Trout Frenzy: Spring Fishing in Washington

trout fish

Suppose you have a strong desire to go fishing. In that case, the beginning of spring is an excellent time to go out and take advantage of the numerous lakes that already have rainbow trout living in them all year.

To give anglers a head start on spring fishing, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff has worked diligently over the past month to distribute rainbow trout.

Steve Caromile, the inland fish manager for the WDFW, declared that a vast number of trout fisheries are enjoyed by people and that many trout have been stocked in lakes in every six regions. The first months of spring are ideal for going out and having fun as it is less likely to be raining, and the days are brighter and cheerier.

 Distributing trout stockings at specific times throughout the year creates a lot of excitement, especially in the spring.

Fishermen in all 39 counties of Washington can take part in a year-round fishing experience on lakes where millions of trout between 10 and 12 inches in size are released.

More than 147,000 hefty trout, each weighing at least a pound, are being stocked in various year-round lakes as an extra incentive. Millions of fish had introduced a year or two ago when they were small, and now they should be around 8-12 inches or larger.

Justin Spinelli, a WDFW Puget Sound regional fish biologist, mentioned that stocking lakes with fish have been occurring vigorously in recent weeks. It is estimated to become more frenzied as the upcoming week passes.

The optimum moment to hunt for trout tends to be in the spring when the water is cooler, making the fish more agreeable and eager to bite.

These lakes are best for trout, but you may also catch yellow perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish.

The Best Way to Catch Trout

This article will teach beginners how to fish for trout and will provide them with the fundamentals to get started in an enjoyable, lucrative, and habit-forming type of fishing.

Understand the Fundamentals of Trout Fishing

For those just starting out with trout fishing, knowing something about the fish is essential. To become a great trout fisherman, it is important to gain knowledge of the fish, such as its traits and habits, as well as what kind of food it enjoys.

Trout are related to salmon and char and are members of the freshwater fish family. Most trout live in freshwater sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams, apart from the steelhead trout, a form of rainbow trout.

The steelhead trout spends two to three years living in the ocean before swimming back into freshwater locations to reproduce. It is more common to observe this behavior in salmon than in trout.

Select a Trout Fishing Method

One can use multiple strategies in order to catch trout, each with its own pros and cons. For a person new to trout fishing, they can look into the various approaches and select one that fits with the local trout population, what they prefer, or the technique that works best for the kind of water they’re fishing in.

Get the Right Tackle and Equipment

The gear necessary for trout fishing is based on the type of fishing technique you select. However, suppose you are a novice angler. In that case, starting with a straightforward approach utilizing minimal gear is recommended before you invest in costly supplies for a more challenging method.

Choose a Trout Fishing Location

Figuring out where to go trout fishing is the subsequent measure in teaching yourself how to snag trout. Where you go, fishing will be based on the dwelling of the trout in the vicinity. We’ve compiled a list of trout hotspots and the fishing strategies that work best in them.

  • Rivers. Rivers are normally quite large bodies of water and quite fast-flowing. They often carry sand and mud suspended in the water, which clouds the water and reduces visibility. Rivers can be clear, but they can become dirty at times of high rainfall, which would require a change in fishing methods. Fishing for trout in a river can be done using the bait, spinner, fly fishing methods, and even trolling if the river is big enough. If the water is muddy, fly fishing and spinner fishing, and trolling with lures may be out of the question. In this instance, live bait would likely be the better fishing method choice.
  • Streams. Streams are normally smaller bodies of water at higher elevations and are conducive to using bait fishing and fly fishing. If the stream is large enough, you may be able to use spinners for fishing, but you may not have much distance to cast and reel in.
  • Lakes. Due to lakes being larger bodies of water, they cater to all trout fishing methods. You can bait fish, spinner fish, or fly fish from the bank, or you can do any of these from a boat as well. Trolling will allow you to fish deeper for larger fish and cover a larger area in a short amount of time.
  • Ponds. Ponds being small bodies of water, do not lend themselves to trolling, but any of the other fishing methods used from the bank or a small boat can prove to be effective in this type of environment.

When to Go Fishing

When fishing for trout, choosing the right time to go is just as important as choosing the right gear and method. It is essential to be aware of the kinds of trout living in the water where you are fishing in order to determine the best season to fish for them, the optimal bait for that season, and even the ideal time of day for trout fishing.

Select a Bait, Lure, Or Fly

In this part of angling for trout, you can decide on the lure you believe will work best based on your fishing style. Basically, the approach you take will determine the kind of bait you use. However, it is also possible to use a variety of types together.

Make the Correct Fishing Knot

You need to know how to tie knots in your fishing gear to keep your catch and expensive lures and bait safe. The worst result that can happen to a fisherman is when a fish gets away due to a carelessly tied knot!

Everyone who is learning to fish for trout should become familiar with a few basic fishing knots. As you improve your skills, you can build on these basic knots to make more complicated riggings.

Catching & Landing Trout

If you’re starting to fish for trout, you’ve got the necessary tools and lures, but don’t forget to arm yourself with information on how to hook and reel in the trout.

When you feel the fish biting, you need to immediately jerk your line to get the hook embedded in the trout’s mouth so that you can reel it in. The motion you make to set the hook changes based on the bait you are utilizing and differs vastly if you are engaging in fly fishing. Hooking a fish typically requires quickly raising or jerking the rod to either one side or straight up so the bait catches the fish. How you move the lure will depend on how the fish responds to it.

List of Year-Round Lake Trout Plants

Eastern Washington (Region 1)

  • Asotin County — Golf Course Pond, 15,500; Headgate Pond, 1,000; West Evans Pond, 15,500; and Silcott Pond, 1,000.
  • Columbia County — Blue, 16,000; Curl, 8,000 (opens Saturday before Memorial Day); Dayton Pond (open for juvenile youth only), 1,400; Deer, 3,000; Orchard Pond, 1,600; Rainbow, 15,300; Spring, 11,000; and Watson, 12,000.
  • Ferry County — Ferry, 2,500; and Fish, 450.
  • Pend Oreille County — Leo, 2,200.
  • Spokane County — Bear, 1,500; Clear, 9,500; Liberty, 4,000.
  • Stevens County — Deer, 3,500; Gillette, 2,700; Heritage, 4,000; Jumpoff Joe, 4,700; Sherry, 1,450; and Thomas, 9,000.
  • Walla Walla County — Bennington, 17,000; Fish Hook Park Pond, 4,000; Hood Park Pond, 6,000; Jefferson Park Pond, 3,000; Lions Park Pond, 400; and Quarry Pond, 18,000.
  • Whitman County — Garfield Pond, 2,000; Gilchrist Pond, 1,000; Pampa Pond, 6,000; and Riparia Pond, 500.

North Central Washington (Region 2)

  • Chelan County — Fish, 15,000; and Roses, 2,000.
  • Douglas County — Big Bow Pond, 7,000Hammond Pond, 4,000; Pit Pond (Kids), 4,000; and Putters Pond (Rock Island #4), 10,000.
  • Grant County — Upper Caliche, 1,000; Canal, 3,000; Corral, 3,500; Heart, 1,000; Lenice, 2,337; Martha, 1,500; Nunally, 2,750; and Windmill, 2,500.
  • Okanogan County — Aspen, 75; Beaver (Big), 300; Beaver (Little), 100; Bonaparte, 400; Buck, 350; Campbell, 300; Cougar, 150; Dibble, 50; Ell, 75; Green (Big), 500; Green (Little), 150; Hess, 200; Molson, 1,000; Sidley, 2,000; Spectacle, 10,000 and 5,200 tiger trout; and Starzman (Middle), 75.

South Central Washington (Region 3)

  • Benton County — Columbia Park Pond, 6,000.
  • Franklin County — Dalton, 16,000; and Marmes Pond, 1,500.
  • Yakima County — Clear, 17,225; Dog, 7,000; Firing Center Pond, 300; Granger Pond, 1,400; Indian Flat Pond, 800; I-82 Pond #1, 1,500; I-82 Pond #2, 2,000; I-82 Pond #3, 1,000; I-82 Pond #4, 6,450; I-82 Pond #6, 5,950; Lost, 3,500; Myron, 500; Rotary, 7,620; Reflection Pond Sarge Hubbard Park (juvenile youth only), 6,600; Tieton Ranger Pond, 1,000; and Tims Pond, 5,500.

North Puget Sound (Region 4)

  • Island County — Cranberry, 10,000; and Lone, 3,500.
  • King County — Alice, 3,600; Angle, 6,200; Beaver, 6,500; Bitter, 1,500; Boren, 1,500; Deep, 3,600; Desire, 8,000; Dolloff, 2,000; Echo, 1,000; Fenwick, 1,800; Fish, 1,500; Fivemile, 3,000; Green, 10,500; Haller, 1,300; Holm, 1,700; Killarney, 2,500; Meridian, 11,800; Morton, 5,000; Rattlesnake, 3,500; Sawyer, 2,000; Shadow, 4,300; Spring, 6,800; Star, 3,300; Trout, 1,800; and Twelve, 4,000.
  • Kittitas County — Cooper, 3,000; Easton Ponds, 6,100; Fio Rito, 9,000; Kiwanas Pond, 1,800; Lavendar, 4,500; Mattoon, 9,000; McCabe Pond, 3,000; Milk Pond, 300; Naneum Pond (Juvenile youth only), 2,400; Quartz Creek Pond, 600; and Woodhouse Pond, 300.
  • San Juan County — Egg, 600; and Hummel, 1,000.
  • Skagit County — Clear, 6,000; Grandy, 5,300; Pass, 500; and Vogler, 1,000.
  • Snohomish County — Ballinger, 7,600; Blackmans, 6,700; Cassidy, 3,500; Chain, 1,000; Flowing, 7,400; Gissberg Ponds (North), 1,500; Gissberg Ponds (South), 3,000; Goodwin, 6,000; Ketchum, 2,000; Loma, 1,500; Lost, 1,500; Martha (AM), 6,700; Martha (Warm Beach), 3,000; Panther, 1,500; Roesiger, 6,000; Shoecraft, 4,800; Silver, 6,700; and Tye, 3,500.
  • Whatcom County — Squalicum, 1,500; and Terrell, 2,000.

Southwest Washington (Region 5)

  • Clark County — Battleground, 26,633 plus 3,000 cutthroat; Klineline Pond, 31,600 plus 3,000 cutthroat; and Lacamas, 15,000.
  • Cowlitz County — Horseshoe, 18,461; Kress, 13,711 and 2,000 browns; Merwin, 93,000 kokanee; Sacajawea, 16,644 and 2,000 browns; and Silver, 9,200.
  • Klickitat County — Maryhill Pond, 900.
  • Lewis County — Chambers, 1,000; Fort Borst Park Pond, 7,800; Scanewa, 20,000; Long, 1,000; Knuppenburg, 1,000; Mayfield, 72,000; Plummer, 3,000; South Lewis County Park Pond, 8,000; and Swofford Pond, 20,000.
  • Skamania County — Council, 3,331; Goose, 6,000 plus 9,500 cutthroat; Icehouse, 6,000; Little Ash Lake, 4,500; Takhlakh, 3,332; and Tunnel, 2,000.
  • Coastal Washington (Region 6)
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