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Downer: Springers starting to live up to the hype

Downer: Springers starting to live up to the hype

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Scores of local fishermen have their eyes firmly affixed on the prize right now, and that prize is one or more shiny, bright spring Chinook salmon. On recent trips to Silver Lake, I've passed a considerable number of aluminum sleds, both large and small, headed in the opposite direction, toward Longview, and the mighty Columbia River — always a sure sign that something good is going on.

I was in Bob's Sporting Goods the other day looking at the registration book for Bob's Spring Salmon Derby when I made the comment, to no one in particular, that it didn't look like the season was all that good to this point, considering the number of salmon projected to enter the Columbia River this spring. I received assurances from several of the clerks working at the time that considering the number of entries listed and the fact that it's still early in the season, the season is off to a good start, indeed.

The current first-place fish, a 25 pound, nine-ounce chrome beauty, was taken on the Cowlitz on March 22, by Brad Whisman on a Spin-'n-Glo. The second-place fish, weighing in at 24 pounds, four ounces, was taken March 13 by Michael Ward on the Columbia River, on herring.

Springers are being caught on a variety of hard-plastic lures, natural baits, and combinations of both. It appears many anglers are anchoring-up and fishing plastic baits on the outgoing tide, while others are trolling natural baits such as herring on the tide coming in.

According to Mario, a clerk in the fishing department at Bob's, the most popular colors of Luhr Jensen Kwikfish are Double Trouble, which is chrome with chartreuse on both ends, and Little Boy Blue, one of many blue combinations available.

Brads' Cutplugs are a best-seller right now, in combinations such as Blue Hawaiian and Blue Magic. The Seahawk and Jackpot colors are selling well. Mario tells me anglers are filling the internal cavity of the Cutplug with tuna fish.

Silver Lake

Looking back through the past 10 years of my log books/journals, it's obvious that the bass fishing at Silver Lake never really gets going until about mid-April. Despite a very mild winter, it appears the same will be the case this year.

At the recent Ice-Breaker Open on Silver Lake, which is hosted annually by the Capitol City Bass Club out of the Olympia area, the team of Tom Karnofski and Doug Lane, both of Longview, won the whole thing with one fish weighing four pounds, 11 ounces. Only five fish were caught for 12-13 boats fishing - I'm not sure of the exact number of boats entered.

Chuck Morgen, proprietor of Silver Lake Resort, reports that an eight-pound, 14-ounce fish was caught just before the open tournament. Bigger fish have been few and far between for the most part, so far this spring, however.

My Lowrance depth-finder shows vast clouds of small bluegill and perch, both in the outlying ditch and canal areas, and now in main lake areas as well. Considering the numbers and size of the natural prey available in the lake, it's a wonder that largemouth bass will hit an artificial lure at all.

There are tons (literally) of crappie available to pan fishermen right now, but keepers over nine inches in length are few and far between. The vast majority of these fish seem to be suspended, away from shoreline areas, at this time.

Calendar

Another three-day morning razor clam dig has tentatively been scheduled for some of the coastal beaches beginning April 16. The morning low tide that day of -0.7 feet will be at 8:32 a.m. at Long Beach and Twin Harbors only, according to a recent DFW news release.

On April 17, the morning low of -0.7 feet is at 9:12 a.m. at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch, and on Sunday, April 18, the morning low of -0.6 feet will be at 9:56 a.m. at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch.

A 2010-2011 license will be required for this dig.

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