Anyone fish the mouth of the Cowlitz for URB? I know everyone fishes pretty shallow for the steelhead over there, and most use the U-20 Flatfish. What depths does anyone suggest and what lures should I use? Any info would help!
The mouth of the Cowlitz is an excellent place to target Up River Brights. As far as water depth goes you just never know what depth they will be traveling day to day since you have different tides, weather, etc. Generally I would be fishing considerably deeper than for springers. Last year I saw most of the fish being taken from between 30 and 55 foot of water but there were exceptions to that rule so don't be afraid to experiment. For example if you are on the outside of a hog line and someone is banging them hard in 20 foot of water, don't be afraid to pull up and go below them or above them at the same depth. You want an outgoing tide however you will want to find your spot well before outgoing or you may have to settle for a less than desirable spot. Most guys anchor then fire their kicker up and hold in reverse until the tide starts running. Pay attention to where everyone is anchoring and particularly to those who are consistantly catching fish and try to be in that spot the next time out. Alvins are the main lure of choice however there are many other lures that work. Use 4 foot of lead line and 5 to 6 foot of leader. I would use a minimum of 25 pound test as most of these fish run 25 pounds or larger with the occasional 50+. Depending on the tide and your main line you may end up needing as much as 12 ounces to hold. You'll need to tune your Alvins so when the current is running against them they are swinging up maybe 30 degrees from flat in the water. No more than this or you probably won't get bit. That is the one secret I can tell you. Learn how to tune those alvins and you'll catch your share of fish. If you are unsure ask the guy next to you and you might get lucky and he'll show you how. Good luck!!!
A real informative post Fishing Maniac; I will be looking for those nooks at the mouth too. I went out once last year but I didn't have a clue on how to fish them. Maybe I will do better this year. Thanks for the info. :cheers:
Don't be afraid to troll #4 and #5 spinners on the inside seam there at the mouth on the incoming up to high slack prior to outgoing. I've seen URB and many silvers caught this way as well. It's kind of nice to have a couple of fish in the boat before you even fish the outgoing.