Wow, if the rest of 2019 is anything like New Years Day..it's gonna be a great year!
Easily my best day of cutthroat fishing on Lake Sammamish. Out solo by 10:45 after waiting a few minutes for the cold engine to quit complaining and actually turn over. Found some gulls working the west side of the southern basin. Water temp 46. Calm wind. Barometer very high and falling very slowly. I put the sun at my back, and dropped the rigger down to 25ft with a white-to-hotlime Needlefish tipped with an inch of crawler, trolled about a foot behind a green/silver Slingblade at 1.5ish mph. 3 minutes later the rod was dancing with the first fish of the year. 15" cut. Took a few more passes through that area, but it was 1 and done for that first hour.
Headed north toward the Vasa Park corner where I spotted a few hundred gulls and 1 other boat working the area. Switched to a homemade wedding ring style bait with oversized pink beads a silver hammered willow leaf spinner, and for the next couple hours was kept busy with fast-biting cutthroats from 13-17 inches. Retired the crawlers so I could (this might sound crazy to some of you) cull through the big ones so I was only taking medium fish home for the smoker. Put back at least 3 seventeen inchers, including the fancy-colored beauty shown in the pics. No eggs in any of the fish in my limit. 5 males. I guess the pretty ones are the females. Catch-Photo-Release will be my new winter policy for blush-faced cutts, especially since the last female I harvested had off-colored flesh and even the smoker couldn't hide her funky flavor.
Birds were everywhere today, and the midges were on the boat, on my jacket, on my glasses...the hatch was on.
The parking lot was pretty full when I got there. I grabbed the last stall in the fist row. But I don't feel like I saw that many boats on the south half of the lake. If you guys were fishing the north end, how did it go? Kinda sad that I only saw cutthroats today, after spending so much time yesterday studying how to I.D. coho vs. kokanee.