COLUMN: It’s our ‘big fish’ season

We spent a lot of time on the lake throughout December and the results were similar to November.

Happy New Year everybody!

I’d like to thank everyone who joined us this past year and helped make for a successful season.

Here’s to another fun filled year of adventures.

Kootenay Lake:

We spent a lot of time on the lake throughout December and the results were similar to November. It seems like the fish are now on their winter schedule of feeding only a few times a week.

One day we would catch 10 to 15 fish, and then the next day would only manage a few fish. That’s fishing, I guess you just have to be out there. We’ve been catching Rainbows from two to 12 pounds lately.  Lots of smaller ones, with the odd big one mixed in to keep things exciting.

Our holiday season was as busy as ever. Spending every day on the water with new clients was a blast.  Most of the days we were catching the usual mix of two to five pound fish. But it seemed to be about every third day we would hook into a big fish over 10 pounds.

The tourists were excited. Not many places offer comfortable  fishing from a boat in the middle of winter. So, even the ski tourists were happy to take a day off and go fishing. Although with the latest snow fall, the skiers might want to take advantage of the hill now. But even after shredding the slopes for a few days, they may need a break.  And fishing is a great way to enjoy your break.

And now, as we move into January, I’m hoping to see some of our biggest fish show up. In most years, this is our big fish season. January, February, and March are usually a bit slower fishing, but seem to produce the biggest fish. Although this year has been abnormal, we’re still expecting to see some big brutes. Stay tuned!

What are they biting on?

Most of our fish have been caught on the surface lately. The usual suspects have been working well.

Bucktail flies in my favourite colours of: purples, greys, and blacks have all been working well. Or, if you want to get specific, here’s my favourite numbers lately:  203, 207, 215, 222, 224.

Also Lyman plugs have been producing fish.  My favourites have been “Shizam” #69, “Purple Jesus” #160, and the usual “cop car” # 98.

We’ve also been catching a few on the downriggers lately. Using the same plugs as above, or the usual flasher/hoochie combo.  Favourite depths have been 100 to 150 feet.

It’s also that time of year when the water temperature is at its coolest. So, remember to slow down The fish aren’t as aggressive as in the fall. Hope this helps with your next trip. Remember:  there’s no bad days!

This is also the time of year when I start to finalize my Salmon/Halibut schedule. So, if you haven’t already booked your dates or sent a deposit, please start looking at your schedules. Tight lines.


— Kerry Reed is the owner of Reel Adventures Sportfishing in Nelson.

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