Pecos River Trout Munching Natural Colored Salmon EggsBy Chris Shaffer | 05/20/2013
The Pecos reminds me a lot of California’s Eastern Sierra. Lots of fish are stocked weekly. Lots of fish are caught weekly. And, while most of the trout range from nine-10 inches, there’s always a few stocked trophy fish available. The stream is mostly filled with rainbows, but wild browns are available.
Being spring, the Pecos was still running high from runoff. However, water levels should be subsiding rapidly. Snowpack was below normal this year. Regardless, the river will be in good shape and loaded with trout now through summer. .. Read more
North Georgia's Cooper Creek Stuffed With Planted RainbowsBy Chris Shaffer | 05/10/2013
Cooper Creek is a perfect spot to drift salmon eggs. The water isn’t too fast. It moves at an ideal speed, and has just enough current to get a natural drift and allow the eggs to tumble along the sand and gravel bottom. We practiced this technique just above Cooper Creek Campground, as well, and caught and released another half-dozen trout in 30 minutes using this technique. As clear as this water is, however, I’d recommend using two-pound test, four tops. Anything heavier and you wont get bit. .. Read more
Lake Chelan Kicking Out Jumbo KokaneeBy Anton Jones | 05/08/2013
Following a banner year in 2012 Lake Chelan kokanee is the talk of Northwest anglers this spring. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen 15-17 inch jumbo kokanee like these. .. Read more
Sacramento River Trout On The ChewBy Mike Bogue | 05/07/2013
Historically, it seems like when we have big salmon runs the trout respond well, and grow quicker. The trout are growing well. I’ve had some trips where we caught some big fish. We’ve had some to 26 inches, but all the fish are quality fish and chunky. The average trout is 16-18 inches.
This fishery is here all year, but with salmon season not open right now it’s giving us time to target the rainbows. I’ll be focusing on these trout from now through July. Once salmon season starts, here in late July, no one will be fishing for the trout. These fish don’t leave so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t stay hot through then. .. Read more
New Mexico's Cow Creek Stuffed With Hungry BowsBy Duane Inglin | 05/04/2013
Cow Creek was so small, we only needed to use one salmon egg, thus keeping our bait small to coincide with the conditions we faced. These trout were spooked when one of the hooks with more than two eggs hit the water. When coming up here make sure to simply use one egg at a time.
Under these gin-clear conditions playing off a natural presentation served us best, which is why we focused on pitching Pautzke’s Orange Deluxe and Yellow Jacket salmon eggs. I also used a few Gold Label eggs, but as well as the orange and yellow were working I didn’t need to rely on the Gold... Read more
North Georgia Trout Going For The GoldBy Chris Shaffer | 04/29/2013
During a three-hour span in the Blue Ridge Wildlife Management Area we caught more than 35 stocked rainbows and one brook trout on Gold Label eggs, keeping enough for dinner while releasing the rest. Due to the success a crowd congregated in the area, some picking up a few of the loose Gold Label on the bank, and others bartering for our remaining jars.
After bragging to me about their Gold Label success for several years Weekley and Payne were able to exhale that afternoon, smiling at passersby having caught fish in holes, runs, pocket water, riffles and deep pools. .. Read more
Virginia's Big Stoney Creek Yielding Big Numbers of RainbowsBy Chris Shaffer | 04/25/2013
While missing several takedowns, we caught about 15 trout (for proof, watch http://youtu.be/20tHMs6-vm8), mostly small 8-11 inch planters, exclusively on Orange Deluxe and Yellow Jackets in about three hours. Being so close to Virginia Tech, maybe it was the orange eggs that sparked the bite, or perhaps more than 75 years of egg science packed into each jar of Pautzke eggs.
Regardless, next time you pitch eggs at Virginia trout keep a jar of Orange Deluxe or Yellow Jackets around. They tend to catch limits in those fished out streams. .. Read more
Learn How To Brine - And Troll - HerringBy Paul LeFebvre | 04/23/2013
FireBrine & Sure Spin
Last year was a great salmon fishing year for us as we were often referred to as the “River Rats” in the ocean. No kidding, 20 fish days were common and later in the year the fish were quite large. I know that the “Marriage Made in Heaven” was responsible for improving our time in the water with effective bait action and variations in color schemes kept the fish off balance and attracted to our offerings. At times the baits would last so long that we just changed them because it made sense. I recommend that you try this combination as a part of what you have in your salmon fishing arsenal. While there is no set answer to fishing techniques this refinement of the basic cut plug technique can, and does, pay off... Read more
Pautzke TV Returns From Trout Fishing - In Virginia!By Chris Shaffer | 04/21/2013
There’s a myriad of trout streams we had an opportunity to scout, yet chose to fish in the 7,000 person town of Galax, due to larger fish being planted and an opportunity to fish a trophy trout stream. I’m guessing few anglers outside of Virginia have heard of Galax. A few miles north of North Carolina, Galax is sandwiched west of I-77 and east of the New River... Read more
You Wanted Green - You Got It!By Duane Inglin | 04/19/2013
In a mere two years Fire Brine has passed through the hands of tens of thousand of anglers in from the West Coast to the Great Lakes. The results are in and over-whelming support has echoed from salmon, trout, steelhead, striper, walleye and perch fishermen. To serious anglers it’s become the staple brine.
Serious fishermen are selective how they cure bait and which products they use. They are also good at voicing their opinion and letting manufacturers know what they want. This past show season the Pautzke crew talked with countless folks who stopped by the Pautzke booth. One common request reigned supreme. “Please make green Fire Brine”.
Fortunately, our request has been heard and granted. Pautzke now has green Fire Brine. And when I say green, we are talking “Seriously Green.”
.. Read more
Veteran Guide Share Secrets: Curing Prawns For Salmon/SteelheadBy Lee Barkie | 04/01/2013
I’ve been using prawns to catch salmon and steelhead for 20 years. It’s pretty simple: if something small and white comes down those fish are going to smell it and bite it. Over the years I’ve dyed my prawns red, orange and pink, but this year I didn’t have any dye with me and I was forced to try something new.
I got to thinking; FireCure has krill in it and salmon and steelhead are fed krill in hatcheries. I started playing around with different ways to use FireCure to cure my prawns and thought about mixing Nectar and FireCure. Doing so would give me an egg, krill and prawn smell all in one, something steelhead and salmon couldn’t resist. And, I’ll tell you what: I’ve been initiating the fish this year.
In two decades of guiding I’ve learned fish are like us; some days they want protein and others they want carbs. Therefore, I always have eggs and prawns on the boat. Below has been my recipe to success.
.. Read more
Rockfish Bellies Soaked in Pautzke Nectar Hot Bait For LingcodBy Andy Martin | 03/28/2013
When I fillet my client's catch each day, I trim the rib bone from the fillets. Most people toss these small chunks of belly meat laced with numerous sharp bones. I save them, marinate them in Pautzke's Nectar (sometimes red and yellow Nectar, others Halibut & Rockfish), and use them to tip jigs for lingcod. .. Read more
Last Chance For Southern Wisconsin Harbor IceBy John Reddy | 03/25/2013
In the Southeast part of the state, Racine (Reef Point Marina), Kenosha (Simmons Island) and Milwaukee (McKinley Marina) have safe ice right now. The biggest factor when determining safety is watching the warmer weather along with longer days of sunshine softening the shoreline ice. The shoreline ice is what goes first. As long as the shoreline is safe and solid you’ll be able to get out. Always take safety into consideration and go with a buddy.
.. Read more
Great Lakes Spring Steelhead: Temperature RisingBy Tim Roller | 03/24/2013
Without going into great detail here, the gist of what you need to know is this: as water temperature rises, so does the metabolism of a steelhead, which translates into increased activity. With increased activity, a shift also occurs in where steelhead will be located. As water warms, steelhead will move from slow “winter water” to quicker, generally shallower, water. To capitalize on these changes, I’ve found offering different eggs for each condition can greatly increase catch rates. .. Read more
Wilson River Still Pumping Out Big Hatchery FishBy Big Dave Manners | 03/22/2013
While we are closing in on the tail end of our steelhead season here on the Wilson. I’m going to fish through April 15 before switching to springers. I still think we’ll have fish coming in through the middle of April. And, your downriver fish will start to come down in the next few weeks. There’s still fish around. By the end of this month there won’t be that many people fishing around here because people go springer fish. However, in April we’ll have downers and some fresh and not much pressure. It's a great time to fish without battling crowds... Read more
The Credit River: March Madness in the Concrete JungleBy Bojan (Bojangles) Zivkovic | 03/20/2013
Located 20 minutes from the core of downtown Toronto, flowing through the middle of Mississauga, anglers are fortunate to have a great urban fishery. This river arguably boasts one of the largest runs of steelhead on the north shore of Lake Ontario, even better than the Ganaraska River in Port Hope. The Credit River has great returns of strong, wild steelhead, and with the help and support of local conservation groups, there is also a mix of stocked steelhead from our hatcheries. The Credit River has about six kilometers of prime water open for fishing... Read more
Making The Ultimate Spawn Sack: Learning To Cure Fresh SpawnBy Kyle Buck | 03/19/2013
It’s no secret that fresh spawn tied in sacks is the most popular method for targeting Great Lakes steelhead. While there are many ways to do this, I’d like to share mine. This is a quick and easy way, that’s virtually mess free and produces a great egg crafted for steelhead. If I’m fishing for salmon, however, I’ll use a different recipe. We’ll focus on that at a later time.
This step-by-step process will give you bait steelhead crave. Prior to handling any eggs or tying spawn I always wear rubber gloves. The gloves serve two purposes: they keep my hands from getting fishy, smelly and drying and also keep human scent off the bait. .. Read more
Entering Prime Time: Sol Duc River Seeing Fewer, But Larger FishBy Bob Kratzer | 03/15/2013
It’s been a slower than normal year in terms of numbers on Washington’s Sol Duc River. However, one nice thing to note is the steelhead are larger this year. And, we still have a month and a half left of the season, which should fish well. By no means is our season over. We are in prime time right now.
I’m not sure exactly why our numbers are down. There’s not a lot of two-salt fish this year, but that’s not just here, that’s all the way down to northern Oregon. I haven’t heard what’s going on in Oregon. As to why the two-salt fish are less numerous, I’m not sure.
.. Read more
Fire Brine Minnows: Go Outside The Box For Great Lakes SteelheadBy Kyle McClelland | 03/14/2013
In the past I haven’t used shiners for steelhead. However, after having success on the hard water while using the Fire Brine cured shiners for pike and walleye I decided to try them for steelhead and was impressed how well they worked.
.. Read more
Crowds Are Thin, But Steelhead Abound On the TrinityBy Kirk Portocarrero | 03/13/2013
Typically, March isn’t a bad month on the Trinity. As a guide, if you have a guy in your boat that can bounce roe you can clobber them. And, they are nice fish, anywhere from 8-10 pounds. You can’t expect to catch the big fish like on the Smith, but there’s some good fishing available. .. Read more
Steelhead Starting To Show In OntarioBy Josh Choronzey | 03/12/2013
As Ontario thaws out from a deep freeze and ice fishing begins to wind down, now is a perfect time for me to take a few minutes to appease Pautzke Sargent Shaffer with a Fire Blog update. Here in Ontario, anglers are getting ready to welcome warmer temps and the major migrations of spring steelhead that are just now starting to trickle into the larger rivers across Lake Ontario and Huron.
If you are a Great Lakes angler and haven’t sampled Ontario’s incredible steelhead fishery than 2013 is your calling. Low precipitation levels this past fall held plenty of big water steelhead out in the lake, or in the lowest sections of home rivers. With plenty of snow pack on the ground and rainfall around the corner, this spring is looking like a banter season to come into contact with these West Coast transplants that call the Great Lakes home... Read more
Warmer Days Perking Up Steelhead On The Rogue in Grants PassBy Troy Whitaker | 03/11/2013
There’s a lot of holding fish in the Rogue right now. They should start getting active this week because we’d had a few warmer days and some rain. We had a great beginning to the season and then it petered off because we didn’t have any rain, but now I’m seeing lots of people catch fish again.
.. Read more
By Ben See | 03/09/2013
If the reports from anglers on the Chagrin River this winter are any signs of what is to come this spring is going to be fast and furious. The Chagrin is capable of giving up fish in the double digits. As soon as the spring run starts you can be sure I’ll be there to experience the action!.. Read more
Natural BorX O Fire The Ticket To Late Chetco SteeliesBy Scott Feist | 03/06/2013
I’m a salmon guide, not a steelhead guide, but something I learned in a day of steelhead fishing on the Oregon Coast last week is that good bait is crucial, particularly when the system is low and clear. As much pressure as the Chetco has seen this winter, drifting well-cured bait was imperative to our success. It can’t be too soft or too hard because of the gravel bottom. Our guide was able to control the density and composition of our bait, which led to our success on a day when the river wasn’t fishing well. .. Read more
Bizarre Late Run of Chrome Filing In The Smith RiverBy Mick Thomas | 03/05/2013
I don’t think we are seeing the bulk of the run. I think that came through in early December and January, but we’d had a delay in the middle of the run for some reason and now these fish are going to start coming. There’s a good possibility there’s going to be a wet March and April. There’s a good chance those fish are taking advantage of that late water.
Normally, the winter run cutthroat trout follow our steelhead and we haven’t seen any of those yet, either. Basically, if the run is tapering off in February we start to pick up a lot of cutthroat and I’ve barely seen any. This tells me there’s a lot of fish still to come. .. Read more
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