There are many great things about Lake Wenatchee that I like, but the thing I like the most is that it is the closest lake to my house which is open for sockeye fishing. This enables me to fish it more than I do Baker Lake or the mainstem Columbia, like Brewster Pool.
Dealing With The Launch
For all the great things with Lake Wenatchee, the boat launch and parking situation is in desperate need of improvement. The launch is a single lane, and it backs up quick. The average person takes 3 to 4 minutes to launch their boat, which means a backup of 8 rigs can easily mean a half hour wait.
To top it off, there is almost no trailer parking. So you have to disconnect the trailer from your truck, which just adds to the time boats are sitting at the launch waiting for people to get back from parking.
I used to deal with this by showing up earlier than the crowds, but now it seems like other people have learned that trick and the line forms even earlier than usual – especially on Fridays and weekends.
I really hope we’ll see some kind of improvement in future years.
Fishing For Sockeye
When I go up there traditionally my favorite lures have been the NSR and the Rasticle. However lately I’ve been impressed with a new lure we call the DTR. I’ll write more about that later – stay tuned at the sockeye page for it.
Because we usually gets lots of sunlight at Wenatchee, the standard chrome dodgers work best.
If Wenatchee opens for fishing it is because it got a lot of fish returning to it, and they scatter throughout the lake. While people have their favorite spots, the reality is you can catch fish at many places in the lake.
So if you want to get away from the herd of other boats, then what I suggest is finding water at least 100 feet deep and then stop. Keep on eye on your fish finder. If you don’t see fish in 5 mins then move a few hundred yards and look again. Once you find fish, drop your gear down and start fishing.
This year the 6 fish limit means you can fill your cooler and then some. This year I’ve been up there 3 times, and each time have come home with lots of fish. One of those days was with 3 people in the boat and we managed to get our combined limit of 18 fish.
Follow The Regs
I’ve heard several reports, from different days, of people getting ticketed while out on the water. It seems that the WDFW has heard that people have been playing it fast and loose out there.
Remember everyone, it is a barbless and baitless fishery. I wish we were allowed to use barbs & bait (or at least one), but the regs are the regs.
I heard second hand that one of the wardens handing out tickets said that they look for boats catching fish, because people who follow the regs don’t catch more than 2 or 3 fish. I beg to differ with that – if you have a good presentation and are in the right spot you can get double digit hookups, and land the majority of them.
In addition to following the fishing regulations, make sure you are up to speed and compliant with boating regulations. Have your boater card on you, and make sure your safety equipment is up to spec.
Have you fished Lake Wenatchee? What is your favorite lure? What do you do to deal with the boat launch?