Take a break from holiday shopping and relish statewide Black Friday trout fishing opportunities
Trout fishing is a great way to create bonds and quality time with a friend, family, or youth that can last a lifetime
While shopping sprees are the focus right after Thanksgiving, others will opt out for a chance to catch about 45,000 planted jumbo-sized rainbow trout in more than 30 lakes.
“The holiday season is about more than shopping, it’s about remembering old and creating new memories with friends and family,” said Steve Caromile, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) inland fish program manager. “Going trout fishing is a great way to create bonds that last a lifetime. To help get people away from the hectic malls, we’ll stock more than 30 lakes specifically for our Black Friday event.”
The Black Friday program created almost a decade ago, looked at ways to raise thousands of rainbow trout for a late season fishery and has been well received by anglers.
Most lakes cover an area from the Puget Sound region to southwest Washington. The planted jumbo-sized trout average one to two pounds apiece. There are several eastern Washington lakes also opening on Black Friday with trout from this past spring.
“Within the past month, WDFW also stocked roughly 75 year-round lakes statewide for fall fishing opportunities,” Caromile said. “These lakes are still fishing great, so even if there’s not a “Black Friday” lake nearby, you’ll have plenty of others to choose from.”
Black Friday trout plants
· Clark County — Battleground Lake, 2,000; and Klineline Lake, 2,000
· Cowlitz County — Kress Lake, 2,000
· Island County — Cranberry Lake, 4,000
· Jefferson County — Leland Lake, 500
· King County — Beaver Lake, 2,500; and Green Lake, 2,500
· Klickitat County — Rowland Lake, 2,000
· Lewis County — Fort Borst Park Pond, 2,000; and South Lewis County Park Pond, 2,000
· Mason County — Spencer Lake, 700
· Pierce County — American Lake, 2,000; Bonney Lake, 350; Harts Lake, 550; Lake Kapowsin, 650; and Lake Tanwax, 1,350
· Snohomish County — Lake Ballinger, 1,730; Gissburg Ponds, 2,000; Silver Lake, 1,730; and Lake Tye, 2,000
· Thurston County — Black Lake, 3,000; Lake St. Clair, 450; Long Lake, 1,000; Long’s Pond, 200; Offutt Lake, 1,000; and Ward Lake, 300
· Yakima County — Elton Pond North, 2,000
Trout fishing tips
You don’t need to spend a lot of money when it comes to trout fishing, and a little homework should lead to better success.
For starters, a basic trout rod and reel combo will cost $40 to $80, and more expensive combos are $100 to $200. Look for a light, limber fishing rod length of six to seven feet in the four- to 10-pound line weight range. Any medium-sized spinning reel with the capacity to hold more than 100 yards of six- to eight-pound test fishing line is ideal.
Attach to the mainline one or two number eight or nine egg sinkers with a rubber bumper just above a small barrel swivel. For a leader, avoid store-bought pre-tied 12-inch leaders, which are too short. Look for a higher quality leader — spending a bit more or tying your own can make or break catching a fish — in three- to eight-pound test measuring 18 to 30 inches long. A smaller size eight or 10 egg or worm hook is preferred.
When it comes to bait you could stick with salmon eggs, worms, maggots, and scented marshmallows although many prefer soft dough baits. Dough baits come in all colors and varieties simulating a salmon egg, marshmallow, maggot, and worm or those you can even mold them yourself like Playdough.
A Woolly Bugger fly pattern in black, dark green or black-olive in a size eight or 10 attached to a five- or six-foot leader and trolled weightless close to the surface is quite effective.
Boat anglers will troll a gang-flasher with a worm, maggot or salmon egg laced to a tiny piece of scented dough bait or small spoon or spinner.
Bank anglers usually cast out a bobber with their presentation sitting just below the surface in three to eight feet of water. Others prefer to go deeper where it hangs just a few feet off the bottom.
Recently planted trout usually stay near or just under the surface anywhere from depths of three to 10 feet. Once fish are acclimated they’ll eventually spread out and move into deeper areas of the lake. Anglers often look for schools of trout right around where the hatchery trucked placed them in the lake usually near the shore, boat ramp or dock.
A fishing license is required (youth under 15 fish for free) and for details, look on the WDFW licensing webpage. To find out what lakes are open, visit the WDFW website. For weekly trout plants, visit the WDFW website.
Check the WDFW website for tips and videos on how to catch them. Helpful basic trout fishing tips can be found on the WDFW Medium blog.