Late to the party… Not sure where all my time goes but a late report is better than no report. After our local fireworks show and a nail biter Mariners game we had a late night. Saturday morning at 2:00 Johnny Cash was telling us it was time to get up for our long drive south to Renton. The drive went smoothly and we were floating by 4:30. In anticipation of a big day on the lake we left the marina sleepy-eyed but we had a plan. At our first stop the area was loaded with sockeye so we moved on. My original plan was to fish the Kirkland waterfront but I had solid intel that there were fish and bait off the southeast end of Mercer Island so we headed off in that direction. Thinking that we would work the area for a few passes and then move on to our original plan and fish Kirkland.
Gear down we started our troll north in 80-100 feet of water. Right off the bat we had a double and there went my plan. We ended up working the area for the rest of the morning. We had pretty solid action but we’re not putting fish in the boat and for the most part what we did catch we decided to release. We caught chinook jacks and smolts, sockeye, kokanee, smaller cutthroat, rainbows, pike minnow and perch. We were able to get one nice cutt but I kind of wish that we had struck out, moved on and stuck with our original plan.
After a few gear changes we settled in with Brads Kokanee Cut plugs. We ran many different colors but gold had an edge over the others. All our Brad’s offerings were stuffed with brined herring and were running 22” behind a Arrow Flash hammered 50/50 dodger. We also caught fish on a Slow Death worm harness running behind a custom spinner set-up, an olive trolling fly and an assortment of other “will this work?” lures. While most of our action was between 22’ and 37’ we did have some success targeting bottom hugging meter marks. Our trolling speed ran between 1.2 and 2.3 mph but the slower speeds seemed to encourage kokanee, rainbows and sockeye. In the end we kept two fish, a nice cutt and a 13” rainbow.
We are kind of new to the Lake Washington Trout Derby but feel like regulars. As with most of local derbies the Lake Washington Trout Derby is very family oriented and a great place to catch up with your fishing buddies. I think that I look forward to the fellowship as much as the fishing!