Mid-Columbia fishing report

By Dave Hedden, Special to the Tri-City Herald March 22, 2012 

KENNEWICK -- All the local lakes have been stocked with trout.

The kid's fishing pond in Columbia Park received 2,000 rainbows. Dalton Lake and Quarry Pond have each received 8,000 rainbows as well.

Rainbow or chartreuse powerbait, floated 24 to 36 inches off the bottom, will produce. Spinners such as roostertails and Kastmaster spoons also are favorites for these feisty trout.

All the Tucannon lakes are stocked and fishing well. According to The Last Resort, the lakes are due for a restocking in the next few weeks.

Trout fishing off the MarDon Dock on Potholes Reservoir has been on fire as of late. There are trout weighing up to 61 pounds for those willing to brave the weather are possible.

Bass

Largemouth are starting to move shallow in many of the local ponds. Look for the warmest water late in the day to target these pre-spawn bucket mouths. Five-inch green pumpkin or watermelon Senkos are great early spring baits. Fish these slowly. If you are not getting bit, slow down some more.

Reaction Innovations beavers also are popular big fish baits. Smallmouth are starting to move out of the deeper water into the shallows as the water temperature in the river rises. Yamamoto 176 grubs or Kalin's grubs are popular choices this time of year.

Walleye

The pre-spawn bite is in full swing. Many double-digit fish already have been landed this spring. Norisada bladebaits and Northland whistler jigs have been working very well. Worm harnesses with Mack's smile blades also have been consistent for those who are slow trolling.

Chartreuse always is a great place to start, but do not hesitate to try other colors such as orange, green or black.

Often times, a small change in areas that receive a lot of pressure will trigger a bite. Walleye fishing on Potholes Resevoir has been productive for the few targeting them.

Bladebaits in 16 to 65 feet have been the lure of choice. Target the Lind Coulee arm for eater-size walleye.

Steelhead

The steelhead fishing has continued to be excellent. Get out now, as the season on most rivers closes March 31.

Bobber and jig presentations tipped with red or purple Columbia Basin Bait shrimp has been producing multiple fish days for many. Play with your scent and jig color. Purple and black are the standards but don't hesitate to use hot pink, white or chartreuse.

Often times, late-season fish are more aggressive and a brighter color will trigger more strikes.

Salmon

Fish are just starting to show up around the Portland area. Herring and Kwikfish are the two techniques of choice. Get geared up now and be ready for the fourth-largest springer run on record.

* Dave Hedden is fishing manager at Outdoor Sports Wholesale Outfitters in Kennewick. He also operates Hedden's Northwest Sportfishing. Email him at heddennwsportfishing@hotmail.com.

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