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fishing reports

Stump Lake is producing kokanee in the one to two pound range as well as some big rainbow trout. Read more about  Stump Lake

March 13, 2023

The season is winding down with these warmer temperatures, but it is not quite over yet.

Some of the edges of the ice are showing signs of melt especially the north end of the lake. I wore my PFD and carried ice picks as I ventured out from the paved highway launch. There was not a single person on the lake besides one gentleman who was unloading his gear on the launch.

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It is often this time of year when ice fishers get into trouble thinking there is plenty of ice, but the ice is often soft and won't bare weight.

It turns out that the ice was still good. There was 2" of soft ice on top of 10" of hard ice.

I started fishing about 150 yards out from the launch in 80 feet of water. The new lithium auger made quick work of my three holes and I was marking fish at 20 feet and from 60 feet down to the bottom. The water was very murky and at four feet deep I lost site of my flasher.  I put my camera and gear down to 20 feet and the fish were coming in fairly steady but they were not that interested. It was so murky that I could only see little flashes from my flasher and the odd fish that came close enough.

I changed out the tungsten jig I was using to a 1.5 inch pink and glow swim jig. Finally I caught one at 20 feet. I was consistently marking far more fish at 60+ feet than I was at 20 feet so I sent the camera and the gear down deeper and to my surprise the water cleared right up at around 50 feet deep. I could now see everything on the camera, although it didn't seem to help much- most of the fish would chase the jig but not bite at it. I did manage to get two more kokanee at about 65 feet on the swim jig and had two bites over three hours of steady, no-nonsense jigging.

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I tried all the baits I had with me: real pink maggots, Berkley gulp maggots in pink and chartreuse, and scented shoepeg corn. The scented shoepeg corn got all the action, except one of the bites was on the chartreuse maggot.

the Strategy

Plan A: a 4 inch brass and copper wobbler with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig fly

Plan B: a 4 inch brass and copper wobbler with 12 inches of leader to a  1.5 inch pink and glow swim jig

The bait:  Scented shoepeg corn


I had to work for them today, but I still put three fish on the ice in the end.

kokanee: 3
rainbows: 0


click to enlarge

March 13, 2023

February 23, 2023

Stump Lake has been producing fairly consistent kokanee this ice season and today was no different!

I set up in the same location as my last two outings, just out front of the highway launch, since it was very productive both times. It was minus 17 C and the wind was blowing snow up from the ice. 

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Experience has taught me if you don't want to go chasing your tent, put an anchor in the ice first, before you attempt to set up your tent in the wind. Once I had the hut set up I got my transducer in the water and began marking fish at 30 to 50 feet. I immediately sent my gear down to 40 feet using the same hole that I drilled for the transducer and about two minutes later I had an absolutely beautifully coloured 5-ish pound rainbow on the ice. What a start!!! I was still marking fish so I went right back down and pulled up two more rainbows from 40 feet. I had been fishing for less than 15 minutes and was having a blast!

I decided to finish my set up before I put the line back down. I got my camera hole drilled and the camera set up at 35 feet. It did not take long for the kokanee to start showing up. They were a little less aggressive than the rainbows but they were still biting. Over the next 30 minutes I caught two kokanee and one more rainbow at 35 feet.

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I wanted to try something different. I have these jigs that seemed too big to use for kokanee but they are smaller than a buzz bomb, and some people use those, so I decided to try them out. I had used powder paint to coat them with pink and chartreuse glow. I tipped one with meal worm and sent it down with no flasher. To my surprise this jig made the kokanee crazy! They attacked it far more aggressively than the pink tungsten jig tipped with meal worm that I had been using. Using this jig made quick work of my limit. I had five kokanee on the ice by 10:30 a.m. I was marking fish from 30 feet all the way to the bottom (80 feet) with the majority at about 40 feet. I wasn't ready to go yet, so I put the line back down and strategically pulled my jig away from the kokanee in hopes of catching another big rainbow. I never got another big one but I did catch four more very decent rainbows. The water today appeared very murky when you looked down the hole, but when I got my camera past 20 feet the water became quite clear!

the Strategy

Plan A: a 4 inch brass and copper wobbler with 12 inches of leader to a pink tungsten jig fly

Plan B: a 1.5 inch pink and chartreuse glow swim jig

The bait:  Meal worms, shoepeg corn


Wow! What a day. I started pulling my gear away from kokanee in hopes of big bows!

kokanee: 5
rainbows: 7


click to enlarge