Paul Lake is best known for its hiking trails its huge rock bluff and scenic viewpoints. Now stocked with kokanee, Paul Lake's kokanee fishing is quickly growing in popularity. Learn more about Paul Lake here.
December 28, 2021
Finally! The ice has arrived and has already thickened to 9 inches, 6 of which are good clear ice.
I fished the east end of the lake today about 100 meters off shore. The water depth was 98 feet and the fish were marking mostly around 35 feet deep with the odd mark down at 75 feet.
My tent and buddy heater proved invaluable, keeping me warm and comfortable at -25C.
It took a bit of time to get my setup dialed in. I tried corn, earth worms, and ice flies. The ice flies got a couple bites and one kokanee, but the bait got none.
I switched it up to a small weighted hook with one pink gulp maggot and this helped entice the bite. The action was pretty steady and it wasn't hard to fill my limit. I normally keep kokanee but I will release them if they are small and I can shake them off without handling them. I released another three kokanee this way that were only about 6 inches long.
All of the fish were caught between 30 and 40 feet in depth. I chased a couple of marks down at 75 feet but they didn't seem interested.
I also tried something I have never used before: canned grasshopper! That seemed to stir up the fish and get them interested. They took several strikes at it before I hooked a rainbow trout.
Ice rod : A 3.5 inch pink, glow, green and silver flasher with 12 inches of leader to a small weighted hook with a single pink gulp maggot.
click to enlarge
5 kokanee caught, 3 intentionally lost due to size, and 2 unintentionally lost
I was hoping to give an ice report in inches, but that was not the case. It will be a while yet before Paul Lake will have safe ice.
December 11, 2021
August 13, 2021
I found a short reprieve from the smoke today. It didn't last long, but I still enjoyed it.
I pulled up to the main boat launch in the park in hopes of finding the middle post that blocks the launch unlocked. I had heard reports that it is always unlocked and you can remove the middle post to launch your boat. This was not the case; it was locked. I put my launching wheels on and was able to off-load the boat quite easily. Putting it back on was going to be the hard part.
I started marking fish immediately in front of the boat launch. I put the lines down to 30 feet where most of the fish were marking and headed to the bluff. I lost two right off the bat and I lost another two near the bluff. It was exceptionally hard to keep them on the hook! I was marking more near the launch so I trolled back. I had been fishing for an hour by the time I arrived back at the boat launch. The next hour was very busy, the kokanee were biting like crazy in front of the beach at the park. I caught four and lost six more. Most of the ones I lost were close to the boat.
I was rushed for time today so I had to pack up while still one short of my limit and head out. As I suspected, pulling my boat uphill to load it on my trailer was a chore. Luckily some nice people at the boat launch offered to give me a hand which was much appreciated.
I had all the bites in the 25 to 40 foot range besides one fish that took the hook before I was even clipped in to my downrigger. The fish liked my latest spinner hoochies designs. About half way through, I changed one of the hoochies to a Chrome's single spinner and that worked well too.
Rod one: A Chrome's pink UV dodger with 16 inches of leader to a pink Chrome's spinner hoochie tipped with scented shoepeg corn
Rod two: A Chrome's pink and chrome UV dodger with 16 inches of leader to a orange Chrome's spinner hoochie tipped with scented shoepeg corn
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The fish were hard to keep on the hook today. I ended up losing ten fish to the four I caught
APRIL 20, 2021
Another quick limit of kokanee today! After yesterday's great fishing I was excited to get back out again. But today did not come without some hiccups. Bad things really do happen in threes.
I got my rods set up and put the boat in gear. I didn't notice that the suction cup that holds my transducer to the back of boat had come lose. Before I could get the motor shut down my transducer cord was wrapped around the prop and torn in two.
I managed to untangle the cord from the prop and get moving again. I grabbed my rod to let line out. and somehow with all the things going on my rod tip had broken off. I set up my back-up rod and finally got to fishing. I quickly put two fish in the boat. It turns out that the line on my back-up rod was maybe too old. I had a third fish on, and when I pulled to release the line from the downrigger clip my line snapped. I reeled up the downrigger weight and to my surprise the line was still in the clip and the fish was still on. I pulled in fish number three by hand.
That was all for the hiccups. On the plus side I caught two more fish to fill my limit. The schools have shifted slightly more west today than yesterday ( I learned this before I broke my fish finder). The fish are mostly at 60 to 75 feet with the odd large school at 30 feet. Lots of S-turns to entice the bite today.
I didn't realize how much I depend on my fish finder while fishing. I felt blind with out it. It helps me stay on the fish, manage my speed, and adjust my depths as I find schools.
Rod one: A Mack's sling blade Dodger, 16 inches of leader and a pink chromes single smile spinner tipped with a small piece of dew worm
Rod two: A Gibbs Dog tail dodger with 16 inches of leader to a pink Chromes spinner hoochie tipped with shoepeg corn scented with garlic and anise oil
click to enlarge
I caught five kokanee and lost five kokanee, on this day that was full of hiccups