For several years it has been a tradition for me to go up to Baker Lake for some camping and fishing for sockeye. While I’m not the best fisherman ever, I’ve never been skunked up there and usually do pretty well.
This year a couple of friends joined me for 4 days of fun.
One of the keys to success is to prepare for the trip early. This means not only having the boat and equipment ready and working, but to have your lures and bait all prepared.
When fishing for sockeye it is good to have a variety of lures ready to use. In addition, these fish like to roll and jump, and can easily tear up a leader. So if you commonly run 2 rods, have 4 or 5 types of lures you like, and want to have a few spares then quickly it can add up to having 20 or 30 pre-tied rigs ready.
It takes a bit of time to tie all these rigs up, not to mention getting the parts needed.
My favorite sockeye lures are the NSR and the Rasticle. These lures have treated me pretty well.
In addition, it is a good idea to have a few different colors and sizes of dodgers in the boat. Several times having a “deep tackle bag” has made the difference in getting fish on a given day. I also like to customize my dodgers (see this page for some of the things I do), which adds to the numbers I like to take up with me.
Out On The Water
Eventually the day came and we went up to our campsite, setup camp and prepared for the next morning. We got an early start, aided by the lights in the boat, and a charge box for our lures.
We quickly found out that things were different from previous years. The fish didn’t seem to be schooling the in the same places, or wanting the typical lures.
We spent that first day trying different things until we started getting fish.
Unfortunately for us, the weather kept changing each day. This in turn affected the fish’s behavior. Success came by being flexible and making educated guesses as to what the fish wanted. We also kept moving around, and keeping our eyes open, for fish.
Dealing With Changing Weather
The changing weather was hard since unstable weather often puts fish off the bite. Some things to keep in mind when dealing with this:
- On sunny days’ chrome and UV dodgers seem to work best. However, on cloudy days solid colors which stand out against the background work better.
- Good bait and scent is always a plus. If it doesn’t smell or look right, then don’t fish it.
- When the bite is hard, often downsizing your presentation will yield better success than larger presentations.
- Be observant where the fish are – your fish finder and other boats can give you good clues
- Don’t be afraid to change things up – depth, speed, location, lures. But do it based on educated guesses, not random choices.
What Do You Think
Have you been up to Baker Lake this year? How did you find it? What do you do when the bite gets hard?