Mid-Columbia Fishing Reportby Dave Hedden
News Tribune, January 9, 2012
KENNEWICK -- Steelheading has continued to be excellent for those out chasing them.
McNary, Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental and Little Goose have all been producing fish.
The Touchet and Tucannon Rivers are a great bet for some small stream action.
On the Columbia River
The McNary bite has been fairly consistent. Plugs and bobbers have been producing fish. Brad's Wigglers and Hot Lips in metallic colors seem to be working best for plugs.
Those using Columbia Basin Bait Shrimp in purple and red under a bobber have been having the best success. Experiment with depth and scent. Graybills Steelhead, Pro-Cures Shrimp/Prawn or Mike's Garlic are great options.
Walleye fishing is picking up below McNary. Slow troll Worm Harnesses or Bladebait channel edges.
Get down below McNary for a shot at keeper sturgeon.
The season opened Jan. 1 and is very limited. The quota usually is met in February or March. Roll Mop and Pickled squid are your best bets.
Along the Snake River
Trolling bobbers above Ice Harbor has stayed productive for the few boats that are doing it.
Use the same tactics as McNary. Jigs tipped with Columbia Basin Shrimp under a bobber will do the trick. Concentrate on areas that will funnel fish (points). Slow trolling works well for covering water, but if you are not getting bites, move. Trust your fish finder for the presence of fish and also what depth they are running. Bank fishermen also are picking up fish from the dam to Charbonneau.
On the Tucannon, Touchet and Walla Walla rivers
Small presentations are the key, such as jigs at 1/8 ounce tipped with shrimp, small egg clusters, or flies tipped with single eggs. Often a small split shot is all you need to get you down. Target the deeper pools.
For panfish, look for perch and crappie to start showing up in Cargill Pond. Crappie jigs at 1/32 ounce tipped with a night crawler will do the trick. Small slip bobbers also work well here. It should be ice free.
For trout, the winter lakes up toward Spokane have been putting out trout through the ice. Fourth of July and Hog Canyon are two popular lakes. Swedish Pimples or Powerbait will do the trick.
Tip of the week
Winter fishing doesn't have to be cold. When dressed properly, even the coldest days are fishable. Layer with fleece lined thermals and windproof outer shells. Wear two or three layers of fleece lined thermals to stay warm.
By layering thermals, you don't have the bulk of multiple sweatshirts and coats.
Throw in some disposable hand warmers and you are set.
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