Well, I fished a total of 5 or 6 times for springers in the lower river while it was open these past 12 days. At the island across from Kalama I hooked and lost one and had one take down and saw about three or four caught. Got checked for licenses for the first time ever while out on the water by the local fish cops from their jetsled. Nice to be all legal.
I just got back from a two day trip down to Cathlamet, WA. On our first morning to go fishing, I ran the "Satisfaction" up onto a sandbar. The depth finder went from 12 ft. to 8 to 2 to less than one in about a second. My boat will plane in 8" of water. The whole boat lifted up a bit on its own cushion of water and then came to a screeching halt. We went from 32 mph to stopped in about two boat lengths. Nice to have the jet pump and shallow deadrise for sure. We floated off about two hours later and continued on, no damage, more cognizant of the slope of the shoreline. I have only done that once before, in another boat, about ten years ago. Wakes you up. Glad I didn't have any kind of outdrive sticking down.
Fishing: out of over a hundred boats, we only saw one net out and two fish hooked. The good news is that it was our net and both were our fish. The one I hooked in 15 ft. of water while trolling a Kwikfish jumped once (about 8 lbs?) and spit the hook. Mike's stayed on and it was a keeper, about 12 lbs., caught on a Kwikfish, chartreuse and chrome with some blue tiger stripe ribs on it with a big sardine wrap and some kind of scent (shrimp oil?). The WDFW fish checker at the dock said our fish had a tag in its head and cut off most of that. Mike filled out a postcard and he'll get the data on where and when his fish was originally tagged. Kind of neat. The checker said that of the 150 boats he checked, the average was about 3/4 per boat or about one fish for ever 4 rods. They were catching more up at the uppper end of Puget Island. The water was still a chilly 43 degrees with snow not far up on the surrounding hills. We marked many fish on the fishfinder, but they were scooting on past.
Now that the lower river is closed, we'll have to fish above Hayden Island powerlines in Portland. I-5 bridge area is hot right now with their catch rates, especially when trolling herring in 25-35 ft. of water. Kinda odd with the big airline jets flying low overhead on their approach to PDX. I might go on Sunday. Warmer weather will help.
Beatiful country. Many eagles and ducks, a few seals. There was snow very low down on the adjacent hills.
Clinton C. Winn