Week at Lake Nantahala
Just got back from a great week at L. Nant. Last time there spent all my time fishing for smallmouths and y. perch. This time I went after the kokes pretty hard after doing a lot of homework (here and others, but particularly fishwithgary.com) and had a great week. had to experiment alot before we hit paydirt. fished 6 straight days from before sunrise to ~ 9:30 AM. 1st day got a walleye and smallmouth. second day got 2 kokes and was pretty pleased but kept exploring and experimenting. Day 3 I took my son along for the first time and got 10 hits, landing 8! one was a 20 incher & over 2 3/4 lb! Over the next 3 days took the girls along, too and caught 11-12 more, probably pulled off 5 or 6 and they broke off one. Probably hooked 30 in 5 days and we landed 21-22! Simply awesome to catch them here in NC. I did not catch any fish with the downrigger set shallower than 50 ft. and the vast majority came between 65-70 ft. Caught ~ 1/3 of the fish on rods with planers. Faster speed seemed to work better. most were caught between 1.9-2.1 mph and none were caught below 1.7. Surface temp. was a blistering 81* but I found 55-57*water at 55-60 ft. Found 3 separate schools in depths of 90-120 ft. Oddly, never marked any fish suspended in the really deep water of the lake, nor did I catch a single rainbow. Most fish were caught on dodgers with beaded spinners, but caught several on spoons as well, particularly if fished behind a multiple spinner teaser troll. Fantastic week. My only disappointment was that these fish by and large cannot be released in this hot August water (like the stripers in many lakes). Gary had informed me, correctly I might add, not to try to release them as water over 70* is fatal to them. We tried a few anyway that looked really good only to have one never get back below the surface and another try and fail. We renetted both and boxed them. Ate well all week that's for sure and gave multiple fish away to folks we met to be enjoyed fresh out of the water. Delicious. Hope to get back next year.
Last edited by Dr. Oc; 08-08-2010 at 11:29 PM.
Congratulations on your success. Great pictures. I caught a few on Gary System 1 set-ups in chartreuse and pink. I did best with pink and chartreuse apex and protroll kokanee killers. I had the same problem with the fish getting the "bends" pulling them up from deep water and not being able to return them to the lake. Froze them and brought them back to Florida but I honestly prefer grouper, snook and snapper. I am hoping to get back up again after Labor day when things get quiet up there.