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Eagle Lake a very early bite Sunday

Val Aubrey author photo,

By Val Aubrey,
06/08/15 -- Sunday limits were hard to come by for just about everyone. I found the first few hours to be fantastic (5:30 to 8:30 a.m.) and released 4 out of 6 strikes once I found the pod location, but after that, it just shut down.

The lake had been fishing great. Mostly it has been a condition that has thrown the bite off. The rising surface temps will keep fish on the move and they probably won’t be coming back in close to shore very long if at all now until fall.

This was not unexpected. Lake surface temp was 63-65ºF and heating up fast. This is the start of our summer transition for the lake. We are seeing more surface algae too. On Sunday, we started out with pretty good water on the west side, but by late morning/early afternoon it appeared that the algae began blooming. The fish transition as well, which leads to some tough days on the pond. Sunday morning before 8:30 a.m. was probably the last fish I will catch in the shallows as water temps only took two hours to come up two degrees… and Elvis left the building.

Since I was on my float tube, I didn’t have the rods I needed to get to the depth to where the fish had moved. However, I did work over water as deep as 42 feet but could cover up to 12 feet deep. Visible clarity was about 9 feet so I started paying more attention to the bottom as I headed back in. I did have plenty of nice trout laying on the bottom in 9 feet of water; just lying there taking a nap. Most barely even budged when I went over them, their shadow moving about 8 feet from where I disturbed them. I couldn’t make them bite either and I put my best all round flies out to do so. It was just a very quiet and inactive day on the pond.

This 2½ lb. Eagle Lake trout, photo by Val Aubrey
This 2½ lb. Eagle Lake trout was taken from a float tube early Sunday Morning, June 7 by the author. For those who wish to match colors, the fly used is visible in the trout’s mouth.

My buddy was out trolling. I texted him and told him “a constant number (scoped fish) was showing up on my screen over the deeper water and to throw something orange down there at 24 feet and see what happens.” He did and within 5 minutes had the first strike on a medium double-jointed Sure Catch Red-dog. That was with five colors of lead core in the water.

Lures, trolling flies and grubs in orange were working well at all depths and in many different shades of orange from hot orange to burnt orange. I am also running cinnamon and small brown leech trolling flies on my topline which continues to get attention as long as fish are rolling and rising to the hatch.

The fish we caught earlier in the week when working toward the west side were a little smaller than those we were catching when leaning toward the east side. Most fish were around 1½ to 2 lbs. but we held pretty steady numbers at 2 to 2½ lbs. toward the east side this week. We were running our (18 lb.) lead core lines staggered at two colors in the water (8-12 feet deep) and four colors which we are now dropping to five colors. The beauty of running lead core lines over downriggers is that on our lazy turns and circles, the lead core lines change depths and speeds. You can cover a 10 feet section of the water column without changing your line depth. Our best lures continue to be Baby Simon Wobbler in orange/copper (also other combinations with orange accents) keep working well (can be run with a dodger too) as did the #1 and #2 red prism (actually orange in color to me) Needlefish, 50/50 (orange/pearl) and other combinations with orange. Hot orange trolling flies and grubs also worked.

Other various lures are catching a few fish here and there but it hasn’t been a hot bite shortly after sunrise. Frog pattern lures haven’t quite turned on yet but should be one of the “go to” lures when throwing the tackle box at them. It is nearing the time when watermelon grubs should also be tried.

Val Aubrey is a long-time resident of Spalding and is considered one the best all-around authorities about all aspects of Eagle Lake and its world famous trout fishery. Aubrey is the publisher of (“All Eagle Lake All the Time”) and is a devoted advocate for the lake and the surrounding environment. Be sure to visit her website for complete details on fishing, ramp conditions, water quality and how you can help preserve this fantastic resource.

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