KEY TO SYMBOLS
FG=fishing good; FF=fishing fair; FP=fishing poor.
OG=outlook good; OP=outlook poor.
BLACK BASS: NEVADA: Colorado River reservoirs from Mead to Havasu (Calif.) report FG when winds permit, on deep-running plugs.
MISSISSIPPI: Ask Tony Ragusin of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce to steer you to creeks and bayous emptying into back bay of Biloxi where you can take fresh-water bass and saltwater trout from same skiff. (Weaks are deeper, as heavier salt water underlies layer of fresh.)
LOUISIANA: FG and OG in barrow pits of Bonnet Carre spillway just above New Orleans.
MISSOURI: Cold weather drove bass deep into lakes Clearwater and Wappapello and OP until weather gets warmer.
FLORIDA: 13-pound bigmouth cane-poled from Lake Hatchineha on Kissimmee River last week and OG in that watershed next two weeks. Or try Lake Griffin north of Leesburg. In general cold windy weather put fish off feed last week and few spots are producing well throughout state. Best bets: Lake Rosalie (10 miles east of Lake Wales) and large sand ponds near Bay County and Washington County lines (northwest Florida) where mixed bags of chain pickerel and medium-sized bass provide action and fun. Shiners are surefire, but silver spoons and white maribou streamers should get results. And deepwater plug fished in front of Lake Talquin spillway will snag occasional nice-sized gars as side dish to fair passing.
CHANNEL BASS: FLORIDA: A few reds are still taking trolled lures in Ochlockonee, Aucilla and Apalachicola rivers (NW coast) but action slowing down. Try stakes #11 and 12 at mouth of St. Marks River with fiddler crab bait.
LOUISIANA: Along marshy coast redfish have moved into new canals dredged by oil companies, attracted by abundant food; they'll strike trolled or cast spoons or plugs, but bait is best bet. Fish are also in deeper bays and bayous; try lower Jefferson and Lafourche parishes.
STEELHEAD TROUT: OREGON: FP on almost all streams but improving and a good rain could start the joint jumping; OG.
CALIFORNIA: All streams north of Russian River (including South Fork of Eel) clear and falling, with limits of fish to 12 pounds not uncommon. Gualala. Big, Noyo and Ten Mile are clear but FP; Navarro in perfect shape with fish in all pools; San Lorenzo producing some busters, with best fishing from gorge to mouth; Garcia clear but fishing poorly. Best bet this week: Russian River.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: With mild weather keeping conditions ideal, fish over 20 pounds continue to dominate reports from all B.C. points. Experts say part of run had lingered at sea for extra year of rich salt-water feeding. Quinsam, Oyster, Qualicum, Nanaimo, Cowichan. Vedder and Bella Coola rivers are leading in lunker sweepstakes, and OG next two weeks.
WASHINGTON: Runs aren't materializing as expected although rivers are in fine shape. Russ Germain of Aberdeen cherry-bobbed 28¾-pounder from Chehalis River last week. Coastal streams generally FF and OG, with Queets, Bogachiel and Soleduck best bets. Puyallup and Skagit FF, OF; Columbia above McNary FF, OF; Cowlitz River system OF. Apparently old runs are plumb wore out but new runs should come into rivers with next real rain.
WEAKFISH: FLORIDA: In Tampa area weaks are on edge of channels, especially in sheltered areas of Old Tampa Bay and near new Lower Tampa Bay Bridge (Sunshine Skyway); try trolling with nylon jig bumping along bottom.
LOUISIANA: Good catches of trout averaging 2½ pounds were made in Oak River in Delacroix Island area last week and OG next two weeks.
SAILFISH: FLORIDA: Cold winds have slowed sailfishing in Vero-Stuart area; OG south of Palm Beaches when weather settles.
MEXICO: Acapulco anglers averaging two fish daily as season is at height; OG through Feb.
MARLIN: BAHAMAS: Rough seas stymied seekers of marlin (but on lee shores of islands they found wahoo still present in worthwhile numbers); OG as winds should settle soon.
MEXICO: Mazatlan spy says things are tough all over as 14 charter trips last week produced two marlin.
STURGEON: BRITISH COLUMBIA: Roy Tiechman landed a 225-pounder on rod and line in the Fraser River near Hope. Immediately after battle Roy issued statement: "Whew!"