2020 fishing reports
Pillar Lake is best known for its hike to a unique stone pillar and it's rainbow trout fishery. Now stocked with kokanee, Pillar Lake's kokanee fishing is quickly growing in popularity. Learn more about Pillar Lake here.
May 19, 2020
Today was a nice calm day, a perfect day to be out on the water! I stopped at Monte Lake on the way and I counted nine boats all fishing on the north end of the lake, which is the same end of the lake I had success last week. I was stopped for only a couple of minutes but managed to watch two of the boats land fish. Other boats were too far off to tell if they were catching anything. I am guessing that Monte Lake is still producing well.
It was hard to pass by Monte Lake when the fishing looked so good, but I really wanted to go find some kokanee in Pillar Lake. We found many rainbows, but it took some trial and error to find the kokanee. We started off using downriggers but they didn't seem to be showing results. We tried a Gibbs' gator flasher with a pink hoochie, and then the same flasher with a Chrome's spinner at all different depths. When this didn't work, we added a weight to a Ford Fender with a Chrome's spinner and let them drag behind the boat without the use of the downrigger. Toward the end of the day after catching several rainbows we finally found the kokanee. They were hiding out just a little north of Pillar Lake resort and they seemed to be 15 to 20 feet deep. We caught two kokanee and lost another- a big one, if I had to guess, because it snapped the line!
We spotted some very colourful turtles as well- four of them, all perched on a log. It was a nice way to end the day.
The rainbows were readily taking the bait...trying to find the kokanee was the hard part.
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January 22, 2020
Today was beautiful day for ice fishing- the sun was shining and it was about 3 degrees. There was plenty of ice, about 14 inches of good clear ice. My dog was loving life and excited to be out fishing with me. I want to send out a thanks to the folks that run the Pillar Lake Resort for letting me park there, and use there trail down to the lake. Such a nice resort on the water!
I was talking to the owner of the Pillar Lake Resort and he told me a large group had booked the Resort the weekend before and had caught around 100 fish over the weekend, both rainbows and kokanee.
Finding the fish proved a little challenging. The kokanee again were hard to find. Using my ice fishing camera, I saw a two kokanee swimming about 20 feet, and several small rainbows at about 40 feet deep. I jigged at 20 feet for a couple of hrs and only saw the two kokanee. I slowy worked my way down to 40 feet in hopes of finding more kokanee. Once I hit 40 feet it was all rainbows.
Jigging at 40 feet was catching rainbows.
Rod 1: A Gibbs Gator Spoon followed by 12 inches of leader and a small pink jig head tipped with pink dyed, shrimp and garlic scented, shoepeg corn
Rod 2: A Gibbs Gator Spoon with 12 inches of leader and a black and red micro leech tied with a non slip loop knot for extra action and a small split shot weight 4 inches above the leech.
The three rainbows that I caught were small, measuring only 10 to 12 inches in length.
I saw kokanee at 20 feet but I couldn't entice them to bite.
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December 18, 2019
It was a very windy, cold day on Pillar Lake! I was very thankful to have an ice tent to keep the wind off. However, upon opening one side of my tent, it caught the wind like a sail and took me for a ride along the ice for about 100 feet before I regained traction on a snow drift.
I couldn't find any kokanee today, but truth be told, once I finally got set up in the wind, I didn't try to move again. I talked to five other anglers on the ice, and no one caught any kokanee. Only one angler had caught one rainbow. The rainbows were mildly interested in my kokanee setup. When I switched to jigging a micro leech the rainbows were very aggressive, striking at the leech most times I saw a fish on my camera. All the fish were very deep.
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Jigging between 35 feet to 50 feet was where I was finding the fish.
Rod 1: Moon Jelly Dodger and 12 inches of leader to a Chromes custom lure tipped with pink dyed garlic shrimp.
Rod 2: Black with red micro leech tied with a non slip loop knot for extra action and a small split shot weight 8 inches above the leech.
I felt lucky to catch eight rainbows today, after finding that only one rainbow had been caught between five other anglers.
Next time I will put more effort into finding kokanee, but today was not that day!