There’s a big fishing weekend coming up, with the Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby for those of a competitive bent and the Twin Lakes Kids’ Fish-In for the youngsters. Both take place Saturday.
The kokanee action on Lake Stevens has been slow, according to Greg Rockenbach of Greg’s Custom Rods in Lake Stevens, but he attributes that to the unsettled weather conditions of the past couple weeks and said it could change in an hour. He said a few of the regulars have been taking limits, and the casual anglers are landing two or three kokanee in a day’s work, so there are at least a few fish looking for lunch.
The productive depth, a critical factor in this fishery, has been from the surface down to about 35 feet. The typical setup starts with a 4-inch Dick Nite dodger in clown or pink splatter patterns, then 10 to 14 inches of leader, and a two-hook Wedding Ring, or Rocky Mountain “plankton” or “assassin.”
Rockenbach likes No. 4 octopus or drop-shot hooks, and said top Wedding Ring colors right now are green/chartreuse, pink or red.
Each hook is tipped with a shoe-peg corn kernel that has been soaked overnight in scent. Bloody Tuna is a popular scent, and Rockenbach said maybe 10 or 15 percent of experienced Lake Stevens anglers color their corn with Fire Dye. Trolling speed should be roughly 1 to 1.3 mph.
The derby is sponsored by the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club and the Lake Stevens Lions. Club members will be on hand to help with launching and to direct anglers to parking areas. Rockenbach said the launch on the west side of the lake will be open.
For procrastinators, derby tickets will be sold at tonight’s free kokanee seminar (see Pick of the Week) at $20 for adults. Kids 14 and under fish free. Tickets also are available at Greg’s Custom Rods, John’s Sporting Goods, Ted’s Sports Center, Triangle Bait and Tackle, Three Rivers Marine and Holiday Sports.
We’re getting near the end of the list of spring youth fishing days, so if you haven’t taken a kid fishing yet, this may be your last shot.
The North Gissberg Pond Kids’ Fish-In (5-14 years) is an annual event sponsored by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Snohomish County Parks, the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Youth Organization and Cabela’s. It takes place at Twin Lakes County Park, west of I-5 at Smokey Point. The North Pond is limited by regulation to juveniles only, and has been specifically planted with trout for the event. The nominal start time is 8 a.m, but in reality, young anglers start earlier than that. Prizes, lots of room, toilets, and club members on hand to help.
A special event this year will be the dedication at 2 p.m. of a memorial to the late Jim Brauch — avid fisherman, club officer, Vietnam vet, retired Everett Police Department lieutenant (after a 25-year hitch) and a visionary with the unshakable belief that fishing and other outdoor experiences make better citizens. I believe my friend steered more Snohomish County young people away from trouble and toward responsible adulthood than any single person I can name.
He definitely deserves this memorial to a dedicated youth mentor and role model.
Well done, Jim.
You can find more information on young people and fishing at www.everettsteelheadandsalmonyouthorganization.org.
Recent trout plants
Following is a list of state Department of Fish and Wildlife rainbow trout plants in area lakes over the past couple of weeks:
Snohomish County: Blackman’s Lake, 2,000 catchables on or about May 1; Chain Lake, 1,000 catchables on May 1; Flowing, 3,000 catchables on May 3; Tye, 1,500 on May 1; Gissberg North, 500 catchables on May 8; Gissberg South, 1,500 catchables on May 8, plus 180 larger rainbows going 1-2 pounds on May 8; Jennings Park Pond (Marysville), 1,400 catchables on May 5; and Silver Lake, 350 larger trout, going 1-2 pounds on May 9.
Salmon anglers this summer can expect slightly more fishing opportunities in ocean waters, about the same as last year on the Columbia and its tributaries, and dismal prospects in Puget Sound.
Data released by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife indicates that with low numbers of coho and wild chinook expected back to several Puget Sound rivers, those stocks will be drivers limiting river fisheries. And fishing opportunity for pinks already was being lowered because of predictions of depressed runs of humpies this summer. The most severe restrictions will be in Puget Sound marine and freshwater areas, where the forecast is for extremely low returns of key stocks, such as Skagit River coho and Nooksack chinook.
Coho fishermen will have more opportunity in Marine Area 9, while the Skagit and Stillaguamish will be closed to coho.
There will be no bonus limits on pinks this summer, and no pink fishing at all in Marine Areas 8.1 and 8.2. No pink fishing, either, in any of our major river systems except the Snohomish, which opens Aug. 1 for coho and pinks, one coho in a three-fish daily limit. Can you imagine the crowds on the Snohomish, as the only river fishery in the area for pinks?
The popular area 9-10 adult chinook season is a bright spot, opening July 16 through Aug. 15, same as last year, but higher quotas should allow better fishing through the short season.
The buoy 10 fishery is structured about the same way as it was last year, opening Aug. 1, and the mainstem Columbia from the Astoria bridge to Vancouver opens June 16 and runs through July 31 for hatchery summer chinook.