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Okanagan BC Fishing Report

By Jesse Martin, BC Bass Charters | Last updated: February 12th, 2014

Catch of the day!  Two anglers with some solid Shannon Lake rainbows.

Well, it's the middle of February and the Okanagan is still well under the icy grip of Jack Frost and Old Man Winter. I can't say I know these two old gents personally, but I'm willing to bet if they could talk (and were more than mere anthropomorphizations for the season) they could teach us all a thing or two about ice fishing. Since they can't you'll have to settle for me and the raggedy band of frost-bitten misfits that call themselves Okanagan winter fishermen for your piscatorial advice. Here's the lowdown:

Okanagan Lake

I spoke to Kelowna guide Rod Hennig this past Sunday about fishing the largest water body in the region and he told me winter is a good time to catch big trout. Dragging bucktails and Lyman plugs are the two most popular techniques, but Rod advises to fish slowly during these coldest months. He recommends fishing 1.8 mph through the winter to give the trout time to catch up to your lures. If you want to go fishing with a real expert, and your best bet for tying into a big Okanagan Lake rainbow trout, check out Rod's website.

Monte Lake

A plump kokanee pulled through the ice

This popular North Okanagan spot has a solid winter kokanee fishery. My good friend Danny Coyne was recently in the area to shoot a video for his BC Fishn website ( and tied into some good triploid kokanee. He recommends using a Williams whitefish flasher with a glo hook tipped with maggots underneath. The fish he caught were in water 120 feet deep, and caught 20 feet below the surface. Check out the video below for more info.

Yellow Lake

Rainbow trout, brook trout, and yellow perch are all biting well through the ice at Yellow Lake, a roadside spot between Penticton and Keremeos. Try a jigging spoon in 25-40 feet of water tipped with maggots, Berkley Powerbait, or worms to entice the rainbows, while both yellow perch and brookies will be found in less than ten feet and are suckers for maggots and Powerbait.

Shannon Lake

The author with a frosty largemouth bass

Shannon Lake is a great example of the diversity of freshwater species found in the Okanagan region. This nutrient-rich lake has rainbow trout, yellow perch and largemouth bass which grow fat and numerous in its fertile waters. While it receives heavy fishing pressure, the ice fishery is tremendous as the Okanagan Bass Anglers found out on a recent trip there where they caught a half-dozen trout in the 1 to 2 pound range, many small largemouth, and a couple large perch each over a pound. To find out more information about the club or bass fishing in the Okanagan in general, check out this website.

If you are feeling adventurous, there are several high country lakes worth a fish during the winter months around the Okanagan. Darke Lake near Summerland has tremendous brook trout and rainbow trout fishing through the ice, but the road in is covered in narrow and covered in snow through the winter months. Ripley and Madden Lakes near Oliver are also popular winter destinations and both have healthy populations of good-sized rainbow trout.

Good luck out there!

Jesse Martin
BC Bass Charters