OUTDOORS: Matt Schubert’s five best bets to do this weekend

■ Derby days — Peninsula anglers get another blackmouth derby with the inaugural Discovery Bay Volunteer Fire Fighters Salmon Derby coming to the east side Saturday and Sunday.

The waters inside this weekend’s derby boundaries produced the biggest fish during the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby in February.

Perhaps a few more of those are swimming around Discovery Bay proper.

■ Hike the Spit — The weatherman says the sun will actually peak out of the clouds at some point this weekend.

When it does, a healthy jaunt through Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge would be a good way to scratch that hiking itch that’s been lingering the past few months.

Hikers can expect to run into a wide array of shorebirds and might even see a few eagles, harbor seals or orcas; all without having to traverse any steep inclines.

■ Neal knows — River fishing guide and PDN columnist Pat Neal will host a class, Fishing the Olympic Peninsula, at Peninsula College this Monday night and next.

The two-session class will meet at 6 p.m. each night in Room M125 on the Port Angeles campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Boulevard.

Classes will focus on freshwater and estuary fishing for salmon, trout and steelhead.
Students will learn the rich history of fishing in the area and methods to catch fish with their own gear.

For more information on the class, contact Neal at 360-477-3973 or visit his blog at patnealwildlife.blogspot.com.

■ Lake warmup — The state lowland lakes opener is four weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get reacquainted with a few year-round lakes.

Leland and Teal lakes in Jefferson County received a few hundred cutthroat trout plants at the beginning of March.

The one-pound fish could be ripe for the plucking now that the weather is beginning to warm up.

Those in the Clallam County region could always run by Beaver Lake. It may not look like much, but I’ve been told it fishes pretty well.

■ There can only be one — For the second year in a row, my bracket was busted by the second week of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Even worse, I was forced to suffer the indignity of losing to my girlfriend in this year’s office pool.

Talk about emasculating.

Since I still consider myself something of a basketball aficionado, however, I can’t resist picking who will survive this weekend’s Final Four in Houston.

The Vegas odds makers have pegged Kentucky the favorite at 10 to 11, but I’m more apt to believe Connecticut (3 to 2) will continue its stretch of tournament dominance.

UConn already beat the Wildcats once this season in the Maui Invitational, and Kemba Walker is the best player left in the tourney.

That being said, I’d love to see Butler pull it out.

At this point, who cares if I’m wrong . . . again?

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