Eagle Lake Best Fishing Locations Depths
EAGLE LAKE FISHING REPORT
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Nov 18, 2019
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Trolling: We’ve continued doing well using toplines and trolling flies as well as dropping a little deeper 9-14ft (2-3 colors of leadcore). Some days we are working harder than others. But, all in all it’s been good fishing all week. Fish are pretty scattered right now. Depending on the location we’ve been successful using florescent orange, fiery brown and tui chub minnow trolling flies. Occasionally “nightmare” wooly bugger has been bit when the other colors are off for that day. Good time to add chartreuse/pearl and yellow (such as Jay Fair All Around Best) and white to the mix to cut the cloudier water, more so if we see a cloud cover. Yellow is a good color under cloudy skies. It has depended a lot on the conditions as to the depth of the fish.
One day it’s all topline action, the next day 80% leadcores. The main attraction of either has been hot orange flies or small spoons (baby Simon orange, 1/6oz Thomas Buoyant red/gold, copper & gold) and small rapala’s (Chrome UL 1 1/2″ has been #1, next up has been rainbow trout 2″ flicker shad. The colors of the small rapala’s hasn’t been so much of an issue, but the size has been critical. The trout have been mostly over deeper water for us. I’ve run 10 to 35ft of water successfully as well as over 35 to 60+ft. Can you run flies off a down rigger? Yes you can. I have been finding fish in shallower water, but mostly later in the day. We’ve fish quite a few different places.
I have been working deeper water off Pikes Pt, the jetty, to Camp Ron McD early, then running up just above Miners Pt holding to the 20-30ft water and over some of the outer humps and bumps and have been very successful this week filling boat limits of nice solid fish. But, I have also seen some movement of these pods back towards Slough Pt and Shrimp Island as well as Miners Pt and the channel. Eagle’s Nest bay is also holding fish.
The west side is starting to show a few fish again. A handful have been caught off Wildcat Pt and in Christie Bay, but it hasn’t fired up yet for fly fishing or bank fishing. We’ve worked for them on our kayaks but we are getting em.
Won’t hurt to use an attractant either but be sure it is fresh and not old. Just because it stinks, doesn’t mean it smells right to the fish. ProCure Trophy trout, garlic or tui chub minnow scents have been pretty good starters. Freshen it up.
If you’re getting strikes, losing fish my advice is to sharpen your hooks. I sharpen hooks on lures and flies right out of the package and after every fish or two landed. I can’t stress enough about having sharp hooks on short striking fish. We’ve also been holding them with the boat rather than grabbing the rod right away. That’s gotten more fish to the boat.
The fish we’ve landed this week have varied from 3lb to 4lbs. I switch lures on one rod between bites, but I don’t generally take out what has worked and by doing so, it’s pretty much the one that gets the last fish before the law says we have to go home.
From shore: The standards are basic night crawlers, power bait or jigs under bobber’s. Even meal worms can entice these trout. For jigs, typically small ones in olive, cinnamon, orange or brown. Casting lures, spinners and spoons through the massive schools of minnows can be deadly (generally black-yellow dot or yellow-black or red dot). Casting red/nickel or red/gold Cast Masters has also been a good go to. Shore fishing has been up and down. The fish are mostly holding shallow only over deeper water at this time. There’s been some fairly good action from shore off the jetty and pikes pt this week.
There are only a few places along the shoreline where one can cast to water deeper than 6-8ft deep but they do move around, in and out to the depths as well as down for a rest. The deepest places accessible from shore are: The point bordering the north side of Pikes Cove, which is the most southeastern point of Pikes Pt (access from Marina low water ramp parking area). There’s a nice weed bed on the bottom there. The ledge north of Camp Ronald McDonald that runs from about 1/2 mile north of Camp Ron McD to beyond The Springs (below the water tower). The ledge is still accessible with a good cast from shore due to the lake remaining relatively low. One can also traverse the steep bank below the water tank. Getting down isn’t that hard, getting back up is a bit more of a challenge. The deepest water at Christie is from the rocky point northwest of the parking area, it’s a quick drop off the end of the rocks to 24-27ft of water. I would walk out and cast as far as possible from shore. On either side you can reach about 12ft of water. Keep an eye on the minnows, pelicans and grebes.
Fly Fishing: The aquatics are there for the taking. But wading hasn’t provided for a long successful bite. Be prepared to access outer rock piles with a tube or kayak and be capable of reaching 5 to 12 ft deep. I fly fished from my kayak this week, finding a few in tight and shallow. Mostly taking small nymphs. Bellies have had a plethora of different offerings from shrimp, scuds, various fly larva, snails and toe biters. Shrimp larva and daphnia has been more prolific over the depths this season and has continued to be the food of choice for the fish we’ve been catching over the deeper waters. It also depends on time of day and location as to whether the fish are loaded with minnows or zooplankton. Right now the fish have come in close, but continue to move out of reach from wading so it’s best to be mobile on the water. Still need to be able to access that deeper water if you plan on spending a few hours fishing. Consider a small minnow pattern, orange scuds and woolly buggers, fiery brown and black bloody leeches too. Remember that as water temps cool down to the 50’s and lower, the shrimp and scuds begin to turn orange or brassy orange. Orange is quite a natural color for this lake. Mostly what I see rising has been a little later in the morning…9ish.
Always prepare for the worst & accept the best regarding the weather. Cooler one day, warmer the next. Come prepared for cold mornings now. We are predicted to see some wind (finally and predicted to be northerly) for a couple days this week but extended forecasts indicate it will settle down once again. Cooler low temps also predicted which could affect Spalding ramp.
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.