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OUR LATEST POSTS

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When we talk about technology these days, the conversation usually centers around the latest smartphone or mobile app. It doesn’t usually have to do with fish.

In this case, we aren’t even talking about a new lure or reel! Nope, in this case we’re talking about an innovation from a company called Whooshh Innovations in Bellevue, WA.

What Whooshh has developed is a new device that’s coming to be known as the “Salmon Cannon.” What the device does is use a flexible sleeve and suction to reduce the amount of handling the fish has to endure during spawning or transfer.

The Yakima Nation tribe is testing the device in the salmon it diverts to be used as breeding stock at their hatchery. If successful, the device could be used to help the salmon get upstream past dams utilizing old school fish ladders.

Learn more about salmon cannon in this article from the Yakima Herald-Republic.

As spring chinook make their way up the Yakima River this year, a select few are taking an unusual route: through new vacuum tube technology being tested at Roza Dam.

The Yakama Nation Fisheries is working with Bellevue-based Whooshh Innovations to study a system that uses a flexible sleeve and gentle suction to send live salmon 40 feet across the dam’s fish collection facility and into a tanker truck in just seconds.

Eventually, the technology could help fish pass over and around Northwest dams, but first it needs to be proven safe, said Dave Fast, senior research scientist for the Yakima Nation.

Photo: The Columbian / Video: Yakima Herald-Republic

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The muskellunge, or “muskie,” is a fish that I was unfamiliar with growing up. It makes sense; I grew up in Washington State and fished mostly in saltwater. The muskie is a freshwater fish that’s native to the Midwest. It’s a large predator fish that is a member of the pike family.

Today, I have angler friends all over the country. Via their pictures and videos, the muskie has become a gamefish that I’ve added to my bucket list. Little did I know that after I left Washington state and moved to California, the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife started stocking some Washington lakes with muskies. One of those lakes, Lake Tapps in Pierce County, is the one where I learned how to water ski.

Find out which other Washington lakes are holding muskies in this article from Fishing Addicts NW.

muskie_WAThe evergreen state currently has 7 Musky lakes, with the lakes spread fairly evenly from the west side of the state to the east. The lakes are planted annually with one Musky per every 2 acres. The WDFW (Washington department of fish and wildlife) has no plans to add any more lakes at this time, so the current 7 may be it for the foreseeable future.

In this article I give a short description of each lake with a rating from my own personal experience. Being a west sider, a few of the east side lakes I’ve only fished a couple of times. Detailed information can also be found by Googling the individual lake or checking out internet sites such as Washingtonlakes.com or lakelubbers.com. Lets get started:

Evergreen Reservoir: At 247 acres, Evergreen is the smallest of the Musky lakes and may be the toughest lake to hook a Tiger. Evergreen was first stocked with Tigers in 1997 and also contains Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Carp, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Bluegill and Rainbow Trout. Evergreen is located in the Quincy wildlife refuge and is popular among Bass and Walleye anglers. There are three boat launches around the lake and camping is available along the lakes shoreline. Look for fish in abundant weedbeds as well as rocky points.

Photos: WA Fish (top); Fishing Addicts NW (above)

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In general, I’m not a big fan of trophy hunting. My definition of trophy hunting is when a hunter kills an animal just to get the macho “man conquers beast” picture with no intention of actually eating the animal. When I see “the remains were donated to a local food bank,” my BS meter goes off. But I understand that there are exceptions. On game preserves, there is a certain give and take that allows trophy hunters to kill an animal for a fee. The preserve selectively picks a certain animal to cull and the income generated from the practice funds the preserve’s efforts.

Another exception is when the hunt is highly regulated. Gator hunting in Mississippi is a good example. Hunting is limited to residents and licenses are issued on a lottery basis. If the hunters happen to take a really big gator, then good on them.

This year, some record size gators have been taken. Find out how just how big they were in this article from the Daily Mail.

gator_brockmanMississippi’s state record for the heaviest and longest alligator has been broken once again — less than a week after the previous records were smashed.

Beth Trammell of Madison took the title for Mississippi’s heaviest alligator with her 723.5-pound harvest, only to be bested an hour later by Dustin Bockman of Vicksburg with his massive 727-pound beast.

But this weekend, a new state record was captured by hunter Dalco Turner of Gluckstadt.

According to unofficial measurements, the gator was 13-feet, 7-inches — ever so slightly longer than the current record.  Then came time for the weigh-in — 741.5 pounds.

Gatorslayers Turner, John Ratcliff of Canton, Jennifer Ratcliff of Canton and Jimmy Greer of Canton have now claimed the new state record for the heaviest male alligator.

‘It was around midnight when we initially saw this one,’ said Mr Turner to The Clarion-Ledger. ‘We passed it by the first time. We really didn’t think he was big enough to go after.’  After drifting on a little way, the team turned around but saw the gator for a second time. It was a battle between the alligator and the team.

Photos: AP (top); Dustin Brockman (above)

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The float & egg setup was my go-to rig to target trout in the freshwater fishing when I was a kid.

The concept is easy enough. The float (in my case, the iconic red and white bobber) is used to suspend from the bottom. It also helps in castin.  I would just cast it upstream and let the river take its course and bring it downstream. If I didn’t get bit, reel in and repeat. The only variables for me would be how many and what color salmon eggs to use, and how long of a leader to hang from the float.

Little did I know then that this rig can also be used to target salmon. It has come a long ways since I did it as a kid. This post from the Fetha Styx blog shows how the pros use the float & egg setup to target big salmon.

floateggIt is now the time of year when I really start getting excited about Fall-Salmon-Fishing. More so, float and egg fishing for Chinook and Coho. With Chinook entering some of our tributaries now and Coho literally right behind them, it is go time.

There is something about float and bait fishing that is hard to explain. Perhaps it takes us back to when we were kids and dad put a worm under a bobber for spiny-rayed fish. The excitement of watching that bobber go under has never left our sub-conscious. Whatever it is, all I know is that it is an absolute blast. Not only a blast but also extremely affective.

Simply suspending eggs under a float and tossing it into the river, will more than likely end in disappointment. There is more to it than the ol’ worm under the bobber routine. It starts with the right equipment.

This is float fishing. I recommend nothing shorter then a 10′ rod. This is also float fishing for Chinook. A rod rating of at least 10 to 20lb. will definitely get it done. The Fetha Styx SH-1045-2 is a fantastic rod for this exact application. The 1045 is found in the Homewater Series. Don’t let the fact that it says “Steelhead” on the rod scare you. This rod is ultra strong and can with-stand the pounding delivered  by Pacific Northwest Chinook. It also is a very comfortable rod to use all day, as it is extremely light to hold in the air as you mend line while float fishing.

Photos: Fetha Styx

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I haven’t done much trout fishing since I was a kid. We used to go to Sun Valley, Idaho in the summer. While my dad would go play golf, I’d spend hours targeting trout in the local rivers and streams. I wasn’t sophisticated; I’d throw a float setup with a worm or salmon eggs and cast away. I’d see guys fly-fishin, and that type of fishing has continued to fascinate me as an adult. I’m sure I’ll pick it up at some point. In the meantime, I enjoy seeing my angling friends post their pictures.

One of my favorite species posted by friends is the brook trout. The colors on this fish are really amazing. In this post from the Orvis blog, learn all about this beautiful fish.

brooktrout_flyfishalbertaAlthough the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is not, in a fact, a trout at all, it is the most “troutlike” of the charrs. A sought-after game fish because it often lives in pristine waters and readily attacks flies of all kinds, it was the first “destination” fish in the Americas. Trains would transport anglers from New York and Boston to the mountains of Vermont and Maine just for the opportunity to lay into a big “squaretail.” While some cynics believe the brookie to be the dumbest of trout because it is supposedly easiest to fool, catching a trophy usually requires skill and patience. But anglers are known to marvel over the tiny, jewel-like brookies caught in headwater streams and dream of the monsters caught in Labrador’s lakes.

Range and Life History

The original range of the brook trout encompasses much of the northeastern corner of North America, including the streams of the high Appalachians as far south a Georgia, and extending west to the Hudson Bay and Great Lakes Basins. Biologists identify two genetically distinct strains of brook trout—a northern and southern strain—with the boundary being the New River drainage in southwestern Virginia. The southern strain, often called “speckled trout,” is less genetically diverse, making populations more fragile and susceptible to change and catastrophic events.

Photos: Mike Jennette (top); Fly Fish Alberta (above)

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Anglers are creatures of habit. It’s nice to be able to dial in your boat, gear, and lures for a specific kind of fishing. When everything is optimized for success, it feels good. You’re comfortable and at the top of your game.

What happens, though, when conditions change? Whether you’re a tournament bass angler or a weekend warrior, consistent success depends on being adaptable. Conditions change from day to day, sometimes moment to moment when you’re on the water. You can try to chase the conditions you want, or you can learn to adapt.

Fall is a transition time for muskie fishing. If you maintain your summertime tactics, you’ll have a hard time being successful. This article from Outdoor News breaks it down on how to adapt for success.

muskie_smallWhat is likely the least understood period in the muskie-fishing season is the time leading up to turnover, when anglers who target breaklines and deep water struggle.

The water often turns green with algae bloom, the weeds may begin to die, and many fishermen become nomadic as they look for lakes where the bite is still on.

The truth is, you don’t have to look far for hungry muskies. You just have to check out the shallows, what some call the “skinny” water.

Why muskies make this predictable movement to shallow water is anybody’s guess. Maybe the water is warmer, particularly in the afternoon, or maybe they like the sanctity of the thickest weeds in the lake. Whatever is affecting muskies is also affecting baitfish, because many of them take up residence in the shallows, too. That alone may be the reason muskies move in from the deep.

Photos: Ottawa River Keeper (top); Outdoor News (above)