Advice needed on Open Water Lakers
So I head out to Lake Louise Saturday night. What little I know about open water lakers is they seem to do better from sunset to Sun up, and right after ice out you can find them shallower.
I am in a kayak so it limits the range a bit. Trying to figure out what else I can try. Not just Lake Louise but any lakes that hold trophy lakers.
So I had a downrigger with me but I figured at night and early season they might be shallower. I ended up trolling around the Islands in front of Lake Louise Lodge from 10pm to 3am. I tried a 5 of diamonds daredevil and a jointed rapala ( a fairly large one) both converted to single hook.
I tried to stay near what seemed like drop offs from about 10ft of water into 40ft. Varied the depths and I know I covered the full water column. Switched between using a flasher and not using one.
I had one good takedown on the rapala but the fish I felt didn't seem huge but you never know. Saw lots of smaller fish dimpling the surface with a few fish that looked to be 12 to 18 inches mixed in. Not sure what they were. Had a few good marks but it wasn't like the laker night fishing I expereinced before on a different where you could just see waves of fish coming out of 60ft or more into 10ft or less of water as it got darker. Strong solid marks but usually single lone marks.
So...What would you have done differently? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Maybe Lakers are like kings and I suppose the answer could be "Just keep doing what you are doing because 5 hours isn't enough time." I can accept that. I know we have a few laker experts on this forum. I'm looking to take a pic and release a big fish. I think I can go to other lakes and catch 2 to 5 pounders. those don't interest me as much.
Gotta love the long summer days though! Scenery pics taken from 11:15 to midnight, the pic of the car at 3:15 am. Untouched with my iphone.
Beautiful pictures, beautiful lake. High winds come up quickly there and are no small thing for a kayak, especially each afternoon. Great plan to take a picture and release. That lake still needs its laker population to grow.
Originally Posted by Kardinal_84
Also consider just South of those islands around Army point. Target the dropoff like you said. Dawn/dusk are the two best times I believe, but I've not fished all night there before.
Green/brown 6 inch rapala plug 20-30 after ice out.
Also wiggle warts. Natural colors
Ice out there shallow, as summer progresses good luck and troll s l o wwwww, way slow and deep
I spent 15 years guiding lakers in the NWT and found that the bite usually died around 10:00 PM.
I found that you could catch trophies any time between dawn and about 10:00 PM.
Our best baits were always T50, T55, T60 flatfish and large spoons like the husky deviles/devile Jr's and Lucky Strike 1/2 waves in the two largest sizes.
This time of year water temperature is very important.
Prime temps are 48-52 degrees but the fish will stay shallow until the surface temp hits the high 50's.
Case in point, I was out on Friday and spent a lot of time looking for fish and found them in 15 FOW with surface temps in the 52-55 degree range.
Thanks all. A few folks clued me in and its shallower than I expected. my night fishing experience comes from one lake (hidden) a long time ago! I was reading 53 for water temp. Spent most of my time in 25 to 40 ft of water next to a shallow ledge where I could see a bunch of rising small fish.
Glad to hear you don't have to spend all night out. I'm dead tired even now. This body isn't 18 anymore!!!!
I know it changes as the water warms up but I see another attempt in the near future!!!
Would you subscribe to big bait equals big fish. I'd rather catch one twenty pounder than a dozen 10 pounders. Or do you just have to land more fish to hit that one big one. I guess what I'm asking is it possible to target larger fish? Planning to release everything as I prefer other fish to eat.
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Kard.... Was at Louise 2 days after initial ice out. Spoke to some of the hard cores there. Got some good tips. I have my kayak up this way. Was on Paxson Saturday. Experimenting.
Seven mile on the Denali was breaking up Sunday. Summit still has its cover on. Seems that the quicker one gets to the ice out the better. Can others verify this?
By the way, heard a forty pounder was released out of Louise. Several 20 to 30 pounders the first couple days there. Granted they are 'fisherman' but I took them as credible after spending a fair amount of time with them.
Look me up if u come up this way. I want one bad too.
Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
Lots of good info. here. This time of year I would work shallow...10-15'...and progress down hill as the sun gets stronger. I have had some of my best luck just soaking herring on the bottom but like you, I release them now and herring is a death sentence. As mentioned, big spoons, and plugs moving slow will get it done eventually. I prefer to use a large FST flat line trolled about 100' behind the boat. The Mepps Cyclops is another great choice.
I had not been clued in to the water temps being good between 48 and 52 degrees. I was on the north end of Paxson thinking lakers mite be hungry for incoming Smolt or grayling feeding on the Smolt. I did happen to notice the temps were 49 to 52 there. The incoming creek was hi and dirty and completely dirtied up the whole north half of the lake. I did mark a few groups of fish in a few places. No bites tho.
I worded my ? poorly in previous post. Is laker fishing 'better' if one can get on the lake immediately after ice out? Thanks
Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
Shallow water fishing is usually good until the water tops 60*. Then you have to start working deeper for them.
You should still be able to catch fish using in-line sinkers to get your bait down to them. I have caught fish down to 40' using GIBBS sinkers up to 8 ounces. Another good technique is jigging for them when they head deeper.
Some of the best laker fishing I have ever had was fishing mud lines. If you weave in and out of the dirty water fishing can be wicked.
One day I fished a really well defined mud line and two anglers caught well over 100 trout in 4 hours!!!!!
Everything has to come together for it to work though (water temp, bait and a good mud line).