Lacamas Lake yields another monster channel catfish

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



CAMAS — Lacamas Lake has yielded another monster channel catfish, this one 28.2 pounds.

Kelly King, 33, of Vancouver, landed the lunker on Sept. 28 using a nightcrawler enhanced with the garlic flavor of Mike’s Glo Scent.

King caught the fish near Camp Currie at about 10:30 p.m.

In 2005, Round Lake, a portion of Lacamas Lake, yielded a 33-pounder. Washington’s record channel catfish weighed 36.2 pounds. It was caught in 1999 from Interstate-82 Pond No. 6 in Yakima County.

State biologists had differing opinions if the big fish were a channel catfish or a brown bullhead. Tissue testing at the University of Washington confirmed the fish was a channel catfish.

King is a member of a small cadre of anglers who fish the lake on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday nights, starting about 9 p.m. and continuing to between 1 and 3 to 4 a.m.

They call themselves the “garage-sale group” because they mostly fish with “real cheap gear,” he said.

“That’s our relaxation,” King said. “It’s just a group of guys who go out to relax.”

The group rarely catches a channel catfish though, he said.

Round Lake is a better spot to try for channel catfish.

“You catch small ones, but they are very feisty fish and hard-fighting,” King said.

It was a relatively cold and windy night when King caught his lunker.

“The catfish in Lacamas seem to bite better in cold water,” he said, a strange situation given they are warm-water species.

King said he never knows what Lacamas Lake will yield. He’s caught rainbow trout. brown trout, yellow perch, crappie, bullheads, carp and channel catfish from the 315-acre reservoir on Lacamas Creek.

The lake contains a huge sturgeon, he said.

“We’ve hooked it seven times in the last two weeks,” King. “It’s broken off 50-pound braid.”

He said the group is certain the sturgeon is over the size limit for retention, but want to see how large it is.

King said a worm scented with garlic is a Lacamas Lake standard bait. A corky is placed atop the hook to float the bait slightly off the bottom.

A Florida researcher examined photos of King’s catch and said he thought the fish was a brown bullhead.

At 28 pounds, it would have been a world record.

“I was very disappointed when I got the news back it wasn’t a record,” he said.

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