Annual Gig Harbor PSA Cutthroat Trout Outing

Annual Gig Harbor PSA Cutthroat Trout Outing


Location: Lake Washington, Renton WA. 


Date: Saturday 18th January


Time: 7:00AM-1PM.  


Rules: Must follow all WDFW rules. Largest cutthroat by weight wins. Only active Gig Harbor PSA club members in good standing may fish this event. Limit is 5 Cutthroat per angler.   


Weigh in: Fish can be weighed at Gene Coulon Park at 12:30 PM-1PM. We will take your fish weigh it and return it to you.

We will not tell you the weight of your fish at the dock.  The weight will be recorded and the winner will be announced at the Gig Harbor PSA meeting in February. Only cutthroat will be weighed in no rainbow trout, kokanee, steelhead, salmon or bass. All decisions by the derby committee are binding and final.

Lunch at Ivars for those wanting to attend at 1 PM. It’s located at the boat ramp. There is lots of moorage available next to Ivars.


Prize: Winner will receive a cash prize


Entry fee: $10.00 per angler entry fee paid at the boat ramp to outing director


Radio: VHF CH 68


Weather: Bad weather (High Winds) I will send out a cancellation e-mail on Friday afternoon 17th January. Watch your e-mail for updates.  



Boat Ramp: Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park


Directions: From the South Take I-405 northbound to Exit 5 and head west on NE Park Drive. Proceed to the bottom of the hill and turn right on Lake Washington Blvd, proceeding north. The park entrance is approximately 1/4 mile on the left. Users of the boat launch will see an automated pay box system for parking and launch fees. Launch fee is $10.00. The ramp has 8 lanes.


Recommended Tackle:

Let’s talk about the basics for the Lake Washington trout fishery. This is a troll fishery that requires nothing more than a downrigger and a good light action trout rod. My rod of choice is Kokanee rod with a reel spooled with 10lb Line.

Herring is my bait of choice for these winter trout. Sockeye smolts are present in the lake from winter to spring and these trout gorge themselves on them. I like to run orange label herring in a basic salt brine. To make the brine, I use kosher salt and distilled water and then add the frozen herring to the brine eight hours prior to fishing. I put two buckets in the bait cooler, both with the salt water brine. In one bucket I will sometimes throw in some green bait dye to color up the herring. On a tough day of fishing the addition of color to your bait can often put more fish in the net.

The set up for these trout could not be more simple. Run the herring on a solid mooching rig with hooks to match the bait size 1/0.  From your main line tie on a ball bearing swivel then tie on your leader. Add the herring and your off and trolling. Shasta Tackle Wiggle Hoochie’s behind a Swing Blades also work quite well.

These trout seem to be real boat shy so let your gear out 100′ and then attach it to your downrigger clip. As far as the downrigger clips go be sure to switch over to the small trout size clips because the trout can’t pull the line from the big salmon size clips.

With the lake temperature dropping the fish will begin to slow and not want to use much energy to find a meal, so you need to put the bait right in the path of the fish. Watch your electronics close and keep working your gear to stay in the money zone. I like to start out fishing at about 1.4 to 1.9 mph and adjust accordingly. If you’re marking fish and not getting bit, switch something up. Speed up or slow down, switch out your bait or add some new scent. You need to keep working to keep catching.




Lake Map:

Lake Washington


Best fishing red stars, ramp green triangle



Contact Chris Tremblay


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