FISHING SEMINARS EVERY SATURDAY THROUGH LABOR DAY AT 4PM ON THE PATIO AT THE EAGLE LAKE MARINA STORE!! I DISCUSS THE FISHING, DEPTHS & WHAT I’M DOING TO CATCH FISH. INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION AND I’LL EVEN HELP YOU SET UP LINES OR HELP YOU OUT WITH SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT YOU HAVE AVAILABLE!
LOW WATER RAMP AT GALLATIN
: The low water ramp at Gallatin is doing great & no worse for wear. There’s about 6-7ft of water at the end of the dock. Be sure to have your bumpers out but there is some protection along the edge and it’s holding up better than we expected. Good to Go!! No problem, nice dock & good for the duration of the season. Be careful on the step-down portion. They can catch your bumpers but easily avoidable. Cement is adequate for the whole season. NOTE: In the dark of the morning, turn your headlights off or use parking lights when backing down the ramp. Headlights blind everyone else waiting to launch or walking down the ramp to their boats.
IF UNLOADING gear for a rental or boat, be sure to stay to the left where there is a slight turn out. Doing so allows big rigs enough room to turn around to launch or load their boats. It’s all about keeping things moving. Kayaks, stand-ups (paddle boards) and such have just as much right to use the ramp as other boats. I just advise to move them off to the side so boats can still get in while you’re getting everything ready to go out. There is not a parking place to leave your vehicle on the ramp. I can guarantee that if you do, it won’t be there when you get back. Parking is up in the parking lot. This single lane ramp is not the place to unsecure or secure your boat or to stop and load gear. Boats are coming in and going out. Quite often there is a wait either way. One person can screw things up for everyone.
There have been times that people are using the ramp area for swimming. No it’s not a good idea to do so as this is a launch ramp, not a swimming hole. Just be careful coming in and look for swimmers or those just taking a dunk to cool off. The local beaches aren’t real nice for swimming due to low lake levels, muddy bottoms and shoreline grass & tules. Let’s just enjoy what we have left no matter where it may be and let others do their thing, Pikes Pt is fine for swimming away from the ramp, keep the ramp open for the boats. Christie Day Use point and gravel bar are also cleaner water. Wear water shoes anywhere, there can be glass, old rusty cans and old hooks. When the water was low in 2015 we did what we could to clean up the beaches and old lake bottom. However, the wave action continued to keep exposing old rusty metal so it was hard to keep up with. Just be careful and smart. This lake has been around a long time. We did get back in time to 1955 garbage.
Not very handicap accessible for fishing, parking or getting down to the dock so wheeler’s might need some assistance. Note that this is not a fishing dock, however, handicap folks have no other options so when we have some folks in wheel chairs fishing there we try to do our best to get in and out as fast as possible.
WARNING: Gallatin Road from the last left bend past Eagle Campground entrance to the marina has nasty humps and bumps on both sides of the roadway that you can’t see unless you know where to be looking. Guessing that roots from the pine tree’s have uplifted the pavement over the years and has not been repaired going on at least 10years and only getting worse. Goes for a little over 100ft and it’s 100ft of hell for towing anything. Slow down. These are not marked or indicated by any signage (if you look hard you’ll see some flagging on the trees beside the road). If you hit these bad spots at the speed limit of 35mph towing a boat you will get a very big surprise. Folks have lost boats off trailers, motors off transoms, motor cowlings, gear, downriggers and it can also stress damage your boat trailer if moving too fast. We have seen ice chests, floor jacks, chains, tools/boxes, trolling motors, nets, rods and all sorts of things along side of the road. If the owner doesn’t discover they are missing, we return things to and notify the marina folks just in case. My buddy lost his boat and trailer off his hitch by a big bounce, thankfully his chains kept the boat/trailer with his truck but dented his tailgate. Just take it slow in the straight stretch from the last left bend in the road to the Marina and you’ll do ok but make sure your boat is secured front and back to the trailer. The rest of the road to the marina and to the ramp also has some issues so it’s best just to take it slow from that point on to the ramp. The trench at the gas pump has been filled in so that dip has been removed but the turn from the main road in to the low water ramp has a good bump.
SPALDING SOUTH RAMP:
There’s now less than 2ft of water at the end of the cement. I don’t advise it for larger boats. Channel is much shallower now than it was opening weekend. Still a handful of folks putting in but most are already going south & that’s where the fish are. Jet boats can make it so far. Although I really don’t advise this launch right now, some folks are managing. Note that my 115 Yamaha drafts 31″ and 5.8/gal per hour at 4500 rpms it’s a guzzle getting south and easily a 5-6 gallon trip to the fish right now. Gauge your fuel usage make/model here.
Larger motors should trim up. I/O units definitely trim up (although I wouldn’t advise I/O units at all). Stay centered with the center-line of the dock & you’ll be in the channel. On either side it shallows up before it gets deeper. 4-5ft of water towards Rocky Pt and deepens up to 9-11ft deep north of Pelican Pt buoy line. The lake elevation is just about where it was at the middle of August 2017. See lake conditions page for temps and elevation.
I’m launching my boat down south this season. Why do I launch down south? 1) I save fuel and get where the fish are faster. 2) all it costs me is a little extra time to get there. 3) saves $8 and 5+ gallons/per hour of boat fuel vs 2 gallons round trip in my truck and quarts in my boat. 4) I don’t have to run my motor trimmed up to get through the channel from the ramp to the lake in heavy winds with lesser control or have to pull the weeds off my prop and out of my water pump intake ports every in and out and I don’t have to worry about sucking in grit into my water lines which build up over time and can cause costly damage. I can run up to Pelican from the south ramp just about as fast as I can from Spalding (3.1 NM from Spalding). Once we have more water in the lake, I will launch in Spalding again in the future, but personally, I want another 3 to 5 ft of water before it will be worth it for fishing as well as stirring up the muck and methane. It’s not about floating the boat off the trailer, it’s about repairs after daily usage, weeds, silt and wear and tear through the channel. Take offs in shallower water that stirs up the grit on the lake bottom (as well as releasing a lot of trapped methane) and dealing with all the other boats stirring up the yuck. I don’t have people paying me to deal with damage over time anymore, so I take better care of my equipment so I don’t have the down time or expensive repairs. Jet boats will do better for a while over the prop drives. Since I don’t worry about getting out and fishing at the first legal minute of the fishing day, I can take that extra time to tow my boat to the south end. I rarely have to wait in line more than a few minutes. I replace my water pumps every two years anyway due to the sand, silt, shrimp, snails, algae and various other critters that are normally in this lake. The impellers are pretty much due for replacement by then. Of course, I only really run my boat in this lake so it can take it’s toll over time, but I don’t have any down time either. We have all new tules that migrated and reseeded in 2017 at the lower lake elevation of 2015/2016. So when we do get water back in the lake, it will be a whole new ball game! But this years elevation has still not reached the old tule line off the airstrip. LoL.
Nope. Kayaks can launch just about anywhere off the beach near the ramp, but boats won’t be getting in. We will still see some soft bottom along the lake shore so be prepared. Less water this year than last year so even private gravel bars may have some problems. I see no reason since the fish haven’t been imprinted up north for many years and the drought dried up most of the north basin. But, I am sure, like last year, folks will try and fish it before they contact me and ask where the fish are.
ROCKY POINT: East side BLM. Small car-top boats might make it. Kayaks can make it. Being that we have a lower lake elevation than last year, I expect it will be a tough launch for any boat on a trailer. But the primitive campground is generally nice and quiet. Pretty place. No water or garbage service so pack it in and out. There is one pit (vault) toilet. No handicap accessibility. West side: Weeds and tules but a car topper could probably get in further down the point where the road ends. Water is pretty warm for fishing at this time.