EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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October 19, 2016
NOTICE of MEETING at USFS 10-27
HELP SAVE EAGLE LAKE AND ATTEND THIS MEETING
You can help by donating via PayPal link on eaglelakeguardians.org! We are going on an ONLINE fundraising campaign and need all the help we can get!! YOU’RE SUPPORT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! TOTAL INPUT FOR PINE CREEK RESTORATION TO DATE IS $23,500!!! LETS SEE IF WE CAN DO THAT AGAIN!! I also believe that CDFW's 27% off the top of any donations to the state Fish and Wildlife is too much of the public's money for administrative costs. Perhaps that's why they are in bed with other nonprofits. Had Eagle Lake Guardians donated their $23,500 to CDFW the state would have taken $6345.00 for absolutely nothing.
FREEZE BRANDING IDENTIFICATION:
This allows you to be able to identify which hatchery a branded trout came from and what year it was planted. FREEZE BRANDING IDENTIFICATION
DOWNLOAD THIS 72 PAGE FILE. Finally! Eagle Lake Guardians assisted in financing some of the studies that went into this report AND the brook trout eradication this summer through Trout Unlimited!! HELP GUARDIANS CONTINUE TO HELP RESTORE PINE CREEK BY DONATING AT www.eaglelakeguardians.org
We will keep "motivating" those who signed off on this plan to insure it actually gets accomplished
10-19-16: 53F to 55F surface temps south of Miners Pt. 50F off the south side of Pelican Pt. Fishing has been picking up and some nice limits coming in. We have actually done pretty well, although some days we have simply had to wait for the fish to come on. Mostly for trolling it has been over shallower water from 6 ft to 30ft of water but running our lines 4 to 6 ft deep. I haven’t had to go any deeper. I have found fish in tight and shallow early, but once that slows down, head out to 15 to 30ft of water & don't change your depth of your lines. Fishing over the west side ledges and outer rock piles between Christie and all the way up to Shrimp and Slough Pt has fished well. Miners Pt and a handful off Eagle’s Nest & The Springs. We are back to double digits and picking and choosing. I always let my lines out over the deeper water before I head in towards shore, today the first fish came within 30 seconds. Some mornings they are out over the depths, other days I won’t find one until I start hitting 20ft or less of water or sweeping a shallow rocky hump & gritting my teeth that I don’t skim a rock. Once you are in 25ft of water anywhere on the west side, you’re not far from a rock pile so turn back out until you can see the rock piles. Wildcat Pt to Christie is pretty nasty now, there is a long gravel bar with scattered boulders just about halfway between and scattered rock piles on either side. But the bay is deeper and the fish are pretty thick. Wildcat Pt on either side has scattered rock piles a couple hundred yards from shore too. Watch the water as well as your depth finder, even in the cloudier water, the rock piles are visible in the right light. The particulate algae is thinning down a little, we can still see some heavier areas but the lake is on the upside for fall. Clarity still an issue but mostly pretty normal for this time of year. I have had clearer water on the west side but some patchy weeds.
Christie Bay and the shoreline to Wildcat has fish. Shore fishermen from the point off the Day Use Area have had some slower days, but still getting a fish or two per day, sometimes early limits, sometimes you have to wait them out. Nice ones too. But I have had a good bite most all of the morning. Pikes Pt is inundated with shakers. Pelicans have been hammering them but it's a good place to start if the pond is inundated with fog in the morning. Get around the point towards Pikes Cove….they aren’t there yet, but will be soon.
Hot orange (trolling fly) has kicked in big time. That’s pretty normal and coincides with the shrimp spawn as well as browner, cloudy water. Arctic Fox tui chub minnow traditional trolling fly has also caught fish as has Jay Fair cinnamon leech or just about any brown leech. Grubs working too. Every day one or the other does better than the rest for that particular day, but so far, I have caught fish every day out on all three. The trout are eating minnows in some areas and baby shrimp in others (light beige colored goo with the texture of lightly peppered applesauce). It’s For leadcore, I’m running 1 color in the water & 50+ft of leader to get it away from the boat.
The trout are now on the move and scattered, but scattered on the west side where action has been pretty good. Lake of the Woods to Slough Pt has been a good run. Shore fishing provided some nice fish. The fish we have been catching have been loaded with shrimp larva, others loaded with minnows. But it depends on the area. Where the fish are foraging on the rocks, they have had a variety of different bugs and critters in them. Toe Bitters are a big hit for fly fishing the gravel bars and shallow rocks, but the cinnamon or brown leech is an opportunity that generally doesn't get passed by by a large trout. Average fish over 2 lbs, plenty around 3 to 3 1/2lbs & several over 4lbs came in in the last week.
My best areas on the west side have still been south and just north of Shrimp Island and between Christie and Wildcat Pt as well as being in the dangerous territory north of Miners Pt. Lake of the Woods is getting more fish coming in every day but scattered so just cover the territory & you will find them. Some smaller 1 ½ lbs to 3lbs but numbers appear to be increasing. We are seeing more fish north of Miners Pt and into the Youth Camp/Biology Station and south side of Pelican Pt but I don’t advise anyone who isn’t familiar with the rock piles to even attempt getting there. Those of us that know the area can still not be too careful. But that area has been fishing pretty good for the last few weeks.
DEPTHS AND BEST LURES/GRUBS/TROLLING FLIES: Our best action has come from trolling toplines around 4-6ft deep over all depths of water (for leadcore 1 color solidly in the water) I haven't had to go any deeper, even if I'm over 45 ft of water or more. Mostly on brown/cinnamon leech, tui chub minnow and florescent or hot orange trolling flies. Orange has produced more for me on average but my brown leech kicks in and ends up with the larger fish. Pumkinseed (Jigging grub beige/orange highlight), amber, orange and watermelon grubs have gotten looked at. Generally if I am on orange flies, orange grubs do the same. My best speeds have been between 1.8 and 2.5 mph. So vary your speed and make a lot of zigzags in, out. For leadcore, speed changes your depth rate as does using lighter 12, 15 or micro lead lines. One reason I use 18lb is that it is always easy to run an inline splice through for leader, day after day, rock after rock and year after year. Once you hook up a few rocks or heavy fish, the lighter leadcore lines braided covering cinches to the lead & making a nice threaded splice is impossible to perform once it’s tight. A nail knot is only a temporary patch but can get you through the day. I never break a splice on a rock pile, but a nail knot will break nearly every time.
LURES: Baby Simon pink/pearl and pink nickel, copper/orange and orange/pearl this week. #1 metallic perch, #1 red/prism, #2 copper/orange, #1 nickel/pearl prism needlefish turning a head or two. With the trout now on shrimp, orange will be a good color to run. The 30 second fish today was on a brass/orange cripplure, less than 30ft away from the boat. Told my buddy he simply clubbed that fish on the head! Sure Catch Red Dog has always done well. Lg single or medium double have been my best. Goldie Locks is also one of my favorites as well as the #2 red prism needlefish or 50/50. When we see cloudy skies, frozen fog and cloudy water, yellow/orange combinations and lures such as firetiger or frog generally begin to get some fish. To end the short strikes on needlefish and other small lures I have changed out the single hook for a treble. #10 on small lures, #8 on larger lures. And if you start missing fish after catching and releasing, you problem isn't the fish you need to sharpen your hooks. I resharpen my hooks after 2 fish and after every rock. Mr Fish, meet Mr Sharp Hook.
I would be brightening up on my rapala’s now. Gold/orange, brook trout would be my first choice in the water right now.
STILL FISHING UNDER BOBBERS: Bait fishing has been catching a few nice trout. Mostly all in shallower water on the west side off Wildcat and Lake of the Woods and basically, 3 to 6 ft deep. But now the trout are on the move and trolling is beginning to produce more limits…no need to go too deep now. Keep your bait above 6ft & see what happens. If you are getting bit and losing fish, don’t leave as long of a tail on the worm. Often I have had to thread the entire worm on with NO tail to stick them. I do like having some wiggly squiggly off the end of a hook, but don’t lose to many before changing tactics. Mini Crawlers often work when the trout are loading up on a lot of different feeds…sometimes they just want a snack over a meal. (downsize hook to #8 straight eye hook for minnies). If you are using bait and slip bobbers, your chances are probably better off now on the west side off Wildcat or off Christie.
SHORE FISHING: With surface temps in the low to mid 50’s, shore fishing has produced. Some nice limits came in from Christie the last couple weeks as well as Eagle's Nest and The Springs. This can also be just a matter of timing, but we do have a pretty decent school of trout cruising that area now. Pike’s Pt and the Jetty will have the recently planted fish until they disperse so on Pikes, head towards Pikes Cove. It normally takes the shakers a little time to get that far. There are still folks fishing from shore on the east side…this area holds resident trout year round but a lot of trout left for greener pastures. A handful were caught from shore there the last few days. Note that driving along the shoreline to the Springs from Eagles Nest is not a road and you could be cited by law enforcement. FYI on that. It is also illegal to drive any motorized vehicle to Pelican Pt. This is a USFS code, no local agency can tell you that it's ok because it's dry. This is also the upper end of the Osprey Management Area and will cost around $300-$350 if cited.
The Youth Camp is fishing pretty good now from shore.
All in all, the old tried and true Eagle Lake tactics and normal Eagle Lake tackle are still what has been getting attention of a trout and they are seasonably on time for shallower water and shallower depths. We can still have a day that we are throwing the tackle box at them but sticking to the old tried and true Eagle Lake lures, grubs and flies should always be first. A little attractant is also recommended. ProCure trophy trout has still been working as an attractant and is still my number 1 go to attractant while garlic is my #2. If using minnow pattern softbaits & working the bait balls, Tui Chub flavor is my choice if I have it on hand.
FLY FISHING, FLOAT TUBING/KAYAKING: Brown leech and minnow imitations (Val's maribou minnows has both available at trollingflies.com). We found a good bite in the shallow rock piles before the trout moved out to deeper water. Even over the depths, the trout were mostly still 4-6ft deep. One day they have stayed tight, other days they have moved out over the depths but not moving too much deeper. Double digits pretty common. Note: I go completely barbless and never remove a fish from the water to release it.
The water was 54F-56F in the AM on 10-18 off Christie/Wildcat and we will most likely see that drop to the low 50's this weekend. Great water temps for fast and active fish. I use a lot of small streamers, leeches, damsels, nymphs and wooly buggers in all different shades and colors. Some caddis, boatman, backswimmers and other nymphs. I catch and release as many fish as I normally want to using that method. I don’t make any claims of being the best fly fisher person on the lake or memorize the latin names of all the hatching bugs besides the obvious caddis, mayfly, damsels, dragonflies and midges...and a short but seasonal carpenter ant hatch, mostly on the east side for the large ants. I do have fly specialists that I refer people to. For me, it has always been about small wet nymphs, creepy crawlers, leeches and beetles living in the rocks, gravel bars and weeds and catch as many as I want too. #10 and #12 hooks.
As long as you can pack your gear over 100 yards to the water you are good to go. If not, your only launching will be at the ramp. The road into Wildcat Pt was ok before the last storm but becomes impassible after a good rain, until the ground freezes up…and it isn’t there yet. Deep ruts carved out last winter so stay on the high side. However, you can no longer launch a trailered boat from the beach anymore. If you do get caught, it could cost you in excess of $300. The handicap walkway at Christie is a disaster waiting to happen. If you aren’t disabled, you may be after you walk down. I stay off to the side as there are way too many trip hazards on the walkway and I am already mobility impaired…I certainly don’t want a fall…tripping was bad enoughj. THERE IS ZERO HANDICAP ACCESSIBLITY FOR SHORE FISHING OR LAUNCHING PERSONAL CRAFTS.
Float tubes, pontoons and kayaks have just as much right to launch at the low water ramps as any other boat. Other boaters may not like it, but there is nothing they can do about it. Just have everything ready to go to unload. There is room to offload and allow others to launch if you get off to the south side of the turnaround, unless a 40ft motorhome is trying to launch a boat. I generally do all my tube and kayak launching off Christie when I can’t get into the south side of Wildcat which was still a walk of around 250ft from the legal parking area to the water’s edge & it’s more than one trip back and forth to get my gear down so I allow myself plenty of time. I prefer Wildcat as then I have a choice of which direction I can go which often depends on which way the wind is predicted to come up but it also depends on what condition the road in is in. However, it is illegal to drive a vihicle to the edge of the water to launch. It may cost you a few hundred dollars & you won't see any law enforcement. It’s much easier to drift back to where I launched than it is to buck the wind and waves to get back. These things are overlooked by the agencies and can become a safety issue if one doesn’t have the strength or equipment to get back towards the parking area. We often see people drive right to the water, just know that is illegal & you could be cited. The ramp area is protected by all but north and west winds. So it often doesn't look as rough as it is out there beyond the protection of the point to the southwest. But, when bigger boats are coming in because of the wind, take the message that it's no place for a kayak when boats are already being blow off the lake.
Note: Most people set their fish finders on “Fish ID” thinking it helps. What I have found is that many people don’t actually read their instructions or know how to read the screen or what they are actually seeing. If there is a dark line, it has to be a fish. Ok, you fish the lines, I will fish the arch’s & see what happens. Fish don’t generally hold or rest at a 45 degree angle. If you do the math, some would be 4 to 5 ft long! Regardless, Fish ID will fool you every time!! We have so much artifact in this water that fish ID produces a lot of false readings. Conductivity of the lake has risen in the last 5 years, dissolved solids increased and gas bubbles always show up as fish as do the birds swimming underwater. I really don’t know any professional guide that runs full Fish ID because of the false readings. A methane well shows up as a massive line of fish from the bottom to the top & when set on Fish ID and every air bubble shows up as a fish picture as well. Fish show up as true arch’s, not straight or diagonal lines with no taper on true sonar. The dark arch is unmistakable among the straighter lines. Clear up your screen clutter by decreasing sensitivity and gain, it will surprise you to find out that you have been fishing massive artifact and only around a few true fish…if they are as thick as what you see on your screen, you would be foul hooking or dragging lines over their backs. Springs generally “crown” above the bottom and the gases run straight up from top to bottom above the crown. The bubbles aren’t oxygen, when collecting it it will light up just fine and flashes…don’t attempt unless you want to get burned! One can waste a lot of time fishing for air bubbles, methane and artifacts/noise (straight lines, horizontal or diagonal & no taper like the arch’s). Took a few years to figure out that the conductivity of the lake, density of the algae’s, spring water, thermoclines and zooplankton cause a lot of marks on a graph that aren’t actually fish. Just because your screen shows a picture of a fish, doesn’t mean there is actually a fish there. True sonar is the only way to determine what is real vs what is false readings. The darker arch’s are unmistakable compared to the straight lines…. notice that even the pros on TV don’t use fish ID on their sonar. There is a reason, pros don’t have the luxury of working for false readings of fish that “aren’t biting”…I have never caught a bubble! Believe it or not. Just know that I hear from a lot of folks out there with screens full of “fish” & once I train them on what they are seeing on their depth finders up here, they stop wasting time & eventually see that it works better. This isn’t your typical fresh water lake. If you like seeing fish pictures, feel free to keep using Fish ID if it makes you feel better. The tui chub show up great.