Friday, December 3, 2021
Dec. 3, 2021

Linkedin Pinterest

Trout anglers ready to chase after a big Black Friday bounty

Lakes stocked with fish that have grown chunky

By
Published:
4 Photos
Chris Sessions and Blake Ramsey with a catch of Black Friday rainbow trout. They were fishing with Buzz Ramsey, one of the original anglers that pushed for the yearly event.
Chris Sessions and Blake Ramsey with a catch of Black Friday rainbow trout. They were fishing with Buzz Ramsey, one of the original anglers that pushed for the yearly event. (Photo courtesy of Buzz Ramsey) Photo Gallery

For the last few years many local anglers have begun to associate the day after Thanksgiving with fat, scrappy trout, instead of crowded stores and holiday sales.

The Black Friday trout fishery has been around enough years now that it has become a tradition for many families in Southwest Washington, and those anglers will be out in force tomorrow to get in on the fun.

Every year the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plants local lakes with trout that have been raised all summer, and are now quite chunky. The typical rainbow trout stocked out for the event averages 15 or 16 inches.

“We call these Jumbos,” said Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program. “They are about one and a half pounds on average, with some of them reaching three pounds.”

The department will stock 2,000 of these big trout into each of the selected lakes across the state. Region 5 boasts a number of these lucky waters, and there are options right here in the Vancouver area. Kelsey reports that Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek Park is one of them, and Battle Ground Lake is another recipient of these special stockings.

The fishery has proved very popular, although it was managed differently the first few years it was held. The lakes to be stocked were closed for at least a few weeks ahead of Black Friday, when the lakes were reopened. However, in an effort to simplify fishing regulations, the state does not close the lakes now.

That means that anglers can fish on the trout as soon as the state trucks drop them in. Buzz Ramsey of Klickitat reports that means the actual day of the event the fishing is not quite as good as it was when the lakes were closed.

“I wish the agency would close it before Black Friday like they used to,” said Ramsey. “We seemed to do better then.”

Ramsey, one of the original proponents of the event, likes to fish Rowland Lake in the Columbia River Gorge. And, he tends to sleep in a little bit that morning before putting his drift boat out on the lake.

“They get some early,” he said, “but it seems like when the water warms up, they start biting a little better.”

When it comes to the best offerings for the trout, Ramsey said it can be different every year.

“They sometimes like the Maglips, but last year they went for the new Berkley Spinfish. They really wailed on that last year.”

Other popular baits include Rooster Tail spinners, and the Berkley trout worms. Bank anglers do well with spinners or by fishing Powerbait along the bottom. The fish can be found spread all through the lake, and bank anglers get them off the north shore, near the boat ramp, and from the rip rap along the State Highway 14 causeway. Boat anglers find them in front of the boat ramp, along the south shoreline, and in the east end of the lake.

It’s a different kind of fishing at Klineline Pond, according to Kelsey.

“Klineline is super popular,” said Kelsey. “Sometimes at Klineline too many people will fish the Powerbait, and the bite will go off. You get a lot of people along the bank fishing and you get all that Powerbait scent in the water and after a while the trout are just not interested in it. So, I always encourage people to bring some kind of alternate bait.”

“I tell people to bring worms, and fish worm pieces with a red salmon egg on the end. Also, marshmallows, and cocktail shrimp work well.”

Few anglers try lures in Klineline, although a few fly fishers show up from time to time.

Battle Ground Lake in Battle Ground State Park is a good lake for anglers that have small craft they can launch. Kelsey reports that a float tube, canoe, or small rowboat can give an angler an edge here. The fish tend to hang in the deep water offshore. The lake is tough to fish from the shore, with shallow banks, and overhanging trees.

The trout here like natural baits more than the prepared dough baits such as Powerbait. Instead, worms, salmon eggs, or cocktail shrimp are what the trout want.

Kress Lake is another lake that is stocked ahead of Black Friday, but the lake is weedy according to Kelsey and she reports it may be tough to fish this year. She said that the lake will be treated for the weeds next year, but anglers will have a tough time fishing it with anything but bobbers and bait this Black Friday. The lake has plenty of holdover brown trout as well as the larger stocked rainbows, and Kelsey said the browns love biscuit dough.

The Black Friday fishery marks the beginning of the trout stocking season for the lowland lakes, and regular stockings will take place through the winter for most of these waters.

For those people that do not like to fight the crowds at the stores, the Black Friday trout fishery provides an excellent alternative. And, it is a good way to burn off some of those turkey day calories, while spending some quality time with family, friends, and hopefully, a few trout.

You can get more information on the Black Friday trout fishery on the WDFW website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/fish-black-friday-big-rainbow-trout-4

You can also check the WDFW winter trout stocking schedule here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/stocking/trout-plants

Always check the regulations before you fish.

Terry Otto offers a weekly Southwest Washington fishing report and forecast online in “The Guide Forecast” at www.theguidesforecast.com

Tags
 
Loading...