Eagle Lake Best Fishing Locations Depths
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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Since just before the closure of the ramp and facilities for everyone, we had been fishing. We are full on going into fall mode. We will find fish higher in the water column and scattered later in the morning. We are currently seeing low temps in the 30’s. Water temps dropped to the low to mid 60’s in AM. We’ll be out on the pond soon. Our best colors before closure had been orange, red/gold, brown & orange trolling flies and various small spoons. Various depths from 4 to 18ft. Grubs started picking up a few in root beer. Watermelon is always a good bet. So here we go folks!!
I have been making a pass or two the last couple of trips out off Pikes Pt starting out from the ramp and heading west 35 to 41ft of water, 12 to 14ft deep early. The fish off Pikes are moving around. Some times they are just outside the ramp and jetty, other days they wrap around Pikes Pt. Later it has been more tui chubs. Move. Mostly after a pass, I have been working the west side from AssDragger to Shrimp along Lake of the Woods. It hasn’t let me down yet…but it has been increasingly weedy. On the east side, there seems to be more chub at the moment….but there’s still scattered pods of trout and it’s time more trout should start showing up along the ledge and springs. The larger numbers of trout have been on the west side all season….they can or switch sides overnight and it appears we are seeing a little more trout activity right in the center of the lake too, so be prepared. But, for now, that’s been a solid place for me to fish my friends and family. Limits have come in, just be patient and in my boat, Tommy B r/g at 4 colors at 1.5 to 1.7mph seals the deal ALL THE TIME. We have some really cloudy water right now too. Visibility tanked from peak. Lots of particulate algae in the water column.
Lure’s working for us and our network: Red/Gold Thomas Buoyant 1/4oz has been my best lure for the last 6 years. Copper and gold 1/6th oz Thomas Buoyant, any frog pattern. Red-magic fishscale, metallic watermelon, Red dot frog #1 and #2 needle fish & Speedy Shiners (frog and nickel) have also produced. Cop-Car and perch needlefish are also getting looked at…more later than earlier for us. Ticket has been small lures under 2”. Baby Simons are also getting looked at for us, orange/nickel, orange copper, red/nickel. We’ve had quite a few one hit wonders so nothing is off limits if you’re not catching. Watermelon Sure Catch, red prism needlefish, cop car, rainbow runners, dick nites. Some days we work harder than others but the fishing has been pretty good.
Bait Fishing under Bobbers: If that’s what you do, stagger depths 11-16ft to 22/24-25ft deep. Free lining a night crawler can be deadly any time of the year. Again, target solo fish on your scope, tui chub school differently than trout and generally the bottom of the schools of chubs are at 47ft….Not going to be a trout down that deep due to oxygen at this time.
Fly Fishing: Scattered pods and rouges. Not really coming in close right now, but laying in wait for the minnows to venture out from the marsh grass and tules. We have seen more surface activity this week. Caddis hatch & that’s all they are looking at on the surface. So if you see trout rising in the morning, you know they are there. They do slow down. Need some depth, need to access deeper water when they lie low. I’m feeling an early fall coming on though.
Shore fishing: Shore fishing has been slow as normal for summer. As water temperatures begin to lower, foraging in close and shallow will start picking up sporadically. A lot depends on where the young of the year tui chub minnows are at any given time, these trout have been known to come out of their comfort zone to feed, and stay in the best dissolved oxygen zone no matter what the water temps are. When they do, the minnows will boil.
Shore fishing Accesses: The Jetty, Pikes Pt, The Circus Grounds, Christie Day Use, Eagle’s Nest, The Springs, The Youth Camp/Biology Station.
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Complaints from fin trimming to catching should go to the local department of fish and wildlife biologist in charge of managing this lake. Just because our low number of anglers are catching some fish, it isn’t the masses we would normally see. Gone are the days of 30-50 fish C&R. Paul Divine Biologist: Paul.Divine@wildlife.ca.gov 530 254-6363, Redding office Supervisor: Andrew Jensen Andrew.Jensen@wildlife.ca.gov 530 225-2300 SEE TROUT PLANTING AND MARKINGS FOR YEARS PLANTED HERE. 100% OF THE PLANTED FISH ARE NOW MARKED BY FIN TRIMMING. No contingency plan, over population of tui chub and no plan for those either. God forbid what this year will bring after the chubs spawn. Quite a few fish had no fins at all, just his tail to maneuver. Sad case. We have caught hundreds of these mutilated fish this year in particular. Plus a lot of split tails. Last fall, lots of dorsal fin and 1-3 missing anterior and pelvic fins missing. The dorsal fin trim or mutilation may be a brood stock trim. We have been known to get some old broodstock fish planted in fall as they are from eggs collected here at the lake. We don’t receive the second generation anything or sterilized triploids. If it was anglers marking, there would not be so many and most are all very close to the same size. If it is DFW (see fin trimming note from DFW), I would say they are mostly mutilating these fish now and freeze branding was much better for the fish. If you get a nice one that you may want to have mounted, good luck as it will be somewhat mutilated when it comes to the fins and tails. Not a trophy trout to be proud of, that’s certain. 15 years ago we had a fly fishing group that would trim or notch fins/tails for 3 days of fishing. This group hasn’t been here for a long time. Personally, I don’t know any angler here that mutilates our trout. DFW won’t admit to it but definitely marks fish planted every year. Does one escape marking? On occasion. This is being done so that in the future, a native (native spawn) fish may be fully finned. LoL probably decades from now or not in our lifetime. Cows come before native spawn, lake elevation and water quality issues apparently. In the mean time, the hatchery raised/farmed fish might just swim in circles. LoL. Freeze branding didn’t handicap the fish like cutting off an arm two or their “legs” LoL. But when a fish only has a tail to use, that can prohibit some typical feeding patterns in this lake. Like rock flipping and rooting out the snails from the gravel bars.
Trout come and go with catching and mortality of release during the fishing season as this is a hatchery maintained lake. Adult Tui chub have no predators except pelicans if they can see them in shallower water and the chubs live over 32 years. They stay in the lake regardless and rarely close enough to the surface for the pelicans or eagles and are very wary of the osprey. The young of the year have only pelicans, grebes, loons, seagulls, terns and a few other birds to worry about, but the trout had always kept them in check until the severely reduced planting allotments kicked in. The juvenile chubs have very few predators but the pelicans can get on them during certain times of the year. Pelicans can only reach 3 to 4 ft down, so they have to target shallower fish. The trout mainly only target the hatch of the current year, although only rarely we encounter a 4-5″ chub in the belly of a fish over 5 lbs. Tui chub are now highly concentrated in the lake. They are often found in low dissolved oxygen range in the lake and the bottom of the stacked school is often below 40ft, they aren’t nearly as affected by low DO or algae blooms as the trout are. Our trout are rarely below 40ft even on the warmest of waters. The dissolved oxygen is generally too low to hold them. Chubs don’t need as much as the trout do. Note that chubs are in the super family of carp. That tells ya something right there. And the way they school, they can blacken your scope. They are a protective species of their own, even though they don’t run in the same schools. The adult spawner’s protect the juveniles and the juveniles protect the young of the year and separate again in fall. They appear to be well over populated and Do chubs eat their young even though they go into a protective mode? Yes, when opportunity knocks. But the chubs are not a predator species, have no teeth and smaller mouths, in general, plankton feeders so they can compete with the trout for food sources.