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Early morning bite best at Eagle Lake

Bal Aubrey author photo, myoutdoorbuddy.com

By Val Aubrey, EagleLakeFishing.net
06/23/15 -- Fishing the last few days has been tough for a couple hours after the early bite goes off around a.m. Sometimes when the bite goes off in one area, it may come on in another. But, I always go back to where I left the fish I was catching if I need limits and fishing is tough… and that generally that pays off in the long run.

It’s been all about the early bite and flat water the past week. The last couple of days the winds have picked up fast and early which has driven folks off the lake before getting into the mid- to late-morning bite. So, don’t miss the first couple hours.

Winds are expected to settle down and shift a little to the north this week. But, the upcoming heat is going to change things up. We normally see these fish drop and settle in between 24 and 30 feet deep once it heats up and our thermoclines settle in. This happens every summer and is when bait fishing under slip bobbers is very effective. 70F surface temps for several days will trigger that change.

Eagle Lake on June 22. Photo by Val Aubrey
Eagle Lake on June 22. Photo by author

Right now, if I were bait fishing from a boat, I would still be running mostly free line. But if I were to set a bobber stop, I would shoot for 18 to 21 feet deep. Mid-to-late-morning, I would drop down a little more to 24 feet. Right now, fish being caught below 30 feet have all been tui chub. So, I would head towards Eagles Nest & Black Mtn. rather than the Springs right now… that will change soon. The trout will come back to the Springs once we see some heat for a week or so.

For trollers, the “red-prism” #2 needlefish with bend slightly accentuated has continued to out fish any other lures I have run this week. Fire-Tiger has had its day but the red-prism remains consistent. Cop Car has also been working. Sure Catch Red Dog (medium, double-jointed or large single) has been my second best lure.

We continue to run lures fast around 3mph. We are still getting fish early at 8 feet deep but 18 to 21 feet deep has been my most active level after 7 a.m. For lead core users, 8 feet equals two colors in the water at 3mph and 18-21ft deep equals four colors in the water. I never went any deeper than five colors last year to catch nice trout and no deeper than six colors ever.

No matter how high the surface temperatures get, for the trout, it’s about the dissolved oxygen. I threw a bunch of different Eagle Lake standard lures and trolling flies in the water the last two trips out just to see if they would get bit. Simon Wobblers continue to work well. Mostly in patterns with orange or red on them and available at the marina store. An orange/pearl UV Dick Nite has also caught me fish. Orange and watermelon grubs are also catching a few fish for my buddies. Jay Fair’s hot-orange trolling flies were good for three fish and six strikes for me on Sunday at 15 feet +/- 3 and a Tui Chub minnow trolling fly has been good for a fish here and there at the same level. Val’s small olive beadhead leech got a few strikes running about 4 feet deep (just to see if I get bit there when the fish are rising). I do troll flies slower than I do lures. Basically between 1.5 and 2.5 mph. Sure Catch Red-dog has been my next best lure and Goldilocks has caught a good number of fish this week. So, why fix something that isn’t broken? The best trolling flies on top water while the fish are rolling have been small olive or brown leech or woolly bugger patterns. But it isn’t where my best action has been, I just like keeping a topline in the water….it is generally good for a nice fish, but not tons of them this time of year… give it a few weeks and the minnow hatch and that will change. Orange has been my best color running a bit deeper. Big isn’t always better.

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 eaglelakefishing.net (“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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