remain closed in marine areas 11 (Tacoma) and 13 (southern Puget Sound) to protect three species of rockfish listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) will remain closed due to low dissolved-oxygen conditions.

Fishing for lingcod and cabezon also gets under way in May. During the hook-and-line season (May 1-June 15), there’s a one-fish daily limit for lings, with a minimum size of 26 inches and a maximum size of 36 inches. The season for cabezon also opens May 1, when anglers will have a daily limit of two fish with no minimum size limit.

GABE MILLER OF SPORTCO WITH A VERY NICE PUGET SOUND LINGCOD. (TIM BUSH)

Don’t forget those shrimp pots. The shrimp season opens May 7 in Puget Sound. In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. Here are the fishing schedules for the Puget Sound region:

Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7, 11, 14 and 25. Additional dates and times may be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open May 7, 11 and 14 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding shrimp districts): Open daily beginning May 7 at 7 a.m. The spot shrimp season closes when quota is attained or Sept 15, whichever comes first, except for Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31.
Marine Area 7: Opens May 7 at 7 a.m. and will be open May 11, 13, 14, 25 and 28. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains. The season for coonstripe and pink shrimp (with area and depth restrictions) runs daily from June 1 through Oct. 15.
Marine areas 8, 9, and 10: Open May 7 and May 11 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Marine Area 11, extending from the northern tip of Vashon Island to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 only.

More details on the shrimp fishery are available on WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing website.

SOUTH SOUND/OLYPEN

More spring fishing opportunities begin in May, when shrimp and lingcod fisheries open in Puget Sound and the halibut season gets under way there and off the coast. But for freshwater anglers, one of the most anticipated fishing opportunities starts at the end of April with the lowland lakes trout season.

Beginning April 30, anglers can cast a line in many of the region’s lakes, where thousands of legal-sized trout have been planted. “This is the biggest fishing day of the year,” said Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Lakes in every county are well-stocked, so fishing families can keep travel costs down by enjoying good angling close to home.”

Under statewide rules, anglers have a daily limit of five trout on most lakes. Released legal-sized trout, caught with bait, count toward the daily bag limit. Before heading out, anglers should check the Fishing in Washington pamphlet for all regulations.

Even after the opener, fishing should be good throughout the season as WDFW continues to stock lakes with trout. Information on stocking schedules for rainbow, cutthroat and triploid trout is available on WDFW’s website.

Meanwhile, lingcod fishing opportunities expand May 1, when the fishery opens in Puget Sound. Lingcod fisheries in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay) are already under way. For more information on lingcod fishing regulations, check the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.

The halibut season also is just around the corner. The 2011 recreational halibut seasons approved for Washington’s marine areas are:

Columbia River (Ilwaco): Marine Area 1 will open May 5, three days a week, Thursday through Saturday until 70 percent of the quota is reached, or until July 17. The fishery will then reopen on Aug. 5 and continue three days a week (Friday through Sunday) until the remaining quota is reached, or Sept. 30, whichever occurs first. The 2011 catch quota is 15,418 pounds.
South Coast (Westport/Ocean Shores): Marine Area 2 will open on May 1, two days a week, Sundays and Tuesdays. During the fourth week in May the fishery will be open Sunday only (May 22). Beginning the following week the fishery will resume the Sunday, Tuesday structure until the quota is reached. The northern nearshore area will be open seven days per week, until the quota is reached. The 2011 catch quota is 43,500 pounds.
North Coast (La Push/Neah Bay): Marine areas 3 and 4 will open on May 12, two days per week, Thursdays and Saturdays, through May 21. If sufficient quota remains, the fishery will reopen the week of June 2. If sufficient quota remains after that opener, the fishery will reopen starting June 16. The 2011 catch quota is 108,792 pounds.
Strait of Juan de Fuca/Puget Sound: Marine areas 6 through 10 (Strait, Port Angeles, Admiralty Inlet and Everett) will be open May 5 through May 29. Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) will be open May 26 through June 18. These fisheries will be open three days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday closed Sunday through Wednesday except for Memorial Day weekend when they will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The 2011 combined catch quota for these areas is 58,155 pounds.

All areas that will be open to halibut fishing have a one-fish daily catch limit, with no minimum size, a possession limit of one fish while on the vessel, and a possession limit of two fish in any form once the angler is on the shore.

Halibut fishing will remain closed in marine areas 11 (Tacoma-Vashon) and 13 (South Puget Sound) to protect three species of rockfish listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) will remain closed due to low dissolved-oxygen conditions.

Don’t forget those shrimp pots. The shrimp season opens May 7 in Puget Sound. In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day.

Here are the fishing schedules for the Puget Sound region:

Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7, 11, 14 and 25. Additional dates and times may be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open May 7, 11 and 14 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding shrimp districts): Open daily beginning May 7 at 7 a.m. The spot shrimp season closes when quota is attained or Sept 15, whichever comes first, except for Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31.
Marine Area 7: Opens May 7 at 7 a.m. and will be open May 11, 13, 14, 25 and 28. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains. The season for coonstripe and pink shrimp (with area and depth restrictions) runs daily from June 1 through Oct. 15.
Marine areas 8, 9, and 10: Open May 7 and May 11 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains.
Marine Area 11, extending from the northern tip of Vashon Island to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 only.

“Fishing prospects in many areas are looking even better than last year,” said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for the department, who noted that he expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers – especially on opening day. “Some of the boat ramps can get pretty crowded, so we encourage fishers to be patient and wait their turn.”

That will be especially important at Twanoh State Park, a popular access site on Hood Canal where construction work will limit parking facilities for boaters through June. The State Parks and Recreation Commission encourages fishers to use an alternate launch site – especially during the season opener. More details on the shrimp fishery are available on WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing website.

Anglers are reminded that salmon fishing in Marine areas 11, 12 and 13 closes at the end of the day April 30. In addition, wild steelhead retention closes at the same time on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Dickey, Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers.

However, a couple of rivers are open for salmon fishing, including the Quillayute and a portion of the Sol Duc. The Hoh River also opens for salmon May 14. For details on those and other fishing opportunities, check the Fishing in Washington pamphlet.

SOUTHWEST/LOWER COLUMBIA

Spring chinook and summer steelhead are moving into area rivers in increasing numbers, sturgeon retention is allowed on portions of the Columbia River and several popular trout lakes will open for fishing April 30.

As part of that lineup, anglers can catch and keep hatchery-reared spring chinook through May 1 on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163.5 miles above Bonneville Dam. But it remains to be seen whether that fishery – or the one that closed April 19 below the dam – will reopen later in the season.

That depends on the in-season update to the run forecast in early to mid-May, said Guy Norman, southwest regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “We’re hopeful that the updated forecast will come in at least as strong as the pre-season forecast,” Norman said. “That would allow for additional fishing days both above and below Bonneville Dam.”

That’s because state harvest guidelines below McNary Dam include a 30 percent “buffer” in case returns of upriver spring chinook fall short of the pre-season forecast. If the in-season update equals or exceeds that number, the buffer will be converted into fishing time above and below the dam, Norman said.

“But nothing is certain at this point,” he said. “We really won’t know where we stand until more fish cross Bonneville Dam and we can get a clear idea of the run-size.”

Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist, said poor fishing conditions – specifically high, cold, turbid water – held catch levels below expectations, and also appear to have delayed the movement of spring chinook over Bonneville Dam. Yet, test fisheries using tangle nets found relatively high concentrations of spring chinook in the lower river.

In response, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon extended the season in the lower river by 12 days. By the time fishing closed April 19, anglers had kept or released an estimated 9,379 spring chinook, including 5,669 upriver fish that count toward the 7,700-fish pre-season harvest guideline for upriver fish.

Above Bonneville Dam, the season was extended six days though May 1 between the Tower Island powerlines below The Dalles Dam and the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank fishing is also allowed through May 1 from Bonneville Dam upriver to the powerlines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.

Anglers fishing above Bonneville Dam can retain up to two marked, hatchery-reared adult chinook salmon or hatchery steelhead as part of their daily limit. All wild chinook and wild steelhead must be release unharmed.

That is also true of area tributaries, where the daily limit is two spring chinook, two steelhead, or one of each. The Wind River and Drano Lake are traditional hotspots for spring chinook in May, although anglers should be aware that all sport fishing will be closed at Drano Lake on Wednesdays through June. Other prospects include the White Salmon River as well as the lower Klickitat River, the later which is open for fishing Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

WITH SPRINGERS NOW STREAMING OVER BONNEVILLE, IT'S TIME TO CONSIDER A TRIP TO DRANO LAKE, OPEN DAILY EXCEPT FOR WEDNESDAYS. AMONG GUIDE BOB BARTHLOW'S THREE FAVORITE RIGS ARE CUTPLUG HERRING, A MAG LIP AND A PRAWN AND A BLADE.

Below Bonneville, anglers can find hatchery spring chinook and steelhead in several rivers, including the Cowlitz, Lewis, and Kalama. The Cowlitz River is usually the best bet for spring chinook, and also offers good fishing for winter and summer run steelhead.

Starting May 16, fishing is also scheduled to open for hatchery steelhead – as well as sockeye and hatchery chinook jacks – from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to the Interstate 5 Bridge. Fishing for shad from Bonneville Dam downstream also opens the same day.

Other fishing opportunities in May include:

Trout: Several popular trout-fishing lakes are scheduled to open April 30, including Mineral Lake in Lewis County, Rowland Lake in Klickitat County and Swift Reservoir in Skamania County. All were freshly planted for opening day, and will likely draw a big crowd. Plenty of year-round lakes will also be open for trout, and many are scheduled to be planted with catchable-size fish in May.  (See the southwest Washington Trout Stocking Schedule for details.) Starting May 1, anglers may use two poles on Swift Reservoir from the dam to markers below the Eagle Cliff Bridge. Those looking to catch kokanee are advised to try Merwin Reservoir, which has been hot for the landlocked salmon in recent weeks.
Warmwater fish: Fishing for walleye tapers off in May when the fish turn their attention to spawn, but bass fishing should pick up as water temperatures rise. Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools should be good bets for both species.
Sturgeon: The retention fishery below the Wauna powerlines on the Columbia River closes May 1, but reopens May 14 seven days a week with a one-fish daily limit, fork-length requirement of 41 to 54 inches. The retention fishery above the powerlines is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a fork-length requirement of 38 to 54 inches. Starting May 1, fishing is prohibited in spawning sanctuaries below Bonneville, John Day, McNary and Priest Rapids dams. See the Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet for details.

FAR EASTERN WASHINGTON

The month of May is full of fishing promise throughout the region, with the lowland lakes trout season getting under way April 30 and spring chinook salmon coming into the Snake River.

“Fishing is great all month in all of our open waters,” said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Central District Fish Biologist Chris Donley. “If you can’t catch a fish anywhere that is open in the month of May you should take up needlepoint.”

Among the region’s many lakes that open April 30, Donley says the traditional best bets include Badger, Williams, West Medical, Fish, and Clear lakes in southwest Spokane County and Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County.  Anglers usually average about two trout each at all of these waters. Most have rainbow trout, but some also have cutthroat and tiger trout.

Bill Baker, WDFW northeast district fish biologist, said a couple of Stevens County lakes that open in late April are often among the state’s top 10 in catch rates. Cedar Lake, near the Canada border, and Rocky Lake, just south of Colville, last year provided limits of five rainbow trout for every angler out on the opener. “The month of May this year could be colder, maybe even snowier, than usual,” Baker said. “But the fish are here for anglers willing to brave the weather.”

Other good trout fishing in Stevens County can be found at Waitts, Loon, Deep, the Little Pend Oreille chain of lakes, and Potter’s Pond. Selective gear fisheries like Bayley, Rocky and Starvation lakes are also good through May.

Pend Oreille County’s Big Meadow and Yocum lakes usually provide anglers an average of two to three trout each. Other good producers include Diamond, Frater, North and South Skookum, Marshall and Sacheen lakes.

New this fishing season, and effective May 1, is a ban on the use of lead weights or lead jigs measuring 1 ½ inches or less along the longest axis at Big Meadow, Yocum and South Skookum lakes where loons are known to breed and rear young. The ban is intended to improve loon survival by keeping the birds from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers. For more information on this new rule, check WDFW’s website.

The lead restriction is also in effect at three other northeast lakes that host nesting loons: Ferry County’s Swan and Ferry lakes, and Stevens County’s year-round-open Pierre Lake. No fishing flies containing lead are allowed at fly-fishing-only Long Lake, another loon-nesting water in Ferry County.

ANGLERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF NEW PARTIAL LEAD-TACKLE RESTRICTIONS AT 13 LAKES ACROSS THE STATE'S NORTHERN TIER AND WHICH TAKE EFFECT MAY 1. (WDFW)

In the south end of the region, where many lakes and ponds are either open year-round or have been open since the first of March, WDFW hatchery trout stocking continues to keep fishing productive through May.  Excessive rain and snow this spring has delayed some fish stocking in some of the Tucannon River impoundments, said WDFW Wooten Wildlife Area Manager Kari Dingman.

“But now all of the lakes have been stocked again and Big Four Lake, our fly-fishing only lake, was finally stocked for the first time this season, now that the river level is back down,” Dingman said.

Check the complete trout stocking plan for details. The latest weekly stocking reports are available here.

The Snake River spring chinook salmon fisheries that recently opened in three sections have been slow but should be picking up this month. “I expect that with the late run and fewer fish than last year over McNary Dam by late April, the catch won’t pick up until early May,” said Glen Mendel, WDFW southeast district fish biologist. “These chinook should be very good quality and there is expected to be a higher proportion of the larger five-year-old fish this year.”

WDFW Regional Fish Program Manager John Whalen noted that an update on the run in the first week of May will likely give a better picture of how long the fisheries can continue. “The Snake River chinook fishery is scheduled to go through May 31,” Whalen said. “But I suspect we will see a run size downgrade in early May, which could force us to close earlier.”

Emergency fishing rule changes are distributed through self-subscribing e-mail services and posted on WDFW’s website.

All salmon and steelhead anglers are reminded to turn in 2010-11 catch record cards as soon as possible, whether or not you harvested anything or even fished at all. The cards help contribute to a data base that supports season setting.

WDFW officials also remind anglers to clean boats thoroughly before transporting them between fishing waters this season.  WDFW’s eastside Aquatic Invasive Species biologist Mike Wilkinson said that mandatory boat inspections at various water access sites throughout the state begin this month to try to prevent the illegal transport or spread of everything from milfoil to zebra mussels. For more information, see WDFW’s Aquatic Invasive Species website.

NORTH CENTRAL

Although many regional lakes have been open for trout fishing since early March or April, anglers can look forward to more options – and rising catch rates – during the month of May.

In Okanogan County, the traditional king of catch rates at this time is Pearrygin Lake, near Winthrop. Pearrygin usually produces a daily limit of five rainbow trout – most 10 to 12 inches, some up to 15 inches, with a few one to pound triploids — for most anglers early in the season, said Bob Jateff, a district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Fish Lake, northeast of Conconully, and Alta Lake, southwest of Pateros, are also good producers of rainbow catches through May. Last year, both averaged three trout per angler on the opener. Conconully Reservoir, south of Conconully, and Conconully Lake, east of town, are also good bets, giving up an average of two trout per angler per day.

Other newly opened lakes in Okanogan County that fish well include some with special rules: Big Twin Lake, near Winthrop, is under selective gear rules and a one-fish daily catch limit; Chopaka Lake, near Loomis, is fly-fishing only with no boat motors allowed. Aeneas Lake, near Tonasket, is also fly-fishing only with no boat motors allowed, but has some brown trout up to 18 inches.

Blue Lake, located within WDFW’s Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, also has some brown trout as well as rainbows, and is under selective gear and electric motors only rules. Blue is also one of three Okanogan County lakes with a new restriction this season to protect loons that breed and rear young there.

Effective May 1, there is a ban on the use of lead weights or lead jigs measuring 1 ½ inches or less along the longest axis at Blue Lake, and on Bonaparte and Lost lakes, northeast of Tonasket, where loons also occur. The restriction is intended to improve loon survival by keeping the birds from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers. (For more information on this new rule, see /conservation/loons/.)

In Chelan County, top trout producing lakes include Clear Lake, south of Wenatchee, and Wapato Lake, north of Manson. In Douglas County, Jameson Lake, south of Mansfield, usually provides good fishing and is well-stocked. In Grant County, Blue and Park lakes near the town of Soap Lake, and Warden Lake east of O’Sullivan Dam on Potholes Reservoir are also well-stocked and traditionally fish well through May and beyond.

For the complete trout stocking plan for fishing waters throughout the region, see /fishing/plants/statewide/ . For the latest weekly stocking reports, see  /fishing/plants/weekly/.

All salmon and steelhead anglers are reminded to turn in 2010-11 catch record cards as soon as possible, whether or not you harvested anything or even fished at all. The cards help contribute to a data base that supports season setting.

No matter where in the region or what kind of fishing you pursue, WDFW officials are reminding anglers to clean their boats thoroughly before transporting them between fishing waters. WDFW’s eastside Aquatic Invasive Species biologist Mike Wilkinson notes that mandatory boat inspections at various water access sites throughout the state begin this month to try to prevent the illegal transport or spread of everything from milfoil to zebra mussels. For more information, see /ais/.

SOUTHCENTRAL

Anglers have through May 1 to fish for spring chinook salmon in the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Washington-Oregon border, 17 miles upstream of McNary Dam. Whether that fishery will be extended will largely depend on an in-season run update in early to mid-May, said Paul Hoffarth, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) based in Pasco.

“The run has been slow to move upriver, making fishing tough in this area,” Hoffarth said. “But we’re still hopeful the pace will pick up in the weeks ahead.”

Hoffarth said fishery managers are predicting a moderate return of 10,300 springers to the Yakima River, and advises anglers to watch for news of possible openings further upstream. Information about any additional openings will be posted on WDFW’s website, included on the department’s Fishing Hotline (360-902-2500) and circulated to local media.

Meanwhile, crews from WDFW continue to stock lakes with catchable-size and jumbo trout throughout the region. In Yakima County, Clear Lake is in line to receive 10,800 catchables in May, Dog Lake 3,500 and Lost Lake 2,000. Dog Lake will also get more than 400 jumbo trout weighing up to 1½ pounds apiece, with another 1,000 jumbos going to Lost Lake in Kittitas County and 500 to Columbia Park Pond, a popular fishing hole in Kennewick reserved for anglers under age 15 and people with disabilities. A complete trout-planting schedule for southcentral lakes and ponds is available on the WDFW website.

On May 7, Columbia Park Pond will host a Kids Fishing Day, limited to 1,200 youths between the ages of 5 and 14. All anglers must register with Kennewick Parks and Recreation before May 5. Anglers can register online at http://go2kennewick.com.  Registration is $10 and includes a rod and reel and everything you need to fish. Lots of volunteers will be on hand to help.

Hoping to catch a legal-size sturgeon?  John Day Pool (Lake Umatilla) is now catch-and-release only, but Lake Wallula remains open through July for retention of sturgeon measuring 34 inches to 43 inches from snout to fork. Anglers should be aware that sanctuary areas described in the Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet are closed to fishing – including catch-and-release – from May 1 through July 31.

For a different experience, try hooking one of the large catfish now showing up at the mouths of rivers including the Yakima, Walla Walla, and Palouse. “Bring a good rod and strong line and expect a fight if you hook into one of these monsters,” Hoffarth said.

A MEATY COCKTAIL OF 'CRAWLERS AND SHRIMP DID SAM STUART OF MOSES LAKE WELL ON THE SNAKE AT LYONS FERRY LAST MAY. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Walleye fishing is also picking up at Scooteney Reservoir, with fair catches reported. Bass fishing should also improve as soon as the water warms a bit.

FOR MORE ON MAY'S FISHING OPPORTUNITIES, CHECK OUT OUR BRAND-NEW ISSUE! (NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN)

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