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Website: Okanogan Valley GS

Phone: (509) 429-1714

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Samish Lake Report
Whatcom County, WA


51° - 55°
Trolling W/Downriggers
Mostly Sunny
46° - 50°

Jeepers, twice in one week! Maybe this retirement stuff isn’t so bad after all. The weather and my schedule finally synced and I got out again. With the boat all ready and gear stowed I was pretty excited when I went to bed Wednesday night. I love kokanee fishing and knowing that the boat and I were going to chase them in the morning made for little sleep.

Being the first rig in the water I was floating on a foggy Lake Samish by about 6:00. Even though I planned to start fishing just outside the speed limit buoy I let both motors warm up while I got the gear ready before I pulled off the beach. Usually there are kokanee on the meter right out in front of the boat launch so I went gear down just past the buoy. Gear down but I was not seeing the usual cloud of Kokanee on the meter and noted that the surface temperature was 47.3 degrees. I little cold but they still should have been showing on the meter.

Fish or no fish I love kokanee fishing and I was doing my thing. Regarding gear, although I ran a variety of my usual kokanee offerings my plan for the day was to experiment with some new kokanee lures, a few new kokanee flies that I had been working on and a number of existing lures that I had reconfigured. I was running everything behind a variety of Arrow Flash dodgers, Skagit Tackle dodgers and swing blades. No science behind my trolling speed, my kicker idles in gear at 1.2-1.4 mph so that was my trolling speed. All my offerings were tipped with tuna corn, Play-doh maggots or a combination of. I had planned to try worms also but my new carton froze in the beer fridge overnight and turned to mush. Although I went through many combinations of attractors, lures and bait the fish were picky and only one combination seemed to work. I did not have my Fish Hawk thermometer on board so I can’t say what the at-depth temperature was, but all my hits were between 26’ and 34’

Although I really liked the action of some of the gear I was running apparently the kokanee and my strike trigger was different. My most consistent producer was a small (Junior) Poulsen Cascade Tackle hammered 50/50 dodger, 6” leader, a very small hammered silver Colorado blade with 4 small orange beads. Go figure but what works, works.

As far as catching goes; I had fairly consistent action all morning. Many drive-buys, a few lost fish and a few smaller kokanee that I released. The bite was very subtle so I really had to watch the rod tips. Most of the action was on the set-up previously mentioned. That may have been because I ran it all morning while I experimented with various gear on the other side of the boat. I did not fish the little lake. Being solo I didn’t want to fold my radar arch down to get under the bridge, the process can be a bit challenging.

I had attempted to shoot a number of video clips of the different gear in the water but my phone had a different idea. Apparently, I exceeded the on-board memory and it locked up. A tech guy I will never be… There were 4 or 5 other boats on the water and I’m not really sure how they did. I did talk to a couple guys in a nice Lund (I’m jealous, I miss my Lund. I should have kept it…) but they had just started fishing. I had a very nice morning on the water chasing my favorite fish. I love kokanee fishing but it was so nice out there that I would have been content just puttering around the lake.

As a quick note to self; don’t forget the coffee. Apparently, the combination of my lack of sleep the night before and warm sunny day got the best of me. As I was trolling, about midway down the west side of the lake the boat made a funny wiggle. I look up and the deep rigger cable was solid on the bottom. I must have dosed off for a second and it cost me one of my favorite dodgers. I did get the ball back. Lesson learned with no harm done but that said; all it takes is one moment if inattention…


4/20/2018 9:51:25 AM
I was out there, 19’ Lund Tyee with a chocolate lab... Were you in the hard top red aluminum boat?
I had zero success with the kokes... took home 20 perch tho!
I spoke to 3 other boats, no one was having much luck. What a day tho huh!?!
See ya out there!
4/20/2018 10:31:05 AM
Hey KvWilson,

I was in the green Duckworth getting started when you were pulling out. We didn't have much luck with the Kokanee either... Tried a variety of colors all tipped with tuna corn...

Headed back out Saturday morning to see if we can turn our luck...

Tight lines!
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Okanogan Valley GS

Phone: (509) 429-1714