• Opening Weekend!

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 #235892  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:24 am
Well the April 22nd opener this year seems to have taken extra long. Is anyone going to any local (westside) lakes this weekend to catch some stockers? I will be at lake Padden around midnight on Saturday morning. [thumbsup] I will also be out there about all weekend, taking my kayak Saturday and hopefully my new pontoon Sunday.

Anyone else going to be at Padden?? Any favorite spring opener lakes?

Tight lines!
 #235893  by Juniah87
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:48 am
When I was up in the whatcom county area I used to go to Toad, plenty of fish and less people
 #235894  by Amx
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:54 am
My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image
 #235895  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:01 pm
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image


Haha! Well for good reason. It often can be a sh-t show as there are so many people thinking they can just go pick some fish out of the lake and take them home for dinner. One thing that was really disappointing to see was a few Russian gentlemen who were at the lake last weekend as I was there with my buddy. They told us they planned to fish at night before the opener. I bet there are a good number of people who get away with that. Too bad we only have a couple Wardens in the county.
 #235896  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:03 pm
Juniah87 wrote:When I was up in the whatcom county area I used to go to Toad, plenty of fish and less people


I am going to try to fish toad Saturday evening. There aren't a lot of banks spots so I am guessing taking my kayak out will do great! I have fished there tons of times but never from a floating device. But all it takes is four or five people to take up just about all of the public shore fishing there haha.
 #235897  by rseas
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:10 pm
Oh I so wish I could be on the water for opening day. Currently being boatless we will miss the opener for the first time in years. Good luck everyone, be safe and can't wait to read the stories.
 #235898  by Amx
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:14 pm
branweeds wrote:
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image


Haha! Well for good reason. It often can be a sh-t show as there are so many people thinking they can just go pick some fish out of the lake and take them home for dinner. One thing that was really disappointing to see was a few Russian gentlemen who were at the lake last weekend as I was there with my buddy. They told us they planned to fish at night before the opener. I bet there are a good number of people who get away with that. Too bad we only have a couple Wardens in the county.
Back in 2015 I was fishing a dock and the owner came out to talk. He said that he'd watch people launch their boats at midnight and start fishing, which was legal by the way. He also said that lots of them had problems launching their boats, and he had a good show to watch. Same with Opening Day for Boating. Those who go boating/fishing one day a year. [laugh]

Oh ya, while we were talking I caught 3 small Bass, 1 by his dock, 1 out in the open, and 1 close to the dock next to his while we were talking. Another spring day while we were talking I caught a 2 pounder by the bush hanging over the bulkhead by his dock, he thought that was neat.
 #235899  by Amx
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:20 pm
rseas wrote:Oh I so wish I could be on the water for opening day. Currently being boatless we will miss the opener for the first time in years. Good luck everyone, be safe and can't wait to read the stories.
The first time I fished in this state was on opening day in '73. From the dock at Lake Meridian. LOTS of boats on the water, and people on the docks. I was sitting there waiting for that big bite - that never came. A man came up and asked me if I'd caught any, I said no. He then flashed a badge at me and asked to see my license, so I showed him, he said "good luck", and walked off to check others who were fishing. lol.
 #235900  by Jakefish
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:23 pm
I always take my daughter to Padden. That lake has room for plenty of people, nearly the entire shoreline is accessible. In previous years, Toad would get more jumbos than Padden, but this year I see there are no jumbos or triploids planted in the county!

If you want to avoid the worst crowds, head down there in the afternoon - most people have limited out or given up by then, but the fishing is just as good.

A couple years ago on opening day there were a couple of kids who I think were 11 or 12 who had been there since midnight but had lost one fish between the two of them. Their rods were too short to cast out to the fish from where we were, so they had a tough time and I don't think they did take any fish home that day.
 #235901  by fisherman92
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:27 pm
I have a friend who lives on lake Ki and I have been to the opener there for prob the last 15 years. Its more for the entertainment of watching the parade of boats trolling around trying not to run into each other. Also all of the neighbors are usually hammered by about 8am haha. ALWAYS catch lots of trout there, but mostly small stockers. This year I'm heading to Big lake with some friends bass fishing to try to avoid the trout madness that will ensue... I hope its not too busy.. We shall see
 #235902  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:38 pm
fisherman92 wrote: This year I'm heading to Big lake with some friends bass fishing to try to avoid the trout madness that will ensue... I hope its not too busy.. We shall see


My buddy and I are rebuilding his '88 Skeeter. Last night we had to take all of the rotten wood out of the old transom. Not fun! But we are trying to get it on the water by mid May, before some of the bass this far north start spawning. That is the only reason I wont be bassing this weekend haha
 #235903  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:39 pm
And good luck at Big Lake, I saw some guy catch a smallie from a dock last week!!
 #235904  by Juniah87
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:33 pm
branweeds wrote:
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image


Haha! Well for good reason. It often can be a sh-t show as there are so many people thinking they can just go pick some fish out of the lake and take them home for dinner. One thing that was really disappointing to see was a few Russian gentlemen who were at the lake last weekend as I was there with my buddy. They told us they planned to fish at night before the opener. I bet there are a good number of people who get away with that. Too bad we only have a couple Wardens in the county.

Not to sound too racist, but we always had problems with Russians poaching, fishing illegals, or in closed waters. We stocked the pond behind bellingham hatchery the Friday before mothers day one year for the kids fishing derby, and had to tell 2 Russians in their mid to late 20s to kick rocks. They came back 30 minutes later while I was leaving, rods in hand. I called the game warden that time, I hope he confiscated their gear. This was a juvenile only fishery, which made it that much worse. We would also catch a lot of Russians snagging on the wall, and fishing roped off and clearly marked closed areas. Very unfortunate.
 #235906  by Amx
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:11 pm
Juniah87 wrote:
branweeds wrote:
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image


Haha! Well for good reason. It often can be a sh-t show as there are so many people thinking they can just go pick some fish out of the lake and take them home for dinner. One thing that was really disappointing to see was a few Russian gentlemen who were at the lake last weekend as I was there with my buddy. They told us they planned to fish at night before the opener. I bet there are a good number of people who get away with that. Too bad we only have a couple Wardens in the county.

Not to sound too racist, but we always had problems with Russians poaching, fishing illegals, or in closed waters. We stocked the pond behind bellingham hatchery the Friday before mothers day one year for the kids fishing derby, and had to tell 2 Russians in their mid to late 20s to kick rocks. They came back 30 minutes later while I was leaving, rods in hand. I called the game warden that time, I hope he confiscated their gear. This was a juvenile only fishery, which made it that much worse. We would also catch a lot of Russians snagging on the wall, and fishing roped off and clearly marked closed areas. Very unfortunate.
That's not being racist, that is stating FACTS.
 #235916  by Jcverhalen
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:22 pm
Jakefish wrote:In previous years, Toad would get more jumbos than Padden, but this year I see there are no jumbos or triploids planted in the county!


Anyone know why that is? Hardly worth much to catch a couple 11 inchers
 #235918  by branweeds
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:51 pm
Juniah87 wrote:
branweeds wrote:
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image


Haha! Well for good reason. It often can be a sh-t show as there are so many people thinking they can just go pick some fish out of the lake and take them home for dinner. One thing that was really disappointing to see was a few Russian gentlemen who were at the lake last weekend as I was there with my buddy. They told us they planned to fish at night before the opener. I bet there are a good number of people who get away with that. Too bad we only have a couple Wardens in the county.

Not to sound too racist, but we always had problems with Russians poaching, fishing illegals, or in closed waters. We stocked the pond behind bellingham hatchery the Friday before mothers day one year for the kids fishing derby, and had to tell 2 Russians in their mid to late 20s to kick rocks. They came back 30 minutes later while I was leaving, rods in hand. I called the game warden that time, I hope he confiscated their gear. This was a juvenile only fishery, which made it that much worse. We would also catch a lot of Russians snagging on the wall, and fishing roped off and clearly marked closed areas. Very unfortunate.


I live pretty close to the Bellingham hatchery, and it has always been annoying to see guys like that setting examples for the kids learning to fish. The derby pond there was the first place my dad ever took me to fish too.
 #235919  by Jakefish
 Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:56 pm
I have noticed that our standard stockers are bigger up here (Whatcom County) than everyone else's. Ours average .625 pounds, while everywhere else is .5 pounds or smaller.

I got one jumbo last year on opening day, but none after that, and none the year before that or the year before that. I think if you can troll on the first week where you can effectively catch and release a bunch of fish to sort for the bigger ones, you have a shot at getting more jumbos and triploids. For us shore-bound anglers, they are few and far between.

I'm hoping the really cold winter we had will have killed off a good portion of the snails in the lake. Last year most of the fish had snails in their bellies, and they didn't taste as good as years past when I noticed more bugs and "shrimp" in their bellies.
 #235925  by spokey9
 Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:12 am
I love the circus of opening day. There's always something crazy that seems to happen wherever I end up at. Truth is though it's simple fishing and a chance to help a newbie that's struggling or just meet new people. That might be why I like it, but the crazy does amuse me lol
 #235926  by branweeds
 Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:36 am
spokey9 wrote:I love the circus of opening day. There's always something crazy that seems to happen wherever I end up at. Truth is though it's simple fishing and a chance to help a newbie that's struggling or just meet new people. That might be why I like it, but the crazy does amuse me lol


I have to agree with that! It seems there are always a few opportunities to show a kid or new fisherman how to rig up some power bait, or maybe share an old spinner! Plus people can be quite amusing as well.
 #235927  by strider43
 Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:20 am
Amx wrote:My FAVORITE place to be on opening day, and weekend, is ON MY COUCH, or I stay in bed. Image



Good choice on the west side. I am headed to Omak Lake for giant trout.... [flapper]