Sammamish Lake (King County) Fishing Report

I arrived at the boat launch at about 9:30am. I was way behind about a dozen other boats, with their trailers all lined up. Headed for the weather buoy and started fishing one of my go-to cutthroat setups with Ace dodger and homemade wedding ring (gold and silver) tipped with night crawler on lead core line, 4 colors. I marked fish at 50-60’. This was too deep for lead core. Changed to my downrigger and other rod with DD dodger and gods tooth (Reli Lure rigging for kokanee in 50/50 gold/silver). I marked a lot of fish and chased them up and down to say hello. No interest. I tried faster, slower 1.2-2.0 MPH, with median near 1.7 mph. No interest. Changed to green wedding ring, then red wedding ring. There were so many fish marking that I decided to try a worm off the bottom. No takers. Went back to a custom red wedding ring with additional smile blade, tipped with crawler. Bouncing rod, with minimal fight, secured a crappie. A few minutes later, secured what I believe is a whitefish. Cooked them up and shared with Dad and GF. Since when have there been crappie and whitefish in Sammamish? See pic.

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Jake Dogfish
12/4/2018 6:50 AM

Northern Pikeminnow. Curious how it tasted?
Thanks for the report!

12/4/2018 8:09 AM

I was out in my kayak yesterday trolling for Cutts near the launch, only got one after a couple hours so my buddy and I decided to have a go jigging for perch up the eastern shoreline. Got quite a few then I also got a nice 12.5" Crappie, followed by a couple more perch and then a nice 2 lb Smallmouth. The perch, crappie and SMB were all at the bottom in 50-55 feet of water.

12/4/2018 8:49 AM

Yea the bottom fish is a pikeminnow. I've heard from a few folks that the past week Sammamish has been fishing tough. Great report!

12/4/2018 9:48 AM

Thanks for giving the God's Tooth some work! I too have understood the fishing has been tough recently. Thought I would share a few options. The perch, 50/50 blue, pink, orange and silver shiner also work very well at Sammamish. You can also fish using the spoons without a dodger and do very well. Lastly, you can use the normal God's Tooth rigging (choosing fast or slow setting) with a 14" leader and attach to a dodger. Sometimes, I have to use these different approaches when the fish are finicky. Thanks for the great report!

12/4/2018 10:58 AM

How long were your leaders? Cutties really seem to like shorter leaders, 12" range.

12/4/2018 12:36 PM
Hey rmauuscher, I learned last summer to shorten my leaders on Sammamish. I was using 8-12”. Maybe they were too short.
12/4/2018 12:50 PM

Yes without doubt it was a northern pike minnow. Thanks guys.
Jake: The pikeminnow was very tasty. I thought it was kinda sweet and moist, but it had branches of small bones throughout that made it treacherous to eat. My dad told me to take the leftovers away. It was just too labor intensive to separate the meat. Someone said you could boil the pike and those bones would soften up to nothing...The Crappie was soft and smooth as butter without the small bones. I would do it all again to enjoy the calm serene water and chase down some nice fish for dinner.

12/4/2018 4:01 PM

Hi, not a white fish. It's a creek chub and considered a trash fish, but fun to catch none the less.

12/4/2018 9:18 PM
Thanks robert53a for your input. To my eye, that fish matches exactly to the norhern pike minnow, but I will admit that the creek chub does have a similar look. Except for the treaturous branch-like bones it was a tasty fish. One I would not throw in the trash. I am just wondering where these fish are coming from. Growing Up in the area we caught perch, bass and Kokanee. Never saw a cutthroat or crappie or northern pike minnow or creek chub.
12/5/2018 7:30 AM
It's a pikeminnow, see this link for definitive identification -
12/7/2018 5:47 PM
isn't pikeminnow too poisonous to eat? I remember seeing reports of pikeminnow containing too much toxin.
12/7/2018 7:54 PM

Hey kennthhz, We survived eating the pike minnow, but that might explain the falling out of my hair and the excessive digestive issues.
Just kidding. Maybe you are referring to the northern pike in Lake Superior...?

12/8/2018 3:20 PM
This is from the Department of Health in Washington State.

"Women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children:
Don't eat Northern Pikeminnow."

There isn't a specific recommendation on Pikeminnow for Sammamish. However they do not recommend eating any out of Lake Washington due to PCB's.
12/16/2018 3:44 PM
congrats on the great day Larry! here is some background on why pikeminnow is not supposed to be eaten.

pike minnow, like perch, eat literally everything. I mean like everything. I've caught them on bare hooks, they've bit my split shot, a bunch of different things. the reason they say not to eat them is because they divulge on things that contain toxic stuff like mercury and such. the fish wont kill you, but eating a ton may be tough from places like Lake Washington where more toxins are present.
tight lines!
12/7/2018 7:55 PM

Hey kennthhz, We survived eating the pike minnow, but that might explain the falling out of my hair and the excessive digestive issues.
Just kidding. Maybe you are referring to the northern pike in Lake Superior...?