C—clear water; SH—slightly high; FG—fishing good; FF—fishing fair; FP—fishing poor; OG—outlook good: OF—outlook fair; OVG—outlook very good.
BLACK BASS: FLORIDA: Rain over most of state last week raised water levels and stirred bass to fast action in lakes and rivers. Hottest spots reported were Big Lake George near Welaka. Kissimmee River east of Lake Wales, Lake Tarpon northwest of Tampa. Chassahowitzka River north of Tampa, and Lake Harris, all of which should improve steadily from now until midsummer unless cold snap puts bass off feed temporarily.
TENNESSEE: Best bass fishing in Tennessee this week is at Center Hill Lake, where both large-and smallmouth show keen interest in large polar-bear hair flies fished jerkily close to bottom in medium-deep waters. Rain last weekend halted falling of levels at Norris. Douglas and other TVA lakes, and Dr. Glenn Gentry, fish commission biologist, believes airing out of lake beds may be beneficial if levels return to normal in near future.
NORTH CAROLINA: Fontana Lake is yielding easy limits of largemouth and a few small-mouth from deep channels on live bait. Last week's lunker: 9 pounds.
MISSOURI: Lake Clearwater C, N, FG with live bait, OG. Lake Wappapello C, SH, FF/G for smallish bass on large minnows, OF.
LOUISIANA: OVG in ponds and lakes throughout southern part of the state; several large-mouth in 5-to-7-pound class reported from Cheniere Lake at West Monroe and Black Bayou near Monroe.
STURGEON: WISCONSIN: Sturgeon-spearing season opened last Saturday on frozen lakes Winnebago, Poygan. Winneconne and Butte des Morts in central Wisconsin, and spearers reported good success, with 74-pounder from Lake Poygan topping the list. Season closes March 1 on Winnebago, February 19 on other lakes.
STEELHEAD: OREGON: Fishing improved in most coastal streams last week, with best reports from upper rivers, and new rains are needed now to bring in new runs. Best bets at present are Wilson, Nestucca, Siletz, Alsea and Siuslaw rivers; Sixes, Elk and Chetco rivers are fair to good. Best lures are cluster eggs and cherry bobbers and, in general, OG.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Best rivers on Vancouver Island are Puntledge, Stamp and Cowichan; on the mainland the Vedder is muddy but clearing, and OG. Coquihalla River at Hope has produced some fish, as have Capilano and Seymour rivers, and OF generally, with chance of sharp improvement if new fish move in.
CALIFORNIA: "Bring your own rock and come in middle of week," says spy, as all north coastal streams continue to sizzle after last week's red-hot fishing; even South Fork of Eel, thought to be knocked out for at least a year by floods, is back in production. Best bets are Gualala, Mattole, Big and Ten Mile rivers, with 14-pounder from Gualala top fish of week. Most fish are spent downstreamers, but bright fish are coming in. Surprise spot of week was Putah Creek, tributary of Sacramento, which produced scads of steelhead to 12 pounds on roe, despite silty water. Traffic terrific, warns agent, who says some rivers look like New Year's Day in Pasadena.
WASHINGTON: Fishing generally slow, with rivers low and clear, but last week's warm rains improved lookout. Nooksack River, between Highway 99 and Guide Meridian, getting heavy workout, with favorite holes Dutchman's Bar, Frog Pond at mouth of Bertrand Creek and The Maples. Skagit River fishing scattered, with fair take at mouth of Dead Man's Slough, holes near Mill Creek Junction and long drift near Hamilton, where new measle bobber is suddenly productive.