With Winter now in full swing, the majority of fisherman and woman have put their rods away for the year. But for those of us that brave the cold weather, Round Valley can offer some great shoreline fishing to hold us over until the Spring! So in this series articles, I’m going to explain the basics for fishing the shoreline at Round Valley, which can be applied during the Fall, Winter, and Spring for Trout!
There’s a wide selection of baits you can use when fishing from shore. Though the two most widely used, and successful baits are Powerbait and Shiners, so I’m going to mainly cover using these in this article since we’re covering the basics of shoreline fishing. I’ve often found that the time of year does effect which bait the fish will be hitting more readily. Usually Shiners fished under slip bobbers work better during the Spring and Fall, while Powerbait and Shiners fished on the bottom work better during the coldest months of the year.
If targeting Rainbow Trout, your best bet would be Powerbait on the bottom, or Shiners fished both under slip bobbers as well as on the bottom. For Brown Trout, Shiners fished both under slip bobbers and on the bottom will produce. As far as Lake Trout go, they’re a little trickier at times. I’ve caught them on Shiners fished one foot under slip bobbers as well as fishing Shiners on the bottom casting to about 40-50 feet of water, and everything in between. Though the most consistent way of catching Lake Trout from shore would be Shiners on the bottom. While this is what I’ve observed while fishing Round Valley through the seasons, of course this isn’t always the case. So just to be on the safe side, even if the bite is hot on say Shiners under slip bobbers, I’ll almost always have one rod out with Powerbait as well just in case the bite switches to that throughout my trip (You never know what can happen!).
So pretty much to sum things up:
Shiners under slip bobbers in Spring and Fall, when there’s warmer water temperatures. (But not too warm of course)
Shiners and Powerbait fished on the bottom during the coldest months, usually between November/December and March/April. (Depending on water temperature)
Powerbait, nine out of ten times will produce Rainbow Trout.
Shiners under slip bobbers will produce Brown and Rainbow Trout.
Shiners fished on the bottom will produce a mix of Brown, Rainbow, and Lake Trout.
When in season, Shiners can be replaced by live Herring, which can be a more effective bait.
Also, in addition to the baits that I went over in this article. They are not in any means the only baits that will produce Trout from shore at Round Valley. A few other baits that are commonly used while fishing the shoreline are:
Marshmallow and mealworm combos fished on the bottom
Garden worms or Night-crawlers fished on the bottom or under a bobber
Cooked salad Shrimp fished on the bottom
Stay tuned in for more shoreline fishing 101 articles! Next I’ll be covering things such as; rigs for shoreline fishing, finding a good shore fishing location, and casting lures from the shoreline!
Very excited to be able to share a consecutive three day fishing report with everyone! It’s been a great past few weeks of shore fishing at Round Valley, and if you’re looking to fish anytime soon, now would be the time to do it while the action is hot!
Thursday, December 19
Baits of choice:
Salmon peach PowerBait fished approximately 12-inches off the bottom
Live Shiners fished five to seven feet under slip bobbers
Zach Batren and I decided to head out to Round Valley a little later than usual, just to kill some time before the Round Valley Trout Association Christmas party, and wet our first lines around 1:30 p.m. We started out fishing the rocks by the cement boat launch, just for a slight change of scenery and to stay out of the wind, and were fishing with Shiners fished five to seven feet under slip bobbers, as well as salmon peach Powerbait fished on the bottom. At first we were a little unsure how our luck would pan out seeing as we were starting in the middle of the day, with no cloud cover, while we were usually out fishing early in the morning and out by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. after the bite died down. Though we only had to wait about 20 minutes or so until we started getting some action, which started off with Zach B. catching and releasing a nice 16-inch Brown Trout that took a Shiner under a slip bobber, while I had a swing and a miss on my slip bobber.
Pretty much from then until we left at 5:00 p.m. we had a hit at least every half an hour to 45 minutes or so, which wasn’t anything too crazy, but definitely made for a fun day! We ended our day right as we ran out of sunlight for the day with Zach B. landing a 15-inch Rainbow on salmon peach Powerbait and a 16-inch Brown that took a Shiner 7-feet under a slip bobber. Meanwhile, I was only able to land one beautifully colored 13.5-inch Rainbow, though I missed a good amount of fish, and at one point had constant hits on both of the slip bobbers I had out for about five minutes straight, but nothing stuck the hook. Everything was released that day, seeing as we were practicing some CPR, or catch-photograph-release for those of you that aren’t familiar with the term.
Friday, December 20
Baits of Choice:
Live Shiners fished three to seven feet under slip bobbers
Rainbow and salmon peach PowerBait fished 12-inches off the bottom
Made it out for day two of shoreline Trout fishing at Round Valley with Zach Batren and Chris Moran. As stated above, we were fishing with live Shiners fished under slip bobbers, as well as rainbow and salmon peach PowerBait fished about 12-inches off the bottom. We finished wetting the last of our lines by 6:30 a.m., and we eagerly waited to see what the early morning bite would give us, and soon enough we were into fish! I was the first to get a good hook up with a fish, and landed a 15-inch Rainbow that took a live Shiner about 5-feet under a slip bobber. Right after I was able to get the hook out of the Rainbow, I saw my second slip bobber, set about 7-feet down, start bouncing. After about a minute of being toyed with, it went under and I set the hook on another fish, shortly followed by a nice Trout jumping out of the water, and I landed a nice 17.25-inch Brown Trout!
Shortly after that, we had a slight lull in the action for about 30 minutes or so, during which we were joined by Zach B. Probably about 20 minutes or so after he arrived, Chris was into his first fish of the day, which took a Shiner under a slip bobber and ended up being a short 14-inch Brown Trout. From there on, we had constant action for the rest of our time out, and finished it off with Zach B. landing a beautifully colored 18.5-inch Rainbow Trout that took a Shiner about 7-feet under a slip bobber.
Our final tally when we ended our day around 12:30 p.m. was three Rainbows to 18.5-inches, three Browns to 17.5-inches, and about ten hits that didn’t take. Everything was caught on live Shiners under slip bobbers, with the exception of one 16-inch Rainbow that Chris landed on rainbow Powerbait.
Saturday, December 21
Baits of choice:
Live Shiners fished about 5-feet under slip bobbers
Salmon peach and yellow PowerBait
Round Valley seems to have save the best for last for us in this three day shore fishing report, and I’m very grateful for it! I arrived at Round Valley a little before 6:30 a.m. and wet my three lines shortly after, one with salmon peach PowerBait and two with Shiners 5-feet under slip bobbers. Within ten minutes of arriving, one of my slip bobbers goes under and I’m into a fish, which unfortunately spit the hook about half way in. While I was a little bummed I wasn’t able to land him, he didn’t feel like anything too special and I decided to take it as a good sign that fish were there and feeding, rather than another fish lost. Five minutes after that, I landed a short maybe 13-inch Rainbow that also took a Shiner under a slip bobber, which was released. About another five minutes after that, something slammed my PowerBait and my pole was doubled over, though by the time I made it to my rod, my pole was straight and my line slack. So I waited a few seconds, slowly reeled in the slack, and felt my sinker bounce on the bottom. But the same second I began to think I just missed yet another fish, I felt two taps on my line, and I get a good hook set on a fish. Now, taking into account that I was fighting the fish with a 4’6″ ultralight rod with 4-lb test and a 4-lb leader, I wasn’t sure exactly what sized fish I was fighting. Though it was peeling a good amount of drag so I figured it was at least a decent sized fish, that was until I got it about 20-feet out and was able to get a decent sideways view of it and saw it was definitely a good sized Rainbow Trout. Luckily I had Round Valley Fishing reader Mitchell fishing next to me, who quickly grabbed my net when he saw I was into another fish, and was able to help me land the big Rainbow once I got it close to enough to shore. The Rainbow ended up measuring in at 24-inches and weighed a hefty 4-lbs, 4-oz, and was a Round Valley Trout Association jaw tagged trophy Trout!
A little while after that, I was joined by Robert I., who brought some much needed coffee! He got his lines into the water and after about half an hour or so of waiting, he got a hit on yellow PowerBait fished 2-3 feet off the bottom, though the fish was lost shortly after the hook set. After that, the bite completely died off and we were joined by Zach B. and Holly E. We had no action at all after the hit on Rob’s rod a little after 8:00 a.m. all the way until 3:35 p.m. when Rob get a hit on yellow PowerBait again. Rob’s rod got a few good pulls, but just like with my tagged Rainbow, by the time Rob reached his rod and picked it up, his line went slack for a few seconds, shortly followed by him setting the hook on a fish. We knew it was a good fish within a few seconds of him hooking up, but when we finally got a glimpse of it’s head breaking the surface, we all immediately thought of the possibility of it being another tagged trophy Trout. Now this fish definitely gave a better fight than my fish, and actually managed to tangle lines with another one of Rob’s lines while going on a run during the fight. Though Rob, coincidently also fighting his fish on a small ultralight rod with 4-lb test, was able to wrestle the fish in to be netted by Zach B. (I was manning the camera). The fish ended up being yet another large Rainbow which weighed in at 3-lbs, 15-oz, measured in at 24-inches, and was also an RVTA jaw tagged Trout!
After that, Zach B. and Holly missed a hit on PowerBait, and that was it for us for the rest of the day. We packed it in at 4:30 p.m. after a painfully slow, yet very successful third consecutive day of shore fishing at Round Valley!
Despite the cold weather, shore fishing continues to be warm! Made it out to fish the Round Valley shoreline again this morning in the snow with Chris Moran, from 6:30 a.m. until about 10:30 a.m. We both started off fishing with two rods with Shiners under slip bobbers, and one rod fished on the bottom (PowerBait on mine, and a Shiner on Chris’). Since it was still dark when we got our lines in, we had glow sticks on our slip bobbers so we could see them. Though about five minutes after casting them out, I couldn’t find my second bobber and figured it was just hard to see since the glow stick I had on it wasn’t too bright. So I decided to reel in my line to recast so I could at least have a general idea of where my bobber was.
After a few cranks of my reel, my rod bent over and I figured I was snagged in some weeds, so I gave it a good tug to see if I could pull it free, and to my surprise, my rod responded with a few strong pulls back, shortly followed by a Trout jumping out of the water and I knew I was into a fish. After giving me a short, but fun fight, I landed a 15.25-inch Rainbow Trout. Unfortunately, that was the only action we had until about 10:00 a.m. when I hooked into another decent sized Rainbow Trout that hit a Shiner 2-feet under a slip bobber, but it shook the hook about 10-feet from shore after a brief fight. Shortly after that, the cold was finally getting the better of us, so we decided to pack the fishing stuff into our cars, and finish our day with a little bit of hiking in the snow. As I previously stated in this article, the only action we got this morning was on live Shiners under slip bobbers. A few weeks ago, we were getting Trout on both Shinersas well as PowerBait, but with the colder weather it seems that the Trout have begun to prefer Shiners over PowerBait. Overall it was a painfully slow day of fishing, but I beat the skunk with one Rainbow landed, and lost another on the way in. Also, not to mention the fact that Round Valley is a beautiful place in the snow, and I love fishing in the snow, so I definitely enjoyed our morning fishing from the shore!
Fishing has been pretty slow for me the past few weeks (hence the lack of posts on here), but even though the action has been slow, the fish are still there to be caught. I went out and fished the Round Valley shoreline this morning from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with Zach Batren and Tom Niedbala. Zach B. and Tom arrived a little while before I did, and set up right in the boat launch area to the left of the concrete boat launch. Even though they only beat me there by less than an hour, Tom had landed a beautiful 15-inch Rainbow that he caught fishing a live Shiner about two-feet under a slip bobber by the time I had got there, and Zach B. had a big Rainbow follow a Rapala (Brown Trout pattern) while casting off the docks. It followed long enough for Zach to see that it was an RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow. Though after I got my lines in the water, we got nothing except for one hit I got on my Powerbait and a few hits Zach B. and Tom got on Shiners under slip bobbers as well as Shiners on the bottom. So around 9:30 a.m. we decided to move over to the area just to the left of the sandy point across from the boat launch.
Once we got set up at our new spot the fishing was slow for the first hour or so, with the only action we got being one hit Tom got on his slip bobber, as well as one Largemouth Bass Tom landed; also on his slip bobber. Then, around 10:30 I got a hit on one of my rods that I had salmon peach Powerbait on, and as soon as I set the hook I knew it was a good fish. After a nice fight, I landed a nice 21-inch 2-lb, 4-oz Lake Trout, which was definitely a nice surprise for the day.
After landing the fish, I quickly got my lines back in the water in the same area I hooked into the Laker, and got two more decent hits within 10 minutes of casting back out. Though after that flurry of action, we didn’t get anymore action for about another 45 minutes or so, which brought us to 11:30 and I had to leave for work. So we called it quits after landing Tom’s Largemouth Bass, and 15-inch Rainbow, as well as my 21-inch Laker. Not the best day of fishing, but could’ve definitely turned out worse so we were happy with the outcome.
Went out to Round Valley to fish for some Trout from the shoreline on Thursday, September 26, 2013. After getting a pretty late start, I got out to the Valley at around 10:30 a.m. and just as I arrived, I watched one of the guys fishing next to where I was land a nice approximately 15-inch Brown Trout on a live Shiner about four feet under a bobber. So despite my late start to the day, seeing that got my hopes up that there were still Trout around to be caught. As usual I was fishing with three rods out, and this time I had two with slip bobbers set to seven and 12 feet down with live Shiners and one rod with Powerbait about 2.5-feet off the bottom. After about 45 minutes, one of my slip bobbers shot under and I set the hook. Not sure what exactly it was that was on the end of my line since I didn’t get a chance to see it, but right off the bat it was screaming out drag and ended up shaking the hook right as I got close to the end of the line on my reel. So I reeled in, cast back out, and 30 seconds later my bobber was under again, though this time I landed a 16-inch Rainbow Trout.
After that it was slow pickings the rest of the day, with a few fish here and there. For the most part I only landed little dink Largemouth Bass that hit the Shiners under slip bobbers, and by the time I left I landed nine Largemouths to about seven or eight inches and two Smallmouth Bass about the same size. Though in addition to my 16-inch Rainbow, I also landed one 14-inch Brown Trout that hit a slip bobber, as well as another 15.5-inch Rainbow that hit my Powerbait. All in all it wasn’t the best day of fishing, but I did beat the skunk and caught a few Trout which is all that really matters in the end.
I headed back out again few days later on Sunday September 29, 2013 and this time I was joined by Chris. We started out nice and early and got our first lines in the water around 6:45 a.m. just as the sun was coming over the horizon. Between the two of us we had six rods out, two with Rainbow Powerbait on the bottom, two with Salmon/Peach Powerbait on the bottom, and two with Shiners under slip bobbers. Probably about ten minutes or so in, one of Chris’ Powerbait rods doubles all the way over with the tip almost touching the water and starts screaming out drag out of nowhere.
With that said, both Chris and I knew there was a good fish on the other end of his line before he even engaged the fish, and the fight that followed definitely proved it. After setting the hook, it continued to peel out drag and run from left to right for almost the entire fight. At one point, Chris had managed to get it within 20 feet of where we were standing on shore and it jumped a good two feet clean out of the water, which is when we were able to see it was a nice big Rainbow Trout. Immediately after that it went out on another run back towards deeper water and we were back where we started, though the fish clearly started to tire after that last run. Shortly after that, we got the fish in close to shore and began to get it under control so we could net it; which we always do with larger fish, even when fishing from shore. After netting it we were finally able to get our first real good look at the fish and were able to see it was a “JOIN RVTA” jaw tagged Rainbow that was stocked by the Round Valley Trout Association back in early May 2013.
The fish weighed in at 3-lbs, 1-oz and measured 21-inches in length. Definitely made Chris happy since it was hit biggest Rainbow ever caught, his first Fall shoreline fish from Round Valley, and his first tagged Trout! After that it was slow pickings of tiny Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass again and after landing around ten or so of those and losing what we assume was a Trout that hit my Powerbait rod, we called it a day at 10:00 a.m. While Chris’ fish was the only real fish we caught that day, we definitely can’t say it was a bad day of fishing after landing that beauty of a fish!