Pike fishing getting better in area lakes - Coeur d'Alene Press: Outdoors

Pike fishing getting better in area lakes

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:15 am

Pike fishing is only getting better, said Dale Odenbaugh with Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop and Guide Service.

"All your typical stuff is being used," which includes spinnerbaits, jerk baits and spoons Odenbaugh said.

The pike can be found in most area lakes, he said, including Lake Coeur d'Alene, the Chain Lakes, Twin Lakes and Hayden Lake.

The pike usually congregate in bays, he added.

Several lakes have also now been fully stocked with rainbow trout by Idaho Fish and Game, Odenbaugh said.

"Fernan has been at least stocked four times," he said. "They're getting ready for the big weekend, making sure there's tons of fish out there to catch."

Other stocked lakes include Hauser, Round and Granite lakes, he said.

Odenbaugh recommended powerbait, rooster tails or nightcrawlers with a marshmallow to snag the trout.

Fishing for smallmouth bass is also starting to improve, he said, on Lake Coeur d'Alene and Hayden Lake.

"Crank baits and tube baits are going to produce the most," he said.

Chinook are scattered in Lake Coeur d'Alene, he said.

While some fishermen are still catching them at shallow depths, he said, he advised dropping to about 40 to 50 feet with a herring.

"Right now the water's going down, so we'll get more fishermen out there," he said.

Kokanee are also getting reeled in from Spirit Lake and Lake Coeur d'Alene, Odenbaugh said, especially on the south end of the latter.

He recommended trolling wedding rings. Many are jigging for kokanee, too, he added.

"They're pretty small, about 6, 7, 8 inches long," he said.

•••

Mike Beard of Orvis Northwest Outfitters in Coeur d'Alene said smallmouth bass fishing has been picking up in North Idaho lakes.

"Pike fishing has been pretty good, too," he said.

For smallmouth, he recommended the rocky points on the north end of Lake Coeur d'Alene in the mornings.

"Coeur d'Alene is actually a really good bass lake," Beard said.

The south end of the lake has been good for largemouth bass and pike.

The Chain Lakes also have been productive.

"Hayden Lake has been good for most species," he said. Rising water temperatures are where they need to be for bass and pike fishing.

The north end of the lake, including Sportsman access, has been good for pike, largemouth bass and crappie.

The south end of Hayden has been productive for smallmouth.

As for crappie on Hayden, recent reports have been good on numbers of fish but not so good on size of fish.

Lake Pend Oreille and Pend Oreille River have also been productive for smallmouth.

Beard said there could be a window this weekend for stream fishing as air temperatures are expected to drop.

Lake fishing only getting better

Fishing on area lakes has improved in recent days with the warm temperatures.

"The crappie bite is starting to pick up on Hauser, along with bluegill," said Jerry Brown of Cabela's. "We went out to Twin Lakes and the crappie was pretty good along with a few small bass, but nothing of any size."

Pike up to 8 pounds have been caught on the south end of Lake Coeur d'Alene, he said.

Brown said he and others caught and released about 20 kokanee that were between 8 and 9 inches.

"They were small fish, but it does bode well for the future," he said.

Access on Hayden was recently limited due to the high water, but that should gradually improve.

"The fishing is starting to pick up, but access can be tough if there is a crowd," Brown said.

On the Washington side, he has heard good reports for Williams, Amber and Coffee Pot.

Brown said Lake Roosevelt continues to rise so that fishery should improve as well.

The fishing in the region overall as well as the enthusiasm is picking up, he said.

"With the weather change, it's only going to get better and better," Brown said.

•••

Anglers' lips are sealed as to the best tactics to use right now to catch bass, with the big Northwest Bass tournament Saturday in Harrison.

Blake Becker, of Black Sheep Sporting Goods, said word is mum on the tricks of the trade right now, but that fishing is going well in general.

"They're feeding man, for sure," he said.

Especially bass, and while some secrets must be kept, the general rule of thumb from last week still applies.

Largemouth are chasing everything in Lake Coeur d'Alene, so anglers can use a variety of crank and Jerkbaits or any type of plastic patterns. When the sun is out, they'll swim shallower than when it's overcast.

Just like last week, smallmouth bass should be anywhere from 5 to 30 feet out.

Hayden and Fernan lakes are good spots for them, too.

"I expect a real good tournament for these guys," Becker said of the estimated 80 boats entered.

It doesn't have to be all bass, though.

Crappie fish are really active in most of the area lakes. They're going after all types of Powerbaits, with a 1/32 ounce jig head, a screw grub and maggot on the end.

Bluegill can be nabbed in the local lakes on lines loaded with colored marshmallows, or small baits.

Pike are chasing Jerkbaits, smelt, on any aggressive Spinnerbait or a Lipless Crankbait on any of the good pike waters like Coeur d'Alene, Hayden and Fernan lakes.

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