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Original Issue

A digest of last-minute reports from fishermen and other unreliable sources


SO=season opened (or opens); SC= season closed (or closes); SV=season varies by district or water.
C=clear water; D=water dirty or roily; M=water muddy.
N=water at normal height; SH= slightly high; H=high; VH=very high; L=low; R=rising; F=falling.
WT50=water temperature 50°.
FG=fishing good; FF=fishing fair; FP=fishing poor.
OG=outlook good; OP=outlook poor.

TROUT: NEW YORK: SO April with most Catskill and lower Adirondack streams in fine shape but too cold for good fishing. Esopus River is clear and wadeable; WT36-40 on opening day but small fly hatches were reported last week and OG for fly and spin fishing unless cold snap reverses rising water temperature; portal will be closed through next week or longer. Beaverkill should produce well when WT reaches expected 50° next week (but it's wise to make last-minute check by phone). OF for New York City watershed streams and reservoirs as opening-day hordes left lots of stocked trout untrampled.

WASHINGTON: SO April 17 in lowland lakes and outlook is excellent in most of this water.

CALIFORNIA: New hot spot is Isabella Reservoir (46 miles E of Bakersfield) producing hundreds of limit catches to three pounds; OG through April.

NEVADA: New secret weapon of Walker Lake anglers is sashweight since experts discovered oversize cutthroats (to 13 pounds) are hitting plugs and spinners at 100- to 150-foot depths off cliffs along U.S. Highway 95; OG while warm, calm weather holds.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: With warmer weather all Vancouver Island Lakes are coming in well, with fine catches on fly, troll and bait from Snakehead, Gooseneck, Beavertail, Echo and Mohun; action is slower in lower Campbell, McIvor and Cameron lakes but spinner-and-worm may take a limit. OG in all coastal areas for next two weeks, and interior lakes should start to give good sport toward end of month.

PENNSYLVANIA: SO April 15; most Pocono Mountain and central Pennsylvania streams SH, C, WT 42-48; our Brodheads Creek agent predicts fair opening-day hatch of Quill Gordons on Analomink section of river.

BLACK BASS: FLORIDA: In NW Florida FF in Wacissa River and Lake Talquin, FP in Apalachicola, Blackwater, Choctawhatchee and Escambia rivers, FG in Ochlockonee River and Dead Lake (where early risers found three-to six-pounders hungry for top-water plugs at sunup). FF in most central Florida lakes with lakes Tarpon (N of Clearwater), Hatchinha (E of Dundee), Harris (at Howey) and Julianna (N of Auburndale) producing well.

TENNESSEE: Most bass activity in Douglas, Norris and Cherokee lakes is at medium depth and near inlets; local experts are scoring with live bait or smallish lures worked slowly and close to banks; outlook is fair through April.

MISSOURI: Lakes Taneycomo and Bull Shoals (upper section) C, N, FG, OG with live minnows favored by fish and fishermen.

CALIFORNIA: Mohave Lake is at season's peak with spawning whoppers walloping plugs of all sorts, including top-water types. Top fish last week was nine-pounder. OG on all lower Colorado reservoirs through April.

ATLANTIC SALMON: MAINE: At press time anglers were still trying for first salmon of the season from Bangor Pool, where water was running gin-clear but VH; in keeping with custom, initial fish will be shipped to White House.

NEW BRUNSWICK: Ice in Miramichi is starting to go out and several miles of river were fishable last week for sea-bound "blacks"; Cains River is ice-free for 20 miles above mouth.

KINGFISH: FLORIDA: West coast's annual kingfish run is early this year, and boats from Boca Grande to Tarpon Springs are bringing in catches of 20 to 60 kings from six to 16 pounds; fish are bunching as run progresses and are harder to locate but once found they'll hit almost any lure (with No. 10 spoons, some with feathers or mullet strips, considered best bet). City Councilman Victor Retty of Venice and his son Victor Jr., of Detroit, boated 74 kings in one trip last week, 12 miles offshore. OG next 10 days.

STEELHEAD TROUT: OREGON: North Santiam River SH, F, C, FG, OG; best lure is red-and-white wobbler, and fish are running to 15 pounds.

IDAHO: Middle Fork of Salmon reports fish moving up to spawning streams in good numbers; Weiser River improving steadily; best spot in Little Salmon is Fire Hole below Riggins; Snake River providing poor-to-fair fishing, and OF.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Occasional bright fish are still showing in Vedder and Alouette on mainland, Cowichan, Quinsam, Oyster, Campbell and Qualicum River on Vancouver Island, but dark fish are now spawning in all streams and OP until summer runs begin to show late in May.

WASHINGTON: A few rivers are open for steel-heading until April 30; FG, OG in Bogachiel, Soleduck, Queets; FF, OG in Skokomish.

LANDLOCKED SALMON: MAINE: Sebago Lake is ice-free except for some small coves, and a few frost-proof anglers were taking salmon from two to five pounds last week; northern lakes are still far from ice-out dates.

STRIPED BASS: CALIFORNIA: Current hot spots are at Santa Clara shoals in the Delta and in San Joaquin River off Jersey Island; west side of San Pablo Bay is recovering after last week's blow. Thirty-one pounder was top catch last week but many limits of smaller fish (mostly on bait) were brought in. After several false starts the spring run into the Delta has begun, and the outlook is excellent.

CHANNEL BASS: NORTH CAROLINA: OG through April and May for channel bass in surf and inlets between Kitty Hawk and Ocracoke. Last week's top catch was 60-pounder landed by Forrest Dunstan of Elizabeth City while trolling in Oregon Inlet. First bass from surf was 35-pounder beached by L. R. Gardner of Norfolk on April 3, and surf at Hatteras Inlet is starting to provide fast action.