If you like Trout fishing now is the time to get out there! The water temperatures are cooling down and the Trout are spending more time feeding in shallow water. Get out there and catch some fish!
Last weekend, I visited a stocked lake I’d never been to because rumor was it held some big Tiger Trout; I was not disappointed. I arrived around 9 am and found only one other angler on the water. After loading my gear into the kayak, I pushed off to paddle across the lake where I found a small point on Google Maps. In the first ten minutes of fishing I hooked into a new personal best Trout that was 21.5 inches long. I could’ve went home and been perfectly happy but the day was just getting started.
My first Trout of the day was aggressive, and was caught in roughly 12 feet of water. I decided to paddle along the drop off and see if I could pick up a couple more. There were a few rainbows but nothing bigger than 14 inches. As the day wore on more anglers showed up and all of them repeated the same patterns. They were moving along the shore lines and fishing in roughly 8 feet of water, most of them fly anglers. After watching the others for a while and not having much success I decided I better start searching for fish. Moving up the shoreline I was casting a small Kastmaster spoon along that 6-8 ft break and getting the odd bite here and there. The wind had picked up and started to push me into some really shallow water and spooked a few rainbows out of the reeds along the shore. Immediately I realized just how shallow the fish had moved. The water temps had dropped to around 9 degrees Celsius and the trout were feeding in this very shallow zone. For the rest of the day I worked the weed edge with various baits and caught more average sized rainbows.
About 2 pm, after battling the wind since 11 am, I was ready to call it a day. I continued to work the windblown weed line as I made my way to the launch but decided to switch baits to a size 7 Rapala Original Floating lure in Rainbow Trout color, in order to entice a big Tiger to strike. Once I hit the launch area I gave one more long cast parallel to the weeds. I started working the lure slowly back, just below the surface, when the water boiled up at the lure and my rod doubled over, the drag screaming for mercy. I knew instantly this fish was a lot bigger than that first Tiger. As the fish ran I tightened down my drag but it made little difference; I’ve never experienced that kind of power from a trout. We fought together for 10 minutes, each of us gaining and losing the advantage several times. I managed to get the net near him once but I bumped his tail with the loop and he ran again. My trout rod is a 7 foot light action rod with 4 lb test mono and I would have told you that it was enough for any stocked trout you would find in Alberta, but today my setup was seriously put to the test. Every question ran through my mind – did I check the line for nicks? Is my knot going to hold? Is he going to throw that lure? We were both getting worn out, he stopped running with big bursts of speed and I slowly started winching him closer. About 10 feet from the kayak, in 2 feet of water he just stopped. I couldn’t force the trout any closer and I couldn’t keep fighting him and the wind in my kayak, I knew I would have to get out. Finally, with water filling my rubber boots, I waded across the sand to land him.
I was on cloud nine, this is the biggest trout and one of the toughest battles I’ve faced. He was clearly exhausted, so I kept him in the water while I got the camera ready for a quick picture. After the release he actually hung around for a few minutes in the shallows before moving down the shore and out of sight. I realized after that I forgot to measure him but it didn’t matter. I know he was a lot bigger than my first Tiger and I also know that he’s still there, maybe we can have it out again one day.