Samish Lake (Whatcom County) Fishing Report

Wanted to give Samish a 2nd try after last weekend and just missing by a day the new statewide kokanee limits. To put it mildly, I've never had as much action kokanee fishing as I did this morning. I landed my 10, and after counting on the GoPro video, I had another 14 fish not make it to net. Lots of short biters I think. Most times both pieces of corn were still on after the fish got off, and I was able to just drop the line back down without changing the corn (it still got bit). Took a little less than 2 hours to do all of this. Incredible morning. I don't think but maybe once or twice did I go longer than 2 minutes without having a fish on. I had 2 doubles and landed them both. 3-4 other boats out there with me this morning. One guy got off the water same time as me, but unfortunately wasn't as fortunate as I was this morning. Gave him a few ideas that will hopefully help out the next time.

I started fishing about 6:30 after inspection, launching, and getting everything geared and baited. I was fishing 1 line at 43 feet on the downrigger. It had an Elgin Fishing God's Tooth spoon in 50/50 blue, kokanee rig with 12 inches of leader to a prototype Elgin Fishing Dodger. The other line was at 53 feet on the downrigger. It had a 50/50 brass God's Tooth, also kokanee rig, 12 inches of leader to a Mack's Double D dodger. Speed was tough this morning and it was really windy, but between 1 - 1.2mph seemed best. I ended the morning running 30 foot setbacks as opposed to the 50 foot I started with. That seemed to help a bit with the % of fish I was losing on the way in.

Slight breeze to start the morning that slowly increased it seemed minute by minute, until when I finished where it was an easy 15mph steady wind with higher gusts. Soon as I got off the water though it seemed like it had started to calm down. The Hobie really hung in the for me this morning though.

Video shows the action from this morning, minus the ridiculous number of fish that popped off my line.

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7/8/2018 9:39 AM

Great report and video! Really enjoyed watching you land the two doubles, congrats! :)

7/8/2018 12:18 PM
Pretty sure Ive never had that much action kokanee fishing before! Fun times for sure even with the wind. We need to hook up there sometime :)
7/8/2018 1:49 PM

I can’t find anything on the wdfw website about the kokanee limit being changad to 10. Maybe you could clue me in on that.

7/8/2018 2:17 PM
Hi Bob, It's in the new WDFW 2018 rules pamphlet effective July 1st 2018 - June 30th 2019, page 15, the page is labeled Statewide Freshwater Species Rules. Kokanee in the past have been part of your trout limit unless specified under the special rules section for specific lakes, like Chelan or Stevens. This year Kokanee limits are separate from trout limits statewide, and the statewide limit is 10, again unless listed differently under the special rules section for the specific lake, such as American the limit is still 5 and it's combined with your trout limit.

link is here:
7/8/2018 2:48 PM

Thank a lot Josh. I will get my pamphlet out and look it up. Probably going to lake cavanaugh next week. Have done really well there in the past except for last year. Hope the kokanee will cooperate.

7/8/2018 2:58 PM
Good luck, some nice kokanee there!
7/8/2018 2:59 PM

Great report JoshH, my daughter and I just got home from fishing Samish this morning. We ended up keeping 6 and a bonus 15" cutthroat.
We had a similar problem with getting bitten but not hooking up, probably had 20 or so drive by's. We were running God's Tooth spoons also with pink and 50/50 blue silver being equally effective.

7/8/2018 5:10 PM
I know a few friends of mine were out there today as well and experienced the same thing with tons of bite/hook-ups that came off.
The Quadfather
7/8/2018 11:44 PM

Are your Scotty’s mounted to your H-rail, or..? Couldn’t quite tell.’
Can I also ask you if they are Scotty 1080’s and whether you cut down the DR arm? It looks like you did not.

Nice video! Thanks for the report.

7/9/2018 9:21 AM
They are Scotty 1050's. I mount they on to Hobie universal H Rail mounts. I take a piece of 1/2 inch thick fiberglass, cut it to the size of the Scottyy 1010 mounting plates the rigger comes with. Drill holes in the fiberglass to match the holes in the 1010 mount. I then place the fiberglass on the Hobie Universal h rail mount, dill holes again thru the fiberglass and into the mount (I did 2 holes) and mount the fiberglass to the H Rail mount. Then attach the Scotty 1010 to the whole thing. Next I use a piece of runner tape and place it on the hrail where I want to mount the downrigger. I then place the hobie H rail mount over top of the tape, and tighten it down hard with pliers. I angle the H rail mount upwards, I dont want the boom arm of the downrigger sticking straight out horizontal. 2 reasons I do this, 1 is it brings everything in closer and I don't need to shorten the boom arm, 2 is it places less stress/torque on everything. Its the same a taking a 4lb weight and holding it straight out with your arm, you can't for very long, but it you hold it out at a more upward angle, it a lot easier to keep it up. If you check out my YouTube channel I have a video explaining the set up as well.
7/9/2018 9:22 AM
Rubber tape not runner tape :)