Eastern Washington: Warmwater/Mixed species: Most of the region's warmwater fish species are biting this month, many in mixed-species waters where trout are still caught in early morning or late evening hours.
Randy Osborne, WDFW central district fish biologist, says Spokane County's Newman, Bonnie and Eloika lakes are good bets for largemouth bass, yellow perch, and black crappie. Anglers can also find lots of bass and perch in Spokane County's Silver Lake.
Anglers at Liberty and Clear lakes in Spokane County are catching rainbow and brown trout, perch, crappie and bass. Downs and Sprague lakes should also produce catches of really nice bass and rainbow trout.
Upper Twin Lake in Lincoln County has also been fairly productive, yielding catches of 14- to 15-inch rainbow trout, as well as a few bass and crappie.
"Fishing at Long Lake, also known as Lake Spokane, is really good right now for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass," Osborne said. "The lake is also still producing catches of the rainbow trout that we and Avista stocked annually for the last several years. This year's stocked trout are still fairly small, running 8 to 9 inches, but the carryovers from previous year's plants run about 16 to 19 inches."
With rising air temperatures predicted throughout the region, anglers fishing the early morning and late evening hours should continue to find active fish in the region's lowland trout lakes, including Spokane County's Badger, Williams, Fish, and West Medical. Osborne notes that as heat persists and water temperatures rise, even the warmwater fish species in mixed-management waters will be more likely to bite early and late in the day.
Morning and evening fishing is also productive on many northeast district waters, according to Bill Baker, WDFW district fish biologist. Even lakes at high elevation, like the Little Pend Oreille chain of lakes in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties, provide more opportunities early and late in the day.
Lake Roosevelt, the Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam, is usually good in July for walleye and smallmouth bass, Baker says. And several other mixed-species waters should also provide catches, including Deer Lake in southern Stevens County for smallmouth and largemouth bass, Curlew Lake in Ferry County for largemouth bass and yellow perch, Diamond Lake near Newport in Pend Oreille County for yellow perch, and Waitts Lake in southern Stevens County for yellow perch.
emy Trump, WDFW southeast district fish biologist, said the Snake and Palouse rivers are usually good this month for smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and black crappie. The Grande Ronde River in Asotin County and the Tucannon River in Columbia and Garfield counties can also provide fair fishing in July for bass, trout and other species, but water levels are dropping with warmer weather. Anglers and others recreating in the area of these and other streams are reminded to not place rocks instream to dam up flows and create pools because they block fish movement.
Top 10 bass waters: Marc Divens, WDFW warmwater fisheries biologist, considers the Snake River to be one of the region's top 10 bass fishing waters. The other nine in that bass line-up are Boundary Reservoir and Box Canyon Reservoir in Pend Oreille County, Lake Roosevelt, Long Lake (or Lake Spokane), Sprague Lake, and four Spokane County lakes Eloika, Downs, Liberty, and Silver.
"Try jigs and spinner baits, and fish around structures to land largemouth bass," Divens said. "Try drop shotting for smallmouth drop your bait with a weight to suspend it right in front of the fish, whether you find them on your boat's depth finder or you cast into a spot where bass are likely to hang out."