We all dream of catching the biggest fish of any species. Wether it is a 40″ Musky, a 200lb Tarpon, or a 20″ Sea Run Cutthroat. We all want the story of the big one. Here’s the thing though, in the pursuit of all of these beastly creatures, we have to commit to the cause.
I have been fortunate to guide hundreds and hundreds of people onto a great deal of Sea Run Cutthroat, we have caught quite a few in that 20-22″ range, and a couple that have even been closer to 24″. However a great deal of those fish were caught because I had those special guys who just said “I want the big one today!” or “I want to go where you want to fish today!” Almost the entirety of those clients were fishing with me for the second or third time and were tired of hearing me tell stories about the epic ones and wanted to see it for themselves.
When pursuing the biggest fish in Puget Sound we need all the pieces of the puzzle to come together. All big fish need a steady flow of food, so Oyster beds, Eel Grass beds, or Kelp forest, to hold bait need to be coupled with good tidal flow near by.
The next thing needed to grow big fish is shelter from predation. This can be in the form of big boulders to hide in, a steep drop off to spook off, or some other form of structure that the fish can use to escape or hide from seals, eagles, or other predators. A big Sea Run Cutthroat is a lot of protein for Lucy the harbor seal to crunch down on.
The last consideration we think of when targeting the biggest Sea Run Cutthroat is kind of two fold. We need the conditions to be right. We need an area that has a steady turn over of tidal water to keep the temperature nice and cold, this allows cutthroat to continue hunting vigorously year round, and keeps them nice and happy to chase a fly down and eat it. Also we need a condition in which the fish are not constantly pressured by anglers. I want to know that the fish we are fishing for are not being harassed and put down by Captain Zander and his clients. Thats why we don’t mind sending each other business, but we don’t share our GPS coordinates. Cold, clean, and undisturbed water is paramount to growing fat, happy sea trout.
These considerations have helped us put the biggest fish in the net for the last 6 years in Puget Sound. Now let’s go put this to the test!
Captain Justin Waters