Trout Eat Mice?

Do Trout Eat Mice?

Honestly I’ve heard of Bass eating just about anything they can wrap their mouths around, including mice.  But as for a  Cutthroat Trout eating a mouse, that is something I’d never heard of until now.  This shot comes from a fairly old Field & Stream article, but I just ran across it. A photo of a Cutthroat trout with a mouse down its throat is something I’d never have figured I’d see.

Cutthroat trout eats a mouse

Pretty amazing shot, but I’d give that fish a 50/50 chance it won’t survive its gastronomic selection.  Still, it is an amazing shot and proves what I’ve always said that any given species will often eat things that people say they don’t.  I mean why else would trout eat corn?

Trolling For Trout on Lakes

The Grand-Daddy of Trolling for Trout Tips

Chad with Lake Trout on Lake Pend Oreille
Chad the Fish Assassin trolling for trout on Lake Pend Oreille.

If for some reason you aren’t aware, LuhrJensen has been around for decades making fishing lures and fishing accessories.  Over the years they have posted a series of guides on how to use their equipment more effectively including this one on trolling for trout on lakes.

These are great general guides, but I don’t agree with everything they have to say and all of what they offer up doesn’t apply to every fishing situation.  Below is their guide for “Lake Trolling for Trout”.  I have added in my comments and thoughts along the way in blue.  Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to comment below, and be sure to stop by our FaceBook page and say hi!

 

A Complete Guide: Lake Trolling for Trout

by LuhrJensen

Trolling is a technique tailor-made for anglers with all degrees of expertise because it’s easy, fun and it works! It’s a great way to start a youngster out as line tangles and snarls are few and far between and there’s always something happening. But, trolling is not just for kids. It’s a fishing technique used by hundreds of thousands of anglers across the country every day because of its proven success. Put the deadly technique of trolling together with a high quality lake troll and you have a fish-catching combination that’s unbeatable!

OK, trolling is a great way to take kids fishing as long as the bite is hot, or you have a big enough boat for them to go wiggle around on.  In my experience, taking kids out on a small boat to troll around a lake hoping for fish to bite is a fruitless and frustrating event that leaves kids bored.  By the time you are were you want to fish, get geared up and the lines in the water, you have already lost the attention of the TV and computer addicted kids of today.

The truth be known, luck is the least important factor in becoming a successful angler. The person who employs the techniques given in this report, who understands trout and their habits and is willing to experiment with different lures and techniques will consistently out fish those using other techniques on the same body of water. Knowing the water you plan to fish, plus knowledge of the feeding and habitat characteristics of the fish species you’re after are key ingredients for productive angling.

 This is really a bit of a non-statement.  All they are really telling you is that if you know what you are doing, you don’t need to “get lucky” to catch fish.

Consistent results! That’s the reward, day-in and day-out for the angler who employs trolling as his or her primary fishing technique. The reason is simple – an entire lake or reservoir can quickly and efficiently be prospected by trolling, and concentrations of fish can be pinpointed with minimum effort.

 Here I agree!  Unless you are fishing on top of a ball of fish, trolling is going to consistently get you more fish than any other method and I think offers you the same level of ability to catch big trout as fly fishing without the years of entomology lessons, thousands of dollars in rods, reels, and line and none of the snobbery that you will find in far too many fly fishermen.

Trolling requires a boat, a method of propulsion (motor or oars), rod and reel, blade string (troll) and a lure. The troll and lure are let out behind your moving boat, with the amount of line varying depending upon the size lure or troll you select and how deep you wish to fish. The forward speed of your boat will dictate just how fast or slow the troll or lure will run and also will control its depth. Once the troll and lure are in the water and working properly, you must then find the fish.

Pretty basic stuff here, except that I will disagree that you need lake troll blade string or flasher/dodger in all situations.  Recently we spent a day fishing a stocked lake and the line with just a Wedding Ring out fished the line with a small lake troll on it pretty quickly.  Apparently the stocked Rainbow Trout were spooked by all those blades and noise.

PROSPECTING A LAKE

Whether you’re using a troll, small lure on lead core line or a lure-and-worm combination, you’ll find trout favoring certain areas of a lake. It saves a lot of time and energy if you are aware of these areas BEFORE you get on the lake and know in advance just what to look for.

The computer age has changed this completely.  You can research a lake online well before you ever wet your line and by looking at maps of the lakes, can find deep holes where fish might hide, sandy and weedy areas as well as where water flows in and out.  All of these are vital clues to where to troll for trout in a lake.

Most lakes stratify into three layers during late spring, staying that way until late fall. The middle layer of water, the thermocline, contains both a large amount of dissolved oxygen and forage fish. To be most effective, you should troll close to or in the thermocline. This will be from 15 to 50 feet down in most lakes.

If you run a fish finder, you can usually find this layer in the lake.  If you are hunting for established fish that are either hold-overs from previous year’s plantings or are native fish, the thermocline is something to pay attention to.  If you are after planted Rainbow Trout that have just been planted, it won’t matter any where near as much as these fish are terminally stupid and will often times be found very close to the surface at all times of the day.

STRUCTURE: All fish relate one way or another to structure, shelter or cover. They use it for protection from predators, to escape from direct sunlight, for feeding and, in some cases, for spawning. Deep water, docks or other man-made structure, overhanging trees, shade, underwater rocks, and cliff areas are all likely to attract and hold fish. Trout must have shelter, both from predators and from direct sunlight, so they always will be either next to or within easy reach of a shelter, cover or structure area.

This is true for established fish.  Bigger, smarter trout will hunt weed beds and structure for all of the reasons listed above.  Planters are less structure oriented.

FOOD SOURCES: Locate food sources in a given lake, and fish will be found nearby. Minnows, salamanders, crayfish, midges, surface insects, beetles and other such creatures make up a large part of a trout’s diet. Watch carefully for surface activity such as a school of small bait fish jumping or for insect hatches. On a windy day, fish that part of the lake where surface food is being blown and concentrated. Try areas adjacent to inlet and outlet streams where food items will be prevalent, or next to grassy shorelines or near marshy, weedy areas where food is easily available. Overhanging trees or bushes harbor all sorts of insect life, and fish will be waiting below for morsels to drop into the water.

Bigger trout will definitely hang near food sources, especially during the feeding times of dawn and dusk.  As you are trolling for trout, try swinging near the edge, or just over the tops of weed beds and other structures.  You will be amazed at the number of bugs that you will find in the belly of a 24″ trout.

DROPOFFS: Fish relate to structure and one of the easiest to detect, due to obvious shoreline features, is a dropoff. Be on the lookout for steep banks and then troll close to shore, along these banks. A depth sounder (a small, portable unit is fine for locating dropoffs) like those made by Lowrance, is a fishing tool that will help you locate ledges, dropoffs, and underwater islands not apparent any other way. It will save you valuable fishing time in finding these hotspots and allow you to troll next to them accurately.

 These are definitely something to focus on if you are stalking bigger trout.  When you are trolling for trout on big lakes without other structure, big trout will generally stay on the deep side of drop off areas, striking up into the shallows to attack food sources.  Fish over these edges to find the really big lake trout that are hiding there!

OXYGENATED WATER: Most lakes stratify into three layers during spring (see the diagram) and stay that way until late fall. The middle layer of water, the thermocline, contains both a large amount of dissolved oxygen and forage fish. Your trolling should be concentrated close to or in the thermocline for best results. It will be from 15 to 50 feet down in most lakes, depending on their size and depth. Fish also will regularly be found close to dropoffs, near inlets or outlet streams where highly oxygenated water is flowing, or in old river channels which contain residual water flows.

Trout are prissy in the fact that they need abundant oxygen or they die.  Bass and perch can live in stagnant ponds but trout need cold oxygen water and will seek it out.   In mid to late summer in the smaller lakes, inflowing water will attract trout that are looking for a “breath of fresh air” so to speak. When you are trolling for trout, look for oxygenated water, that is where the trout will want to hang out.

 

LAKE TROLLS

Because of their popularity, effectiveness and ease of use, Luhr Jensen makes a wide variety of trolls A complete listing can be found on the back page of this report. Trolls are especially effective in deep, murky waters or on overcast days. The basic difference between lake trolls is in the number and the shape of the blades, and the length of the shaft or cable.

 

lake troll rig
A typical LuhrJensen lake troll. These come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations.

The shape of a blade determines how fast it will rotate and the particular sound vibrations it will produce. A round or nearly round blade, such as the Colorado or Bear Valley, swings slow and wide from the shaft while narrow blades like the Willow Leaf spin fast and close to the shaft. Narrow bladed trolls are best suited for fast trolling as they have less water resistance.

Trolls appeal to several fish feeding instincts. In addition to producing flash and other visual attraction, a rotating blade gives off vibrations underwater that spell f-o-o-d to nearby fish.

A troll can be used in conjunction with just about any lure or bait, three of the most effective being a small spoon (Needlefish®, Super Duper®, Midge Wobbler or Hus-Lure), small plug (Hot Shot® or Kwikfish®) or a worm.

I will interject here that one of my favorite lures for trolling for trout is the simple old WeddingRing with a worm or other bait on the hook.  When I am trolling for trout, especially planters, this is at the top of my list of lures to try.

The troll consists of a rudder at the front end which prevents line twist, a series of free-swinging blades on a wire cable or shaft and a swivel to which you tie a leader. From the end of the troll, the leader should extend at least 12 inches back to the lure (many anglers prefer leaders of 12 to 18 inches, but they may range clear up to five or six feet). When trolled, the blades act as attractors, fish follow the flash and sound to the source, spot the trailing lure and go after it.

The trolling rudder is an essential item in this rigging as it will prevent line twist which can build up fairly quickly, even with swivels on the line and totally foul your reel.  even if I am trolling for trout with just a wedding ring or small plug, I like a small one of these tied above it just to keep things from getting messy!

Larger and more blades should be used for deep trolling or murky water. Clear water or depths of 10 to 20 feet require fewer, smaller blades. Nickel finishes work best on bright days or in clear water, while Brass and Copper finishes produce better in murky, deep or brackish (tea-colored) water. Brass, 50/50 Brass-Nickel, or Copper finishes work well when skies are overcast.

TROLL EASE AND RUDDERS

weighted rudder for trolling for trout
A Troll-Ease rudder combines weights and rudder functionality.

If you are going to use lures or trolls that have a tendency to spin in the water, a rudder is an essential piece of trolling equipment. The rudder will keep blades tracking straight and prevent your line from twisting. Small rudders should be used whenever you have some concern about line twist.

Combining the rudder idea with the need to easily change weight on a sport fishing line has resulted in the Troll Ease, a wire-frame rudder with the added feature of hollow-core sinker attachment capabilities. It’s one item a troller should have several of. Although simple, it eliminates a very big problem – how to change lead or add or subtract weight without constantly tying knots and cutting off pieces of line. By simply unsnapping a metal pin, you can easily add or subtract the lead you desire. It allows light spin tackle to effectively reach depths ordinarily attainable only with lead core line or by using a downrigger. An added bonus is that the Troll Ease also acts as a line-twist-preventing rudder.

This is an awesome idea, but right now I can’t find any in stores and the Luhr Jensen site says they are out of stock.  My guess is that they aren’t making any more because they are so easy for fishermen to make at home.  If you have any wire bending tools at home I am sure you can create a weighted trolling rudder for yourself.  These are really handy when you are wanting to troll just a spoon or small plug deeper in the water!

USING A SNUBBER

Usually the strikes that come when trolling are vicious. If you are using a troll, or are fishing for species known to have delicate mouths, such as kokanee, a rubber snubber is one piece of equipment you’ll be glad you have. A snubber is a length of surgical tubing with a coiled piece of heavy line inside and swivels attached to both ends. When a fish strikes, the snubber stretches out to help absorb the impact, and then retracts. Snubbers are attached between the troll and leader-to-lure to absorb the shock of hard strikes. They are available in light, medium or heavy-duty sizes, depending on the pound test leader you select.

Some people hate snubbers when trolling for trout, others swear by them.  Typically they were used for Kokanee fishing to give better hook sets and help keep the fish from tearing the hooks out of their mouths.  The newer fishing rods build for Kokanee fishing more or less eliminate the need for them in that regard.

If you troll with braided line, they are something to consider as braided line has very little give and a snubber will be of great help in keeping big trout on the line when you are fighting them.

TRICKS THAT TAKE TROUT

We’ve gone through much of the information that you’ll need to become a successful troller. Here now are some techniques you can use to make trolling easier, more fun and even more productive.

1. TROLL SLOWLY: Big fish will not expend any more energy than necessary to catch a meal. Also, most lures will not perform correctly at fast speeds. The best advice is to troll S-L-O-W-L-Y, the slower the better. Many expert trollers, particularly when fishing for trout, refuse to use a motor because they feel it’s just too fast. They use oars instead. However, if you must use a motor, make sure it will throttle down to a crawl, or, better yet, purchase a multi-speed electric motor or a one- or two-horse gas motor. You can use this for trolling and save the large one for power.

Trolling slow is essential, but make sure that you have enough speed to get your lures moving.  Different lures require different speeds to have the required action.  Always test them out beside the boat before you start trolling them, and make sure that all your lures play nice at the same speeds.

2. VARY YOUR SPEED: While slow is the password, this does not mean slow all the time. A lure running through the water at a constant speed, at a constant depth and giving off the same vibration pattern will not catch many fish . . . there’s just nothing there to indicate an easy meal is available or that something is in trouble. Slowly, yes, but adjust your speed every few minutes to change the lure’s speed and vibration pattern.

3. WORK IN “S” CURVES: Consistent trolling results require that you do everything possible to keep from running in a straight line. We recommend an “S” pattern because every time the troll and lure are on the inside swing of the boat, they will drop deeper and slow down. On an outside turn, they will speed up and rise. With each turn, you will impart a different action to the troll and trailing lure, signaling MEAL TIME to nearby fish.

When I am trolling for trout (or any other type of fish) I like navigating in S curves and kicking the throttle up and down a notch at random.  When trolling for trout, sometimes they will follow along behind your lure for a long time, deciding to strike or not.  That change in speed may be just what it takes to get those trout to quick debating and to strike your lure.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS

Here are a few final tricks that should help you outwit trout when everything else you’ve tried has failed. How many times have you watched a fish follow a lure right up to your boat, just to turn and swim away at the last moment? Chances are that fish had been following your lure for some distance, but the action of the lure or troll didn’t indicate it was an easy meal and therefore didn’t entice a strike.

Sometimes, in addition to trolling “S” curve patterns, a little more is needed. For example, try a sharp jerk or two every few minutes, or allow the troll and trailing lure to go completely dead in the water and sink for a few feet before continuing to troll. Another way to bring a strike from a following fish is to double your trolling speed for several feet, and then quickly slow down. You will receive most hits after the lure has been quickly and erratically moved and is just beginning to slow down.

In my experience, it is when the lure is “on the drop” after you tug on it that fish will hit if they have been loafing along after your lure.  So even though you are trolling for trout, don’t get complacent and stop paying close attention to your rod.

Another thing to consider if strikes are few and far between is to go to a lighter, longer leader between troll and lure. A six-pound premium-quality monofilament line of small diameter, such as Trilene XL or XT, will be more difficult for finicky trout to see. At the same time it has high knot strength and very high tensile strength in relation to its diameter.

Two accessories that will greatly enhance your success when trolling are the Luhr-Speed trolling speed indicator and a quality depth finder. Many lures and attractors have optimum speeds which must be maintained to operate correctly. The Luhr-Speed is accurate to 1/10th of a knot, easily mounts on about any boat and assures getting proper lure action. A depth finder such as those made by Lowrance will allow you to locate schools of fish and help get your lure where it will catch them.

 When you are trolling for trout, the trolling speed indicator on the right is a great way to get an accurate handle on how fast you are really going.  Despite what your GPS or fish finder says, this trolling speed indicator measures exactly how fast your boat is going through the water (and costs a lot less than fancy electronics).

LUHR-JENSEN/LES DAVIS® LAKE TROLLS

  • WILLOW LEAF FLEX-I-TROLL®: 4-blade models from 23″ to 30″ long.
  • BEAR VALLEY: 4 blades, 26″ long.
  • FORD FENDER®: 2- to 6-blade models from 7″ to 60″ long.
  • Kokanee Troll: 4-blade model shown
  • also:
  • BABY GANG: 4 blades, 22″ long.
  • BEAR VALLEY: 4 blades, 26″ long.
  • BEER CAN: 2- and 4-blade models from 15″ to 30″ long.
  • BOLO® FLEX-I-TROLL®: 2-blades, 15″ to 16-1/2″ long.
  • COWBELL® FLEX-I-TROLL®: 2-, 4- and 5-blade models from 26″ to 45″ long.
  • CRAWLER HAULER: 2 blades, 24″ long.
  • DAVE DAVIS®: 2- to 7-blade models from 12″ to 60″ long.
  • DOC SHELTON: 4- and 5-blade models from 15″ to 36″ long.
  • FLUTED BEAUTY LAKER TAKER: 2- and 4-blade models.
  • FORD FENDER®: 2- to 6-blade models from 7″ to 60″ long.
  • JACK-O-DIAMONDS® FLEX-I-TROLL®: 2- and 5-blade models, 22″ and 42″ long.
  • JEWELED BEAD KOKANEE TROLL: 4 easy-pulling Willow Leaf blades.
  • LITTLE LAKE: 2 blades, 12″ long.
  • MAIN TRAIN: 4- and 5-blade models from 26″ to 45″ long.
  • MIDGET FLEX-I-TROLL®: 4 blades, 27″ long.
  • SCHOOL-O-MINNOWS: 4- and 5-blade models, 16″ to 32″ long.
  • SLIM JIM FLEX-I-TROLL®: 2 blades, 24″ long.
  • 6-PACK SCHOOLIE®: 6 whirling, minnow-type blades.
  • TINY FLEX-I-TROLL®: 4 blades, 27″ long.

Bobbers or Float Fishing on Lakes for Trout

Bobber or float fishing on lakes for trout works!

When we are out chasing Trout one of the techniques that Thomas gives me grief for is bobbers or float fishing on lakes.  Sometimes though, when we have been trolling around the lake I get the impression that we are always one step behind the fish and are just following them as they migrate around the shore in search of food.

So, instead of chasing the fish, sometimes it is better to wait for them to come to you.  Additionally float fishing works better for me when the bottom is excessively weedy and bottom rigging is just not working.

Why is float fishing on lakes for trout awesome?

  • Bobbers and floats are easy to rig
  • Float fishing means less chance of getting snagged on the bottom
  • You can see when the fish is nibbling on your bait
  • It is easier to adjust the depth you are fishing at
  • It is much easier to toss out a bobber and sit and relax than throwing spinners

Float fishing video

Here is a quick tutorial on float fishing on lakes!

Trout Look Up When They Are Feeding!

Trout have this funny trait that they don’t look down, at least that is what I have been told and experience shows me.  So when you are putting your bait in the water you want it right in front of them, or slightly above them.  That way as they cruise by, they will see it.

My general tactic is to start with my bait fairly shallow under my float or bobber and then adjust it down until I am getting bites and then leave it there. Keep in mind that planted trout are used to food falling from the sky and as such feed close to the surface until they learn about life in the wild.

You don’t have to float fishing on lakes two miles from shore!

One mistake that I see fishermen doing  a lot when fishing with floats is fishing too far from shore.  Trout will orient themselves on the food and in a small lake that will be the edges and submerged structure.

While you may find some Trout cruising the open surface of the lake looking for bugs, or a few lunkers down in the deep, you are most likely to find large Trout in the early morning and late afternoon hours scavenging the dropoffs and edges of weed beds looking for bugs to eat.

Where to cast your float

  • At the edge of weed beds
  • Where the water drops off
  • Near structure
  • In areas where you see active fish

What bait to use when float fishing on lakes

What bait to use when bobber or float fishing on lakes is up for a lot of debate.  Personally I think you can never go wrong with a piece of worm.  That being said, sometimes it is just a whole lot easier (and effective) to use a dough bait such as Power Bait

Garlic Power Bait for float fishing on lakesSalmon Eggs for FishingGULP trout bait for bobber fishing on lakes

You will need to do some testing to see what you like best, what works for you and is generally what you like to fish with.  I have seen trout caught on worms, maggots, salmon eggs, dough bait and more.  Sometimes they are picky, other times they are gluttons.

How to rig your float for fishing

Start off with a longer trout rod and some reasonable line, something in the 4-6 pound test range.  This will give you plenty of strength to pull in fish, but be light enough to case easily.

Choose a bobber that will get you to where you need to be, but isn’t too big.  If fish are holding in an area and you cast a big huge bobber on top of them, you may scare them off.  I always go for a bobber with just enough weigh to get me where I want to be in the lake and just enough floatation to keep my bait and weights from sinking.

Too much weight and your bobber will sink.  Too much float in your bobber and you may not see fishing biting!

Below you bobber you will want to have about 18″ to 24″ of line and of course your hook.  Always go with good quality, sharp hooks!  Part way in between the two, you need a couple of split shot weights.  These hold your bobber upright in the water, and get your bat down where the fish will be looking at it.  Weights are essential!

4 Float fishing on lakes tips

Tip #1 is keep trying different spots.  You may not have a lot of choices on where you have access to fish, but change up where you are casting.  Sometimes the difference between catching and fishing is 5′.

Tip #2 is if it is windy, cast up wind and let your bobber or float drift through productive areas.

Tip #3 don’t leave a bunch of slack line of the water.  While float fishing is easy, you do have to pay attention.  Too much slack line on the water means you won’t be able to set the hook if a fish bites.

Tip #4 is don’t keep pulling up your line.  Your hooks can’t catch fish if they aren’t in the water!

Get out there and go fishing!

One thing is for certain and that is that you will never catch fish if you don’t go fishing.  Get out there and even if you are forced to fish from the bank, get a bobber and some bait in the water and get fishing.

Washington State Private Fishing Lakes

How is it that Washington State has so few private fishing lakes?

private lake trout fishing washington stateIf you travel around much, you will find that in the midwest and back east, there are loads of private fishing lakes stocked with trout and Bass that anglers can pay to catch.  Sure this is sort of like paying for sex, it is pretty much a sure thing, but I find it interesting that we here in the PNW have so few private fishing lakes.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t a few private fishing lakes in Washington state.  Problem is it takes some digging to find them. Are fishing lake operators just that bad at marketing?

Private Fishing Lakes in Washington State

Here are some of the private fishing lakes I have found in Washington state.  If you run a fishing lake and want to be on this list, just email me and let me know!

Some other private fishing lakes can be found here and I will update this page as I get more information!

 

 

Beaver Lake Rainbow Trout Stocking 2012

2012 Rainbow Trout Plant in Beaver Lake Announced

Beaver Lake, Sammamish

It is no secret that Beaver Lake gets a stocking of ~2000 2-3# Rainbow Trout about this time every year.  It has just been announced that a plant of 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 2 to 3 pounds will occur on Nov. 7

As usual, the boat launch site will be closed at sunset on Nov. 6, and then reopen at sunrise on Nov. 8. The lake, however, will remain open to fishing while the access site is closed.  So you can fish the shore for the big, dumb hatchery fish.

Beaver Lake is electric motors only and is best fished from a boat or float tube, but shore anglers typically do well here too.

Daily limit is five fish, only two of which can exceed 15 inches in length.

More Information on Beaver Lake

Monday (on a Tuesday) Post Fishing Report on Bosworth Lake

The Trout Fishing Was Good on Bosworth Lake

Planted Rainbow Trout caught in Bosworth Lake
Two of the planted Rainbow Trout I caught at Bosworth Lake over the weekend.

For the past several weeks we have been venturing out to Bosworth Lake by Granite Falls to have some fun with the planter Rainbows there.

Let me start off by saying that there aren’t a whole lot of BIG trout in Bosworth.  I’m not saying there aren’t any, but in proportion to the 11,000 or so little trout they plant in there, they are fairly far and few between.

Lures for Fishing Bosworth Lake

After a couple trips I can safely say that I like trolling this lake.  Lots of people are floating bait up off the bottom, but I like cruising around on it.  My recommended lures are:

  • KwikFish in White or Gold
  • Wedding ring in green/red
  • Muddler Minnow Fly

All of these lures we were fishing behind a 3/0 dodger right at the surface with great success.  If you go with the Wedding Ring option, I would add some power bait or worm to the hook.  Getting these fish to bite isn’t hard.  Getting them to stick is a whole different issue and the addition of a little bait seems to help.

Continue reading Monday (on a Tuesday) Post Fishing Report on Bosworth Lake

Trolling for Rainbow Trout Using a Dodger

Trolling for Rainbow Trout Super Tip

3/0 and 4/0 trout dodgers
Using a 3/0 or 4/0 dodger will greatly increase the number of bites you get when trolling for trout!

What one piece of overlooked tackle can put more Rainbow Trout in your boat on your next fishing trip?  A simple 3/0 or 4/0 dodger of course!

After many years of trolling around small lakes chasing planted Rainbow Trout, the one thing I have found time and time again is that adding a dodger to my line consistently had increased the number of bites I have gotten.

What the hell is a dodger?

Dodgers, flashers and rotators are all in-line attractors that add motion, flash and vibration to your presentation when trolling.  The difference between a flasher and a dodger is that the  dodger imparts an erratic side to side motion, while a flasher completely rotates in the water.

It is this surging, erratic darting motion that we are looking for.  Consider that for the most part you are probably trolling at an even speed the whole time you are on the water, and even doing S turns to mix things up, your lure is still mostly just running along in a straight line at a constant speed when you go by a fish.

Think of dodgers as a UFO for fish!

If you are standing outside at night and see a light slowly moving across the sky in a straight line, at a constant speed, with the same brightness the whole time, you probably will ignore it.  Now, if think what would happen if that same light was jiggling its way across the sky, speeding up and slowing down bouncing around erratically.  Think you would pay attention?  Think you would want to find out what that was?

Continue reading Trolling for Rainbow Trout Using a Dodger

What are they feedind the Trout in Irvine Lake???

This news comes out of California, and I just want to know what they are putting in the water, or feeding their fish to get so many HUGE Trout?

Irvine Lake Rainbow Trout

“There were too many big trout between 5 and 8 pounds to even keep track of this week; we had over 100 trout above 5 pounds on Saturday and Sunday alone! The trout bite overall has been very good, and it is about a 50-50 ratio of bait fish to troll fish for the boat anglers. The bite for shore anglers has also been very good at Boat Dock Cove and Woody’s Cove. We are also seeing a few more brown trout showing up on the stringers.”  says Jimmy Getty owner of a fishing shop on the lake.

Man, I have to admit that I am a bit jealous with the downright mean weather we have been having here in the Puget Sound region, that they are down there reeling those bad boys in.

King County’s Beaver Lake to receive 2,300 large hatchery rainbow trout

Looks like it is time for combat fishing at Beaver Lake down by Issaquah again!  Pretty much every year the WDFW dumps a few thousand trout in there at the end of the year and they get wiped out in about a week.  Have to say I don’t really understand why they dump them in a tiny lake like Beaver, other than possibly someone on the lake has the hookup with the WDFW.

We tried fishing Beaver Lake a year or two back, but were a little late to the party.   If you don’t mind some crowded fishing, put November 9-11 on your calendar to be out at Beaver lake trying to catch your share of these 2-3# Rainbow Trout.

OLYMPIA – Anglers will soon have an opportunity to catch lunker trout in Beaver Lake near Issaquah, thanks to the release of about 2,300 hatchery rainbows averaging about 2 to 3 pounds each. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is scheduled to release the fish Nov. 8. To facilitate fish planting, WDFW will close the Beaver Lake access site at sunset on Nov. 7 and reopen the site at sunrise on Nov. 9. Beaver Lake, however, will remain open to fishing while the access site is closed. The trout were part of an educational display at WDFW’s Issaquah Hatchery. Beaver Lake is best fished by small boat, although anglers also can be successful fishing from shore, said Aaron Bosworth, fishery biologist for WDFW. The lake’s access site is most easily reached by way of East Beaver Lake Drive Southeast, off Southeast 24th Street in the city of Sammamish. Parking for vehicles and boat trailers is limited, and a valid WDFW vehicle use permit must be easily visible in or on vehicles parked at the access site. See http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vup/ for more information about vehicle use permits. Beaver Lake is one of several westside lowland lakes open to fishing year-round. Internal combustion boat engines are prohibited on the lake. All anglers 15 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license. The daily bag limit is five fish, only two of which can exceed 15 inches in length. Anglers are advised to check the sport fishing rules pamphlet, which is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Top 5 Trout Lures for Trolling Lowland Lakes

In some of my previous posts, I have mentioned that in the Fall I like to troll the lowland lakes for trout.  This always raises a few eyebrows, but trolling lowland lakes for trout can be very productive this time of year.  If you are going to get out on the water and try and bring home some trout, here are my Top 5 Trout Lures when trolling lowland lakes.

Favorite Trout Lure #5 – Fat Spoons

Most of the lowland lakes are pretty stained, so fish have to rely on smell or vibration to find your lure.  Wide spoons create more ‘thump’ in the water and can pull fish from a longer distance, and can be trolled extra slow.

Favorite Trout Lure #4 – Rooster Tail

Always a go-to lure, Rooster Tail spinners can sometimes produce when other lures are not pulling strikes.  Colors for me are white or black with at least a little red.  Again, the stained water you are fishing is going to limit the colors the fish can see until the last second, so contrasts are important!

Favorite Trout Lure #3 – Panther Martin Spinner

I know it is probably redundant to go with a spinner again in the #3 spot for favorite trout lures, but Panther Martin lures produce.  My guess is that the french style spinner gives a slightly different vibration that those trout love.

Favorite Trout Lure #2 – Wedding Rings

This is Thomas’ go to lure when we are on lakes.  Typically we stick with green or red and don’t need to get fancy.  A wedding ring with some worm on the hook may not knock the fish out of the park, but will almost always produce at least a few fish.

#1 Favorite Trout Lure for Trolling Lowland Lakes – Jointed Fire Tiger Rapala

This is absolutely my #1, tie it on first lure when I hit the water.  Usually I tie on a small FireTiger Pattern Rapala using a jig loop knot as we are pulling away from the launch.  It is quick and easy to get in the water, and in the early morning light, it almost always pick up one or two trout on it immediately.

So there are my top 5 choices for trout lures when I am trolling lowland lakes.  I would love to get your input on what your favorite lures are.  Disagree with me on the best lures to be using when you are trolling for trout?  Post your top 5 trout lures in the comments!