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Revel In A Different Post-Thanksgiving Therapy By Embracing The Excitement Of Black Friday Trout Fishing Opportunities

Trout fishing during the holiday is a great way to opt outside away from the mall madness

While post-turkey day shopping sprees are on the minds of many, others will pull the plug for a chance to catch more than 60,000 planted jumbo-sized rainbow trout at 23 statewide lakes.

“The holidays are about spending time with family and friends, and being thankful for what you have,” said Steve Caromile, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) inland trout manager. “Instead of heading to the malls, get out and have some fun fishing. Teaching someone about outdoor recreation is a great way to create lasting memories.”

Created about 10 years ago, WDFW’s Black Friday program looks at ways to raise thousands of rainbow trout for a late season fishery and has been well-received by anglers.

Many lakes cover an area from the Puget Sound region to southwest Washington. The planted jumbo-sized trout average 1 to 2 pounds apiece measuring more than 14 inches.

This Black Friday 15-inch rainbow trout was caught on power eggs and a bobber at Lake Tye in Monroe. (Photo by Victoria Heffner)

There are several Eastern Washington lakes opening on Black Friday that WDFW stocked with trout fry this past spring with trout averaging 8 to 10 inches. They include Hatch in Steven County, Fourth of July in Adams/Lincoln County, and Hog Canyon in Spokane County.

Within the past month, WDFW also stocked many year-round lakes around Washington for additional fishing opportunities. These lakes are options for those who want to get a jump start on fishing right now ahead of Black Friday. For details, go to the WDFW trout stocking webpage.

Black Friday trout plants

· Clark County — Battleground, 2,000; and Klineline, 2,000.

· Cowlitz County — Kress, 2,000.

· Island County — Cranberry Lake, 4,000.

· King County — Beaver, 2,500; and Green, 5,000.

· Klickitat County — Rowland, 2,000.

· Lewis County — Fort Borst Park Pond, 2,000; and South Lewis County Park Pond, 2,000.

· Pierce County — American, 2,000; and Tanwax, 1,350.

· Snohomish County — Ballinger, 3,000; Blackmans, 2,000; Gissburg Ponds, 1,500; Silver, 3,000; and Tye, 2,000.

· Thurston County — Black, 3,000; Lawrence, 800; Long, 1,000; Munn, 300; Offutt Lake, 1,000; and Ward Lake, 300.

· Yakima County — Elton Pond North, 2,000.

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Trout fishing gear

A basic trout rod and reel ($40 to $80) is all you need to get started, and a pricier combo will cost about $100 to $200. A light, limber fishing rod length of six to seven feet in the four- to 10-pound line weight range will do. Look for a medium-sized spinning reel that can hold more than 100 yards of six- to eight-pound test fishing line.

To the mainline attach one or two size eight or nine egg sinkers with a rubber bumper above a small barrel swivel. For a fishing leader, stay away from short 12-inch store-bought pre-tied leaders. Instead, look for a three- to eight-pound test leader measuring 18 to 30 inches long. Use a smaller size eight or 10 egg or worm hook.

The most popular bait is moldable dough types, which come in a variety of colors. You can mold them yourself and they’re available pre-shaped as salmon eggs, maggots, and worms. More traditional baits include salmon eggs, worms, maggots, and scented marshmallows.

Freshly planted trout will stick around the top of the water column and trolling a weightless fly close to the surface — like a Woolly Bugger in black, dark green, or black-olive in a size 8 or 10 with a 5- or 6-foot leader — will catch its share of fish.

Boat anglers will troll a gang-flasher with a worm, maggot or salmon egg laced to a tiny piece of scented dough bait or small spoon or spinner.

Bank anglers usually cast out a bobber with their presentation sitting just below the surface in 3 to 8 feet of water. Others prefer to go deeper where it hangs just a few feet off the bottom.

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