Fishing

Challenge yourself to complete the fishing ‘grand slam.’ Here’s one place to try it.

Want to hunt or fish in Idaho? Here’s how to purchase a license online.

You can purchase a hunting or fishing license online from Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Here's how to do it.
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You can purchase a hunting or fishing license online from Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Here's how to do it.

A fishing grand slam, a bass fishing class and more in this week’s fishing report:

Anderson Ranch Reservoir (Mixed Bag)

I’ve written before about fishing grand slams: catching four different species on one body of water. Anderson Ranch is a prime destination to attempt such a feat, with four sought-after game species. The most popular is the Kokanee salmon. Trolling anglers have been catching some nice fish on pop gear trailed by small jigs and wedding rings tipped with corn. Depths vary, but the fish likely will move deeper as our first hot stretch of the year settles in. While trolling, you also might bump into larger, landlocked Chinook salmon. Trolling one rig a little deeper than the rest is a good way to target Chinooks, which feed on Kokanee once they grow large enough. Rainbow trout are also in the mix, and if trolling isn’t your style, you can catch them from shore using spinners and bait rigs. Last but not least, Anderson is an underrated smallmouth bass fishery. Target them around rocky coves and points using plastics, jigs and crankbaits. Catching all four species in a day is a challenge, but grand slams aren’t supposed to be easy!

Getting there: Head east on I-84, take exit 95 and follow U.S. 20 northeast to Anderson Ranch Dam Road or forest road 61 to Curlew boat launch.

Lake Lowell (Bass)

With temperatures warming, bass fishing is picking up at Lake Lowell. Most of the largemouth bass are hugging tight to weed beds, flooded trees and other submerged vegetation. Go after them with weedless soft plastics or work the edges of cover with spinnerbaits, jigs and crankbaits. You also might find smallmouth bass around rocky shorelines or catfish on muddy flats. Lowell’s abundant carp should be spawning, making them easier targets for bow anglers in the shallows.

Getting there: Head south from Nampa or Caldwell to reach the boat ramps and shoreline dam access.

Hagerman Ponds (Trout)

Rivers are still tough sledding due to high flows, but trout anglers need not worry. There are plenty of small lakes and ponds to get a rainbow fix, including the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area. The ponds at the state and national fish hatcheries are the best-known fishing spots, but the region is riddled with streams, springs, ponds and Snake River access points that can produce excellent trout fishing. Worms, Power Bait, spinners, spoons, Rapalas and flies all will catch fish — I recommend getting a two-pole permit so you can bait fish with one rod and throw lures with another. Keep an eye out for bass, bluegill and sturgeon swimming around near the hatchery, too.

Getting there: Head east on I-84, take Exit 141 and follow Highway 30 through Hagerman and out toward the hatchery ponds.

Halverson Lake (Bluegill)

This small desert lake is a nice, quiet spot to catch bluegill and bass. It takes work to get there, but the hike is often full of wildlife including deer, lizards, rabbits, marmots and snakes (do keep an eye out for rattlers this time of year). Once at the lake, look for open pockets of shoreline where you can cast to bluegill using live worms, crickets, small panfish jigs or dry flies. Bass also can be caught using soft plastics, spinnerbaits, streamer patterns or topwater lures. The best way to fish Halverson is with a float tube or small watercraft — you just have to be willing to haul it with you on the mile-long hike.

Getting there: Drive to Celebration Park south of Melba. The lake is a two-mile hike from the park, or a mile from the end of a bumpy, four-wheel-drive-only dirt road.

Fishing class

I’m teaching a brand-new class, “All About that Bass,” which is a deep dive into bass fishing in Idaho. The class is set for July 22, and seats are going fast. Sign up on my website, www.tightlines208.com.

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks with him at tightlinesboise@gmail.com or visit www.tightlines208.com.

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