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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Jan. 13

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Open water fishing

Lake Roosevelt rainbow trout are hitting trolled lures all over the reservoir. Anglers say the fish are spread out, large (17-24 inches) and hitting just about anything. Those fishing from shore from most locations have also been doing well throwing Power Bait.

Long Lake has ice in places, but not enough to walk on. But the big turn-out on the road near Tum Tum is providing some good trout fishing for bank fishermen throwing either Power Bait or worm and marshmallow “sandwiches.” Most of the fish are over 14 inches long. The bites come in spurts as they move in and out, seeming to prefer the water 35-40 feet from shore.

Ice fishing, Washington

Five of us made the 2½-hour drive from Spokane to Curlew Lake on Sunday, but were disappointed to find we missed the torrid perch bite in front of the state park by a few days. Anglers there before us said nobody had caught perch the day before, so we felt lucky to ice about 30 perch and a few small trout in our five hours on the ice. Most of the perch were in the 9-inch range. The bite was extremely light, somewhat akin to still-fishing for kokanee. Curlew Lake usually does the same thing every winter – a fantastic early bite at the state park before the fish disperse and move to deeper water. There are still plenty of big perch in the lake, but they are more difficult to get to now. I heard that a couple of anglers a quarter mile south of us did well.

Silver Lake has some 4-inch ice, but most anglers are wary about getting too far from the launch where the water is only about 20 feet deep. Unfortunately, that depth also has mostly small fish.

Perch anglers don’t know what to make about the lack of bites at Eloika Lake. More largemouth bass are taken than anything. For whatever reason, perch fishing has been in decline the past two years.

A report from Hog Canyon this week said there was 3-4 inches of good ice with 3-5 inches of white ice on top. Anglers who focused on jigging with bright colors and flash and who moved around caught more fish than those who dead-sticked with bait. The trout are various sizes, some around 14 inches, but more running 8-10 inches. The steep access road to the lake requires four-wheel drive for the last couple of hundred yards, especially coming out.

Sacheen Lake had some slush on top early this week, but anglers were catching perch - up to 9 inches but usually smaller. Diamond Lake anglers are experiencing some good trout fishing through 7 inches of good ice.

Waitts Lake trout fishermen are still doing well through the ice in front of the public launch. Perch are also being taken a little farther to the left of the launch.

Sprague Lake ice is thin, but there are reports of some big trout taken about halfway between Four Seasons Resort and the island.

Gillette and Thomas lakes both have good ice and anglers are catching fair numbers of perch. The best fishing has been out in front of Beaver Lake Lodge on Gillette.

Palmer Lake in the Okanogan is producing good catches of perch at the south end, and it also has some of the largest burbot in the state. Bonaparte is decent for brook trout and tiger trout and some kokanee. Some whopper tiger trout can be caught here. Another good kokanee lake is Patterson, near Winthrop. The perch in Patterson are running on the small side again this year. Leader Lake is another popular spot for anglers in the winter up north. It is known for rainbow trout and a mix of spiny rays.

Fish Lake out of Leavenworth has fishable ice, and anglers are piling up the perch using Swedish Pimples baited with perch eyes.

Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir are iced over. There is some ice fishing going on in Lind Coulee, but the thickness of the ice is not consistent. One hole might show 5 inches of ice, the next half of that.

Ice fishing, Idaho

Fernan Lake near Coeur d’Alene has about 4 inches of ice and anglers are catching mostly perch. Nearby lakes like Gamlin, Kelso and Granite are also good for perch as well as rainbow trout. Ice is good on Mirror Lake, but a water layer between the bottom 5 inches and the 3 inches on top makes for some scary walking. The kokanee bite has been slow.

Upper Twin has 5 inches of good ice under frozen slush. The perch are biting, but they are small. Round Lake has about 6 inches of good ice. Anglers are catching a lot of perch and some trout.

Avondale has good ice, but the trout bite has been slow and the perch bite slower.

Blue Lake in Bonner County has solid ice underneath surface slush, and anglers are catching a mixed bag of perch, crappie and largemouth bass. Jigging does best.

Other species

WDFW has approved seven days of razor clam digging during evening tides beginning Friday. Not all beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out.

The early part of the outgoing tides through Sunday will occur just before sunset, a rarity during the winter season. Details on these and future digs can be found at


Hunter reports are critical to effective big game management.

Idaho Big Game Hunting Harvest Reports should be filed soon for anyone who purchased a deer, elk or pronghorn tag in 2021, whether they hunted or not.

This can be done over the phone by calling (877) 268-9365. Have your hunting license or tag number handy and know the number of days hunted, the game management units hunted in, the date an animal was harvested and the number of antler points on the animal harvested, or the length of the horns for pronghorns in inches.

Contact Alan Liere at