June 8, 2023
I have been anticipating this day for a while now. Stump Lake is always a fun lake to be on, and today was a very fun day!
I arrived at around 9 a.m. and my first observation was how clear the water was! There was about 20 feet of visibility. Second, I noticed all of the rather large chironomid shucks that were floating on the water. This got me excited!
I cruised across the lake from the highway launch and stayed right of the campground area, close to the residences on the lake. I had my lines out by 9:30 a.m. I wasn't marking much, so I stayed shallow with long setbacks. This was successful- I caught two kokanee quite quickly, one on a Chrome's pink spinner hoochie and the other on a pink wiggle hoochie. I was fishing just out in front of the first residence in about 60 feet of water and this is where I found the only big school of fish on the finder for the day. I marked about 20 fish around 30 feet deep. I put my rod with the wiggle hoochie down to 30 feet and left the other rod at 8 feet. As soon as my wiggle hoochie approached the school I caught kokanee number three!
It took a little while to find my 4th and 5th kokanee, but when I did it was one after another on the pink spinner hoochie! Both were caught shallow at around 8 feet deep. To my surprise the spinner hoochie out-fished the wiggle hoochie by a narrow margin of 3 to 2. I used a 75 foot setback and trolled from 1.2 to 1.4 mph.
It was only 11 a.m. and I didn't feel ready to pack it in for the day. I decided to see if I could get some rainbows on chironomids. I cruised into the campground bay but far left of the campground. There were a few fish rising and plenty of chironomid shucks on the water. I slowly scanned the area with my finder where I found lots of big marks near the bottom in 32 feet of water. I sent down my Peter Hope Lake special, the flasher and tungsten weighted chironomid. It was truly amazing! Just a few jigs and the marks would appear on the finder. I found that dead sticking (leaving the chironomid motionless) after attracting the fish was the best way to get them to take it. I caught six chunky rainbows and lost four others. One of the ones I lost right beside the boat was a good size kokanee. It is just as well, that way I did not need to handle it. I took a throat sample from one of the large rainbows and it was stuffed with very large silver and red striped chironomids.
Rod one: First, a Chrome's chrome and pink bendable dodger with 14 inches of leader to a pink Chrome's wiggle hoochie
Rod two: a Chrome's pink and green bendable dodger with 14 inches of leader to a Chrome's pink spinner hoochie
The bait: scented shoepeg corn.
Kokanee caught trolling and the bows on chironomids!
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MAY 10, 2023
I haven't heard of many kokanee being caught in Stump Lake since ice off. I have been out a couple of times and have done well with catching rainbows but have had a tough time getting the kokanee to take the hook.
The forecast was for light winds all morning and was to pick up in the afternoon and that is exactly what happened. It was almost glass until 2 pm when the winds came in and made instant white caps.
It appears as though the lake has finished turning over and the water clarity was quite good! I starting trolling in front of the boat launch and made a few circles. I was marking little to no fish which made me think the fish were likely close to the surface, but after 45 minutes of nothing I reeled up and headed for the north end. I marked a lot of fish on the north end in about 25 feet of water. I caught two decent rainbows and had a strike on the pink wiggle hoochie that I was trolling near the surface. I figured that most of the fish I was marking were likely rainbows so I moved on in search of kokanee.
I searched several places by scanning with my fish finder but I found very little. Finally while searching with the finder I noticed an area that had lots of floating grass and vegetation. I thought I saw some fish surface through the middle of it. I headed over with 100 foot setback and went only two feet deep on the downrigger. Often when I am going after surface fish I would use a long line as opposed to the downrigger, but with so much floating vegetation the downrigger was the way to go. This way the floating vegetation gets snagged by the downrigger cable and doesn't end up on your flasher. As soon as I got near the spot I caught my first kokanee, and then another shortly after. This was followed by a few bites, three rainbows and a kokanee lost beside the boat. Most of the action was on the pink wiggle hoochie, while the pink wedding band with scented corn caught one rainbow and had two bites.
I wish I would have found this spot earlier in the day. If I had, I think I would have caught my limit of kokanee. This spot was across the lake from the highway boat launch just left of houses on the lake.
The kokanee are much smaller this year than the kokanee from the past couple of years. That being said, there was a ton of daphnia in the water, so maybe they will grow quickly!
It took a good part of the day to find them, but I found them... well, a couple of them at least!
click to enlarge