Eagle Lake Best Fishing Locations Depths

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 NOVEMBER 21, 2015 
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This allows you to be able to identify which hatchery a branded trout came from and what year it was planted.  FREEZE BRANDING IDENTIFICATION 
6-1-15 NOTICE
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FISHING REPORT 11-21-15:  Lake conditions; Temp 49F to 52F and with upcoming chilly high ambient temps in the 20's, we will see solid mid 40's by the end of the week.  We have a chance for snow showers too but at this time only 3-5 inches is predicted & distant wind forecasts indicate a northerly flow which will keep temps a little lower.   Be prepared if launching, it's getting shallower & vehicle wheels are mostly off the cement to get larger boats to float.   Snow & ice this week won't help. Foggy conditions prevail after any moisture that hits the ground and a cold AM temp will keep it on the pond for hours.  Your best friend out there is NOT your GPS.  It's an old fashioned compass.  Some smartphones have a built in compass...learn how to use it.  Slow speeds don't trigger GPS updates and the relay is often too slow to keep you going straight or in the right direction on a hand powered craft.  A big fish can take a float tuber or kayaker away from sight of the shore line when it's foggy and it's easy to get directions screwed up to get back towards shore.  So get a bead on your direction back to shore or you might end up out in the middle of the lake by the time the wind comes up or the fog lifts.  As a note for fly fishermen/women walking the shoreline and wading:  First, fish the water before you walk in it.  I pulled two nice trout out of a shallow gravel bar  5 ft from shore 5 minutes after a guy walked right by them getting to a better point.  Second:  With cold temps and snow on the ground, felt soles on your boots or waders are not ideal to walk in.  Once the felt is wet, every step in the snow begins to build up layer upon layer of ice which can easily end up over 3 inches and can cause twisted ankles and falling down.  Felt soles are great in the water but not in snowy conditions.  I have found that ice cleats on my lug sole boots work great for sticking to slippery rocks as well as walking to the water.
With water temps dropping this week, fish are scattered in the water column.  It isn't unusual to find fish deeper any time of the year on the east side, especially once the bite slows down on top.  However, I always run a topline & it really, never fails when the fish are active.  We are still finding great topline action 4-8ft deep using brown, cinnamon leech and tui chub minnow trolling flies.  Brown and pumpkinseed grubs are doing well too.   Some folks are even running a couple feet deep successfully.  Some fish are always caught deeper in the winter months, generally 18 to 24ft deep (4 to 5 colors of 18lb leadcore) over 50ft of water has been my lucky number but they can be 30-35ft deep which is a "comfort zone" for the trout on the east side. just about any time of the fishing season.  Small florescent orange lures are doing ok on the deeper lines as is the white/prism needlefish, but the grubs and trolling flies are doing very well.  
Trolling speeds have been pretty fast at 2.8 to 3+ mph.  The east side up off Eagles Nest and Black Mt has been fishing pretty well for trollers.  But there are fish being caught closer.  Pikes Pt has been fishing well in 20 to 37 ft of water (topline).  Christie Bay towards Wildcat Pt was holding nice trout, mostly topline and over water 15 to 35ft deep.  Just south of Wildcat Pt we had several patches of weeds to tend with.  Lake of the Woods to Shrimp Island, fish had moved in to the second ledge 15 to 35ft of water most of the morning.  Trolling nightcrawlers has also done the trick, slower trolling speeds for crawlers.  Don't try to split the difference between using a fast running lure on one rod and a worm on the other or neither will be working at its best.  This is the time of year that you have to prevent your worms from freezing.  Don't put them in the ice chest in the boat & tow it up or put them in the back of the truck, they will be frozen. 
Cold temps will bring more fish back to foraging the shoreline on a regular basis.  The fly fishing for those wading this week has been up and down.  There have been fewer fish staying in tight and shallow but every day has fished a little different.  One day we might hook up & release 15 to 20, the next day lucky to release 4 to 6.  That will change  for the better once we see this storm pass through.  For fly fishing this week, small brown leech patterns and minnow patterns have bought us the most strikes.  Nothing real fancy.  I use a brown wiggle dubbin nymph that is my best fly over the rocky points and shallow gravel bars that has bought me the most fish.    
The thermalcline that was suspending the shrimp is loosening its grip, so the concentrations are thinning down.  The trout are still chasing minnows too.  On the west side, trout have been holding in 15 to 30ft of water and mostly on toplines & as deep as 12ft.  
The fish foraging along the shoreline have been feeding on a plethora of different critters.  Mostly shrimp, scuds, snails, toe biters and small leeches on the west side, scuds, minnow and leeches on the east side.  Trollers still hitting limits on top, but we have also see some fish caught a little deeper (12 to 15ft).  Cover the bases but our most active bite remains in the upper 10ft of the water column, I cover 4 to 7 ft deep and have no less than 100ft of line behind the boat. When that bite slows down, I drop a few lines, but not all of them. 
Other one hit wonders: Red/white, red/nickel colored small lures.  Rapala’s in gold or orange have been taken; minnow imitations still working on the east side.  For trolling flies, brown or cinnamon leech, florescent orange and tui chub minnow patterns.  Grubs have been up and down.  Watermelon has been holding its own & a good place to start….best running behind and action disc or dodger (short leader off dodger).  It is not unusual to find these trout a little deeper once the early topline bite subsides.  I often run a line 18-24ft deep once the trout drop down to rest…but it is never out of the question to find trout around 30-35ft deep on the east side (The Springs & Eagles Nest) at any time of the fishing season.  Get something in front of them & they will take it. 
Structure is everywhere on the west side, including up to ½ mile out from shore in some places.  Be careful when trolling but start out over the depths and work in and out from the shoreline rather than just parallel to it.  That way you cover all the bases. These fish move in and out of shallower water all the time. One can be in 40ft of water one minute and 2 ft of water the next on the west side.  When skies are overcast, brighten up and/or darken down for lures and trolling flies.  Heavy winds can bring them up or drop them down even deeper if the waves hit 3 to 5 ft in height (of which this is not the time of year to be out there if it's that rough).  The clarity of the water is still not prime (even though the clarity is as good as it’s going to get right now) but after two calm flat days, I could see bottom clearly at 6 ft.  Contrast is the key and a scent trail won’t hurt.  We often find yellow a good color when the standards don’t work but on a clear day, that doesn’t always pay off.  
Shore fishing has been very good for bait fishing.  Slowed down a bit during the calm days but well worth the effort for most folks to take home limits.  The trout are still pounding tui chub minnows but zoo-plankton has also kicked into gear over the depths.  The Jetty is difficult to access the water is very shallow there now.  Pikes Pt has been fishing OK.  The ledge north of Camp Ronald McD has been fishing good from shore as has the area just south of Eagle’s Nest.  There is one section of Pikes Pt that a person can easily cast to 30ft of water.  That’s the rocky points defining Pikes Cove from Pikes Pt.  The gravel bar that begins north of Camp Ronald McDonald and runs to Eagle’s Nest has an awesome ledge that is barely 15 to 20ft from shore now in most locations…a hefty cast will land over 40ft of water pretty easily.  The ledge is loaded with hydrilla and steep rocky structure where the trout like to hold until wave action drives them out.  It’s called The Springs area for a reason and in some places the current is pretty strong.  Wind from the south, west and both can make the east side unfishable when waves begin breaking in.   One can drive into Eagle’s Nest and access the shoreline there. I don’t recommend towing anything.  It’s a pretty steep climb coming out and once it’s icy, you may need chains on your 4x4.   There is a user made road that people have driven down to the lake however I don’t recommend driving to the lake shore outside of Eagle’s Nest immediate area.  It is illegal regardless of no signage and low lake elevation.   If you do drive to the water anywhere on the lake outside the legal launch ramp, be prepared that you may receive a citation & it could arrive in the USPS mail. 
We still have a few fish up by the Youth Camp/Biology Station but the masses of trout generally move back south once water temps drop to the mid 40’s.  The upcoming cold daytime temps in the 20's could cause the ice to encroach there by next weekend but so far, it's still open water.  Once the edge of the ice sheet encroaches the Youth Camp from the north, the trout will have already left for warmer waters to the south.
Fly fishing has been excellent and on a tough day of fishing one can still release 4 to 6 in the morning, on a good day 20-30 and depending on how long you fish, releasing 40-50+ is possible.  Take the good with the not so bad.   Being able to cover the territory has been critical on the tough days when the fish are scattered and the masses are pounding suspended shrimp plankton over the deeper water.  
Be prepared for a few days of icy road conditions to get here...might come in Monday evening.   Generally we don’t have a problem with full moon cycles this late in the season...if anything we can see our best bite turn on later in the morning.  When the fishing is tough for fly fishing (basically that’s only because the fish leave the shallows & structures), brown leeches or wooly buggers are my go-to fly.  It’s completely natural and if you get it within sight of a trout, you will get a strike.  Remember that once the wind comes up, some trout simply wait to ambush feed being scoured off the leeward side of  rock piles.  But eventually, they will move back out when they get tired of fighting the current and to keep from being beat up in the rocks themselves.  Position yourself to cast parallel to the wind rather than with the wind. Your distance and presentation will be much better and you won’t get wind knots in your tippet.   A water filled indicator helps add some weight without sinking which also adds to your distance.   
It is nice to have a heat source this time of year. A propane heater can work wonders until the winds come up.  Camp fires make it quite comfortable but you have to pack in your own wood.  Chemical hand-warmers are a plus but have become the #1 litter we pick up along the shoreline next to water bottles and fishing line.  The larger pouch warmers produce more heat & last longer.  If you are wading, be sure to have a dry set of clothing packed in the car/truck.  It only takes one slip on a rock to end up in the water.  Been there, done that….had dry clothes or would have gotten hypothermia.  The elements this time of year can easily kill you if you aren’t prepared. and with high temps in the 20's, getting wet isn't the best thing you can do.   If nothing else, make your trip miserable rather than fun and memorable. But it is a great time of year for fishing without having to launch a boat.  There is no handicap accessibility to shore fishing any more.  They were lacking to begin with but with low water levels, nothing has been done to fix it.  Count on a long walk to the water in the areas where the fishing is best.
DO NOT DRIVE TO THE WATER ON THE WEST SIDE.  DUE TO LOW WATER LEVELS, PEOPLE ARE DRIVING OUT ILLEGALLY TO HAVE EASIER ACCESS TO THE WATER.  DOING SO WILL COST YOU A TICKET.  BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING WITHOUT BEING VISIBLE.  CAMERA’S IN THE WOODS & PATROLLING ON BICYCLES.  THE OSPREY MANAGEMENT AREA SIGNAGE GENERALLY LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED, HOWEVER IGNORANCE OF THE LAWS IN A WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA IS NOT AN EXCUSE.  COST WILL BE BETWEEN $300-$400 FOR YOUR TICKET THAT YOU MAY RECEIVE IN THE MAIL VIA DMV.  Yes, the osprey are now gone, however other large birds of prey such as anti-social bald eagles (mostly all residents) still inhabit the area.  People do break the law often, some are repeat offenders.  If accessibility was improved in one or two sections, violations and violators would be reduced.  There has never been any easy land access on the west side.  One must be able to pack their gear well over ½ mile from the upper road across rocky terrain to get to the water.  Only Wildcat Pt is outside the wildlife area, access isn’t ideal and during warm rainy storms, the roads in consist of 6” of mud but basically only a little over 100 yards to the water’s edge when legally parked.  4X4 with high clearance is the only way to get in besides using ATV or UTV’s….however, user made roads do exist below the tree line, but that doesn’t mean they are legal roads to use.  Signage is usually not up or visible….mostly vandalized as soon as the USFS puts them up….often by rookies who put them everywhere, including the primitive campsites that have historically been available & used by many.  Historically, people use to tow in small boats (not easy in itself) and launch off the gravel bar….USFS posted the road down last fall but a few folks still continue to drive down to launch kayaks.  Just know that you are breaking the law & won’t see the camera that catches your license plate or the “recreational bicycle rider” writing down your license number.  Those of us that are mobility impaired or the walking disabled have little to no access ANYWHERE along the lake for fishing and where old closed roads still exist, vehicular access remains restricted.  If the USFS actually improved access to Wildcat Pt and one other area close to Shrimp Island after Sept 15th, there would be less damage to the shoreline, less litter & more money in our local economy without causing any harm to the gravel roads or resident and migrating wildlife.  By December, the Brockman Lava Beds harbor snowshoe hares, Jack rabbits, cotton tails, mountain lions, bobcats and grey fox.  Birds of prey are mostly bald eagles, various hawks and various owls.  None of which are endangered, nesting or rearing young this time of year.  The protected area is mainly for Osprey nesting in spring and summer, hence “Osprey Management Area”. Signage closing the area to all foot traffic between March 15 and Sept 15 is rarely maintained but has been on a map for decades….signage, whether it’s there or not, isn’t an excuse.  Although, access by boat cannot be restricted. After Sept 15, one is allowed to only walk through the area, no motorized vehicles (including electric carts or wheelchairs) are allowed at any time. Only bicycles, foot traffic or horseback is allowed regardless of what vehicles one might see breaking the law. 

See below for tips and suggestions particular to fishing this lake all season long.
For leadcore line, I only use 18lb as it is more controllable for depth and easier to splice over time and catching bottom a lot. Suffix brand is tough as it gets, but isn’t user friendly for inline splicing, especially in the field, but using a long sewing needle helps greatly for threading the leader and backing into the Dacron sheath of the leadcore).   Also, I use “fire line” for my backing for many reasons but toughness and diameter are key factors, floating properties are another.  If you get twists, wraps or tangles with mono....cut the braid & simply pull out the wraps & retie.  Try not to backlash braids....they have a tendency to lock up if you're not careful.
To run your leadcore like I do a Jay Fair topline you simply have to add 50 to 75 ft or more of leader & run one color in the water (that can be 1 ½ to 1 ¾ colors off your reel & depending on your speed.) I run four lines, The two outside lines are Jay Fair toplines & my inside lines are my leadcores. Running my leadcores shorter allows me to make sharper turns without having my lines cross over each other. You need to be at least 100ft behind the boat to successfully catch a lot of trout near the surface and on a spooky day we have ended up 150ft behind the boat to get them to bite. Average trolling speed for us this week was 2.2 to 2.7 mph but these fish can get fast so we vary our speeds up to 4+mph....oddly enough, some days are faster days than others....that's why it's critical to vary your speed until you find the speed of the day.

   I zig-zag and troll in circles out away from the ledges (Reason for zigzags & circles: Making my line work a column of water rather than just one depth as well as changes the action of the lures).  I also work the contours of the bottom in shallow water using the same technique. As you make a turn, the inside line drops several feet and flutters down (when a clip is used, action is different when tied directly on the line) while the outside line picks up speed and comes up several feet in depth. Depending on my speed, that column of water I’m working can be up to 15 ft. For leadcore users, I have never had to go deeper than 6 colors. I only put 5-6 colors on my reels & backing to the reel. The sink rate of leadcore depends on your trolling speed and lure weight. I can easily hang up on the bottom at 42ft with 5 colors in the water at 1.2 to 1.3 mph and hang up one color in 12-14ft at the same low speed. If you don’t have a trolling speed indicator. Most Smartphone GPS apps have speed on them. Our fish can get directional for trollers so I always troll in circles, east to west, west to east, north to south and south to north. Generally I find the “direction of the day (or hour in some cases) & work it until I wear it out.   
TIPS FOR DOWNRIGGER USERS: To successfully troll a trolling fly from a down rigger you need to put your line a little deeper into the clip so it takes more effort for the fish to pop off. The key to hooking fish on a fly is setting the hook instantly & don’t allow any slack in the line bringing him in. If you don’t sink the hook, you haven’t sunk the barb in his lip. Rod unloading picks up a little of the slack in the belly of the line but not always enough to solidly sink the barb. If there is one complaint I hear from downrigger users trolling flies, it is that they can’t get that many fish to the boat before they spit the hook. It only takes a little change up to stick the fish solidly. Also, don’t continue to troll. On flies, typically you only hook the fish in the lip or by the skin of the lip. Dragging the fish while reeling it in helps tear the skin & open a hole for the hook to slip out of. Been there, done that.  I always stop trolling, bring in all the lines and turn the boat to keep the fish on one side or the other to bring in a fish.  Wind drift is unavoidable but once lines are in I turn the boat to keep the fish on the drift side rather than under the boat.
FOR THE LURES we use a loop knot or a small clip to attach the lures which seems to give it more action in the water during speed changes and especially on turns (where 80% of your fish will come from). I prefer black small spring steel clips over snap clips & I haven’t lost a lure or fish yet, As a tip, the heavier hooks on many of the lures need sharpened after every two fishIf you keep getting strikes without getting a fish to the boat, chances are your hook is dull….been there & done that. Sharp hooks catch more fish. I always like to say, “Mr Sneaky Trout, meet Mr Sharp Hook and try that again!”. It can mean all the difference between fishing and catching those light biting trout. It’s critical on my float tube fly fishing.
Action discs help give the flies and grubs movement if you aren’t holding your rod & working the marabou, hair or plastic yourself. I personally prefer the smaller action disc because of the heavy drag of the discs to begin with. AND I run it close to the fly or grub rather than 3” or more above. The further up the line from the fly the action disc is, the further it travels laterally. Oh it has nice movement but it can also foul other lines if it travels too far. The larger size discs tend to travel laterally more than the smaller discs.  I run the smaller disc right ahead of the fly…it gives it a subtle wiggle rather than a rapid twitch which is often needed on flat water. When the bite comes back on again, chances are what worked earlier will work again. I have found that there are some days that you can have too much movement in a lure or fly and a plain old dead drag or seductive wiggle is what gets the strikes. There is a new action disc in development which should out next season.
Attractants can help, especially as we head into fall and our clarity decreases. Garlic has traditionally been good, krill second, trout gravy third and tui chub scent should be on your list now that the tui chub minnow are on the menu big time. Mikes Lunker Lotion’s are proving to do quite well. Tui Chub flavors are also good this time of year. I don’t always use an attractant on every bait or lure in the water just in case I have a day that it becomes a repellent. In that case, I use rubber or vinyl gloves to handle my bait…thus keeping my scent off the worm to begin with. FYI on that. Also note that attractants can go bad or sour if left in the sun or heat for long periods. I generally store mine in the refrigerator (ice chest but put in ziplock baggie) or at least in a cool dark spot when I store it for the day.

If you are coming up to fly fish by wading first, I can’t tell you how important it is to fish the water before you step into it. When I could wade, I would stand back 20-30 ft (as closer will move the fish away) flip out several double-hauls & land my fly 3 to 5 ft from the edge of the shore. I have caught my largest fish doing that. Now, since I can’t walk well, I use my float tube & I cast as close to the shoreline as possible & shoot for 3 to 5 ft from land…..Friday morning I caught and released 3 trout (that were the larger 20-23 inchers) doing that before sunrise. 
Nightcrawlers or powerbait….or nightcrawlers and powerbait work very well from shore and are probably the two best baits to consider using. Casting small jigs is also a top producing method of catching fish from shore. Brown, olive and black are the basics, but wild turkey (darker grey) has been #1 for decades for the jig tiers. Yellow and white turn on later in November and can be the ticket in December. For longer casts use weighted or water filled bobbers. We not only do that but also use longer rods 8-8 ½ ft long for extra distance. In some of the accessible areas of the lake, it can be critical to get distance, especially later in the morning or in the afternoon when the trout move out….mostly just out of reach from shore with normal tackle & rods shorter than 6 ½ ft long. FYI on that. The jigs we use are much smaller than the traditional crappy jigs, however in a pinch, they can work ok. The small jigs are available locally, Susanville Chester among other sporting goods stores.  Weighted or water filled bobbers work best and get the distance.  I often use my 8ft spinning rods for shore fishing.  They cast a mile farther than my 6 1/2 ft rods with a water filled bobber above my jig or bait.
Bobbers VS bottom fishing: It is possible to fish from the bottom up. Use an egg singer rather than split-shot so when a touchy trout picks up your inflated crawler or floating dough bait (powerbait) there is less resistance. We have a lot of areas of soft mud, sand and weed beds that make it easy to slowly retrieve that line. However, we also have more rocky ledges and gravel bars that hang up a sinker & slow retrieves make that worse. If you are bottom fishing around rocks & bring your line in, bring it in fast to keep your singer above the rocky bottom.   Depending on conditions of the day (wind especially) and the location I am shore fishing, I often set up a deep running bobber and let my weight rest on the bottom (bobber on its side or tipped) & float my bait up from that. This way, the bobber helps keep the line “up” & I still crank in fast…..but I don’t lose a lot of tackle anymore having put these techniques into practice.  Use the wind for a drift & relocate as needed to keep the drift going.  We also use jigs in the wind.  Wild turkey grey is probably the best all round color but olive, brown, black and orange are our normals.  Yellow comes into play when skies are darkened with clouds and the water stirred up from the wind.
Have a compass on board.  Critical when the fog doesn't lift until noon.  #12 & #10 Nymphs. Orange, brown and olive.. From my float tube I prefer using a sink tip…10ft medium sink (3 to 4” per/second). This line allows me to cast into shore or on top of a shallow rock pile and work the contours down. I can sink it to 15ft deep if needed or ride the upper 1ft of the water column. For wading, I use my full floating line & use double wire hooks or bead-head nymphs/leeches to get the depth needed to work the rock pile up. Come fall/winter months my spring arsenal is still in my go to compartment but I add some olive/white minnow imitations, orange & light olive scuds (water temps dropping) and some oddball wooly buggers. Some days I need a little flashier body while other days my “plain Jane” drab olive or brown are the ticket. The new UV material is proving itself in browns, black and darker olive colors. It depends on the sky, water color and temperature but the new UV dubbing makes a beautiful fly. However, I had mixed results using ALL UV matieral.  As soon as I tamed it down, mixed small amounts of it into my plain dubbing I started catching a heck of a lot more fish.  That took me a couple years to figure out....with the help of the fish.  Moral of that story is that it doesn't take much UV in a fly, and you can easily use too much.  As the water begins to warm up to around 65F on the surface, I have been known to use #16 to #22 olive or dark brown midges under indicators. For the most part, if I use an indicator I use a plastic bubble type like thingamabobbers.  I poke a small hole in the top & fill it with water which keeps a neutral buoyancy & still rides on the surface. I prefer the loop attachment of the thingamabobbers over winding around an O-ring or threading. It’s easy to put on and stays in place as well as being easy to remove with no tippet damage. In big waves, the water fill method flows smoothly and with the water it also adds some weight for casting when the wind comes up. Whereas the high riding air bobber  or Styrofoam jumps around with not only the wave action but the wind as well.  If that’s what you want, by all means use your preference. All I do is tell you why I do or don’t use a certain product. Regardless, it’s really only a matter of control. As a rule, I really don’t care for “bobber fishing” & calling it fly fishing. But you can catch a lot of fish if that’s what you like to do but it’s not as much fun for me as teasing a trout into a strike. I don’t really care about reeling in a fish, it’s all about the tease and the strike while holding my line!!!
In my tube I keep on the move & keep the casts towards shore going, even though I may not leave the area I am fishing, I am making circles in my tube just as I would in my boat.  It’s more about a Hybrid form of fly fishing that incorporates all the casting and stripping techniques as well as some trolling methods.  If you run a full floating line from a tube you often need a heavier fly, it’s the nature of the beast unless you anchor, you drift faster than you think. I have specific lengths of leadcore line that I loop onto my floater to make it a sink tip if I need a quick conversion.  I have never liked using full sinking lines. No matter what, the full sink lines have a large belly form between rod and fly. Our trout are such gentle slurper’s that by the time the fish pulls the belly out of the line enough for you to see or feel on the rod, it’s too late to set the hook, the fish is gone. If you sink your floating line down from the top of the water, the body of the line remains on the surface which allows you to use the line as an indicator & you will catch more fish than you even knew were biting at you. Uniform sinking lines do just that, sink. No matter what the advertisements say, the uniform sinking line has a droop or belly to it under the water.  NOTE: RETIE YOUR FLY AFTER EVERY TWO FISH OR NUMBER THREE FISH WILL STEAL IT FROM YOU….just trust me on that!! Also, keep your hooks sharp…I sharpen hooks after every other fish and keep my sharpener close by at all times. 
The beauty of fishing Eagle Lake is that it changes with the seasons and our trout migrate around the lake. Food sources intermingle but there are differences in the west side and east side. The trout will remain in the depths for a while longer but they will be active higher in the water column now. On a hot flat water afternoon we might find a few between 18 and 21 ft deep but the best catching will be in the upper 10ft of the water column.   Only rouge trout will venture into the shoreline while surface temps are warm but once we see surface temps drop to 65F and below we will see some major changes occur. At 61-60F visibility will go out the door and attractants will become relatively necessary. Avoid setting anchor over a mass of fish that drop below 47ft deep….chances are they are tui chub, not trout.
NO MINNOWS ARE ALLOWED TO BE USED AS BAIT IN EAGLE LAKE. INCLUDING MINNOWS CAUGHT IN THE LAKE. I can guarantee you that if you bring a bucket of minnows up from the valley to use as bait, you will be found out and turned in. Will the imported minnows live in Eagle Lake? Well, let’s just say that we certainly don’t want to find out as if they did survive and reproduce the entire balance of the lake will change and it will no longer be the lake it is. It could ruin the lake as we know it….forever. So NO Minnows!!!! 
If I went bait fishing from an anchored boat right now I would tend to hit shallow water. Keep my line up around 3 to 4 ft from the surface. 
It is not unusual to find a nice lazy trout at 30ft deep off the east side between The Springs and Black Mt at any time of the fishing season. The fish that reside at that depth are generally fat and lazy & make you find them, rather than just swim by your bait in fall. They don’t always chase trollers at that depth, but they have been known to take that nice juicy nightcrawler that just sits there wiggling. Attractants can help, but don’t put it on every bait in the water until you know it’s working better than not using it. We have trout off Wildcat all the way up the west side and holding in mostly shallower water early in the morning….but they are moving back out later in AM.
There are several options for bait. Nightcrawlers (threaded on the hook) are probably the best bait going. I prefer to have some mini crawlers handy as sometimes these trout don’t want a meal but just a snack….small over large has always been better. Powerbait type products I refer to as dough baits have also worked well on our hatchery trout. Rainbow probably covers the most popular colors of orange, pink/red and green but the pale garlic flavor has really done well since hitting the market. Our trout don’t generally look at salmon eggs but they have looked at marshmallows. Various attractants are also advisable, Pro Cure has a good selection. Garlic is a favorite and most anything for trout. But, tui chub flavor of attractant won’t do as well until late summer when the trout begin pounding the fresh hatch of tui chub minnows. We don’t recommend releasing fish that swallowed the hook. It is not like the days of the past when hooks were made out of cheap steel. Now hooks are all high carbon steel and lazar or chemically sharpened. These hooks cut a hole in the fishes stomach much easier and don’t rust out as fast. The fish I have cleaned that have survived have massive scar tissue around their stomachs. Copyright Protected Material 2015


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