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Thread: Panguitch 4/7: First Tigers and More

  1. #1
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    Panguitch 4/7: First Tigers and More

    I really felt in need of a productive outing this week. I got out last weekend, but it resulted in about twice as much driving time than fishing time due to terrible weather. Howling wind and sideways rain/snow never allow for very fun fishing (I went to Piute). No fish were caught in the brief time I was able to endure the conditions. The forecast didn't make it sound nearly as bad as it was, either. Oh well, hopefully this weekend would be better.

    Originally, I planned on a bass trip to Sand Hollow or Quail Creek, but when I saw a Panguitch Lake ice update stating that the hard stuff was almost gone, my plans quickly changed.

    I arrived at Panguitch around 9:30 to find about 2/3 open water. I took the north shore road to the parking lot near the far boat ramp, walked down to the shore, and began chucking some hardware. The first hour of the day was biteless, and I only witnessed one fish chase my rainbow Rapala to shore. I switched to a black marabou jig and it paid off with the first fish of the day, a 16-inch rainbow that released eggs all over my backpack:



    Not a bad way to start the day. Part of me wanted to keep it, but I'm adament that the rainbow slot should be re-implemented there, so back it went.

    I continued with no luck for the next little while so I moved just up shore and picked up three little guys on a blue fox within about 20 minutes (no pics - all were rainbows, 6-8 inches).

    It was then that I saw something kind of cool, but strange. A bald eagle was soaring above the lake, not far from where I was fishing. I was wondering if it was going to swoop down in an attempt to catch a fish, but just then, it dropped something large that I couldn't make out. Did it already catch a fish, then drop it? It landed just up the shore from me so I went to investigate. After searching the ground for a moment, the only thing I could find was a wooden log, nestled in some leftover broken-up ice against the bank. Why would an eagle pick up a log, soar above the lake for a while, then drop it? Any ideas? I thought that was fascinating.

    Meanwhile, the fishing remained slow. I could have kept catching the little guys on my spinner, but that's only fun for so long. I decided to tie on a white maribou and started making my way back to my original location.

    I worked it for quite some time, and finally felt a good tug, just a few feet from shore. I fought it to the bank, where a very nice fish came into view, but I realized it wasn't going to be easy to bring it to hand. I was fishing from rocks that dropped vertically, a couple of feet straight down into the water. A net would have been nice, but I didn't have one. I got it to the most manageable looking spot, where I attempted to stoop down and grab it, but I stumbled over some broken ice and almost slid into the water! That would have been a chilly swim, no doubt. Somehow, I held onto my rod with one hand while awkwardly reaching down as far as I could with my other. It was barely within my reach, and I hoisted out a nice, 20-inch cutthroat.



    My personal best cutt! (I think). Lately I've been trying to measure every decent-sized fish I catch, especially at lakes with size restrictions and slot limits. I've made a point to keep better track of my personal bests.

    Of course, it was swimming again after a few pics were taken.

    After another hour of working the white marabou with no luck, I considered calling it a day. I was disappointed with how slow the bite was, but at least I brought in a nice cutt.

    I closely examined my tackle box to see if there was anything else worth trying before I went home. One lure caught my attention: a yellow, 7/8 ounce Mepps Flyin' C spinner. I had used it to fish for king salmon in Alaska last summer, and caught a nice one on a lure similar to it. Why not try it? I used many lures with very limited success throughout the day, with no consistency. I actually felt kind of silly tying it on, but if anything goes for it, I know it will be something big and aggressive.
    Here's a look at the spinner:



    I started casting it a mile with relative ease. It felt really strange using such a heavy lure with my medium-light action rod and 6 lb test. Every retrieve resulted in the rod bending the whole way to shore. I noticed the action it made in the water with the big, silver blade. It had to be getting the attention of some fish, whether they were interested or not.

    I got it snagged about 3 casts in after letting it sink too far. I thought I would lose it for sure, but after some violent jerking of the rod, surprisingly, it came loose with the lure still attached.

    Good thing, too.

    One of my next casts, something hit the lure hard, and after some furious tugging, shaking, and twisting, a fish came into view that I couldn't be more happy with:

    My first tiger trout!!!









    Not a HUGE fish (19 inches), but not bad for my first. Now I know what the hype is all about. What a fighter!

    I got it back into the water as quickly as possible after the all the excitement. My heart was still pounding. Almost without thinking, I picked up my rod and started casting again. I wondered if catching it on that lure was simply a fluke, but that thought was quickly put to rest. Within 5 casts, another beast started tugging. At first, it fought harder than the first, then seemed to lose direction and went rocketing towards shore, twisting and thrashing.

    Another nice tiger came into view, this one over 20 inches:





    I felt bad releasing it since i hooked it near the eye, but it swam off in a frenzy, so I bet he'll be fine. Of course, gotta stick to the slot limit.

    By now I was more than happy, but still wanted more after picking up two nice tigers within minutes of each other. Unfortunately, one of my next casts, I got a little over-ambitious with the power, and it snapped off my line, and went flying into unknown depths of the lake. :( Really a bummer since it didn't take much effort to cast it out far.

    Oh well. I think I know what lure I'll be tracking down for my next Panguitch trip (and other tiger waters, beyond).

    I didn't have any more of those lures, so I decided it was a good time to call it a day. And what a day it was! Fishing was slow, overall, but well worth the persistence to catch my first two tigers (and a nice cutt).

    By the time I left, the only ice remaining was covering some small bays. It won't be long before it's all gone, I'm sure.



    What an awesome time of year to be outside.

    Happy Easter!

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  3. #2
    Trail Master hikster11's Avatar
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    Great TR. Very nice fish. I have never got that lucky

  4. #3

  5. #4
    Nice work, msldkfjadg;lkdjsfsd.

    Just kidding, Mike. I've never been to Panguitch Lake, but I'm really hoping to within the year. Looks like a great place.

  6. #5
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    LOAH, I don't think you'd be disappointed at Panguitch. With the slot limit in place, I see it producing big tigers and cutts for a long time (I wish rainbows were still included in that mix, too).

    If you make that Panguitch trip and want some company, let me know. It's one of the closest trout waters to where I live, and I plan on spending significant time there this year.

  7. #6
    Very nice!
    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. -Martin Luther King, Jr.





  8. #7

    Tigers and all they entail....

    Now you are hooked on Tigers, good luck losing the fever... I remember my first 20.
    Jamie
    Angler1 Sportfishing Adventures

    NevadaAngler1@aol.com

    Angler1.com

    LasVegasCanoeClub.Info

  9. #8
    MJS,
    Nice fish bud I am heading to Panguitch Lake tomorrow for the weekend to do some fishing and quad riding myself...I was up there the weekend you were as far as the time stamp you quoted...didnt have my poles tho...I fish there all the time during the season.. I have property up Clear Creek Cyn on the north west side of the lake...I only hope I have that good of luck tomorrow and saturday but if I do I will make sure to post pics...well done bud.
    Ride On !!!!
    07 Silverado Vortec Max
    06 YFZ 450
    01&02 Honda 400ex
    06 KFX 400

  10. #9
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    ChanMan,
    Thanks, and good luck this weekend! If I were you, I'd try tossing the biggest spinners you have. It worked for me. I bet those tigers would even take a bass spinnerbait. In fact, maybe that's what I'll try next time. They're more catch and release friendly, too, given the single hook.

    Hope to see a report!

  11. #10
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    What an awesome weekend at Panguitch Lake.... this is my limit on Sunday before I headed home....the Tiger was awesome...4lbs...smallest fish was 18"..... :0)
    Ride On !!!!
    07 Silverado Vortec Max
    06 YFZ 450
    01&02 Honda 400ex
    06 KFX 400

  12. #11
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    Nicely done, ChanMan! If you don't mind me asking, what was the length of that tiger?

  13. #12
    Just a shade over 22" and weight just over 4 lbs...I have never caught one this large and have been fishing Panguitch Lake now for 8 years.... Thanks!!!
    Ride On !!!!
    07 Silverado Vortec Max
    06 YFZ 450
    01&02 Honda 400ex
    06 KFX 400

  14. #13
    Fishing is still good at Panguitch Lake...got my limit all 3 days whiile I was there over Memorial Day Weekend.
    Ride On !!!!
    07 Silverado Vortec Max
    06 YFZ 450
    01&02 Honda 400ex
    06 KFX 400

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