Fishing is great, despite it all

Bass boats speed up a lowered Banks Lake
Bass boats speed up a lowered Banks Lake

“The most beautiful place in the world.”

That’s the way a man from the western part of Washington state last weekend described to me the place where I live. The avid bass fisherman said that twice a year, he makes his pilgrimage to Coulee Playland to go bass fishing. And he’s so “ansty” to get going, he can’t wait until Friday mornging to leave.

Instead, my new acquaintance, met at a newspaper industry conference in Everett, said he gets home from work Thursday evening, packs up and heads to the Grand Coulee. He drives through the night, launches his boat at first light, fishes all morning, then comes back and sets up his campsite.

“My wife never could understand why I would get so antsy to leave,” he told me, “until she came along. … Now she understands.”

I asked if he planned to fish Banks Lake while it was drawn down this winter. He said he hoped to make it over, if for no other reason than to see and map the underlying structure of the lake now exposed because of the drawdown of the lake for maintenance purposes, a very rare event.

Bass angling friends, he said, report that fishing has been good during the drawdown, but the regular winter strategies are out the window. The fish are confused and sometimes huddle together, their favorite places now high and dry.

Two weekends ago, organizers of an annual bass tournament at Coulee Playland were glad they decided not to cancel their event. They had a blast in the lowered lake with more concentrated fishing, according to Coulee Playland’s Hal Rauch.

A confession: I am not a fisherman, but I still think this is the most beautiful place in the world.

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