The Fishing Corner: A bit of knowledge will help in mid-summer fishing

Mid-summer fishing is always a challenge with our Grays Harbor fishery. Our fish species, in general, requires cooler water and a unique food supply.

In other parts of the state, the resident fish thrive in fresh water which is not affected by summer temperature. When you think of Eastern Washington and the heat that generates during the summer months, fish such as bass, crappe and walleye are capable of existing easily under these conditions.

However, Western Washington fish need a different habitat. Our fish which are mostly within the trout or salmon families, require cooler and oxygenated water. To fish these fish successfully will require some local knowledge and adaption. It is interesting to note that these species tend to migrate into our local rivers during the coldest times of the year. Salmon and winter steelhead are, for the most, occupying our waterways in the fall and throughout the winter.

To successfully fish Western Washington, it is essential to pay attention to a few key details. The first is to focus on deep water. The deepest in our area is the ocean. It is also the coldest. So, it makes good sense to fish ocean water throughout the summer months where legal to do so. The same would be true when it comes to lakes or rivers. Fish are seeking the coldest portions of these waters. That means, in a lake, anywhere you can find deep pockets would be potential trout holding water. Cut outs, in a river, will serve as good fishing water for steelhead seeking colder temperatures. These locations are added protection for these fish from summer predators.

The next matter would be to consider oxygenated water. In a river this would be any location where the river water is breaking up. A river rapid or waterfalls would serve as an ideal location for trout to congregate. In a lake, it would be a good idea to determine the inlet to lake water. This usually is colder water. Sometimes a lake will have a supply spring which keeps the water intake constant. These are good locations to examine when seeking holding water.

There is no substitute for knowing fish habitat. It also means that the more time an angler spends at any given location translates into knowing the water very well. This is why a lot of anglers only fish certain locations. They become experts in terms of the water they cover. This is also a good way to monitor new arrivals. If fishing is done on a regular or daily basis for example, it is easy to identify new fish occupying this section of water. Another major concern to consider during summer fishing is the food supply. Fly fishermen discover the art of presenting flies to attract hungry fish. Bait fishermen learn how to present worms or other attractors to entice fish. A big part of this is to learn what time in the day is the most ideal.

Overcoming summer challenges is all a part of summer fishing.