DENIS ISBISTER – HOST OF WILD FISH WILD PLACES

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The pro fisherman dishes on catching more fish at Pyramid Lake and some common mistakes to avoid.


THE RUN DOWN ON PYRAMID LAKE

Pyramid Lake, in our own backyard, has become world famous for the opportunity to catch the biggest cutthroat trout in the world, and has numbers of big fish! I‘ve traveled all over the world chasing fish, but my home waters of Pyramid Lake has evolved into one of the best fisheries on the planet. I’m proud to call it my home water. There are so many ways to catch fish at Pyramid, and everyone has their own style. I just wanted to share a few techniques that have proven to be consistent, especially during the first two months of the season.

HOW DO YOU FIND TROUT ON PYRAMID LAKE?

The best way I find trout on Pyramid Lake is by keying into the location of large balls of Tui Chub coming up from the deeper water. You can find these by paying attention to your electronics looking for giant balls of bait on screen, or for birds diving. When the Tui Chub rise from the deeper water, the trout will eat bait for a few hours before returning to slightly deeper water.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT TO FISH?

Ha, ha. I can’t share that info, but, you can probably find me around any rock structures.

DO YOU HAVE A JIGGING SECRET?

I’m able to find fish by trolling either plugs or spoons for a few hours, and paying attention to where the bites are coming from. If I’ve got some rapid action on a point or drop-off that stays consistent, I make a note of it, and come back later to run jigs. Once I’ve identified those spots, I position myself on top of them and slowly move in and out of the ledge with my electric motor, while dropping metal 2oz or 1oz “flutter” style jigs on them.

PEOPLE SAY SOMETIMES THERE’S NOTHING TO GAIN BY TROLLING, WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?

People who say “there’s nothing to gain by trolling” don’t fully understand the complexity of trolling. One of the best ways to cover water effectively, and to fool some of the most intelligent trout, is trolling. There’s a lot of work and details in trolling, but it is definitely the key to catching bigger, and more, fish. Way too often I see people arrive in a spot they like, while trolling in one direction. The biggest mistake they make is after they hit a spot and catch fish like crazy, they keep moving through. The key is to go back and hit that spot again, and again! When you do hit that spot again, make sure you don’t troll in a straight line, either. Zig zag in and out, adjust your lure speed, and speed up and slow down your trolling motor. Fish follow your lure for long periods of time, and they will attack when the lure does something different!

FAVORITE BRANDS TO FISH WITH?

My two favorite brands are the Sierra Minnow and Laser Minnow, both are deadly but the Sierra Minnow has a few Pyramid specific colors that seem to produce fish slightly better at times.

WHAT BRANDS OF PLUG AND SPOON LURES DO YOU USE?

I favorite the Dirtee Dancer Wood Style plug. I’ve found the Sierra Spoon to the be most effective in Pyramid Lake. But, I also use Father Murphy, and Scheels Outfitters because each brand will all have a little different action and color selection.

HOW FAST SHOULD I TROLL?

In the fall, fish are very active and they will bite plugs that move, dart, and dive! I troll around 2.3 to 2.8 mph, but each brand of GPS fish finders are calibrated a little different. So, vary your speed and pay attention to what is working.

CAN YOU GIVE US A LINE ABOUT LINE?

Ha, ha. Great question! The old phrase, “they just aren’t biting,” is a bunch of rubbish! If you’re in fish, your lures are at the right speed and you’re still not getting any bites, change the color of your line! And don’t be afraid to keep changing it again every 15 minutes until you find what they want! AND if you find a color that does work, but then stops working, change it again, because the color most likely will change throughout the day.