Bloated With Smelt
May 22, 2011
We got an early start today and were on the water before 7:30, hoping for better fishing than the two previous days. Although plenty of fish were being caught each day, we still weren’t getting the salmon that we were looking for. Would today be any different? I set the fly rods out immediately along an extended point and made three passes in different depths, looking for active fish. Water temps were around 52 degrees and air temps were expected to reach the high 70’s with mostly sunshine today. After 30 minutes of absolutely nothing and not much marking on the sonar, I opted for the riggers and open water. I had tried almost everything else, why not deep water. I set one at 40 and the other at 30, both with sliders and headed across the bay towards the other point. Some of the water was over 300 feet deep and there was definitely plenty of activity on the sonar in all depths. The amount of baitfish in this lake is just astonishing! The only release I had in the 90 minutes we did this was from the bottom when I tried to get too close. Oh well, there goes a couple of lures! There were more boats on the water today than the last couple of days combined and ironically, I never saw anyone actually hook up. With plenty of dead smelt present on the surface it’s not a wonder why the fish didn’t want to eat our offerings! Another change was in order and this time we were going to let the wind drift us along while we casted jigs and stick baits to open water. Maybe a slower approach without the motor might help and we were willing to try just about anything. The only thing we managed to get were piles of perch and an occasional bass from the open water. Some of them were suspended and others were on bottom in 20 to 40 feet of water. The perch had tails sticking out of their mouths and some of the bass puked out dead smelt while coming to the surface. It’s like an all you can eat buffet here! The remainder of the day was spent mixing it up between the fly rods and more of the riggers but the results were still the same. Although I did see plenty of fish on the sonar they seemed to all shy away from the cannon balls when I passed through them. The fly rods on the other hand managed to catch all kinds of perch and an occasional bass from as shallow as 8 feet all the way to open water exceeding 100. What a mess! Despite the results the weather was tremendous and the last few days on the lake were just spectacular for our anniversary weekend. Tomorrow on the other hand may not be and an early departure may be in the cards. At least we managed to get three fantastic days on the water!!