Got on the water at about 10:30am. Bit of a zoo at the boat ramp as usual when you're launching that late on a Saturday, but I managed.
I started out just south of Yellowstone point, trolled north toward the point and then across to English point, then a big loop around the basin. Pulling two lines on downriggers. In the first couple hours, I was only 1 for 3 and thinking it was a slow day.
But as usual for bluebacks, you have to figure it out - both where they're biting and what they want. So I was changing out rigs that weren't getting bit, trying different things, trying different depths, and paying attention to where the bites were coming from. Pink hoochies tipped with corn to start with since those pretty much always work in this lake, but swapping off a non-producing one in favor of a red wedding ring immediately produced results. Much experimenting later and I found the dodger color was having a big effect - it seemed they didn't want any color in the dodger, just these silver type that have reflectors that give off rainbow colors. That seemed to be more important than whether I was using a pink hoochie or a red wedding ring.
The Fishhawk showed 30-40 feet to be the target 54-58 degree range, and that seemed to be the productive range for getting bit, too.
I found a lot of biters from English point northward, a couple hundred yards from the shore. I then concentrated on this area, working it back and forth.
This combination of things was getting fish. By 5:00 or so, I had 13 in the boat and had released one small guy. Only two to go for my limit, I thought I'd be heading home soon.
Well, literally the next 10 fish I threw back because they were too small. Strangest thing I ever saw. All of a sudden, fishing the same area with the same presentation, only the small fish were biting. I tried moving my depths and whenever I'd get very far from the 30-40 foot range, the bites would stop.
Finally I got another keeper, and at that point it was getting late and I started trolling around English point to go in the general direction of the boat launch. I got just around the point and got my last keeper. Pulled everything up and shot to the launch at about 7:30. My tally on the day was somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 fish, with 15 nice sized fish in the box. The biggest was about 15-16 inches. All were fat and had nice orange meat.
Great day of fishing on one of my favorite local lakes. It's hot right now, in fact that's probably the best day I've ever had on Hayden Lake. Next month they'll start turning red and the bite will slow considerably, if history is any indication. So if you want to get out there, don't hesitate. But if you're not getting bit, keep experimenting. Figure out where they are and what they want. Get those things into alignment and you'll boat a lot of fish.