This Saturday, April 1, is the Seep Lakes annual opener. All lakes below O’Sullivan Dam and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge Lakes will be open now with one exception, Warden Lake, which opens on April 29. This spring a number of the year round Seep Lakes have been kicking out quality trout, most notably Upper Goose Lake. Goose has been the hands down best producer with relatively quick limits in the 14 to 16 inch range. Goose Lake has easy access and adequate boat ramps. The best technique has been still fishing with bait.
Here’s a couple of still fishing tips that will put more fish on the end of your line. Know the water and bottom composition. In the spring when the water is clear this is just a matter of looking. Typically you can see weed lines, rocks and small submerged islands just by scanning the water from a vantage point. This will give you and idea of what and where. I like to target weed lines where the break to deep water or any other transition change that these fish will use as highways throughout the day. Weed lines and weed beds are always good producers in the spring as the rising temps through the day will trigger various hatches that these rainbows will feed on. Another good area to target are shallow rocky bays. These spots will always be better on the north or northeast side of the lake because they see more sun throughout the day and are typically the warmest parts of the lake, thus more hatches, snails, leeches crawdads etc. The other areas are inflows and outflows, these are always a good shot in the spring.
Next would be what are you fishing. All of the different lakes vary in bottom structure and make up . Some are gravel, big rock or small, thick weed growth or sparce, mud etc. These are thing you as an angler should consider when picking a leader length to float your bait presentation on. For instance in a area that has dense weed growth on the bottom you will need a longer leader to float the bait up and out of the vegetation. On a gravel or mud bottom a short leader will suffice. I like to keep it simple where as on a clean bottom a foot to 18 inches of leader is perfect. The same math plus the height of the weed growth will give you your answer. So for 2’ of weeds on the bottom, a 3 to 3 1/2 feet will give me that same foot to foot and a half bait presentation above the top of the weeds. Basically just keep your bait up where the fish can see it, not down in the weeds where the fish have to root around to find it. As for bait pretty much everything will work on the right day. I like power bait tipped with a piece of night crawler for bigger trout and just power bait for the little guys. My favorite colors are chartruse, orange, lime and Captain America all with the glitter. One advantage I have found is tying fluorocarbon leaders. This helps for two reasons, one the fish can’t see it and two because they can’t see it, you can get away with higher pound test. This really helps on larger fish.
Good Luck and Remember afternoons are usually better than mornings until our nights warm up.
April 15-16 – Potholes Open Bass Tournament
April 22 – Washington Bowfishing Shootout