Henry Hagg Lake – Kayak Trolling

Hagg Lake at Dusk

What a great weekend at Hagg Lake! I took the kayaks out with a couple of friends, and tried out a couple different rigs for trolling. Of course, as always with my first kayak trip of the year, I forgot everything but the food! Not actually, but almost. The most important thing I forgot was the rod holders. It made it hard, but not impossible, to keep the poles and line out of the way as I paddled. I love kayak fishing, but have only been out a few times, testing the waters (pun intended!). I will soon be upgrading my gear, which will make it easier to fit the fishing essentials, as well as accommodating adult beverages. One thing I always make room for is my beverages, but on this last trip that meant I didn’t have much foot room! I was okay with it to be honest, but I’m looking for better alternatives for sure. I could also benefit from a depth finder/fish finder, and preferably one that monitors my speed. It’s very easy to paddle too fast when your’re distracted, and have your gear at the wrong depth.

For those of you who have never been to the lake – wow, it’s gorgeous! It costs $7 to park unless you have a pass, but it’s very clear that they use that money on their facilities. There are multiple boat ramps around the lake, and at Ramp C I think they even sell food, and some limited tackle (talk about convenient!). They must have miles of waterfront due to the shape of the lake, and there seem to be limitless options for you as you drive around. Beyond that, they put tables right on the waterline everywhere! I would love to paddle up to a spot, set up a picnic and fish from the shore, nap, and then get back out there. I didn’t get on the water until early afternoon due to a missed connection with my friends (we didn’t have cell service on most of the lake, so factor that in if you’re trying to meet friends there!), but this is a place I will definitely be going back to for a day long adventure. I live in Portland, and let me tell you, it is definitely worth the drive!

Pardon the photo quality, but at least it’s clear enough to see how happy finally kayak fishing again makes me!

Now the fishing setups! I trolled a wedding ring worm harness (pictures to come), which seemed to get the most action out of all the poles. It got some nibbles, and one hooked and landed. Nothing to write home about, but glad to have caught something! I let him go, because I have plenty of trout at home, so he’ll live to fight another day. I also tossed out a couple different roosters tails, just to keep me occupied in between the action. I also tried a little bottom fishing when we anchored to take in the sun. Nothing fancy – I tried some power bait on a 3-4 ft leader, power bait eggs, and later added some worm to the eggs. None of those setups paid off, and it was a slow day in general for everyone on the lake. However, I know there are fish in there, and I suspect had I done a little better at focusing on my trolling speed and depth, that the wedding ring would have produced some good results!

All in all, I had a great day on the water, which is never a waste, even if you don’t get a single bite. The osprey there aren’t afraid to show off their skills, and almost seem to mock you when you paddle in with an empty stringer, but I just let that roll off my back because they’re fun to watch in action. I will certainly be back. Let me know in the comments section if you go, or have been, and how you did fishing. I’d love to hear more about this place! Until next time, tight lines!

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