Brewer and I are prospecting a new reservoir. If the fishing works out today we may even keep the name a secret, for our own selfish fishing reasons. This lake is right off the highway, but tucked back in some hills in a way that you wouldn’t notice it there if you didn’t know it existed. Brewer caught some fish here the other day on a quick scouting mission, and was told by a local that four pound trout were being caught consistently out there. Four pounds eh? Well we will have to see about that for ourselves…
We are starting by the dam. Always a good place to start, it just feels like big fish relate to dams. Also, Brewer has only seen people fishing by the dam so we figured they have to know more than us. There is another group out here with the same idea too. They have a big fire going on the ice, a few huts set up and a big spread of tip-ups. As Brewer and I are drilling our first few holes, we hear some commotion over there, and watch one of them reel in a decent trout. Not a four pounder, but a good sign for sure.
Brewer gets antsy quickly on the ice, and if we don’t mark a fish within twenty minutes or so he wants to move. “We should be on them by now, god damnit!” Ok bud, lets keep moving then.
Walking towards the far side of the Reservoir is a nice break from staring intensely at the fish finder. I get sucked into the screen to much and forget to pick my head up. In the distance we can see multiple mountain ranges around us. It’s bright and sunny today, with hardly any wind (thank god). The ice is very slick and clear. I have learned this year that the clearer the ice- the safer it is. The ice that is all white and milky is normally the stuff to watch out for. This is probably some of the safest ice we’ve been on this winter- close to ten inches.
We land in a cove and drill some holes in about eight feet of water. Brewer also got the hint that “bigger is better” from the local the other day, so we are both jigging some pretty big size spoons. Again, twenty minutes go by without a mark on the screen. Before Brewer could say it, I start packing my stuff up ready to move. We have our next spot already picked out, a little point right near the cove we are fishing.
A short move that proved to be a good one. We found a steep drop off from eight feet to 16 feet and set up the hut right in the middle, at about 13.5 feet. There’s a mark! A few small twitches with the rod so I could make sure I felt any nibble. Trout are quick through the ice, so it’s normally a 50/50 chance if you get a good hook set. Bam! A nice twelve inch cutthroat. We’re on em now buddy.
Marks are coming in left and right on the fish finder, things are heating up! Brewer gets a good bite, and as he’s reeling up the fish we can soon see the flashes and make out the silhouette of a good sized fish through the ice. He gets the trout all the way to the hole and we can clearly see a twenty inch cutthroat thrashing around. “O yeah, good fish dude!” Things can get sloppy at this point in a fight with a big fish and a small hole through the ice. With just one good head shake, and the line angling the wrong way against the ice, the fish spits the hook. We watch him thrash a few more times through the hole and dart back down to the bottom. Heart break, that was a good one Brewer.
It’s no surprise to us that that big fish came right as the sun set behind the mountains. As some would say “Prime Time”. It’s getting darker by the minute now, and with each minute of losing light, the fish seem to get more and more active. The bottom 3 feet of the fish finder is just showing red. There’s at least two or three trout down there right now. I’m fishing a spoon one size bigger than I was in the afternoon. It has a strip of Glow paint on it that really seems to get the fish jacked up during the night. Another big cutthroat nails my spoon as I’m jigging it off the bottom. Maybe not quite as big as Brewer’s fish that just got away, but this one we land and measure at 18”, fat and a very healthy lake fish. Not a bad trout at all, and not to mention from a Reservoir that most people think dries up in the summer time. Quickly get him back in and start fishing again. There’s still more fish down there.
Brewer is fishing a rattle bait that looks like a small minnow, and glows in the dark too. He starts to fish it a little more aggressively than I am with the spoon. He is letting the bait sink all the way to the bottom then quickly reeling it about halfway up the water column, then a pause. As his bait is suspended in about 7 feet of water, we watch the bottom of the fish finder as a mark is shooting off the bottom, heading straight for his lure. Without hesitation the fish continues to charge until Brewer feels the bite. Wow! That was crazy how fast that fish just came up to eat that bait. Another nice 18” Cutthroat on the ice. Good work today buddy.
It’s about eight O’clock now, and the action seems to have died off a little. From 6:30 to 7:30 we basically had a fish on our fish finders the whole time. We both got a few more nice trout, and I even broke one off on the hook set that felt a little bigger. What a night. We dub the spot “Hog Point” and on the drive home, we are already planning our next trip back here.0