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.
I brought all my ice fishing gear with me knowing full well I would likely not be using it, but I didn't think it would still be 99% open water. Hopefully it won't be much longer!
November 9, 2022
June 1, 2022
It was another fairly calm day so I took this opportunity to take my little 10' aluminum Harbercraft out to Paul Lake. Unfortunately, this is the way I have to go since I can't launch my bigger boat due the yellow posts that block the public boat launches.
That being said, I really like my little boat and I had a great day on the water!
I launched my little boat near the west end of the lake and as I moved along the houses at water's edge I began marking lots of fish in 50 to 100 feet of water. The fish were mainly concentrated at 20 and 40 feet deep, and near the bottom.
I have had so much success recently jigging chironomids that this is the first thing I tried. I started jigging at 20 feet with the setup seen in the pictures below. I had no luck at 20 feet so I dropped to 40, but again no bites.
I was jigging over 90 feet of water and decided to go right near the bottom since the shallower fish were not biting. As I got close to 80 feet I got a bite and landed a nice kokanee. As I lowered my setup the second time I tried a few more jigs for the shallower fish but they were not interested. As I got down to 80 feet I could watch the marks on my finder rising to my falling lure. I slowly raised my rod and this triggered the bite- I caught my second kokanee. It ended up being a quick limit and I had all five kokanee in the boat within 40 minutes, all of them caught near the bottom on a chironomid. I never even got the chance to take out the trolling rods, but I am quite confident that trolling in the 20 to 40 foot range would have produced results as well.
The set up: a W50 Williams' wobbler with 10 inches of leader to a hand-tied tungsten chrome with orange rib chironomid
The trolling rod: I didn't get a chance to use it... chironomids were too good!
Five kokanee caught in 40 minutes at 80 feet down!
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March 8, 2022
Since we're coming to the end of ice season, I took extra precautions and wore a PDF and ice picks in preparation for thinning and weakening ice. It turns out that there was 12 inches of clear hard ice. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that there was a different precaution I should have taken as well: wear some ice cleats. I shuffled slowly towards the bluff on a surface of smooth slick ice and managed to give the anglers walking out behind me a good chuckle when I did a spectacular cartoon-like, feet-out-from-under-me fall on my back. Turns out the PDF was good for a little extra padding at least!
Eventually I got out to where I wanted to fish without any more falls. I set up just east of the bluff and closer to the north side of the lake where the depth is 185 feet.
I used my pink and chartreuse ice flasher with 13 inches of leader to a pink tungsten kokanee jig I made. These jigs are my new favourite for jigging kokanee. The kokanee will still take the jig without bait, or when the bait has come off.
I began jigging at about 18 feet deep and caught my first kokanee after only 5 minutes. Forty minutes later I had three kokanee on the ice. It was now 11 a.m. and the fishing seemed to die right off. The fish became less frequent, and were less interested in my set up. I stayed until 1:30 p.m. and only caught one more kokanee and one rainbow that had showed up on the fish finder at 50 feet deep during that time. Through out the day, the majority of the fish were in the top 20 feet of water and the odd fish was marking between 50 feet and 150 feet.
The set up: a 3.5 inch pink and chartruese flasher with 13 inches of leader to a hand-tied pink tungsten kokanee jig
The bait: pink maggots
Four chromers on the ice, and one rainbow trout that was released.
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January 25, 2022
Paul Lake is probably the easiest lake to catch kokanee around Kamloops, but sometimes they can be a challenge. Today was good, but not nearly as good as my last time at the lake when my kids and I caught nine kokanee in only 45 minutes!
The schools were coming in only every so often, and for only a couple of minutes at a time. Last time I was out we had a school below us for 45 minutes straight.
I fished the east end of the lake over 125 feet of water and concentrated my efforts at 20 feet deep. The fish finder showed that the vast majority of fish were coming in at 20 to 25 feet, and the odd fish was at 80 to 110 feet deep.
I used a small pink ice fly and threaded a small pink tungsten bead to my leader. I also added one piece of scented shoepeg corn. I caught the first two kokanee fairly quickly, and another two over the next hour.
I spent four hours at the lake, hoping to get my limit. That final fish just didn't want to bite! Finally, the largest school of the day came in, but I still couldn't entice a solid bite- just a couple of nose-to-hook encounters. I waited for almost two hours for the next fish to show up, and I wasn't going to let this one get away! A couple of well-time slow jigs got that fish on the ice.
All five kokanee were caught at 20 feet deep. Several times during the day I chased the deep marks on the fish finder down at 90 feet, but these fish at depths were not interested.
I noticed a large group of anglers who were fishing a little closer to shore in 105 feet of water. They seemed to be putting many fish on the ice as well. I feel like I may have been set up just on the edge of the path that the schools of kokanee were taking. Sometimes it pays to move a little, but that always feels like such a big job when you have all of your gear set up.
The set up: a 3.5 inch pink, glow, green and silver flasher with 10 inches of leader to a small pink ice fly with a pink tungsten bead
The bait: scented shoe peg corn was the choice bait today.
I had a fun day catching my limit! The last one was hard to get, but with some persistence I caught it!
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January 6, 2022
Today was a very memorable day. My kids actually asked to go fishing! This does not happen often so I jumped on the opportunity. My younger son had painted his own flasher and jig with my new glow heat powder paint and was eager to test it out.
We got a bit of a late start. It was close to noon before we started fishing, but today was the best day of kokanee fishing I have ever had! Not only were my kids with me but it proved to be the most productive one hour of kokanee ice fishing ever!
I set up the kids with fishing rods in front of the fishing camera while I shoveled off a skating rink. Ten minutes into shoveling, my boys called me into the tent, saying that there were lots of marks on the fish finder.
I got into the tent just in time to watch the school swim into view of the underwater camera. We saw loads of kokanee and the flurry of action didn't let up. Check out the video to take a look at what we were seeing!
Over the course of 45 minutes we caught 7 kokanee and released another two small ones without handling them. All of the action was at 20 feet. It was amazing! The scented shoe peg corn easily out-fished the pink gulp maggots and meal worms, and the small glow jigs were key to turning the nibbles into catches.
At this point, the kids wanted to play some hockey so I took my own advice and packed it up while they were still having a good time. Playing a game of hockey was just as fun as fishing, anyway!
My son's hand-painted gear with his catch!
Both ice rods: a 3.5 inch pink, glow, green and silver flasher with 12 inches of leader to a small glow jig
The bait: we tried meal worms and pink gulp maggots, but the scented shoe peg corn was the choice bait today.
Easily the best kokanee ice fishing day I have ever had! Nine fish in 45 minutes!
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