LUCK ON A LINE

This lucky lady caught this tagged trout in the WDFW Trout Derby.

A lot of fishing derbies and events have been cancelled this year thanks to Covid-19, but one that has gone on with relatively little fanfare but with wide availability to the everyday angler since May is the annual trout fishing derby put on by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Running through Oct. 31, anglers out for a day of fishing should be sure to keep any trout they catch with a tag on them. That tag (yellow in color this year and attached near a fin) is worth a prize ranging in value from $25 to over $1,000.

The prizes are donated from 100 different businesses in Washington. With over 1,000 tagged fish in the 100 lakes stocked with these swimming prizes, there is a real chance for you to reel in a winner.

If you catch a tagged trout, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby. Fill out the form which includes the information from the tag, and you’ll find out what prize you’ve won and instructions about how to claim it! There is no cost to participate in this derby except for having a valid fishing license and following all appropriate laws and regulations for the lake you are fishing at.

If you are wondering where those stocked lakes are in central and eastern Washington, here’s a list:

CHELAN COUNTY – Beehive Reservoir in the Wenatchee Heights and Wapato Lake near Manson.

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Jameson Lake near Mansfield.

FERRY COUNTY – Curlew Lake near Republic.

GRANT COUNTY – Corral Lake just south of MarDon Resort as well as Deep Lake and Vic Meyers Lake in Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park.

KLICKITAT COUNTY – Has a number of lakes with tagged trout to include Horsethief Reservoir, Maryhill Pond (at Maryhill State Park), Rowland Lake, and Spearfish Lake.

OKANOGAN COUNTY – Ties for the most tagged trout lakes with two other Eastern Washington counties. You’ll find these fish in Alta Lake, Upper and Lower Conconully Reservoirs, Pearrygin Lake, Spectacle Lake and Wannacut Lake.

PEND OREILLE COUNTY – Diamond Lake southwest of Newport.

STEVENS COUNTY – Also has several lakes with prize winning trout to include Cedar Lake, Loon Lake, Starvation Lake and Waitts Lake.

NW BERKLEY BIG BASS TOURNAMENT GOES FORWARD: Bryan Bell with Pure Fishing announced last week the Northwest Berkley Big Bass Tournament will indeed take place on Oct. 3 at MarDon Resort and Potholes Reservoir. The contest, postponed from its original May date due to Covid-19 restrictions, will incorporate social distancing and protective measures to keep anglers safe.

This is an interesting one-day contest. Any team of two anglers (or a single angler) with a boat can enter if they pony up a $300 entry fee. So far, 100 teams have done so. Instead of bringing in the heaviest bag of five bass at the end of the day, bass are weighed in every hour for seven hours. All anglers have to use Berkley baits to catch their bass, and you’ll want to use an Abu Garcia rod or reel, too, because if you do catch the biggest bass of the hour with these, you’ll win $3,000. Better still, one of those hourly big bass prize winners will be drawn to take home a $42,000 Skeeter bass boat from Nixon’s Marine in Pasco. I’m entering this contest with my best friend, using the theory that even a blind squirrel might find a nut, or in this case, a big money or boat winning bass! You can find out more about this event at https://nwberkleybigbass.profishingtournaments.com. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a place to stay, MarDon Resort still has a few openings and Potholes State Park is an option if you have an RV, camper, or are willing to pitch a tent.

STATE PARK FREE DAYS: Speaking of state parks there are two “free” days coming up this month where you can spend a day in any of Washington’s State Parks and no Discover Pass (user fee) is required to do so. Those dates are September 13th and September 26th. If you choose to stay overnight camping fees still apply.