As the water temperature cools on Potholes the fishing is slowly improving for walleye and perch. Surface temperatures are in the mid-60s now, which is down 10 degrees from August temperatures.
This seasonís walleye action has been very tough due to 89- and 90-degree temperatures in April of 2016. This created a huge amount of bluegill, crappie, perch and bass nursery stock. With an abundance of new fish, the walleyes feed on the new fish and have been very full and quite large. This past week we have seen some large crappie and perch. One angler filleted a three-pound bluegill, not knowing the Washington state record is two pounds, four ounces, caught in Potholes Reservoir. Jim Mahan from Puyallup landed a 16-inch crappie fishing near Potholes State Park on a Berkeley flicker shad. That crappie weighed two pounds four ounces after it was cleaned. Originally Jimís crappie was over three pounds. Some surprisingly big largemouth over six pounds and smallmouth over 5 pounds have been reported this past week. Night fishing in the Lind Coulee arms of Potholes has been producing channel catfish over 14 pounds this week. If you catch channel catfish, know the limit is five fish per person. There is no limit on brown bullhead or yellow belly catfish. Using spinner and worms, catfish and bullhead have been very abundant, while targeting walleye. Fish near Frenchmanís Wasteway for catfish and bullhead.
The guys fishing plugs in six to 14 feet are picking up walleye on the front of the dune area from the State Park to the mouth of Crab Creek. Worm fisherman are also taking fish in the same area and some of the humps farther out in the lake. The bass fishing is good too, excellent for both largemouth and smallmouth. Fishing creature baits or senkos has been good in the on points and beaver huts in four to eight feet of water. The rock piles off Goose Island have been good for smallmouth in large numbers. Some nice perch are also being fished off Goose Island with crappie jigs and maggots. You can also fish worms and slow death hooks in this area for walleye and perch. As we go into October the fishing should be at its best for all species in the lake.
September 16-18 is our Annual Marathon Dock Fishing Tournament. We pay out the two biggest fish caught on nine different species. Cost to enter is $40 and concludes on Sunday with a potluck and pie social at noon. MarDon and The Beach House provide the main course, pies and eating utensils. There is also a raffle for CWFAC Fish Habitat.
Mike Meseberg with a 22-inch largemouth caught and released in the sand dunes on Potholes Reservoir.