Salmon season opens tomorrow on Lake Sammamish

August 15, 2012

By Dallas Cross

The Fish Journal


The annual salmon fishing season will open in Lake Sammamish beginning Aug. 16.

There will be a daily limit of four salmon, of which an angler may retain up to two chinook or king salmon and complete the catch limit with other salmon species.

Silver or coho salmon may be part of the catch. Sockeye salmon must be released so barbless hoods are required.

Of course, the smaller kokanee salmon are still illegal to have in one’s possession and must be released.

All fishing is closed within 100 yards of the mouth of Issaquah Creek. You will find that area well-surrounded by a parade of trolling boats.

To park at the Lake Sammamish State park boat launch you must have purchased a Washington State Discover Pass. If you launch your boat there, you will pay an additional $7 launching fee using the pay box at the ramp.

Because the feeding portion of these salmon’s lives is over, you either have to appeal to their instinct to bite what once was food, or trade on their aggressive nature.

The former is touted by those who use bare, red, size 4/0 hooks trolled behind a Dodger flasher.

Herring or smelt fished behind a flasher are also used to catch these salmon. Rigging should be the same as one would use in salt water.

For both types of lures, savvy fishers use commercial scent attractants. There are some krill scents that work well here, especially on bare hooks.

You also see folks jugging from a drifting boat with a variety of lures, such as Point Wilson Darts or BuzzBombs.

The best fishing is all day but the catching is mostly early in the morning, when the fish school up at shallower depths. Start out fishing at shallow depths and vary down until you connect.

A fish finder can help, but varying the depth until you get a strike is the tried-and-true way to work the lake.

Slow to medium trolling speed is standard. Usually you will join a line of trolling boats and to prevent fouling yours or their lines you should match that speed.

The kings have been in the lake for some time now, but you will connect with bright silver, fresh sea-run salmon from time to time. The dark ones should be considered for return or may be satisfactory for smoking.


Reach Dallas Cross at or

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