November 19, 2020
Fishing the open water in November in a tin boat. It might not be for everyone, but I am not everyone.
I actually had to motivate myself to get out today. Looking at the snow on the ground at my place made the coffee pot and fireplace look rather inviting.
This is the latest in the year that I have fished kokanee in my boat. I loaded up with winter layers and headed for the lake.
I arrived at at Monte lake at 10:30am. I started at the north end of the lake and I was not marking any fish on my Garmin Striker 4. Usually when this happens, it means that the fish are in the top 20 feet of water. I let out 100 feet of line, clipped the line into the quick release downrigger clip, then lowered the downrigger to 10 feet. I would guess that this would put my line depth somewhere between 15 to 20 feet deep. I managed 3 small but chrome kokanee on a Chrome's pink spinner hoochie on one rod and had two bites on my other rod that was equipped with a Chrome's single spinner. Not bad for an hour and a half.
The wind picked up and it got cold and hard to steer the boat so I packed it in by noon.
Trolling at 10 feet, with 100 feet of line before clipping to the downrigger approx. 1.3 - 1.5 mph
Rod one: Gibbs Dog Tail Dodger, 12 inches of leader, pink Chrome's spinner tipped with shoepeg corn scented with anise oil
Rod two: Teton dodger, 12 inches of leader to a Chrome's spinner hoochie tipped with shoepeg corn
Caught three, and had 2 bites, all small fish today.
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August 7, 2020
I'm trying to teach my kids to love fishing. Today presented a beautiful opportunity: a sunny (but not too hot) day and a kid who was craving fish for dinner. So we packed the boat, a picnic, the deck of cards, and a package of Sour Patch Kids. I even got my son to tie his own lure.
We marked several smaller schools between 25 - 50 feet deep. We started off at 35 feet using various set ups. The winning combination was the glo Dog Tail Dodger with 12 inches of leader and a Chrome's single spinner. I had the most luck using my favourite pink spinner, but my son's creation (a pink and glo) gave me a run for my money. These spinners gave us some great opportunities to practice reeling in those fish. Within the first 90 minutes or so, we lost four fish between hands of Crazy 8s- which was a bummer because we were waiting to celebrate our first catch by breaking into the Sour Patch Kids.
We lost seven fish in all but fortunately, my little one was able to earn his celebration candy by bringing in two small kokanee, and expertly netting the third one that I reeled in.
We couldn't find any of those bigger ones I found in June- I think they might be off in their spawning channels, but I didn't get a chance to drive out there to confirm. But it was a beautiful day on the water.
Trolling at 35 feet, approx. 1.3 - 1.5 mph
Rod one: Gibbs Dog Tail Dodger, 12 inches of leader, pink Chrome's spinner tipped with shoepeg corn scented with anise oil and garlic
Rod two: As above, with a custom spinner created by my son
Caught three, lost seven more while we were practicing our reeling technique
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June 10, 2020
When I cleaned the two kokanee I caught yesterday, I found that their stomachs were stuffed full of fairly large black and red chironomids. This made me very excited to head back out and try a different method for catching kokanee.
Unfortunately, when I was on my way to the lake my boat trailer developed a shutter and I found a bulging spot in one of the trailer tires. I was able to get on some new tires fairly quickly, but it set me back a bit when I was already on a time crunch.
I had the new tires on and was on the water at 10am, but the conditions were less than ideal, windy with whitecaps. I targeted the north end, the same spot I had found the schools of kokanee yesterday. I jigged with a Gibbs Gator spoon on one rod and a yellow and green F.S.T flasher on the other, and both rods had 12 inches of leader to a black and red chironomid. I also added a split shot weight to the leader so that the chironomid would not tangle around the flasher.
After jigging for a while with no bites and only marking the odd fish, I noticed that there were lots of birds swooping around the water on one spot of the lake about 150 feet from me. Thinking of the bellies full of chironomids from yesterday, I figured the birds were hovering over emerging chironomids. These birds were hovering all around me on my previous day of fishing, and I was marking lots of fish. I reeled up and followed the birds. When I arrived, the fish finder lit up. There was a large school between 65 and 90 feet. I dropped my line down to 70 feet, just like yesterday, and threw the rod in a rod holder. I then dropped my second line down to 70 feet and began jigging. Four or five jiggs later I hooked into my first kokanee of the day. As I was reeling him up I looked behind me to see the other rod rod bouncing. A double header- not the easiest thing to handle by yourself. I landed the first one but lost the second one about 10 feet from the boat. For the next hour between 12pm and 1pm the action was coming in hot! I landed three more kokanee and lost two close to the boat as well as several bites. The fish were of good size too! The two biggest were 2.2 lbs and the other two were 1.5 lbs and 1.25lbs. The pics do not do these fish justice.
Even though I found the fish and they loved the chironomid setup, I couldn't stay any longer. I had to book it to make it to work on time. I am sure that I only would have needed to stay for another 10 or 15 minutes to limit out.
Jigging at 70 feet
Rod one: A Gibbs Gator, 12 inches of leader, and a black and red chironomid
Rod two: A yellow and green F.S.T flasher, 12 inches of leader, and a black and red chironomid
Chironomids fished at 70 feet. The kokanee loved them! Caught 4, lost 3, and lots of bites
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June 9, 2020
It was unseasonably cold today. I felt like a sponge while I soaked up three hours of rain but I was still happy to be out on the water again! I was out from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.
It didn't take long to find a large school of fish on my fish finder down at 70 feet. I quickly spooled the downrigger down to 70 feet and moments later I was reeling in a beautiful chrome kokanee. I was thinking to myself that it was going to be a quick limit, but this was not the case. I kept that line down at 70 feet and played with depths and lures on my other rod. I tried an F.S.T flasher with a Chrome's hoochie and pink maggotts. I also tried a Ford Fender with an orange Chrome's spinner with worm, and then tried both setups with shoepeg corn. It was the Gibbs Gator with the pink Chrome's spinner tipped with garlic and anise scented shoepeg corn that was the winner of the day, landing two fish and losing two others.
Success at 70 feet. Surpisingly deep! 2 caught 2 lost
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May 15, 2020
REPORTS FROM READERS
Cam had some success today trolling a two leaf Ford Fender with 12 inches of leader and a small pink Spin n Glo that was tipped with shoepeg corn with garlic scent. He caught two kokanee before 10:00 am at 35 feet deep. Cam's other rod was equipped with a dodger, 18 inches of leader and a green wedding band with scented shoepeg corn. He switched the wedding band partway through the day for a pink hoochie with maggots. Unfortunately, he had no bites on this rod. Cam and company fished until 1:00 pm, when the rain pushed them off the lake.
Thank you, Cam, for submitting a fishing report!
Have a report you would like to share? Submit your fishing report here!
May 13, 2020
I found myself with another day off and perfect weather. I couldn't resist heading back to Monte Lake. I got to the lake at 9:30 am and was armed with my shoepeg corn and spinner hoochies.
I met up with my brother today and promised him we would get into some kokanee. That is just what we did!
We started off trolling near the pull out on the north east end of the lake, about 200 feet off shore, dropping our lines to 47 feet. This spot is quite popular for ice fishing as well. In less than five minutes, we were onto our first kokanee. We continued trolling along the north east corner of the lake in a southward direction for about 20 minutes with no bites and only marking a few fish. We circled back to the spot where we caught the first fish and upon arriving we got into our second kokanee. We caught most of our fish close to this area and only got a few bites outside this area. The majority of the fish were marking on the fish finder between 40 and 50 feet at this spot.
The weather turned quickly to wind and rain around 1:00 pm so we called it a day. And a good day it was, with good company and five chrome kokanee in the boat.
Today we landed five fish and lost a few others along with a few bites. It was a great day!
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May 11, 2020
Today was the perfect day to do some trolling: 25 C and a calm lake! We were out from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and most of the fish and bites came in the first hour and a half.
The first thing I did was fire up the fish finder. We were marking fish immediately at 50 feet and the odd one at 100 feet. I wasn't expecting to catch anything because last time I was out it was very slow. It is always better to expect less.
I put the downriggers down to a depth of 47 feet. I tried a Gibbs dog tail dodger with Chromes single spinner and worm on one rod, and an FST flasher with a Chromes spinner hoochie tipped with shoepeg corn with anise oil and garlic on the other rod. The hoochie spinner with the corn got all the action. I quickly changed my second rod to a hoochie spinner with corn. The bites came while trolling at 1 MPH.
I think I need to invest in a long handled fishing net because we lost two fish right by the boat that were just out of reach of my short handled net!
Trolling at 47 feet at 1 MPH
Rod one and rod two: FST Flasher with a Chromes' hoochie spinner tipped with shoepeg corn scented with anise oil and garlic
We caught 3 and lost 3, including the two we lost right by the boat, and had a couple more bites. All three fish were just over 1 pound.
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The ice is off!
April 14, 2020
I took a gamble that the ice would be off the lake today, and towed my boat to the lake. The gamble paid off and I spent a few hours out on the water. Fishing was slow, we managed one bite on a lure my son made. It was still nice to get out on the water.