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The Dworshak is out of control... How about this dude breaking the record for the 2nd time last fall! Anyone here ever fished that lake? How does it lay out compared to lakes in Washington?

Dan Steigers of Juliaetta caught a 9.72 pound Smallmouth Bass in Idaho's Dworshak Reservoir on October 28. This fish is the new Idaho State Record. Steigers also held the previous Idaho state record Smallmouth at 8.31 pounds, caught in Dworshak Reservoir on October 14, 1995.

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That is a football of a fish.  Looks like he caught it in 2006 according to Idaho Fish and Wildlife. Is almost twice as big as my largest largemouth.  LOL.


Its ironic that you bring this up. Every year, I try to hit a new lake...this one is high on my list since I'm really not that far away. I know its a big lake (50+ miles?), so it would seem it might be very difficult to dial in given its remote locale.  I've heard the fishery is in a bit of decline.

Look at that stomach... thats some pressure. I have heard really good things about Dworshak but haven't fished it. Have a classmate that lives close that is always saying good things and showing off nice fish. I wonder how close this guy has gotten to his own record and how many times.

With a smallmouth fishery like the Dworshak, it makes you wonder why the divisional this year is on a lake notorious for small fish? Only thing I can think of is facilities??? But for those of us that went to Montana a couple years ago the lake was an hour plus from any facilities so how much does that really play a factor if fishing is lights out.

I could be way off here though....

I have only fished Dworshak once in the fall (caught 1 twelve incher).  It is very intimidating as they drop it about 80-90 feet over the course of the summer.  It is full of kokanee, and from what I have heard that is how you target the big smallies.


There is good ramp on the dam end by Orofino.  Good areas (I think) are up by where the tribs come in.  I was in a 16.5ft aluminum tracker with my pregnant wife, and we were not going up that far!  That was actually the last trip for the boat, sold it the next year.


There are some hotels in Orofino, and there is camping on the lake.  You could probably ask the Clearwater Bass anglers out of Lewiston (google or facebook) for information.  I know they hold club tournaments up there.


If anyone does fish it for the first time, would probably make for a neat blog.

Thats correct, the fish wasn't caught last year but in 2006.  I went to the University of Idaho which is only 1.5 hours from fishing Dworshak. I was lucky enough to fish it during some of it's best cycle years. Dan and I use to go after school, weekends, and fished every tournament that they had on the lake (which wasn't very many).  I learned a ton from fishing Dworshak.  Its where I have caught my largest smallmouth (7lbs 5oz), my dad who has been fishing since he was 6 caught his largest smallmouth (6lb 05oz) the year prior, and three other very tenured anglers I know have caught their largest smallmouth (including Dan and his brother).  It is by far our favorite lake, not only because of the size of this fish but also its asthetics.  Jake (the snake) recently contacted me about fishing the lake because of a BAM article where I mention the nickname 'Divorceshack' because of its ability to make you HAVE to go back over and over and over.  Careful, it can create addiction.

All that said, a few years ago the Idaho Fish and Game decided that they needed to concentrate on enhancing the 'native fishery' in Dworshak so they put nutrients in the water to increase the size of the stunted Kokanee which were perfect bite sized 6inchers at the time.  There is very little food in Dworshak aside from Kokanee so growing the Kokanee size really hurt the young-mid aged class of smallmouth because of the lack of other baitfish.  The fishing went downhill after that but there are still some giants in the lake because once they get large enough to eat those larger Kokanee they do nothing but eat the protein needed to grow to world class size. Another problem with the lake is the water fluctuation during the spring can kill entire spawn classes.

It was always mind blowing to us that there weren't more and larger tournaments on Dworshak. Orofino provides camping, fuel, food, motels but the lake is a bit out of the way. We won a tournament with 23 lbs of smallmouth and the year prior when we werent fishing, a guy named Steve Ryan won with 25.5 lbs in 5.  Dworshak is the only place we have ever doubled up on 5lb+ smallmouth. Unfortunetely there are alot of smalltown fellars that like cutting the sides off these giants.

If you get a chance I'd recommend fishing it. I wish someone would organize a large fall open in October when alot of those giants are caught.


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