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Beavers, wind, bloom put damper on Bonnie Lake fishing

FISHING — No vehicles were parked at the Whitman County road pullouts near the bridge put-in for the Rock Creek that gives access to Bonnie Lake the other day.  That was our first clue that fishing for perch, crappie and bass could be a little off center of perfect.

My buddy Jim and I paddled my canoe upstream for nearly a mile of serpentine creek, narrowed by summer vegetation growth, and came to a beaver dam just before reaching the lake.  

After dragging the canoe over the dam, we paddled into the lake aided by a brisk wind that made uplake travel brisk, but suggested the return could be interesting.

Our first casts revealed we couldn't see our jigs until they were retrieved to about 18 inches or less from the surface.  A bloom was on and water clarity was severely compromised.

We caught some perch, crappie, bluegill and bass, but never more than a couple in any given spot.  We wrestled with anchoring to stabilize in the wind and we just couldn't dial in a consistent bite.

The only notable catch was one 14-inch crappie; the rest were small.

A beaver ushered us out at twilight, with nighthawks swooping in the sky above, as we paddled pack down the outlet stream past its lodge and dam as if to say they would be enjoying the solitude after we left.

Idaho plans bluegill fishing clinic for kids

FISHING – Kids ages 5-15 can sign up for 60 spots on boats driven by volunteers taking part in a youth bluegill fishing clinic, June 2 at Hauser Lake.

Idaho Fish and Game is teaming with the Panhandle Bass Anglers to give each student (plus a parent or guardian) a four-hour intro to the sport.

Experienced anglers are volunteering their boats, time, and expertise. Participants will be served lunch.

Pre-register by calling IFG, (208) 769-1414.

Columbia Basin warmwater fisheries highlighted

FISHING — Much is written about the excellent trout fishing in the Columbia Basin. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife publishes pages of fishing prospects and stocking schedules to help anglers stay on top of these destinations for rainbows.

However, the majority if the waters are filled with warmwater species, such as bass and perch, and the Columbia Basin's warmwater fisheries biologists aren't being left in the dust.

Some of these waters provide excellent spiny ray fishing. Size them up for yourself with this handy guide the warmwater biologists