Since the steelhead closure is two more days away on most sound rivers I wanted to give it another go with the centerpin rod and reel. Trying to go fishing with two kids in diapers is no easy feat as I had to prep the boys and drop them off at daycare while I assembled my gear and made my way towards the hills. Even a bad day of fishing can be ok as its about the journey and the joy of getting out for some fresh air and scenery.
The temps were warm in the low 50’s as I made my way towards highway 2 and the drive was non eventful. I rigged up the pin rod with float and proceeded towards the river which was slightly up and had a little color which is a good thing. I was hopeful that the rains had pushed some fish into the runs and holes. After pounding a couple of well known spots I concluded that there were no fresh winter runs and after talking to a couple of locals even Reiter had been slow. I did feel more comfortable with casting and managing the reel buy also found myself tangled up a few times and trying to manage the line.
I didnt get skunked as two smaller male
Coho gobbled up the cured steelhead fire cure roe. It’s always exciting to connect when the bobber goes down and there is a tug and pulse at the end of the rod. Too bad it wasn’t what I was looking for but not a bad way to end the season.
I’ll be focusing on Stillwater for eastern WA basin trout next month so will be re-gearing up in preparation for chironomids and strike indicators.
After last weeks outing with Rob D. on lake WA I needed to figure out my failing kicker motor stat! When things aren’t working as they should be when it comes to my fishing gear especially my boat I am right on it. It took me a couple days to figure out the kicker motor issues but in the end it works and hopefully it won’t be of issue anymore.
The problem was a nasty clog in the water pipe uptake line just below the power head where it should enter the engine block. There must’ve been some residue from the salt water season. Nothing like a good catheterization to clean out the lines follow by a heavy steam of air water mix to unclog and unroot the deposits which prevented water from entering into the block to keep it running cool.
I had rebuilt the water pump last season but initially thought it was the upper water pump housing that went bad as the interface between the driveshaft was eroding due to the heat from last seasons episode of running it dry for 10 minutes causing the impeller to explode. After a new housing replacement it was still not peeing correctly?!?!
A thorough check for leaks or blockages throughout the engine block revealed a little residue blockage at the pee hole which was removed but still didn’t resolve the issue of lack of flow. I removed the thermostat, cleaned and tested it for normal operation. It all checked out fine, so the last area which I couldn’t see was the uptake pipe and interface below the power head. Since I couldnt get into the space I used some surgical tubing and a double action air pump that is typically used to inflate pontoon boats or float tubes. Filling the hose with water and steady but consistent pressure finally knocked free the clog and soon vaporized air/water steamed from the exit port tubing. What a relief as I saved a few hundred bucks from having to send it to the marine mechanic.
Now the fishing report which I’ve pre-drafted since I wasnt able to sleep very well the night prior as I was making a mental checklist for this mornings outing. I had lined up two spinning reels with new 10 lb Power Pro spectra and also filled up an old Penn level wind reel with 15 lb Maxima. I found a couple of good spinning rods which will work for cutt trolling along with a Shimano TDR 8′ medium duty rod that is perfect for the antique Penn reel.
I wanted to get the Sea Runner out since it’d been a couple months since I ran her out. Since the fuel gauge isn’t 100% accurate, I like to run the motors without fuel in the carbs as its less likely to gum up and foul with deposits.
I invited Rob D. to join me as he is a Veteran of Lake WA and we might as well run the downriggers and try our luck at trolling. Upon startup, both motors fired right up after a few pumps of the priming bulbs. Things were looking positive, but shortly after I noticed that the kicker wasn’t peeing as I’d noticed from the previous outing that it was a weaker stream of water coming out the exit port hole.
The kicker trimmed up and we fired up the main motor as we proceeded I make our troll along he north side of the 90 bridge. Problem was that the lowest speed we were able to troll down to was 2.0 mph. Ideally cutts like it between 1.2-1.5 mph. About mid span the rods are dancing and we even had a double at one point. We brought up the gear and proceeded to towards the Cedar River to give another try. That effort would prove to be fruitless, so ended back up towards Luther burbank and back towards the 90 without any luck. We even trolled the south side without a taker.
Effective lures and combos were: yellow flasher with white mini hootchie, and cured herring with a 0 dodger. We also tried a pink hootchie and wedding ring/sling blade without much success.
After I got home, I disassembled the lower unit from the kicker and inspected the impeller. I believe that last season when I ran the kicker dry the upper plastic housing melted a little from the heat and caused a bit of gap and leak over the summer of use. To my amazement the impeller was fine but three of the veins were flipped over and this causing a counter affect when the shaft was spinning. Ultimately, I’ll have to locate a new upper housing where the cup sits as I believe there is too much play as the water doesn’t make it’s way the top end. There’s always something when it comes to boat ownership but it sure was nice to get out and brought a cutt and some resident coho to the boat.
Lake Washington Coho are to be released while you can retain cutthroat.