British Columbia is home to countless enormous lakes that can produce an abundant amount of large fish. Living in the Okanagan I have the privilege to have one of these lakes in my backyard, Okanagan Lake.
Okanagan Lake can produce large rainbow trout reaching well over 20lbs! However, with a surface area of over 350kms and 135 kms long this oligotrophic lake can be challenging to anglers to track down fish. With its catchment area of over 6000km2 Okanagan Lake is broken down into three basin sections, 1)North Basin, 2) Mid Basin & 3) the South Basin. There are numerous great hotspots on the lake but they can all be somewhat unpredictable due to weather conditions, water temps and time of year. One hotspot that I find myself going to more often than not is Squally Point. Located in the mid basin section of the lake across from Peachland.
Once said to be the home of the Ogopogo, Squally point is a noticeable sharp bend on the eastside of the lake approx 1km south of Rattlesnake Island within the Okanagan Mountain Park Region. The point is very noticeable as there is a small light cautionary marker on the shoreline north of the main point.
To get to Squally Point there are two suggested boat launches that offer easy and short access to this hotspot. The most convenient boat launch is located in Peachland at the base of Princeton Ave and the intersection of Hwy 97. The second choice of boat launch is at the Okanagan Lake Park Campground and day use area north of Summerland. This boat launch is good to use when planning on fishing near Summerland and Naramata (SouthBasin). Squally Point is on the eastside of the lake so no matter which launch you choose you will have to cross the lake. Be sure to have an adequate size of boat and motor to cross the lake safely.
The depths that we fish can range from 250 feet of water to 50 feet of water. The eastern shoreline of the lake near Squally Point offers numerous ledges and drops to target. My preferred method of trolling is by zig-zagging along these ledges, adjust the downrigger or weighted line as needed. If you plan on fishing this area a fish finder is a must. Using electronics will help put the odds in your favour by marking the depths of the fish as well as keeping track of the ledges and drops.
Our main go to lure is a Lyman Plug and majority of the time we use size 4. I don’t have a preferred colour as I find that they all work depending on the conditions. If we don’t get any luck we will switch the colour of lure and speed before changing to a different lure type. Try to match what the trout are feeding on, example red/white or orange/white plugs work well as the look like a spawning Kokanee. We get most of our success of hooking larger fish on the Lyman Plugs. However, if the fishing is slow we will sometimes change to smaller spoons, Apex’s or even wedding rings trolled behind flashers to target the smaller trout and Kokanee. (Check the fishing regs as Kokanee can be closed to fishing at times) Squally Point has an abundant amount of smaller fish and this is most likely why we have good success hooking into larger trout here. These smaller fish act as a good food source for the bigger trout. But I’ll be the first to admit that on a slow day of fishing catching these smaller fish can be just as fun as hooking into a trophy; its all about getting out there and having fun!
If you are looking for more information about fishing Okanagan Lake please feel free to contact the BCFishn.com Team. Or if you are looking for a fantastic day of fishing with a friendly and professional guide, contact Rod at Rodney’s Reel Outdoors! Rod is Kelowna’s local pro and the master at catching large rainbows on Okanagan Lake, check out his site for proof!
Tight Lines & Conserve our Waters!