Drove down from Marysville to Tapps early to beat the worst of the traffic. Having checked the Lake Tapps website I noted that the park opened at 6:00AM. We arrived at the park at about 6:30--gate was open, but nobody in the gate house to pay fees, and no pay kiosk present. Drove down to the boat launch and sat around for a few minutes getting the boat ready. We launched the boat and at 7:00AM I drove back to the gate to see about getting my launch permit. Nobody home...
Back to the trailer parking area and left a note and the $5 for the "Old Fart" launch fee tucked in the door and off we went. We hit spots we spotted Tigers the last time we were there, but no luck. We branched out and tried several other areas recommended by a creel census researcher but couldn't make it work.
We diverted to Smallmouth fishing from time to time and managed to have about a "3" day with the Smallies, with a couple over 2# and lots of smaller fish. Almost all SMB caught on dropshot. I did have one heavy fish on a small leadhead jig with a hula grub while fishing for Smallmouth that may have been a Muskie. Good grab, hookset and heavy fish pulling hard and the 8# Fluoro parted right at the jighead. Guess I'll never know!
We stayed on the water until 6:00Pm and most of the traffic was thinned out by the time we headed home. Oh, and my $5 was still in my door when we took off!