SW Washington fishing report – It’s that time of year when things fishing related in our region really take off. From Buoy 10, Pink Salmon starting to show in Puget Sound and the excellent fishing in mountain high lakes, fishing in August can be epic. In this month’s report I cover fishing hotspots including Ilwaco, Long Beach, Cathlamet, Longview, Toledo, Kalama, Woodland, and other greater Vancouver WA neighborhoods.
Ilwaco and Long Beach
Buoy 10 area in the river is off to a typical slow start with most Anglers taking advantage of smooth seas and decent bar conditions. Jetty anglers are reporting some coho. SpinFish are reportedly working well for both Chinook and Coho.
Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge
Surf Perch in Long Beach is very good. It’s that time of year when surf perch begin spawning. They are one of the few fish that gives birth to live young. Give them a gentle squeeze before bonking to release any fry that may be ready to survive.
Jetty Fishing is off to a good start with the Buoy 10 opener. Anglers are reporting some success for coho casting Flying C spinners off the north jetty.
Reports out of Westport indicate that Chinook fishing is going strong. Be sure to check your calendar before making plans as there is a closure for Chinook retention on Fridays and Saturdays. FV Sudsy, has been constantly getting limits of Chinook and Coho Salmon along with limits of Rockfish on Combo days.
Cathlamet to Longview
I ran into Jim Milanowski last week at Angler West in Woodland. He was stocking up the store with Looney Coonies, as Angler West is now carrying them. This is good news for those of us in the Woodland area and the shrimp look great. When he’s not fishing the ocean, Jim says he’s been doing well in the lower river for summer steelhead on the anchor with naked coon shrimp.
Cowlitz River fisherman are having better success as the Steelhead run approaches the peak. Of all SW Washington rivers, the Cowlitz received the most hatchery returns with 318 Steelhead checking into the hatchery on the last weeks count. The workers with Tacoma power recovered 111 spring Chinook adults, 49 spring Chinook jacks, 262 spring Chinook mini-jacks, 255 summer-run steelhead adults, and six cutthroat trout over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Riffe Lake is producing some good numbers of landlocked coho. Limits are certainly possible this time of year.
Mayfield Lake hasn’t received any more stocking since last month, but Trout fishing is still good with best results coming at 125’ using a 3–4-ounce dropper. Success ratios vary greatly depending on the angler, so don’t be afraid to switch up gear, depths, and trolling speeds.
Kalama – WDFW creel checks had six bank anglers with no catch. Escapement reports show Steelhead number still increasing with Chinook counts hanging in there also.
The Lewis river is producing some fish for those that put in the hours. Backtrolling plugs has been working better than coon shrimp. I fished the hatchery last week and got one decent hatchery fish, noting two others caught during the same time frame.
Steelhead escapement counts doubled from the previous week and indicate that decent fishing should continue for the next few weeks.
Horseshoe lake is pretty much done for trout.
Plunking the Columbia for Steelhead at Martins Bar is an option, but I haven’t heard any reports for a couple of weeks. With the Columbia reopening for Chinook, there may be more to report later.
Early morning is lights out at fishing Merwin. One angler reported that a Merwin Madness Tasmanian cut plug worked the best.
Lake River has been producing some catfish in the Ridgefield area. Bass fishing is also an option.
The East Fork of the Lewis is pretty much a splash and giggle crowd right now. Flows are basically a trickle.
I will be updating the Pink Salmon graph below every Friday @FiNNREPORTS. Currently @FiNNreports is only posting reports and notifications on X (twitter)
Some of you requested info on crabbing in Willapa Bay. I am still working on a guide to the fishery, but information is difficult to come by without having personal experience. As a resident of Washington for my entire life, I’m available to you not only as a fishing resource but also your next real estate transaction. If you or someone you know needs a real estate broker in SW Washington, please keep me in mind.
Ian Carter, Real Estate Broker
Read our Oregon fishing report.