By Duane Inglin | 07/01/2013
So, I have an idea. Take out a California State map and find Old Station California. Now, get out a pencil and make some small dots in all directions forty miles around Old Station. Connect the dots to draw a circle around Old Station. Within that forty miles or sixty minutes of drive time exist some of the best mountain trout fishing in the area. There are several and I mean several lakes, streams and ponds to choose from.
One location that may not jump out at you at first is Caribou Lake. It will be located, just on the boarder of your circle, as it is approximately thirty nine miles from Old Station. It’s actually a short drive on a dirt road, just off highway 44.
You may wonder with all the options in the area to target trout, why then Caribou Lake? Well, if you are looking for a lake that is somewhat secluded has easy access and seldom crowded, then Caribou Lake is worth checking out. If you have kids and you want to take them fishing and have great success, then pay attention.
There were a few things that caught my eye about Caribou Lake, right away. First, there was no one there. Second, you literally drive right up to the lake, walk down to the shoreline and start fishing. Third and this is most important, it took literally thirty seconds to catch our first fish. When I have some kids to take fishing, nothing peaks their interest more than tons of action. Caribou Lake will give you that time and time again.
How to be successful on Caribou Lake? First, start with good bait, such as Pautzke trout eggs.
You have five choices when it comes to fishing Pautzke trout eggs. Hands down for Caribou Lake, our Gold Label was a slam dunk. Literally every cast resulted in a bite and more times than not, a hook-up.
When you are lake fishing from the shore and not using Fire Bait off the bottom, there are a couple techniques you should utilize to fish eggs effectively. You have to use a presentation that doesn’t allow your eggs to simply sit on the bottom of the lake. Fish do not see down, so having bait in their field of vision is important. Bait presented above where they are suspended works great.
I love float and bait fishing. It works in many different fisheries and bank fishing lakes or ponds for trout, is no exception.
I like to rig a slider float. This makes casting much easier, as you don’t have to worry about five or six feet of line hitting the ground behind you on your back cast.
I simply rig a bobber stop on my main line, then slide on my bobber/float. If I can find them, I’ll use a weighted float, this is for cast-ability ie; distance. Next I use a bead above the barrel swivel, and then tie on the swivel. My leader goes to my swivel and terminates at the hook. I generally like to use a size #4 hook as it holds two trout eggs on really well. I will add some split-shot to the leader to get the eggs down, under the float. The nice thing about this particular rig, is that I can adjust the float stopper to increase the depth I am fishing. The higher I slide the stopper up the main-line, the deeper I am fishing. The closer I bring the stopper to the float the closer to the surface my eggs will be.
Another way to rig your terminal gear to fish eggs effectively is with a three way swivel.
I will tie the swivel to my main-line. If I am trying to fish my eggs for example two feet off the bottom, then I need a section of line that goes from the other end of the swivel to the weight to be approximately three feet. Off of the third eye on the swivel, is my leader to my hook. This will need to be about one foot in length. You have to remember that the trout eggs are not buoyant. They are neutral buoyant at best and usually when placed on a hook, will sink. I use a one-foot leader so as to suspend the eggs off the bottom. Remember, the weight is on the bottom and the swivel is three feet up from the weight. With the eggs dropping back down approximately one foot from the swivel, that puts your eggs at two feet from the bottom. It’s simple math, but it works. Remember to keep your line above the surface, slightly taut. If the line is tight, then it has a direct line to the weight. This helps keep the eggs suspended. If there is a bunch of slack in the line, the eggs may be actually lying on the bottom of the lake.
There you go, two very easy, yet very effective methods to fish Pautzke Trout eggs for Rainbow trout at Caribou Lake. Pick yourself up a couple jars and make the drive to Caribou Lake. It’s well worth the effort.