Doing my annual preseason gear and equipment check here and I thought I might list some of my favorite ice out/ early season rigs to see if anyone has any comments or might want to share some info also. You could also just act like my brother who regularly tells me I spend too much money on gear and boats (little joke there). I own 4 boats from 17 feet to 28 feet.
I guess I will list the rigs by preference. I believe ice out and season opener on the high cascade lakes is April 26 this year with a couple of exceptions.
#1 I like to troll Mack’s Flashlights followed by a 2 inch snubber and a red Mack’s wedding ring tipped with a small bit of night crawler. I take the stock hook off the wedding ring and replace it with a #8 fine wire hook. I have used other metal lake trolls before but have found you have to troll relatively fast to get the blades turning. The Flashlight has light mylar V shaped wings which spin and flash with a very slow speed. I have found when the water is cold fish don’t want to move very far or fast to get a meal.
#2 Shasta Tackle Co. sling blade dodger followed by a 2 inch snubber and a Shasta Tackle Co. white head and pink tail Koke-a-Nut. This is another slow troll rig with lots of action.
#3 Tackle Co. sling blade dodger followed by a 2 inch snubber and a Royal Coachman fly tipped with salad shrimp. I am not sure what it is but kokanee will really go after the salad shrimp when nothing else seems to work and when the fishing is slow the shrimp make a tasty snack also.
#4 Black Berkley power leech hooked through the middle (wacky rigged). I drop this rig through dense underwater brush while stopping the decent from time to time to make the leech undulate on the way down.
#5 Storm Wildeye Jigging Swim shad, I drop these through cover also then retrieve them slowly making sure to bump them off underwater obstacles to make lots of commotion.
#6 Rapala floating 4 inch minnows in black/silver color. Cast to shorelines with lots of submerged brush retrieve fast enough to bump the bottom then let them float to the top.
I use these rigs for Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee, Small and Large mouth bass. I have caught cat fish and plenty of crappie with these rigs also.
The lakes I fish most often are Prinville Reservoir, Crane Prairie Reservoir, Wickiup Reservoir, Suttle Lake, and Paulina Lake.
One of the other members mentioned some boat problems on a different topic. I feel his pain, I discovered a fuel tank leak in my 28 foot cruiser so I have to tear the floor board and half the cabin out to remove the tank so I can repair it. So much for offshore rock fishing in March –sigh-.
If anyone has any comments I would love to hear them, or If you want locations on the water I fish I would be happy to share.
NAFC life member since 1992, NAHC life member since 2005, lifetime Oregon resident. Central Oregon region.