A nice 18 LB. laker that hit in the first 5 minutes on the water. Crescent Lake was the spot and I had it all to myself today!
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After getting back from our Kootenay trip I was still hungry to fish. I hadnít been to Crescent Lake in months and Fall can be a great time as the water temps start to drop and the overall fishing traffic falls off dramatically.
On my way to the lake, I remembered that I wanted to check out the spawning browns that are usually stacked up in the Deschutes Arm of Wickiup this time of year. It was a cloudy day and not exactly what you want when trying to view the big browns. I slipped on my polaroid's so I would be able to make them out in the moving water. These guys are really spooky and I suggest, as you walk out on the bridge going over the river, you move slowly. They have the natural instinct to flee anything overhead and I spooked 3 of them on the north side of the bridge as I made my way out to the middle.
I knew that there was a better viewing area below the bridge and headed down there hoping to see some big bucks and hens as they did their thing. I was lucky as I crept up to the viewing overhang to see a total of 11 browns. Many of them in some slacker water that allowed me to easily see them as I hung behind a tree and slowly poked my head around the corner. I would estimate that several of the male browns I saw were in the 7-12 LB. range. The biggest ones were a couple of larger females with one that would top 15 LB.! Really cool to see this sight if you never have. It can be good from early Nov. through early Dec. if weather permits. Donít forget the season is closed and ODFW watches the area for poachers, some of whom have been busted in the past.
I arrived up at the lake around 9:30 and the main ramp was still open but the docks had been pulled. It was a easy launch and I headed out, the only boat on the lake. I started right in front of the resort and after the kicker had warmed up, dropped down some leadcore and started working a good kokanee pattern plug in the direction of Simax Point.
Within 5 minutes I was hooked up on a stubborn, heavy fish. I knew immediately that it was a laker. It felt pretty good and after awhile I could make out the telltale air bubbles from its air bladder popping at the top in the gin clear, flat water. It really put up a good fight right under the boat and I had it up from 35-40 feet down several times before it was tired enough to net it. After I land them, I have a system of holding it in the net while I get the camera set-up in the timer mode and rested on top of my cooler and lure bag. Then I get the fish from the net for photos and then back in the net to revive before I release them. It works out fairly well but as you can see in the other photo, I sometimes get less than optimal photo. On the other hand, I donít want them out of the water very long so I get what I get in one photo.
After weighing it in the net, I watched the 18 LB. laker swim back down into the depths. I got everything back out and started trolling again. I bet I didnít go a hundred yards before the rod went over in the holder. About 5 minutes later I had a laker that was almost a twin to the first. This one was a pound lighter at 17 and if you look close you can see what I assume is a cyst right behind his dorsal.....probably the size of a golf ball.
I was really up there to chase brown trout so I decided to make a move. I worked the south shoreline for awhile with no action. It was a totally flat day with no wind or chop at all so I gave up on the shallow drill and got back to the leadcore and downriggers. As I look back on the action that day, I see now that the main bite was around 10:00 and that even corresponded closely to the Solunar peak time that day. I did catch another laker around 9 LB. and had a couple of strikes that afternoon but nothing else before I decided to pack up for the ride back to Bend. I wanted to get back before dark so was off the lake by 3:00. All and all, a fun day with two nice lakers to 18 LB.
We are currently in a pattern of storms and that should run through the first of next week so I am not sure when I will get out again.