History awaits anglers

Record-setting fish still stalk our local waters

Some anglers already have proven this year that record-size fish continue to ply the region’s waters.

Sometimes blind luck plays a role in catching a state-record fish. But in many cases, anglers focus their efforts in the waters and best time periods for making the books.

John Grubenhoff of Pasco caught the 20.32-pound Washington state walleye record on Feb. 28 from the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities. The area is well known for trophy walleyes and winter is the time to catch females packed with eggs that push their weights to record status.

Luke Spaete of Boise caught the 2-pound, 10.88-ounce Idaho state yellow perch record on Feb. 15 from Lake Cascade, which has had a reputation for big panfish. A record is not likely out of a lake with overpopulated and stunted fish.

Trophy-hunting anglers also have to watch how fisheries are managed.

For example, local angler Even Roda, working with knowledge of stocking schedules, growth rates and fishery surveys keyed in on Fish Lake near Cheney in 2008 and caught a 13.75-pound state record tiger trout.

But you’d be wasting your time trying to catch another tiger trout in that Spokane County lake nowadays. Since Roda’s record tiger was caught, the lake has been treated with rotenone and restocked with rainbows and brook trout.

The fishing for rainbows there ought to peak this year in terms of size and numbers and the brookies should show up in the catch this year, but the lake no longer holds any of the brown trout-brook trout hybrids.

Other places where potential state-record fish are lurking include Twin, Hayden or other lakes where northern pike can grow huge.

And Lake Pend Oreille almost surely holds a state record lake whitefish if an angler could figure out how to catch it.

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