Patience will pay off on Kootenay Lake

Nelson resident Jesse Mcglaughlan with his beautiful rainbow - photo courtesy Reel Adventures Charters
Nelson resident Jesse Mcglaughlan with his beautiful rainbow
— image credit: photo courtesy Reel Adventures Charters

So, January fishing turned out to be spotty. I was hoping that our hot couple weeks of fishing at the beginning were going to be just the start. Seemed like the fish would only feed for a couple days each week. The other days were tough fishing. Once we realized this pattern, it was just a matter of patience.

Like I said, a couple days each week would be great fishing. The other days we would still hook fish, but it was very sporadic. Seemed like a short window during each day when the fish would bite. Lucky for us, we were spending full days on the lake and would happen to be out there when the bite came on. So, we would end up with a few good fish on most days.

The trade-off is: big fish. It appears that the smaller fish just aren’t feeding at this time of year, so when we hooked one, it was a beauty. No matter how slow the fishing seemed to be, we almost always hooked into a trophy fish. So, everything seems worth it.

February started off a bit slow also. However, we have had a couple days with double digits to the boat. It’s always a bonus when you can hook into 10 or more fish in a day, especially at this time of year. Some of our big fish in the past couple weeks have been between 14 and 18 lbs.

The spring-like weather has been very enjoyable on the water. Nothing like floating around with your sunglasses on and almost getting a tan in February. This warmer weather might help to turn the fish back on. We’ll see what the rest of the month brings.

Usually February and March mean big dollies and even bigger rainbows. So, be patient and hold on tight. This is big fish season.


What are they biting on?

Again it’s been a mixed bag. On the calmer days, we are trolling with Bill Normans or plugs. And on the choppy days, we are still catching fish on our favorite bucktails.

Lucky numbers 203, 210, 215, 228 are still working well. And for my Lyman plugs, lucky numbers: 10, 16, 55, 160 are producing as well.

This time of year, the flasher/hoochie combo can entice a lazy fish also. So, don’t be afraid to experiment.

Our water temperature is still hanging around the 40 degree mark, which is still favorable for most fish.

Put in your time, and the big ones will come.

Tight lines....

Kerry Reed is the owner of Nelson’s Reel Adventures Sportfishing. He can be reached at 250-505-4963 or for more information head to

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