The weather forecast said "foggy/cloudy AM with light and variable winds clearing to partly cloudy in the afternoon"... ya, right!
I met up with fishing buddies Robbie and Randy R from NWFR at Newport marina as we set out for a day of winter perch fishing. Given the forecast, I was lucky I threw on my GH Unders base layer at the last minute because Mr. Weatherman was a little off in the forecast. It never got past cloudy and the light variable wind was just a tad more than that, making for some cold fishing buddies. My hats off to Robbie and Randy for sticking with it as we fished from 9am to 2pm.
Robbie and I having gone out two weeks ago exploring, I knew where I wanted to start this time around and in no time at all we were set up and drifting along at .4 to .7 mph with drift socks out. 2 oz droppers were about perfect to fish from 70 to 100 feet deep. We each had a couple hooks and used either worms or perch meat. The perch meat I think was the more productive of the two baits.
Fishing was not red hot but it was steady as we focused on finding the bigger fish, which turned out to be in the 9-11" range. After cleaning the fish I noted a good number of females with full skeins of eggs. We also had one perch that threw up a couple bait fish. Perch are noted as being smolt eating machines so don't be afraid to thin the population. With 22,000 acres and about 20% of the biomass being perch that means there are likely to be hundreds of thousands if not millions of perch in lake Washington. Just be sure to pay attention to the consumption advisory. One meal per week for adults and no pregnant women eating these perch. It's a shame but that is the state of the fishery on Lake Washington.
We ended the day with a bucket full of perch to clean. I took mine home and made short order of the job with an electric filet knife - a must have if you need to filet a pile of perch!
Be sure to keep your gear on the bottom and don't jig aggressively. The perch are sitting bellies in the muck so dragging along worked quite nicely.