PETER HOPE LAKE
Less than an hour outside of Kamloops, Peter Hope Lake is one of my favourite lakes- and not just for fishing! Beautiful cabins and hidden arms of the lake make this a great lake to explore. Read more about Peter Hope Lake
September 8, 2022
It has been far too long since I've been out kokanee fishing and finally today was the day to get back at it!
I was greeted with heavy gusts of wind and white caps, but I was determined to go fishing. I bounced my way out onto the water and began scanning around to find the fish. The fish were marking everywhere with the majority schooling just east of the sunken island.
I started with a Chrome's dodger and a pink wiggle hoochie on my first rod, and a dog tail dodger with a hand-painted watermelon kokanee wobbler on my second rod.
Today proved to be very difficult. I trolled at several different depths, different speeds, and changed my gear several times. I had my gear right in front of their noses several times but two hours passed without a bite. I reeled up all the gear and set the bow mount to anchor mode. I tried jigging everything from chironomids to buzz bombs and several lures in between. Another two hours passed with only one bite on a chironomid. While I was jigging I noticed that the bigger the flasher, the longer I was able to get the fish to follow the gear. This is information I never would have known without my fish finder.
I was pretty close to packing up but I was on some big schools so I decided to troll back to the boat launch- and this time I would give them plenty of flash.
Out came the three-leaf Ford Fender. I normally prefer to use Chrome's dodgers or other smaller dodgers because they have much less drag than a Ford Fender, but it was time for some old school methods! I paired the Ford Fender with the pink wiggle hoochie and the watermelon wobbler I was using originally. I set the lines down to 40 feet and soon after I was into a double header. I caught one of the fish but lost the other before I could attend to the second rod. I ended up with a pretty quick limit thanks to the big heavy gang trolls. All the fish were caught near the sunken island at around 40 feet deep. Old school techniques for the win!
It took a while to start catching them, but once I did the limit was filled quickly.
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August 3, 2022
I was undecided early in the morning whether or not to venture out on a day that was supposed to bring 26 km winds in the afternoon. I reasoned with myself that I only have so many days off so I better go. I am usually able to logic my way into a reason that I should be out fishing :)
When I arrived at the lake there were no boats on the water and the south end of the lake was reasonably calm, considering the wind.
I went right to the south end to get out of the wind and waves and landed right on top of a big school of fish schooling between 40 to 60 feet. I set the bow mount to anchor mode and began jigging. I tried a flasher with a pink #12 weighted marabou jig, then switched to a pink spoon, then a chartreuse spoon, and then a pink non-scented grub tail. Not even a sniff.
I then set up both my trolling rods with Chrome's bendable dodgers and 14 inches of leader, one rod with a pink kokanee wobbler and the other with a pink wiggle hoochie.
I began trolling at about 50 feet deep where the biggest concentration of fish were. It seemed as though the fish were stacked on the south end. I don't think there was ever a time that there wasn't at least one mark on the fish finder. Unfortunately, it seemed to be one of those days when you are staring at the rod tips in anticipation due to the mass amounts of marks on the finder, but with no action. Finally after about an hour I had one on the kokanee wobbler- a big one! Unfortunately it slipped off the barbless hook right by the boat. I think I had been trolling too deep.
I began changing up lures. I tried Chrome's single spinners tipped with non-scented pink grub tails, Chrome's smile hoochies, trolling spoons, and finally the lure that seemed to work best: a small pink and glow micro hoochie on a pink wiggle bill. I ended up catching another two nice kokanee (both smaller than the one I lost but still decent) on the micro wiggler hoochie and losing two more. I lost another two on the kokanee wobbler. All my bites came at 35 to 40 feet. When I trolled deeper I got no bites even though there were higher concentrations of fish.
It has been a while since I haven't been able to fill my limit, but still a great day! Two caught and five lost!
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july 13, 2022
It was a much nicer day at Peter Hope Lake than the last time I was here, when it poured on me relentlessly the entire time I was on the water. Today is was sunny with a few clouds and 24 degrees C.
Even better, my kids came along and they brought a friend. I was very excited to get them into some nice kokanee!
I decided to only use two rods today even though I could have run four rods. I figured it would be much easier to manage and the kids could take turns reeling in fish. I geared the rods with Chrome's dodgers and kokanee wobblers.
I headed to the south end of the lake where I had success last time and there were several fish marking around 40 feet. We put the gear down to 40 feet and caught our first kokanee in about 10 minutes on an orange, yellow and pink kokanee wobbler. The kids were stoked and so was I! We continued fishing for about another hour and we lost two on the pink kokanee wobbler. I switched the orange, yellow, and pink wobbler to a pink wiggle hoochie and it proved to be a good move. We caught two kokanee quite quickly on the pink wiggle hoochie.
We took a bit of a break from fishing so the kids could cool off in the lake and have some lunch. I tried a little jigging while we were stopped but had no luck. I also used the down time to change out the wobbler so that we were running pink wiggle hoochies on both rods.
We fished for a short while longer and caught two more kokanee at 40 feet deep. At the end of the day while packing up I met a couple of anglers who were inspired to go kokanee fishing after reading some of my reports. They hadn't had any success at Peter Hope and were heading out to Stump Lake. I hooked them up with a couple of wiggle hoochies because they had never tried them before. I was happy to get a message from them the following day showing me the beauty kokanee they caught on the wiggle hoochies.
Last time the pink kokanee wobbler was best, but this time it was the pink wiggle hoochie
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june 29, 2022
This was the rainiest day I have ever spent on the water. But with only so many days off work I felt like I needed to go out, rain or shine.
I did my usual routine today of scouting different areas of the lake looking for the biggest concentrations of fish. Today the southeast end of the lake was where I found the most fish.
Most of the fish were between 30 and 50 feet deep, with the exception of a few areas where the schools were right on the bottom (as seen in the photo gallery where you can see my down rigger balls drifting well above the school below).
One of my friends swears by the pink and purple wiggle hoochie as being the best kokanee lure of all time, so I paired one with a pink UV Chrome's dodger on my first rod. On the other rod I used a pink and purple spinner hoochie also paired with a pink UV Chrome's dodger. I set the depths to 40 feet and just as I was about to put my feet up and take a sip of coffee (love the Minn Kota bow mount!) the rod with the wiggle hoochie had snapped free from the quick release and was bending hard. I quickly sprung to action and put a beauty 2.5lb kokanee in the boat. About 20 minutes later the spinner hoochie saw its first action but I lost this one. I fished for another 45 minutes with one bite on each rod but no more fish in the boat. I reeled up the spinner hoochie and changed for the pink wobbler.
I set the wobbler down to 42 feet and almost immediately had a fish on and put another beauty in the boat, this one about 2.25lbs. Once the wobbler was on, I never had more than 15 minutes go by between strikes. I caught three more fish on the kokanee wobbler and lost five. On the other rod the wiggle hoochie managed two bites and one more got away. I fished between 30 and 50 feet with most of my success happening at 42 feet. I set my trolling speed a little faster than my usual 1.3 mph, after noticing many of my bites were on the outside rod during turns. I dialed up the speed to 1.5 mph and had better success.
Rod one: A Chrome's pink UV flasher with 14 inches of leader to a pink and purple wiggle hoochie
Rod two: A Chrome's pink UV flasher with 14 inches of leader to a pink kokanee wobbler
I had plenty of fish on today and put my limit in the boat thanks to the kokanee wobbler.
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May 26, 2022
Finally! A day this May that was not overly windy!
Every time I'm headed out to Peter Hope Lake I have an extremely hard time passing Stump Lake when the lake is as calm as it was this morning. Passing up Stump turned out to be a good move. Peter Hope Lake was also calm, and the kokanee were hitting chironomids in 60 feet of water!
We first cruised to a few different spots where I often find fish and scanned around with the fish finder. We found the south end to be holding good size schools at about 40 to 50 feet deep. Often when there are several fish marking together they are kokanee. We used Chrome's dodgers and pink kokanee wobblers to troll at 35 and 45 feet using a 70 foot set back. This got us into three fish over the course of 1.5 hours. Unfortunately all three got away. Using single barbless hooks as opposed to tandem hook rigs definitely decreases the catch ratio. We changed our tactics and started jigging chironomids for kokanee. Once we found a school we stopped on it and dropped a small flasher with a short seven inch leader to a silver and red ribbed chironomid. We kept the chironomid almost still while the fish were marking on the finder, only raising them very slowly. When the fish stopped marking we would jig a little faster creating some flash until the fish came back. This worked very well, we caught four chrome kokanee with the smallest being 1.5 pounds. We lost four others.
Rod one: A chrome williams wobbler with 7 inches of leader to a red and chrome chironomid
Rod two: A chrome and pink 3.5" flasher with 7 inches of leader to a red and chrome chironomid
We had lots of fish on the line but only got four in the boat.
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April 26, 2022
This day was a long time coming! Peter Hope Lake has an ice fishing ban so I am always eager to get out in the water after ice off. This time of year can often prove challenging to catch kokanee, and today was no different.
Like usual I started my day by scanning different areas of the lake where I thought the fish might be. I found that the north end and a small spot toward the south east side were marking the most fish (see lake map in gallery).
I started trolling the small spot towards the southeast side of the lake as it seemed to have the highest concentration of fish. The fish were marking from 20 feet deep right down to the bottom. I used a Chrome's pink and chrome flasher with a pink wiggle hoochie on rod one, and on the second rod I used the same flasher with a pink kokanee wobbler. These normally wouldn't be my first choice during this time of year but the options are more limited on Peter Hope due to a single barbless hook bait ban that is in place.
Over the course of three hours I caught one rainbow and lost two kokanee beside the boat, all at 30 feet deep and all on the pink kokanee wobbler. A throat sample of the rainbow revealed mostly chrome and red chironomids. Last year around this time I did very good on Peter Hope catching kokanee on chironomids so I changed up my tactics. I begn jigging using an ice flasher and 12 inches of leader to my hand tied weighted red and chrome chironomid, keeping an eye on my fish finder to put my gear right on the fish.
This was a little difficult because it was in deep water and I was not using an anchor. I made it work with my trolling motor and in the next hour I managed to land four rainbows and one beauty kokanee.
Rod one: A chrome and pink flasher with 14 inches of leader to a pink wiggle hoochie
Rod two: A chrome and pink flasher with 14 inches of leader to a pink kokanee wobbler
Jigging rod: A chrome and pink 3.5" flasher with 12 inches of leader to a red and chrome chironomid
Red and chrome chironomids were the way to go!
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