Coeur d'Alene Lake (Kootenai County) Fishing Report

OK. I'm giving this trip a 4 but it could easily have been a 5 with a little more cooperation from the fish.
I fished several locations on the main lake and found fish in 6-12 feet of water. The rating is related to "Strikes" not catches. I only managed to release 2 nice 31" pike on the day. However, the fish were definitely there. I had 12 strikes on the day, and nearly all were from fish in the 30" and above range (measured with my laser eyeball tape measure). I also spent 45 minutes chasing one over 40" and showing her everything I could think of but couldn't make her mad enough or hungry enough to bite. I saw her on 5 different occasions in 10 feet of crystal clear water. I have had days like this before. You will see the fish hit but it doesn't even have it's mouth open. I believe they are simply headbutting the bait as if to tell it to "Get out of my territory".
Both fish I caught came on a fire tiger colored spinner bait with tandem willow leaf blades, on the outer edge of a weed bed. Some of the missed fish came on a Johnson silver minnow spoon and a Rapala Glidin Rap.
Water temps ranged from 60-72 degrees. It's a bummer when you seem to do "Almost" the right thing, in the right place at the right time, only to get that head butt strike.
They're out there. It's up to us to make them eat!

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AJ's Dad
7/9/2018 6:47 AM
I hope this non vertical hold suits the Northern Pike Chiropractors Assn president and charter member. ;)
7/12/2018 6:53 PM
What do you use for leaders? .... or more appropriately, "do you have a recommendation for crankbait leaders when smallmouth fishing in lake that has tiger musky?
AJ's Dad
7/12/2018 8:47 PM
I use 80 lb flouro carbon and crimp sleeves. The flouro is pretty much invisible. I catch smallies and large mouth all the time when I'm pike fishing. I also use the 80 lb when I fish for tigers.
7/12/2018 10:07 PM
Thanks for the help, Im heading to Lake Tapps Sat morning. Lost gear last year there. Leader advice elsewhere online ranges from "no leader/25# fused fireline crystal mainline" to "solid .045 SS single strand wire with twisted connections".... Much appreciated, now I can be done googling and start tying (crimping)!
AJ's Dad
7/12/2018 11:30 PM
One more thought. I've been using another product this year for the first time. It's the tieable titanium wire leader. The brand I've been using is called Knot 2 Kinky. I believe I have the 18lb test version. I have not lost a fish to it yet. It's a very small diameter titanium wire. The on I have is kind of a brown color and it's very hard to see in the water. I've landed some big pike with knarley teeth on it so far. I like it for spinner baits and cranks, but I think it restricts the action of glide baits and slash or jerk baits a little. It keeps you from having to do the crimping, don't skimp on the pliers. I tried the $3 ones and lost a few fish because they don't do a good job. I bought a $10 pair and haven't had a lick of trouble since.