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MONTE LAKE

fishing reports

Monte Lake is a popular fishing lake year-round, with kokanee in the 1lb range . Learn more about Monte Lake here.

February 21, 2023

Monte Lake was not busy at all today. My first thought was that fishing must have been pretty slow as of late. When I arrived there was one tent off the middle pull out and one tent further south. I have yet to fish in front of the middle pull out this ice season so I decided to give it a go. There was plenty of water and slush near the shoreline but once past the shore area there was about 7 inches of good ice.

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Kokanee ice fishing.jpg

I got all set up over 115 feet of water and I was marking a few fish right away between 60 to 100 feet and also a few between 20 to to 40 feet.

I started to jig at 30 feet using my underwater camera and found out that most of the marks between 20 to 40 feet were sucker fish. You could chase these marks all day if you didn't have a camera to verify that these marks were indeed sucker fish. After learning this, I went down chasing the marks at 70 feet. I was able to get one kokanee to chase my gear up and he took my jig around 50 feet.

The fishing was quite slow over the next couple of hours. I was marking sucker fish up top and very little down deeper. The other angler that was also in the middle was heading off the ice. He too had found it slow and hadn't had any luck. He said he was marking fish between 20 to 40 feet but he couldn't buy a bite. Unfortunately he was likely chasing mostly sucker fish without even knowing it.

The water was very murky today. You could see no more than about 10 feet down the hole. I was quite impressed with the underwater camera- at 70 feet down I could still see the size 10 tungsten jig up to 5 feet away from the camera and fish from about 10 feet. I was starting to pack up around 1:30 p.m. when I noticed 3 marks at 60 feet. I sent the rod down and caught one as the gear was falling. These marks were the beginning of the most impressive school I have seen on my fish finder. The screen lit up from 30 feet all the way to 60 feet and it stayed like that for 9 minutes. There were so many marks that I could no longer tell where my gear was in relation to my underwater camera. Unfortunately I was only able to catch one more out of this school. They then disappeared as fast as they showed up.

the Strategy

The set up: First, a Chrome's pink and green flasher with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig 

Second: a chrome and brass 4 inch wobbler with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig 

The bait:  Meal worms

THE CATCH

A school of kokanee 30 feet thick! Spanning from 30 to 60 feet was the highlight of my day!

kokanee: 3
rainbows: 0

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

January 26, 2023

When I arrived at Monte today I wasn't yet sure where I wanted to fish. I was also a little concerned at how sloppy the ice looked. There were 4 or 5 tents at the middle pull out, a few tents on the south end and only two anglers sitting side by side just a little south of the main launch area. I ended up deciding on the north end because it was the least busy with just the two anglers. I first tested the ice a few feet off shore and found 6 inches of good ice with one only inch of sloppy slush on top.

Kamloops fishing.jpg
Kamloops ice fishing.jpg

I drilled a hole to scan for fish after about 100 steps straight out from the launch area. I immediately marked three fish around the 30 foot mark so I lowered my gear down. I jigged for about 15 minutes with no bites. I couldn't even get the marks on the fish finder to chase my gear. This made me suspicious that these were not kokanee and were likely large scale sucker fish. I pulled up my gear and lowered the camera to the fish at 30 feet. Sure enough! Three big old sucker fish were staring at the camera.

I moved farther out, about 250 steps from the boat launch. I set up my tent and waited for the kokanee to find me. It did not take long- down at 45 feet is where most of the kokanee action took place.

I sent the camera down to 45 feet and got it lined up with my gear. I saw a few kokanee and they didn't seem interested at first. Lately on most of the lakes I have found that using a slow jig when the fish come in tends to get the fish. This was not the case on Monte today. I watched 5 kokanee come in and swim away. When the 6th came in I jigged short and fast jigs. This got their attention! The fish became very aggressive, hitting my flasher twice before hammering my jig. Once I dialed in the jigging technique I had 5 kokanee on the ice and released a big spawner in under an hour.

The only problem with catching your limit so fast is then you're done fishing! Not today, though. I really wanted to see if I could get one to bite on a slower jigging style. I took one of my pink tungsten jig flies and cut off the hook portion, leaving the body of the jig in tact. I sent it down with my flasher and when I saw fish come in I started to slow jig, but just like earlier in the day they wouldn't touch it. As soon as I did the short fast jigs they became aggressive. I had 6 more kokanee come in and harmlessly bite at the hook-less fly while jigging quickly. It is so strange how something like a jigging technique can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not you catch fish.

the Strategy

The set up: First, a Chrome's pink and green flasher with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig 

Second: a chrome and brass 4 inch wobbler with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig 

The bait:  Bait-less

THE CATCH

Once I dialed in the jigging technique the fishing was awesome!!!

kokanee: 5
rainbows: 0

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge