• SW Washington Fishing

  • Looking for a spontanious fishing partner? Got a quick trip open seat/share a ride available? Post it here!
Looking for a spontanious fishing partner? Got a quick trip open seat/share a ride available? Post it here!
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 #235531  by aaholschbach
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:31 am
I relocated to Clark County, WA about two years ago from a Midwest/Great Lakes state.

I haven't gone fishing since the summer before I moved out here, but after 2+ years without fishing, I want to get back into the sport.

In my home state, I fished warm water species like small and largemouth bass, crappies, perch, and panfish. Being boatless, I also often just set up bottom rigs on rivers for catfish, carp, suckers, and anything else willing to bite.

It seems to me there is much less opportunity in Western Washington for my preferred species and that trout, salmon, and steelhead are the big deal here. Even though there were opportunities for these species in my home state, I never have targeted them.

I am not necessarily looking for a fishing buddy, per se (but not opposed to it, either--just cautious), but I wouldn't mind someone local to discuss the local fishing spots, gear and rigging, seasons and regulations, best times for which species (as the climate here is a little different from my home state), etc.

I am primarily interested in trying my hand at trout fishing using ultra-light and light spinning gear, but want to branch out to try my hand at salmon and steelhead in the future.

Thank you.
 #235533  by Amx
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:40 am
There are lots of Bass fishing in Clark Co. Not that I remember where Clark Co. is, but it's down there somewhere. Lots of little lakes, and the Columbia River down south. Pick a lake on the map, and go try it. There is a page here on this web site that'll show maps and pictures of lakes in each country. Not every lake in the state, but lots of them. Also fishing reports by the lake name, and county.
 #235539  by Onmygame
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:51 am
If you are looking for bass, crappie, perch, and other warm water species head to the county just north of you - Cowlitz Co - and hit Silver Lake. It is a superb bass and panfish lake.

If you want to change up and fish trout - here is a recent list of stocking activity in your county by the WDFW -

http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekl ... ate%20DESC

Lots of opportunities throughout this state, the best of luck.

onmygame
 #235546  by BARCHASER
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:27 pm
For salmon and steelhead you are living in the promised land at least compared to the Seattle area. There is some good fishing for salmon and steelhead off the bars (beaches) along the Columbia. Just go the bars, talk to the guys and see how they fish. Maybe eventually, you can work towards a boat.

Go to Ifish, which is a very large fishing website pretty much all SW Washington and NW Oregon to get advice. There is some warm water fishing. There are lots of lakes around Vancouver, and in sloughs along the Columbia you just have to get out and explore. Catfish, Bass, Walleyes, Crappie are all there you just have to explore but you will need a boat eventually.

http://www.ifish.net/
 #235548  by aaholschbach
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:04 pm
Thank you all for your replies and great links! They are much appreciated! :)

I have been doing some research on lakes in my general area and Silver Lake is definitely at the top of my list. Closer to home, I will be checking out Vancouver, Battle Ground, and Lacamas/Round. However, though I primarily release, I would like to keep panfish here and there, and I'm unsure if these lakes closer to me are safe to eat from. From the little bit I could find on the topic, I'm doubtful... Either way, having fun and catching fish is most important. Don't need to keep.

When it comes to salmon and steelhead, you're definitely right, Barchaser. I will just have to go talk to guys I see out fishing for them.

I do want to get a boat eventually, but sadly not in the budget right now. I did purchase myself a kayak, though, so I'm looking forward to trying that out on some of these lakes.

Thanks again, all!
 #235551  by branweeds
 Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:16 pm
aaholschbach wrote:I am primarily interested in trying my hand at trout fishing using ultra-light and light spinning gear, but want to branch out to try my hand at salmon and steelhead in the future.


Find a lake on the WDFW webiste that lists a species of trout in season this month, and preferably one with a good fishing expectation. The WDFW website is actually really helpful, and along with this site, will be about all you need to get started!

http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/County/Clark/

Looks like you would have good luck going out to the public dock at Battle Ground lake might give you a good chance for some rainbows. Either throw a sinker and power bait on and sit and wait for a bite, or cast/retrieve/repeat with some spinners. (Rooster tails or panther martins). The options for trout are endless, and it is incredibly cheap to get set up to fish for them. I even picked up an Okuma ultralight rod for under 20 bucks and it's my favorite trout rod I have.

Good luck, and you better post a pic of your first trout!
 #235577  by aaholschbach
 Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:06 am
branweeds wrote:Looks like you would have good luck going out to the public dock at Battle Ground lake might give you a good chance for some rainbows. Either throw a sinker and power bait on and sit and wait for a bite, or cast/retrieve/repeat with some spinners. (Rooster tails or panther martins). The options for trout are endless, and it is incredibly cheap to get set up to fish for them. I even picked up an Okuma ultralight rod for under 20 bucks and it's my favorite trout rod I have.


I currently have an ultra-lite set-up with 4lb test and an inline spinner on it. I have another ultra-lite and two light rods I plan on getting set-up too. I have an assortment of inline spinners, a Rooster tail or two, and some Kastmasters I can swap in and out, so I guess I have nothing holding me back from just getting out there and experimenting.

And it looks like Battle Ground Lake is open year round, too, so going there may not be a bad idea.
 #235588  by BARCHASER
 Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:35 am
Don't forget Shad which run in June usually. They are fun to catch with light gear, you can fish from the shore, there are millions of the things but it is all C&R since you cant eat them although some guys eat the roe. When I lived around Portland we fished them below Bonneville on the Oregon side. But you can also fish them on the WA side below Bonneville and around Camas. You will need somewhat heavier gear, it is fast water, they weigh 2-4 pounds and they fight like mad.

Go to Fishermans Marine near Delta Park just over the border. Best fishing store there is and those guys can help you get the right gear and where to go on the WA side for Shad. They may have warm water advice too.
 #235593  by aaholschbach
 Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:57 pm
BARCHASER wrote:Don't forget Shad which run in June usually. They are fun to catch with light gear, you can fish from the shore, there are millions of the things but it is all C&R since you cant eat them although some guys eat the roe. When I lived around Portland we fished them below Bonneville on the Oregon side. But you can also fish them on the WA side below Bonneville and around Camas. You will need somewhat heavier gear, it is fast water, they weigh 2-4 pounds and they fight like mad.


I will have to keep shad fishing in mind. That sounds like a blast! That's one cool thing about moving to the NW: it's going to open me up to all new kinds of fishing experiences.

BARCHASER wrote:Go to Fishermans Marine near Delta Park just over the border. Best fishing store there is and those guys can help you get the right gear and where to go on the WA side for Shad. They may have warm water advice too.


Ooh, I've already been there! That place is awesome! It's going to be my go-to store for sure.