Sammamish Lake (King County) Fishing Report

well folks, Lake Sammamish continues to be red hot for these abundant and extremely healthy costal cutthroat trout. by now, the spawning fish are starting to think about going up the tributaries to spawn in February, march, and early will start to see some darker, prespawn looking fish.

the plan for the day was blackmouth fishing, but with a small craft advisory and winds pushing 50mph, that idea was crapped...what to do.... well I've heard Sammamish has been hot.... lets do that!
on the water at 8:00 with Rmrauscher...freezing cold... thank goodness for cabins and propane heaters... fished south end for 2.5 hours with no success... so went up to the North end. 30 seconds, bam fish! then found fish staked up in the same spot, trolled thru the area until limits were reached... released small ones besides one who was leading badly from the gills. delicious dinner!

holy cow fishing was HAAAARRRRD work today. Rmrauscher and i arrived at the launch at 7:30 and had the lines in the water about 8:00. we were on the way up to my honey-holes when Rmrauscher said he always fishes a certain troll right close to the east end and weather buoy. So, we stop there. i start running a flat line with a 3-bladed attractor to a pink wedding ring. Rmrauscher starts with a sling blade and a wedding ring at 20' on the downrigger. we trolled.... and trolled.....and trolled.... i caught a 7' juvenile cutt (close to a PR on small trout out of Sammamish).... trolled some more.... NOTHING. we must have switched gear about 10 times between the two of us, changed depths 50 times at least as well, with no success.

after that dismal start to the day, we ran up to my spot... Rmrauscher had his line in for 30 seconds, fish on! beautiful 16" Cutthroat. after that, we finished my troll with no more success, so we trolled across the lake to the east shore, hooked another one on Rmrauscher's and then a double up! yee haw! rmraunchser certainly had a better fish with 17' beauty, mine was barley 14, but he chomped the bait and was bleeding pretty badly, so we did the sporting thing and kept that fish. all of the fish we caught came from 20-25' on the Downrigger (i switched gear)

we trolled back through that spot again, picked up another right on the mark. those fish seemed to be stacked up in this one little area. so, we picked up again, ran to the start of the troll, and did it again. picked up another fish, and continued to do this until we limited on all nice healthy trout 15.5-17"

SO, what have we learned from this adventure Wafisherman20? what can we do next time to make our trip a little smoother and find those fish faster than nearly 3 hours before a keeper on a lake that is teaming with fish? Every trip is a learning experience for me, so i try to figure out the key to better trips in the future. so, lets look at the differences.

due to the cold weather, the water temp dropped to the low 40's from the high 40's. this i believe is one of the factors that drove the fish down. freezing temps also affects the midges, lots less were flying around. one takeaway, trust the sonar! if it is marking deeper fish, there is no need to waste your time fishing 5' down. THEY ARENT THERE!

these fish were also extremely picky. the blade attractors weren't producing like a dodger was. so, takeaway 2: if something isn't working, change. don't waste time with "what worked last trip" if it isn't working now. fish move, move with the fish. although the fish were willing to bite on pink and red, they couldn't resist green this day. slow death hooks were also a big part to finding fish.

last main takeaway. as soon as we found fish that were biting we honed in on that area until we limited. takeaway 3, don't leave fish. if you find a school of biting fish, keep it there. no need to leave and hunt around... remember that spot and go thru there again and again.

winning combos: watermelon dodger and green wedding ring with nightcrawler
chrome dodger with green slow death hook and nightcrawler.

all in all, another great day of fishing on lake sammamish for some beautiful cutties. what a great fishery so close to downtown Seattle.

in other news, I was honored to shoot a video for the WDFW focusing on Cutthroat trout as a species and highlighting Lake Sammamish as a place to fish for them. we have been working on the video for about 2 years now, but after a great day of fishing and filming, the video has just been released by the WDFW on youtube. it has some good information on the fishery and cutthroat trout in it... i personally think its fantastic and i am so thankful to be a part of it. (link below)

until next time, tight lines to all and good fishing.

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Mike Carey
1/5/2017 6:32 AM
Are you kidding me? WDFW beat me to it! Our video should be published this weekend. It's a tad longer than the DFW one... :-) Great season for you Paul!
1/5/2017 9:20 AM
I'm excited for the video mike! it truly has been a great season for me and thank you for allowing me to share my stories on this amazing website. Hope we get to wet a line sometime soon together!
1/5/2017 9:20 AM
I'm excited for the video mike! it truly has been a great season for me and thank you for allowing me to share my stories on this amazing website. Hope we get to wet a line sometime soon together!
1/5/2017 2:17 PM
Paul, nice job on the video! You're a natural!
1/5/2017 10:11 PM
Nice video! Great job again!