Time to fish shiner patterns in Pass Lake

Pass Lake, which is near Deception Pass linking Whidbey Island to the mainland, is usually one of my go-to spots this time of year.

Pass has a lot of shiners and some good-sized brown and rainbow trout that like to eat them. I think fish know that cooler water means winter is coming and they need to eat as much as they can.

That’s why I usually try to hit Pass in October and November, fishing a minnow pattern along the shorelines and into the cattails.

But I’ve been a little too busy at work these days and I have a cold, so the idea of putting on the equivalent of rubber pants and dunking my body in the lake hasn’t seemed very attractive to me.

Fishing buddy Chuck Morrison went Saturday and said there weren’t a lot of anglers on the lake. He did pretty well along the shore and also in deeper water with his minnow patterns. In all, he said he landed and released about 10 fish, with the nicer ones going about 18 inches.

The previous week, he’d gotten about the same amount, with a few smaller fish and the biggest one close to 20 inches.

I’d recommend Pass if you wondering about a place to go. I’ll be there when I drop this cold.

About the only tip I can give you is keep your eyes open. If you see small shiners leaping along the shorelines, get there in a hurry.

It usually means the means have trapped a school of them against the bank and are trying to eat them. A quick cast and a few short strips of your fly usually brings a solid strike.

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