Siltcoos is one of those lakes where you either love it or hate it. My track record of catching fish in it before this year consisted of sculpin and yellow perch. According to the fishing in Oregon book this lake is packed with different species that I can’t catch. For the last several years when I think of heading to the coast to fish it is the last place I would pick out of our many coastal lakes. But a trip kayaking with family finally broke my streak of tiny tiny fish. Since I never usually fish for bass I only brought a lite trout rod to catch the normal tiny fish. On my second cast a (for me) monster bass hit and buried itself in the weeds and snapped my 4lb test line. After a changing up lures we continued our float and shortly after I caught a nice bass.
With the success of this trip I decided that once the fall salmon started coming in I would give the lake a chance for a salmon and possibly some bass. Siltcoos is a great lake to fish just for the large variety of fish that can be caught. Not that I am good at catching them. In addition to bass and salmon the lake contains Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout, Crappie, Bluegill, Bullhead catfish, Yellow perch, and the some passing through steelhead.
Fall kayaking is a very different experience then summer kayaking on the lake. Since this is Oregon it involves being prepared for a lot more rain. With periods of sun that makes you feel like you are cooking if you have rain gear on. Luckily I have a dry suit that I wear just for these kinds of days. The great thing about a dry suit is you can layer underneath it depending on the temperature and it breaths unlike most rain gear. The only issue with mine is that I did not get one with a crotch zipper. If you have to go to the bathroom it is a full unzip and go.
On this adventure my Kayak buddy Jeremy joined me to see if we could catch a salmon or at least some trout. The morning started out slow as we trolled along the lake. Both of us were surface trolling with our normal trout gear (salmon will hit also). My normal set up for trout is normally a Luhr Jenson herring dodger followed by a brad’s cut plug or a Mack’s wedding ring behind it. Sadly for me neither were working. Jeremy lucked out and caught a nice 15″ rainbow on his setup. After many hours of a few small bites and nothing being caught for me I switched gear to a casting pole and a Rapala shad rap.
Switching over to the shad rap was my ticket to fish. First cast to shore caught me a nice 13″ cutthroat. Moving from the inlet end where we were into main lake soon caught me a 15″ cutthroat trolling near the bottom and soon after that a small 10″ juvenile salmon. previous to that was nearly four hours of trolling with barely a bite and then three fishing 30 minutes changing up the gear. Another trip to Siltcoos will be part of the plans for later in the year if time allows or sometime in the next year. The Oregon state record for Coho was caught in this lake. It is very much a lake I need to learn. And there is a very good chance of me breaking my personal best records for multiple species of fish from this lake.
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