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Brownlee Reservoir Lake Report
Baker County, OR

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05/23/2010
Bottom Fishing From Boat
Crappie
Jig
All Day
05/26/2010
4
17453

This was my first trip to the Brownlee Reservoir and we stayed from the 17th through the 23rd and bought the out of state 7 day license for $59.75. The first day in we setup camp and hit the water for the evening bite and did fairly well for not knowing the water. I used nothing but my product, (Dons Dandy Crappie Jigs) and it turned out to be the top producer out of everyones offerings. I ended up selling all the product I brought down to the other fishermen and paid for some of my trip. The weather was cold, windy and rainy with a few hours of sunshine thrown in, in fact we were forced off the water for one day until evening as the wind can really howl through the canyons there. I ended up with keeping 187 Crappie and 2 catfish, there is no limit on Crappie, but I put a self imposed limit of nothing under 9", the largest was a white crappie at a little over 14", with the majority running about 12". There are both white and black crappie here and the white seemed to run bigger on average but the flesh was just a little softer. Talked to a lot of fishermen who have done this trip before and they all agreed that if the weather was better there would have been a much greater catch record by all, there were a lot of people who were keeping everything they caught since there is no size and catch limit it is a real meat fishery. The catfish were bonus as I was not targeting them and surprised myself and everyone else I talked to as I caught them on my tiny little crappie jigs with a spinner attached and they both hit it right next to shore, while everyone targeting the catfish were fishing out deep with bait. I will post photos both here and on my page if you would like to see what the area looks like. There are some things you should know if you havn't done this before and one is there are snakes here, rattlers, kings to be sure and if you go about kicking rocks around you will find scorpions too, so don't put your shoes outside at night... Other than that everyone seems to be in agreement that the only time to fish here is in May and late September other than that it's just too hot for even the rigs with air conditioning. The fish were holding on just about any shoreline, but the points and pockets seem to hold more. During the high wind everyone would break for a cove and anchor so don't forget your anchor, I did very well just drifting the shoreline during the wind and just used my trolling motor to keep me in the zone which was 12-20' of water and kept my gear at about 10' for the most part, the evening fish would usually go flat calm and I used the slip bobber method with about 18" drop that produced well. The purple and white and chartruse and red did the best overall. There are lots of smallies here and I caught a good many but threw them all back, they are in good shape, not soft, so they would eat just fine except I ate my share of bass growing up and just catch and release them now. All in all I had a great time and will be back for sure in the future. This would make a great family get away but I think I would leave the dog home, too many ways to get into trouble for them here. Klahowya!


Comments

juscallmetoad
5/26/2010 8:17:00 PM
nice report
Xwisconyfisherman
5/26/2010 8:49:00 PM
Wow nice, I think i need to mapquest it to see how far it is from spokane lol
jbball50
5/27/2010 12:20:00 AM
Did you end up just fishing the Powder Arm River area or end up going to other areas to fish? Hopefully the age of the crappie will be 3-4 years mostly next year too. One of the guides for Brownlee was saying next year might be a really good year for larger crappie.
BMGW
5/27/2010 7:59:00 AM
Yeah, JB, we did get into the Snake or the "Brownlee" , but the best Crappie fishing was in the Powder River arm with the wind and all, the Brownlee can whip up 4' waves in a hurry... From what I hear there is a cyclical up and down to the Crappie there and I think in the lean years is when the bigger Crappie appear, which makes sense to me..
topdawg47
5/27/2010 8:13:00 AM
Nice fish!
MotoBoat
5/27/2010 10:30:00 AM
Sounds like keeping the fillet knife sharp was a problem..................a good problem to have. Thanks for sharing. Special note about snakes and scorpions. What size/type boat were you fishing from?
BMGW
5/27/2010 8:12:00 PM
Actually I keep my knives very sharp and the steel is by my side as well, I was filleting for a party of 16 besides my fish... I sell one of the absolute best fillet knives made: V-Lo by Dexter Russell, it is a high carbon stain free knife, so it's incredibly strong, yet super flexible, stainless but because it's high carbon it holds an edge very very well and has one of the best super grip ergonomic rubber grips that holds even in the slimiest of conditions. My hands are still super chapped from all the fish juices. My boat is a 1974 deep fisherman Lund, I bought off the show room floor for $475.00 in 1974... I have yet to pop a rivet, and it has seen a lot of use and I know it well; I spend way more time in it than in my big boat. I am about to put a new paint job on it and some nice decals, maybe even polish out the oxidation.. Klahowya!
blufin loui
5/28/2010 11:29:00 AM
As has been said earlier, Thanks for sharing great information. I don't see a trip to BrownLee in my future, so it is great to be able to experience it through your posts. An awsome sounding trip, and lots of filleting action. Keep the report coming BMGW, they are appreciated
BMGW
5/28/2010 11:55:00 AM
Hi Loui, thanks! I am going to check out your services some day as I have not gone after those Lakers in earnst since I left Minnesota ohhh soooo long ago and I really enjoy your reports too..
Lundegard
5/28/2010 1:06:00 PM
A Lund is a lifetime investment. I love my 2000 Fisherman, and I'm guessing I'll be saying that 20 years from now too. Thanks for the nice report.
blufin loui
5/28/2010 1:39:00 PM
Thanks BMGW, Sorry though, as I am just a fishing fool, and don't have any services to offer. That would be Joe of "http://www.washingtonlakes.com", and "Anton Jones - Darrell and Dad's Family Guide Service". Both these guys are sponsers here on the WL, AND Either of these guys are Mack slayers on Lake Chelan and will put you on fish. If you ever come over to this end of the state, shoot me a PM, and maybe we can share a meal and swap some stories. Good luck out there on your ventures
keepcastin'
7/8/2010 1:11:00 PM
Thanks again for the great post, love your detail and pics. My father and I love Crappie and are planning a trip down there for later on this month. Can't quite tell from the map, but do you know if there is bank / dock fishing around the Harry M. Hewitt park area? If not, where do you think is a good place to bank fish in this area?
BMGW
7/8/2010 9:55:00 PM
Keepcastin: There is fishing docks at the Hewitt campground, and this time of year you should have the whole place to yourself, you might have to walk around a few rattlers near the shoreline too... Take your sun gear because it will be in the triple digits there. I should think the Crappie have finished their spawn and they will likely seek their normal haunts, (not necessarily by the shoreline), deeper and seeking shade like under docks... That Cat fishing at night should be good however, in fact probably same for crappie so bring a lantern. Short of going over to the Idaho side, I would stay at the Hewitt Park area.. Have fun, try not to get sun burned!
keepcastin'
7/13/2010 3:12:00 PM
BMGW: Thank you, thank you for the great info sir! Sorry it took me a while to reply, I don't get to this site as often as I'd like. Can honestly say that sunburn should not be a problem with us, a little too much pigment.:) Rattlers? How many are we talking, and are they aggressive?:| I've been speaking to Brownlee Charters about using their services as we would love to come home with a boat load of Crappie, and we'll only be there a couple days and don't know the area enough to gamble on fishing spots. We'll probably still fish from the docks-- the lady I spoke with said they're catching them from the docks in the evening. They seem pretty reputable and straight forward. If you or anyone has any knowledge of this charter or any of them down there, please let me know. Thanks again.
keepcastin'
7/13/2010 3:22:00 PM
BMGW: Thank you, thank you for the great info sir! Sorry it took me a while to reply, I don't get to this site as often as I'd like. Can honestly say that sunburn should not be a problem with us, a little too much pigment.:) Rattlers? How many are we talking, and are they aggressive?:| I've been speaking to Brownlee Charters about using their services as we would love to come home with a boat load of Crappie, and we'll only be there a couple days and don't know the area enough to gamble on fishing spots. We'll probably still fish from the docks-- the lady I spoke with said they're catching them from the docks in the evening. They seem pretty reputable and straight forward. If you or anyone has any knowledge of this charter or any of them down there, please let me know. Thanks again.
keepcastin'
7/13/2010 3:34:00 PM
BMGW: Thank you, thank you for the great info sir! Sorry it took me a while to reply, I don't get to this site as often as I'd like. Can honestly say that sunburn should not be a problem with us, a little too much pigment.:) Rattlers? How many are we talking, and are they aggressive?:| I've been speaking to Brownlee Charters about using their services as we would love to come home with a boat load of Crappie, and we'll only be there a couple days and don't know the area enough to gamble on fishing spots. We'll probably still fish from the docks-- the lady I spoke with said they're catching them from the docks in the evening. They seem pretty reputable and straight forward. If you or anyone has any knowledge of this charter or any of them down there, please let me know. Thanks again.
BMGW
7/13/2010 9:59:00 PM
Well I would say if your just hanging around the campground you should not have any problems with the snakes, but as soon as you get along the shore away from well trodden areas it's their territory. Most snakes come down to the water and sun themselves on the rocks and to hunt, it's the ones on the hunt you likely will not see until it's too late. Problem with just fishing the docks is all the big ones have been caught up already. If I were you I would take the time and $ to hire up a guide or rent a boat, maybe a barge if there is enough folks. Sorry I do not have any experience with the guides in the area, but I am sure they know what their doing. I think there are boat rentals in Richland Or., just a couple miles from the launch. I am headed to N. Minnesota to be with my Dad as he recoups from surgery and hope to get in some walleye and crappie fishing while there. Best to you and yours!
keepcastin'
7/14/2010 8:49:00 AM
Thanks again, BMGW. I appreciate your input and trust your experience. I'm going to book the charter today-- I agree and think we'll get the best results with someone who knows how to fish the area. Enjoy the time with your father, and hope all goes well with you and him.
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