Potholes Reservoir / Mardon Resort Fishing Report

The current water level on the Potholes Reservoir is 1030.96 – dropping just over one foot this past week. The water temperature on the main Reservoir is at around 80 degrees and in the mid 80’s and up back in the sand dunes.
We have had several folks come in proud of and wanting pictures of their catch. Sadly, many do not realize the fish they have kept are not legal to harvest based on current regulations. There are several “special regulations” in place for the Potholes Reservoir and surrounding waters. The MarDon Resort tackle store and office carries copies of the current fishing regulations available to you at no charge. The WDFW has launched the free “Fish Washington” app, available on Google Play and Apple’s App store, which is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state. Please take advantage of these resources – and if you aren’t sure – release the fish. Read and understand the current regulations so that the fishing continues to be awesome and improve on the Potholes Reservoir. Help protect and improve the wonderful resource we have for yourself, your children and grandchildren.
The bass fishing is outstanding for both quantity and quality!!! The bite has picked up despite the hot temperatures. Both Largemouth and Smallmouth are back in the dunes, along the face of the dunes, and along the face of the dam. Top baits for Largemouth include – Strike King Structure Jigs, Strike King 2.50 Square Billed crankbait, Spro Popping Frogs, Wacky Rigged Senkos and spider grubs fished on a 3/8th oz. football head. Smallmouth are being caught on the rock piles off Goose Island and along the face of the dam as well as around the face of the dunes. Use crankbaits, 3½” tubes, swimbaits, and Senkos for the Smallmouth.
The walleye bite continues to be tough – but good walleye fishing is getting closer. Fish early – fishing by 5am – done by 10am. Throw Rat-L-Traps over weed beds back in the dunes and troll crankbaits in the channels between the dunes and along the face of the dunes. Troll #7 or #5 Flicker Shads, Bagleys and Rapalas, slow troll Slow Death rigs with Smile Blades and Butterfly Blade rigs as well as traditional spinner/crawler harnesses around Goose Island.
The trout fishing on the Potholes Reservoir has slowed a little with the heat – but trout are still being caught by anglers targeting walleyes. Trout fishers have been catching trout trolling #5 and # 7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps and Mack’s Wedding Ring Rigs with a worm and bottom bouncer in 10-20 feet of water. Concentrate in front of the State Park and along the face of the dunes.
The crappie fishing is going strong early and late in the day off the MarDon Resort dock and along the face of the dunes. Big bluegills have moved in as well. Crappie and bluegill fishing is good both in and in front of the sand dunes. Troll a #5 Flicker Shad or Rapala along the weedlines on the main channels. From a boat or from the dock use a 1” Berkley Gulp Alive Minnow, VMC Wingding jig, VMC Probe jig, or a Trout Magnet either alone or under a float – depending on where the fish are holding in the water column. A few perch are being caught off the dock and around Goose Island.
Both Channel Catfish and Yellow Bullhead fishing has been very good over the past couple of weeks. We have had several Channel Cats in the 8-15lb. range come in this week. Anglers have been trolling walleye rigs with crawlers in the dunes, on the face of the dunes and around Goose Island. Bank fishermen have been doing well on Cats in Lind Coulee using Berkley’s Catfish Nuggets and Crawlers.
Call the MarDon Store for the latest fishing info and to make reservations at 509-346-2651.
Upcoming Events:
August 11th Paul Sweeney – Live Music

P.J. Koshi, President of the Washington Bass Association, with an awesome Potholes Reservoir Largemouth bass caught and released this week while pre-fishing for a club event this coming weekend!

Mike Meseberg and grandson Mason Meseberg show two 6+ pound Potholes Reservoir Largemouth bass. An awesome day – as they caught and released many more!

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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