Paul Lake.jpg

PAUL LAKE

fishing reports

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.

Paul Lake kokanee.jpg
Kokanee flasher.jpg

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.

the Strategy

 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.

THE CATCH

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

5 kokanee caught, 3 intentionally lost due to size, and 2 unintentionally lost

kokanee: 5
rainbows: 1

 

Ice update

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

Paul Lake.jpg
Paul Lake.jpg

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.

Paul Lake.jpg
Chromes kokanee lures.jpg

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. 

the Strategy

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

THE CATCH

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

The fish were hard to keep on the hook today. I ended up losing ten fish to the four I caught

kokanee: 4
rainbows: 0

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.

Paul Lake kokanee.jpg
Kokanee setups.jpg

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.

the Strategy

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

THE CATCH

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

I caught five kokanee and lost five kokanee, on this day that was full of hiccups

kokanee: 5

rainbows: 0

 

APRIL 19, 2021

The ice is off Paul Lake, and the fishing is great...when you manage to find where the fish are schooling!

Since the trailer launches are blocked, I needed to use launching wheels to steer my boat and motor down the launch and between the yellow posts. It is a little extra work but it is  manageable. 

Paul Lake kokanee.jpg

I started fishing near the bluffs at 10 feet deep and got a fish on in the first five minutes but lost it near the boat. I continued fishing this area for 2 hours with no further bites, and only marked the odd fish at 40 feet. I reeled up and headed for the far east end of the lake, stopping every 100 yards or so to scan the water with the fish finder in search of kokanee schools. When I arrived at the east end there were several fish marking in shallow water. I anchored and cast a Williams Wobbler with 16 inches of leader to a hook and scented shoepeg corn. It turned out that the marks on the fish finder were all rainbow trout.

I caught and released 8 rainbow trout at the east end of the lake before I headed back towards the west end. I stopped every once in a while to scan for schools of fish, and I finally found the schools of kokanee halfway between the bluff and the west end of the lake. The majority of the kokanee were at 70 feet with the odd large school at 35 feet. I had just got my second rod down to 70 feet when I hooked into my first kokanee of the day. I looked back at my first rod, and it had a fish on too! I was able to land both. The third and fourth kokanee came soon after. I decided to try jigging for the last kokanee to fill out my limit. I lowered the Williams Wobbler with 16 inches of leader to a hook and shoepeg corn to 70 feet and started jigging. Three jigs up and down and I caught my fifth kokanee. The kokanee were all caught between 1:55 pm and 2:25 pm. Five kokanee in 30 minutes!!! It pays to keep searching until you find them.

the Strategy

Rod one: A Gibbs Dogtail Dodger  16 inches of leader and a pink chromes single spinner tipped with a small piece of dew worm

 

Rod two: A Macks bling blade with  16 inches of leader to a pink Chromes spinner  hoochie tipped with shoepeg corn scented with garlic and anise oil

THE CATCH

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

Rainbows to the east and kokanee to the west. Five kokanee in 30 minutes!

kokanee: 5

rainbows: 8

 

Ice update

All of Paul Lake is still ice covered. A couple more warm weeks, and the ice should be off.

March 24, 2021

Paul Lake.jpg
Paul Lake.jpg

January 29, 2021

It is always a pleasure to visit the beautiful Paul Lake. The forest is green, and you are welcomed by the large bluff on the north side of the lake. The bluff is also a favourite spot to ice fish for kokanee, and it seemed to be the favourite spot again today. There were 23 groups of fishers set up in the middle of the lake in front of the bluff.

Paul Lake kokanee.jpg

With that many ice fishers in the same place, I figured that any aggressive kokanee in the area looking for a lure were already caught. I decided to pass them and head east about 200 yards. While passing, I talked to five different fishers about how the fishing was, and each had about the same story: fishing was slow, and no one seemed to be catching much. A couple of fishers had caught one fish and the others none.

Going the extra 200 yards was a good move. Between 9:45am and 11:30am I put my limit on the ice!

I marked a few fish at 55 feet but the majority were around 20 feet. All the fish that I caught were at 20 feet. I first tried a Dog Tail Dodger with a pink hoochie jig. It caught the fish's attention but I couldn't coax a bite. When I replaced the hoochie jig with a very small weighted hook tipped with meal worm the bites started coming in.

Since it's been unseasonably warm and the lake has only recently frozen over, I wore a PFD and carried ice picks. However, I was happy to find eight inches of ice near shore, and five inches of solid ice out towards the middle of the lake.

the Strategy

The setup: A Gibbs Dogtail Dodger  10 inches of leader to a small weighted hook with a meal worm.

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

THE CATCH

Meal worms for the win!!!

The kokanee couldn't resist them today.

kokanee: 5

rainbows: 0

Ice update

December 26, 2020

The west end of the lake is ice covered, but the rest of the lake is open water. I drilled near the edge and found 4 inches of ice. I would guess that the ice tapers toward the middle. There was some people shoveling off an ice rink near shore, but I would not recommend venturing out too far.

Paul Lake.jpg