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Pike fishing kicks off Mark’s Marine seminar series

FISHING – Jeff Smith of Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop in Coeur d'Alene will discuss fishing tactics for northern pike to kick off the 8th annual Mark's Marine spring fishing seminar series Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at 14355 N. Government Way in Hayden.

The other five free seminars to be held on Thursdays through April 10 will cover topics such as walleye, steelhead, Coeur d'Alene salmon, bass and Lowrance electronics.

  • Info: (208) 772-9038.

Smith has been a fixture on Lake Coeur d'Alene since 1984. He's been fishing our local lakes for more than 30 years and his Guide Service is one of the best respected and most versatile in the area. Unlike many guides, Jeff is a multi species fisherman. He is well versed in fishing for Salmon, Pike, or Bass.

His seminar is well-timed to help our Pike enthusiasts get ready for the fantastic spring pike fishing and of course the local Fins and Feathers Pike Tournament, April 26-27. Pike should begin moving as the water levels come up and Jeff will share his secrets for how to present bait to them and land those big catches. Several of the last 5 state records have been caught fishing during this period.

Badger Lake trout fishing revival nixed

FISHING — The revival of trout fishing at Badger Lake, one of Washington’s most productive put-and-take fisheries for rainbows and cutthroats, is on hold at least for another year.

Washington Fish and Wildlife officials said today that they have canceled plans for a fall rotenone treatment that would rid the Spokane County lake of bass and sunfish to eliminate competition for a renewed trout fishery.

John Whalen, regional fisheries manager, said the agency was unable to get all water rights holders to sign a Department of Ecology agreement that precludes using lake water during the treatment period.

In August, fisheries biologists said at least 38 of the 45 property owners were on board with the rotenone treatment during a meeting for stakeholders.

Badger has been managed for trout for more than 60 years. But in recent years, apparent illegal plants of bass and sunfish have degraded the trout fishery.

At a summer public meeting, bass anglers said Badger was one of the area’s hottest largemouth fisheries, with fish in the 4-plus pound range.

State fisheries biologists said the bass fishery was peaking and would degrade in the next few years. They said that managing for trout is more stable and serves a higher number of anglers in a year.

  • May I add that they also likely were wondering who the hell is illegally planting bass in the lake, making a selfish management decision that flushes thousands of dollars of fishing license fee money the public contributes down the drain! But I digress…

Badger Lake’s fishing season closed Tuesday. When it reopens on the fourth Saturday in April, it will have a token plant of trout, if any.

“We’ll be reconsidering a rehab for next year,” said Randall Osborne, district fisheries biologist. “But our June fish survey found that of 17,000 fish collected, 47 percent were pumpkinseed sunfish and 49 percent was largemouth and smallmouth bass. With those odds, we can’t afford to put many trout in the lake.”

The Williams Lake trout fishery also is in jeopardy, since it’s downstream from Badger and soon will be infested, too, he said. Williams Lake generally is on the rotation of being treated with rotenone within a year or two of Badger.

“Trout fisheries generate the most interest in terms of families and businesses,” said Chris Donley, inland fisheries program manager, noting that the once-stellar fisheries at Liberty, Diamond, Silver and North Silver have been lost to the trout program in the past few decades. “I’d hate to lose Badger from the trout program.

“We’re down to just six trout-managed lakes in Spokane County and Badger can be one of the best.”

Striped bass netted near The Dalles

FISHING — A Native American treaty gillnetter caught a striped bass above The Dalles Dam on Sept. 6, the farthest up the Columbia River the species has been documented.

A striper was photographed moving uptream at Bonneville Dam in mid-June.  Perhaps it's the same one?

Striped bass are extremely rare in Washington waters, but occasionally turn up in the Columbia around this time of year, notes Northwest Sportsman magazine. They were introduced to San Francisco Bay waters in the late 1800s and migrated up to Coos Bay and environs, but in recent years, with changing salinity, haven’t fared as well as they once did.

Warm water no deterrent to catching Sprague Lake bass

FISHING — Justin Davis of Richland landed this largemouth bass — 3.6 pounds, 17.5 inches long — on Saturday while fishing at Sprague Lake.

Scott Haugen of Four Seasons Campground said Davis caught the lunker in 5 feet of 75-degree water at 10 a.m. using a modified Snag Proof Frog with a Sinister Wacky Worm.

Good reports about the size and quality of Sprague's largemouths are common.

Sprague trout, bass bending rods as free fishing day looms

 

FISHING — Reports of good catches of largemouth bass at Sprague Lake keep coming in, and some lunker rainbows also are showing to provide incentive for the June 8 Sprague Lake Trout Derby.

The photos posted here from Four Seasons Campground and Resort show a 5.3-pound rainbow caught off the resort dock and a 5.8-pound largemouth caught with a Rapala cast to shore from a boat over the holiday weekend.

Remember, the June 8 Sprague Lake derby falls on Free Fishing Weekend in Washington: No fishing licenses required.

Idaho has a single Free Fishing Day set for June 8.

Montana's Free Fishing Weekend is set for June 15-15, including Father's Day.

New Spokane Bass Club has home-water schedule

TOURNAMENT FISHING — The Spokane Bass Club, founded in December to schedule quality fishing tournaments on local waters, has a full schedule of 2013 events, including a tournament to benefit Spokane Children's Hospital.

The Long Lake Classic, slated to be an annual event, is set for May 4-5. Entry $150 per boat with an 80 percent payback, 10 percent of proceeds to the charity.


Most of the events are random draw so anglers without boats can get involved, said Tyler Brinks, club president.
  

Read on to see the full list of the Spokane Bass Club 2013 fishing contests.

Palaniuk of Rathdrum 2nd in Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 25, of Rathdrum entered the third and final day of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic today needing to make up a 7-pound deficit.  And he nearly did it!

Palaniuk, who has a BASS elite champion ranking, finished as the runner-up in the 43rd annual World Championship of bass fishing at Grand Lake O' the Cherokees near Tulsa, Okla.  

He caught a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51 pounds 8 ounces, short of the 14 bass totaling 54 pounds 12 ounces ounces caught by 32-year-old winner Cliff Pace.

Pace, from Petal, Miss., earned $500,000.  Palaniuk won $45,000.

By the last day of fishing, the field of 53 anglers that qualified from international competition for the big event was narrowed to 25 anglers battling for the chance to be crowned the 2013 Bassmaster Classic champ.

Depite a disappointing performance in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, Palaniuk has been a hot item on the pro fishing circuits for three years, claiming a $100,000 top prize in April but still living out of the back of his pickup to save money. 

Palaniuk caught everyone's attention with his standout Bassmaster debut in 2011, finishing fourth and winning $30,000.

Bassmaster on TV

See Palaniuk in action during the 10 hours of Classic coverage set to air on ESPN2. The Bassmasters will present its Day One show at 9-10 a.m. ET, March 2 . Coverage of the final two days of Classic competition will air March 3 from 7-9 a.m. ET and 10 a.m.-noon ET. Fans can see Classic shows again on March 10 on ESPN2 from 5-9 a.m. ET. An hour-long Classic highlights program will air at 8 a.m. on April 7.

Lake CdA ranks among top 10 best bass lakes in USA

ANGLING — Bass fishing at Lake Coeur d'Alene is getting national attention this week as the North Idaho lake was listed No. 9 in Bassmaster magazine's list of the top 100 bass fishing lakes in the United States.

Only seven Northwest waters made the list determined by a panel of professional anglers and fishing writers.

The Columbia River is ranked No. 20.

Texas’s Falcon Lake, famous also for deadly attacks by Mexican pirates, topped the list.

Other Northwest waters making the top 100 ranks are:

45. Umpqua River, Oregon

65. Noxon Rapids, Montana

85. Dworshak Reservoir, Idaho

91. Lake Sammamish, Washington

95. Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana

“The 100 Best Bass Lakes list was ranked using a variety of qualifiers," the magazine editors say. "Department of Natural Resource representatives provided the five most productive lakes in each state based on electroshock surveys and angler catch rates. B.A.S.S. Federation Nation presidents offered top lake recommendations based on tournament catches, while conservation directors supplied details on lake accessibility and best fish stocking practices.”

Read on for the complete list of the top bass fishing waters in the United States in 2012 as rated by B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.

Palaniuk of Rathdrum hits $100,000 bass prize

TOURNAMENT FISHING  — After a trip to a hospital to have a hook removed from his pinky, Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum powered forward through three days of fishing to dominate and win the Bassmaster Elite Series TroKar Quest tournament at Bull Shoals Lake, Ark., this weekend.

He'll have $100,000 in the bank after today's weigh-in, but that’s not going to change his lifestyle. He planned to spend tonight sleeping in the back of his pickup, just as he has every night this week and during most other tournaments.

 “It’s just easy,” said Palaniuk, who beds down in a bed  under the canopy of his pickup near launch sites. “I’ve got power and a shower, and it’s close to the water. That’s all I need. And it’s free.

"A hundred thousand dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to,” he added.

Read on for more details on Palaniuk's big win.

Rathdrum angler doesn’t make last round in Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, didn't get skunked today but he also didn't come up with enough fish to make the cut for the third and final day of competition in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The photo above shows Palaniuk landing his first of three fish totaling 5 pounds 15 ounces at today's weigh in. But that total just moved him up to 48th place among the 49 anglers who competed today. He was the only angler in the competition to get skunked on Day 1

After today's weigh in, the field was cut to 25 anglers for the last day of fishing.

Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, a Bassmaster rookie, is the only Westerner to make the cut. In two days of fishing, he's in 19th place.

Continue reading for the latest news on the leaders and the complete catch totals in this "Indy 500" of bass fishing.

Rathdrum angler skunked on opening of Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, had a horrible start among the 50 select anglers who roared off this morning to start the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The weigh-in has just been completed, and Palaniuk is the only angler in the field who caught no fish.

He's in last place after Day 1. I don't have a report on what happened.

See more details on Rich Landers' Outdoors Blog.

Rathdrum angler skunked on opening of Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, had a horrible start among the 50 select anglers who roared off this morning to start the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The weigh-in has just been completed, and Palaniuk is the only angler in the field who caught no fish.  He's in last place after Day 1.  I don't have a report on what happened.

The 30th Bassmaster, a three-day culmination of months of qualifying tournaments, no longer has the distinction of being the richest prize in bass fishing. The Forrest Wood Cup claimed that distinction wtih a $1 million championship prize to Scott Suggs in 2007.

But the Bassmasster Classic is still considered the big stage. A win here can put a half a million bucks in your pocket and bring sponsors to your door.

This is the second consecutive year Palaniuk has qualified for the “Indy 500” of tournament bass fishing.

Palaniuk caught a lot of attention in last year's main event. The youngest competitor in the 2011 classic and the only angler to qualify from the West, he finished in fourth place, winning $30,000.

This year, four anglers from the West are in contention, including Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, and Californians Jared Lintner and Iah Monroe.

Read on for more details on Palaniuk and the ESPN Bassmaster Classic TV coverage, which is being compiled for broadcast next week.

Rathdrum angler returns to Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, has been pre-fishing this weekend, warming up with the 50 anglers competing in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26, on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, LA.

This is the second consecutive year Palaniuk has qualified for the “Super Bowl” of tournament bass fishing.

Palaniuk caught a lot of attention in last year's main event. The youngest competitor in the 2011 classic and the only angler to qualify from the West, He finished in fourth place, winning $30,000. 

This year, four anglers from the West are in contention, including Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, and Californians Jared Lintner and Iah Monroe. 

Read on for more details on Palaniuk and the ESPN Bassmaster Classic TV coverage scheduled for the following week.

Angler lands steelhead, bass on same cast

FISHING — This post and photo from Northwest fishing icon Buzz Ramsey:

While fishing the Deschutes with guide Bob Toman, ODFW NW Regional Manager Chris Wheaton landed a double, a summer steelhead and smallmouth bass, while casting a single FAT Fish plug in the half ounce size. Although not unheard of, it's rare to catch a steelhead and smallmouth bass on the same lure and cast. Bob and client were fishing about 3 miles upstream from the mouth of where the Deschutes River enters the Columbia.


  

B.A.S.S. is changing guard

PRO FISHING — The Florida-based fishing tournament group founded 40 years ago as the Bass Angler Sportsman Society became known simply as as BASS purchased and reconfigured by ESPN in 2001. Last week, BASS was acquired by three businessmen who vow to make it “a friendly organization.”

For now, the first thing youll notice is that BASS has been renamed B.A.S.S.

That’s it, so far. Period.