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Name: kokanee1 Date: July 30, 2014 Rating:
 
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What a different day for us today. Took my niece out this morning. Pretty windy on and off but at 9:30 it really stared to blow. We had good action right away with one in the boat by 5:30. Rookie had some trouble getting the fish all the way to the boat and lost the next 3. She finally got it figured out and had 3 by 8:30 then the bite died for 2.5 hours. She was really proud of her self when she successfully got a fish out of the release and brought it to the net like a pro. She even netted one for me.
Got our final 2 at 10:00 and 10:50. Fished till 12:30 with no more hits. Wind makes it fun to get the fish in and netted with out the boat spinning around.
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Name: Mike Carey Date: July 28, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: All Day Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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I just got back from two days of fishing Lake Wenatchee with my wife JoAnn. I will admit, after our outstanding trip to Baker Lake last week I was a bit ambivalent about fishing Lake Wentachee. There was no need to be.

We arrived Sunday around 6pm and launched our boat at the State Park. Most of the crazy traffic was gone so it was an easy two truck wait and we were on the water. We opted to just pay for two nights camping spot so we had a place to leave our rig, and then motored over to the far (west) end of the lake. We did fish for about an hour and a half but had to takers.

Monday morning I awoke and got us under way by 5am. The fleet was already approaching from the east. For the trip we ran four rods, stacking, and spaced our depths from 25 to 65 feet deep. Dodgers and sling blades, with either bare hooks or maybe a smile blade and a pink hoochie on the working end. It was “Old School” Lake Washington style, bare hooks were definitely producing well over the two days. One thing that really helps - and thanks to kokanee1 for sharing the tip – short leaders, 12” max. It definitely made a difference over the two days.

Back to Monday… our first couple hours were filled with frustration. First sockeye – tail hooked. Second fish – a nice 3 pound Dolly… then a string of 5 lost fish. The barbless rule means (at least for us and most I spoke with) about a 40-50% lost fish ratio, which is pretty frustrating. That said, there are SO many opportunities, way more than at Baker Lake. Which makes sense because there is a TON of fish in Lake Wenatchee! My fish finder was never without fish, from halfway up the lake to the orange markers the lake is stuffed with sockeye! The boats were out, but not too bad. I would estimate about 100 or so.

Our morning’s frustrations slowly worked out as we began to get fish actually into the boat. By noon we had 5 fish and ran back to the park for lunch and ice cream. Certainly, there are some advantages to having civilization close by! After lunch we again trolled our way from half way up the lake to the end, only ending at 6pm as the wind got just to annoying to fight and frankly, I was tired. But the afternoon bite was really pretty good, as we added three more to the cooler, for a total of eight on our first day.

Lessons learned, we retired to our anchorage for dinner, a movie, and bed. A very relaxing evening indeed.

Tuesday we started again at five AM and the bite was on from the get-go. We saw a pretty good number of fish caught and got a couple ourselves, then had a bit of a lull. Then, slowly, steadily, the fish started coming in to the boat. Our counts went ever higher to that magical “limit” of 12 for the two of us. 11:40, time running out, another “Fish On!”. JoAnn plays the fish but sad to say it gets off. No limits this day, but an amazing 11 sockeye for Day 2.

Our trolling speeds averaged from 0.8 to 1.3. We caught fish at all speeds. BTW, just to mention, we saw a "local" boat just killing them on Tuesday morning. And they were fishing 5 rods with dodgers, bare hooks, and banana weights, maybe 3-4 oz? And trolling fast, at least 1.3-1.4mph. Totally different approach from everyone else using downriggers, and they did amazingly well.

Now to compare Baker to Wenatchee sockeye. First, size. Baker is a clear winner. The fish easily are twice the weight. Baker averaging 4-7 with up to 10, while Wenatchee run barely 3 pounds and maybe a 4 pounder now and again. Quality – Baker are generally chrome to 50% chrome. Wenatchee are maybe 20% chrome to dull transition color. Flesh – Baker is deep red, Wenatchee not quite so much. Taste – can’t say yet, but the Wenatchee fish had pretty firm flesh and I’m going to guess that they will taste just fine. Baker – off the charts, best salmon I’ve ever had. Fight – well, I will say the 3 pound Wenatchee fish gave a good pull, but you can’t beat a Baker Lake sockeye when they go airborne 5 feet out of the water. Ambience – Baker wins for scenery, Wenatchee wins for creature comforts. Launches – Baker, hands down. I feel sorry for anyone that has to deal with a weekend launch on Wenatchee. Highly recommend you have a lot of patience stored up! Fishing Action – Wentachee is UNREAL! This year of course is a record return, but let’s get serious. At Baker you may have a few to half a dozen shots at fish, and lot’s of people being skunked. Wenatchee meanwhile is pretty steady action, even into the afternoon. Lot’s of people hooking fish, having fun, getting action. So either lake has it’s special draw, decide what’s most important to you.

JoAnn keeps records of all our fishing action. Here’s our two day fishing log:

MONDAY:
5:35 – 35 ft, snagged in tail.
6:30 – 55 ft, dolly, released
6:35 50ft, lost
7:10 – 50 ft, lost
8:25 – 55 ft, lost
9:25 – 39 ft, lost
9:43 – 40 ft, lost
9:50 – 40 ft,. caught
10:08 – 45 ft, drive by bite
10:55 – 60 ft, caught
11:22 – 60 ft, caught
12:00 – 60 ft, caught
12:25 – 60 ft, caught
2:55 – 50 ft, lost
3:05 – 60 ft, caught
3:10 – 50 ft and 60 ft, Double, caught
5:40 – 50 ft, lost

TUESDAY:
5:45 – 35 ft, lost
5:55 – 35 ft, caught
6:00 -50 ft, snagged, released.
7:10 – 55 ft, lost
7:28 -40 ft, caught
7:40 – 40 ft, drive by bite
7:50 – 65 ft, caught
8:05 – 65 ft, caught
8:55 – 65 ft, caught
9:25 – 55 ft, lost
9:40 – 55 ft, caught
10:35 – 45 ft, caught
10:47 – 40 ft, caught
11:13 – 40 ft, caught
11:25 – 55 ft, caught
11:35 – 55 ft, caught
11:41 – 40 lost.

Total for two days – 8 on Monday, 11 on Tuesday, 19 fish.
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Name: kokanee1 Date: July 27, 2014 Rating:
 
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Wow what a day it was. Couple of buddies with me today. Fished 4 poles off 3 downriggers. Tried various lures but settled in with short leader double red hooks behind dodgers. Fish were at 35 then kept moving deeper till we quite at 1:00. We had consistent action all morning. Funny how one pole really shines and catches a bunch of the fish. Even with the same gear on the others. We ended the day with 17 sockeye in the cooler . Talked to Mike Carey shortly before quite. Advised him to shorten his leaders. Hope it worked on Tuesday. Think Mike even got us on video. We even picked up 2 while we were gutting the ones in the cooler.
Day two Tuesday July 29th just as good as Monday except we lost more fish and had more drive by. Still end with 16 and had to quite a little early. Best part was as I was putting a way gear my pole goes off and added number 5 to my card. What a way to finish the day. I'll be out against wed and Thursday taking my nieces and wife for there turn. Great to cover the boat in fish slime!!!
We have some great go pro footage but need my son to put it together .
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Name: ncwflounderer Date: July 26, 2014 Rating:
 
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started fishing 5am. caught 2 Dollys first, one may have been around 5#. got a strike on my 2nd pole while reeling in the 2nd dolly, and it was still on after releasing the dolly. Got the fish right to the boat, had my rod tip too high, the fish jumped, flipped mid air and spit the hook (note to self, keep tip low). A little while later got my my first fish in the boat, followed immediately after my 2nd, before i even had a chance to tag the first. bonk, bonk, tag, tag, reset ...30 minutes and a bit of playing around with depth i do the same thing again 1,2 fish fish, bonk bonk, tag tag. fish for another hour with 1 drive-by, go in, 4 hours, 4 fish- 3 hens, 1 buck, 1 hen was a hatchery, and the surveyors at the launch took the head. My best day at Lake Wenatchee-- starting to get this salmon thing figured out i may be, hmm?
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Name: aaronhume Date: July 26, 2014 Rating:
 
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It was a beautiful morning to be out on Lake Wenatchee, and there were hundreds of boats scattered around the lake! I was just in a small rowboat with a trolling motor but it would seem that the only people catching fish all had down riggers and were fishing around 25-35 feet deep water.

We were out on the water around 5:45 AM, which was probably 15-30 minutes after most everyone else was out. I am guessing that the boat launch at the state park was insanely busy this weekend, so if you have the means to park a boat in the water somewhere for the weekend it would be well worth getting it in water in advance of the traffic.

After a couple of hours I finally had a fish on, but alas I somehow managed to foul hook it! It was disappointing to let the only one go between two of us, and we only had one other hit besides that one.

I was really interested to see how these Sockeye taste after such a long trip in fresh water, and they didn't look too beat up except that all their scales were gone by now, but they weren't slimey like Pinks get. I guess I will have to wait til next year.

Everyone we talked to said that the fishing was getting really slow, but opening weekend of July 19th was when others were limiting out at 6 per person.

Note to self: don't plan anything on the weekends of mid-July to mid-August until the Sockeye run opens again next year!

Everyone was fishing with a big 8" or so silver dodger, some were the "Double D" extra sparkly ones, and either just a red hook after the dodger (I have been told ~18") or the Macks double whammy pro, aka the "Lake Wenatchee Special" haha.
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Name: hewesbob Date: August 03, 2013 Rating:
 
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We joined the crowd before day light at the state park launch. We were greeted by a state parks worker collecting money and helping with the parking. I knew there would be a $10.00 fee for a one day discovery pass but was suprised being charged another $7.00 launch fee. We were on the water by 5:00am expecting fast action but that just didnt happen this trip. After 14 hours we had 5 Sockeye in the boat for 3 people fishing. We turned loose 7 Dollies and a squaw fish. Several people must have been having about the same luck as there were about 50 boats that we had fished around all day still grinding away when we headed for the dock. Folks using downriggers did seem to be doing a bit better but it sure wasnt the action that we had enjoyed in the past.
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Name: blurock Date: August 19, 2012 Rating:
 
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We were going to hit the salt for the last day of Chinook retention, but figured the salt is a little hit or miss, dad hates taking his boat in the salt (because of the negative effects of the salt on is boat) and we'd heard they were still catching up at Lake Wenatchee. After being a mile away from there the weekend before, at Fish Lake, and forgetting there were Sockeye in Wenatchee, we decided to go back last weekend and try it.

We left the house at 3AM, on the lake at first light, and followed the crowd to the west end of the lake. There weren't actually as many boats as I thought there would be. We started trolling along the south west bank. Dad put on chrome O dodger with bare red hook and got a hit almost immediately but lost it at the boat. We trolled for awhile longer before getting another hit. We were all using chrome dodgers of different sizes and dragging different things behind them. I made a chartreuse and pink wedding ring with a chrome smile blade and got a hit, but lost that fish also. After trolling for awhile longer with nothing and watching everyone around us catching fish, we kept switching it up. Different depths different rigs. FINALLY! After putting on a pink mini hootchie with a chrome smile blade, it was FISH ON! Nice little sockeye in the cooler. Dropped everything back down on the downrigger, and it was fish on again! Almost immediately. #2 in the boat. Both came at 50ft near the point. Back on the troll and nothing for awhile again. Then another hit on Cody's rod this time. Funny part was I was trying to turn on the TR-1 after most the other boats left and I had been bumping the rail, making his rod bounce. When he went to set the hook, I said it was just me, until line started peeling off the reel. #3 in the boat. This time on a pink hoochie with a colorado blade, at 35ft.

The wind picked up later in the day and it got very hard to control the boat. We trolled for a long time with nothing else, when Cody's rod went off again, popped off the clip and started peeling line. After a good battle he got it to the boat and it was a big Bull Trout! Gorgeous fish. We got the hooks out and snapped a quick pic (without removing the fish from the water of course) And let him swim back to the depths unharmed.

This wasn't our first meeting with a bull trout. Early in the day I saw some splashing on the surface that was different than the sockeye jumping, and eventually saw the belly of a fish floating up. We headed over to investigate and found a Bull Trout, floating upside down but still alive. I grabbed the fish, and it appeared like his belly was full of air. We got the air out and after reviving him for a very long time, he finally seemed ready. Let go of him and he swam off strong into the deep.

All in all it was a great day. Took us awhile to figure out the fishery that was new to us, but we overcame and brought some fish home. They were dark so I didn't take pics, but the meat was still good and all three were hens so I get to replenish my egg supply a bit. The wind really picked up by 4pm and it was a rough ride home. Glad we were in Dad's boat with a windshield! Lovely lake though, we will probably be back!
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Name: Roosterpie Date: August 17, 2012 Rating:
 
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Another great day at Wenatchee. Water has warmed a bit. Found 3/0 red hooks with a pink squid worked well. Lost a lot less fish with the bigger hooks. Not quite as many on as my last trip out. Glad I switched it up from 2 size hooks. Thinking this was my last trip over for the year. Time to start thinking about archery season and silvers in the Snohomish nearly.
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Name: afk Date: August 14, 2012 Rating:
 
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I was a guest on my friend Ricks boat. We boated 7 fish for the three of us. We started at day break and fished untill 11:30. I think we would have been able to limit but, work schedules took priority. Fish are starting to turn. Meat quality OK. fished 35-50' deep with dodger and mini squid.
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Name: Roosterpie Date: August 11, 2012 Rating:
 
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Got over to Lake Wenatchee early, but not early enough I guess. Waited in line for quite a while, but it was worth it. The fishing was great with constant action. Hopefully the quota isn't reached by Friday of this week. Get over there on a week day. Park Ranger said it is a lot less crowded. Small pink squid with two red hooks on a 12 inch leader behind an 0 flasher seemed to be the ticket. Make sure those barbs are pinched well and that you have your Columbia River endorsement. You will get checked! Weather was perfect. Not hard to find the fish. Follow the boats.
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