Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Washington Outdoor Report week of March 19



Rusty Johnston and I got our boat onto Potholes Reservoir last week for a few hours and managed to jig up three, fat, colorful, 16-inch walleye along with several other strikes from fish we didn’t manage to hook. The water temperature on the main reservoir, which is ice-free, was only 37 degrees. We saw two other anglers out on the lake and they had similar success. All of us were jigging for the fish at depths of 28 to 35 feet. Lures that worked included ½ ounce blade baits as well as Mack’s Lure Sonic Baitfish lures fished as a vertical jigging spoon.

Checking in with Gorge Outfitters Supply, owner Wendy Boyer said the walleye fishing is picking up. The fish are moving around in the waters of the Columbia below John Day Dam. Wendy has been fishing this area recently and reported catching and releasing two, six-pound walleye while trolling in 40 feet of water on her last trip. Although she caught these by trolling, Boyer says the best way to catch them right now is to jig for them in deep water. They have been using one-ounce Walleye Killer jigs (available at the store) and catching fish 80 feet deep near the bottom of the river. Boyer says she starts off with darker colored jigs but if that doesn’t work, she’ll try white or green colored jigs. Gorge Outfitters Supply is located in Rufus.

I also spoke with Steve Morris with SJM Guide Service who has been fishing Lake Roosevelt near Kettle Falls. He reports the walleye fishing has been good. The fish are around 80-feet deep and Morris is catching them with one-ounce jigs fished naked with a nightcrawler. Steve also likes to use Northwest Bait Scents with Walleye TNT being the hot flavor. Steve says he’ll be fishing Lake Roosevelt for walleye thru June. If you want to book a trip call Steve at 509-435-6486.  Do so soon, Steve only has a few dates left available. 


The annual Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby is coming up soon. I spoke to Executive Director Cari Matthews about the event. She said this year the derby takes place March 25 and 26. You can fish from dawn to dusk on Saturday and until 1 p.m. on Sunday. Weigh ins take place Saturday at 4 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday. You can register on site at the Quincy Lake boat launch. The cost to participate is $35 for adults and kids are free.  

This year is a little different because you can fish both Burke and Quincy Lakes and both will be stocked March 24 with a variety of trout. There are prizes for the longest fish weighed in and the biggest weight for a limit of five trout. There are trophies and prizes are for both the adult and youth divisions. There will also be raffle prizes given away. There are always lots of prizes given away at the derby, $3700 worth of prizes actually, and this year one of those prizes will be a 72-inch flat screen. There will also be fishing related items like rods and reels as well as fishing tackle and even electronic fish finders. Part of the proceeds goes towards putting on the derby but other proceeds help the Chamber of Commerce put on additional events for the public throughout the year. 

If you want to fish both days and don’t live near Quincy consider bringing your RV or truck camper and stay overnight. It’s a popular thing to do in this State Wildlife Area and if you can’t find a place to camp around Burke or Quincy Lake, try camping at nearby Evergreen Reservoir or Stan Coffin Lake (both warmwater fishery lakes). This is primitive camping though there are a number of vault toilets available to use.

John Kruse – and



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here