The fourth annual Baker Lake camping/fishing vacation was a success!
We usually stay at Swift Creek Campground, but this year my son and I took our new (to us) Klamath 19' up to Horseshoe Cove Campground for three nights/days of fishing and camping. Overall, I think Horseshoe Cover is a better campground by most metrics. The sites are nicer/bigger. The swim beach is wider and more accommodating. Also, the toilets and dumpsters don't stink and there were fewer mosquitoes (although that may just be because we stayed in early July, as opposed to late July/early August at Swift Creek).
However, the biggest drawback of Horseshoe Cover is the gravel boat ramp and lack of a marina/dock. At Swift Creek, there's no problem launching/retrieving the boat, and you can tie up at one of the slips at the docks. At Horseshoe Cove, the ramp is at a shallow angle and gravel, which was not a problem launching, but made it hard to get the boat back on the trailer at the proper angle (especially since our trailer does not have side guides). We were able to keep our boat in the water overnight, tied/anchored up to shore right next to the ramp, but (a) it did get kind of crowded on Saturday night, and (b) we were high and dry at one point (presumably after the lake level fell a bit) and needed a hand pushing out. Luckily the Klamath is lightweight.
As for the fishing, it was our best trip yet, although I wouldn't call it "lights out." My son and I went 2/3 on Friday, 1/3 on Saturday, and 2/5 on Sunday, for a total of 5 fish and 11 hookups. That's definitely our best showing in the four years we've been fishing Baker Lake. Several of the fish we lost were super feisty and put up great fights, with hard runs and aerial displays. Apparently they dumped about a thousand new fish in the lake either the day before our trip or the first day of our trip, which couldn't have hurt.
We caught fish at various depths. The most successful depth was about 30' on the downrigger, but we had bites anywhere from 55' to 20'. We were fishing dodgers with a mix of home-tied lures using smile blades or shaker wings, with the trailing hook anywhere from about 12.5" to 16" back of the swivel. One of the pics shows our most successful setups. The tried to troll as close to 1 MPH as possible. We used shrimp chunks cured in either Fire Cure or Borax o' Fire, with various scents mixed in. I think the most successful scents were Crawfish and Garlic Bloody Tuna, but we got bites on others as well.