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Guide lines with Ryan Elizondo: Washington State Tigers!

Ryan Elizondo with a spring tiger

Early season tigers can be challenging out West in the colder water temperatures. This spring Lake Tapps reached full pool much earlier than in years past. The water temperature this past weekend ranged from 44-48 degrees. The majority of the lake is fairly clear, but there are areas that are dirtier especially in the spring after the lake fills. You need to fish much slower and have patience as feeding windows will be very small.  Find some of the warmest water and the tigers will be near by. It is still uncertain if tigers go through the motions of spawning since they are sterile, but they are definitely attracted to shallower areas in early season similar to spawning grounds. I’ve contacted fish in warm shallow bays in the spring year in and year out. 

Only being able to get out twice in March, patience was key to success this past weekend to find a bite. While working a shallow bay I picked apart every inch with one of my favorite gliders. It didn’t take too long before I got my first tiger bite of the season just before the major started. I was fishing by myself and it was great to knock the rust off my solo netting skills after a long rainy winter. When the fish hit the bag and I recognized it right away with a couple of its interesting features, see pictures. The previous capture of this fish was in July 2020. 

The weather is turning and the bite will only get better as the water warms up. Good luck on the water.

Gregg Thomas

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