The weather was some of the best I can remember on an early January weekend, so it was time to dust off the boat, get the old outboard running and enjoy the water for the first time since September. Fishing was a secondary priority, but the 5000 newly stocked trout in Goodwin caught our eye, so my friend and I drove down from Bellingham to give a new lake a shot.
We were on the water around 11am, and started off from the boat launch trolling a counterclockwise circle around the south half of the lake in 20-30' of water with dodgers followed by wedding rings and trolling flies. We didn't get a single bite and the fishfinder was just about as empty as could be. From what we could tell, the 4 or 5 other trolling boats hadn't put fish in the boat either.
Then we started looking for fish in shallower water and found a large school south of the launch. Just about the time we were wondering whether the fish finder was right or not we saw a small rainbow jump fully out of the water and the game was on. We casted spoons and power bait eggs into the shallow water near the docks we found them at and ended up getting nibbles on the powerbait eggs immediately. It took us a couple of hours of using the powerbait eggs to get our 10th fish in the boat, but we were very excited to limit on trout in a 42 degree lake. The fish all looked like new stockers, on the small end, but good colors. We didn't see any other fish caught Sunday.
The fish we found were shallow and extremely sluggish. Normally in the summer you see trout swallowing the power bait eggs well into their belly, but these fish were almost all lip hooked because they were barely pecking at the bait. Setting the hook only seemed to pull it out of their mouth, so patience was key. We probably only landed 1 fish per 3-4 bites. Our most effective location was in less than 10' of water and right in between two docks, the neighbors probably thought we were bass fishing.