By Tom Rohrer
Offut Lake, located off of Old Highway 99 just north of Tenino, certainly fits the bill for lake fishing. Anglers of all experience levels have a terrific opportunity to come away with a terrific catch (day or night).
Joined by two friends, I camped overnight at the lake to fish Sunday morning. We picked a campground at Offut Lake Resort, located on the south side of the lake just down the road from Wolf Haven. The resort sells camping and fishing supplies as well as offering several campgrounds.
One of the best features of the resort is the public fishing dock, which houses rental boats and a long horizontal wooden area to fish from.
My friends Michael McIver and Conor McDonald of Olympia both had success from the dock Saturday night, catching one keeper trout a piece. We fished until twilight as the surrounding wildlife settled into the starlit night. An otter cruised by the dock at a slow pace, looking for any opportunity to snag someone’s catch.
The freshly caught trout was a delicious meal from the grill that night, serving as the main course between baked beans and roasted marshmallows.
We were confident, heading into the morning, that fish were present and ready to bite. We rented a boat from the resort, opting to go with the larger of two choices, given that McIver and I both stand taller than 6”7.
All weekend, we used night crawlers for bait, attaching a bobber and a few slip weights down below the hook. We each approached the daily limit of five trout a piece.
To start, we anchored outside a significant patch of lilies on the east side of Offut Lake. At first, small perch were the only thing biting, but as we drifted a few dozen yards towards the center of the lake, we drew strikes from brown and rainbow trout.
I was the first to bring in a keeper fish, with McDonald pumping in three impressive individual catches himself. Even though I equaled his total in keepers, he stood with the largest fish caught of the day. However, after we traveled to the opposite side of the lake, McIver brought in the biggest haul of our expedition, a beautiful brown trout that we assumed approached 20 inches.
The excitement of the catch may have been the highlight of the weekend, as Michael was pleased to take home the biggest fish we had seen the last 16 hours. Conor and I were happy just to see such an event take place.
After our four hour rental concluded, we divvied up and iced our respective catches and went on our way. With summer just beginning, we spoke about the many more fishing trips to come in the next few months, one of which will definitely be a return trip back to Offut Lake Resort.
Visit Offut Lake Resort’s website for more information.