Bonaparte lake

Tacoma Red

Active Member
Yes. Fish full sink early morning, late evening. Leach patterns, any color, especially pearl. Pretty area and the food at the grill is surprisingly good. I have not had luck on the perimeter.
My wife wants some Kokanee for the freezer so we will try Bonaparte next week.Thanks for the help and yes the restaurant has some of the best food in the area. We fished Walker lake last night and had some fun with Chironomids by the reeds. Water temps are still a little high but the fish are starting to become more active.
I was up there a few weeks ago on my pontoon rowing around. Was a bit windy so I didn't cover as much as the lake as I would have liked. Hopefully I'll get up there again. I was getting a few bites here and there but then switched a red eyed black leech and had a massive hit, fish latches on, jumps to the sky... I had a lot of line out but it appeared to be about a 18" kokanee. Had the dark top and silver body and from that distance I couldn't see spots. I'd never seen a kokanee that big if that's what it was. Anyways this was one of those unfortunate scenarios where my knot just didn't hold, I think my reel handle got caught when the fish hammered it and pulled line. So with that loosening the knot already the constant weight of the fish just slipped the knot right out or broke it off. Soon as the line came out it jumped one last time, was a good sized fish. First thought was a kokanee but might have been a rainbow.

Later on trolling back to the loading ramp, and after losing that leech, I put on a big woolly bugger. Ended up catching a 12" rainbow that thought it was a whale. At first hookup my line went screaming and I thought OH CRAP I GOT SOMETHING BIG... It reminded me of a steelhead I hooked last fall that had stamina for days, this fish was the same in that aspect.

Also caught a few small bass tossing a flashy sculpin into the lily's. But with the wind it was pretty hard to cast for me.

Anyways like I said, hope to get up there again soon. My Dad pulled out a 10 pound mackinaw. Course it was floating. Pulled a prank on me saying HEY LOOK WHAT I CAUGHT!!!
I catch some nice brookies in the fall there. Been wanting to get up there after ice out for years, but never make it. Those lakers come into the shallows and are prime targets for flyrods.
Where'd you read this? I'm shocked if they shocked the lake... gasps...

When I was there the bass were definitely aggressive and catching them in all sizes. But the trout were hitting as well. That onto of seeing that 10 pound mackinaw makes me think there'd be more. Hell it could have swallowed most the bass we caught.


Idiot Savant
Just got a report that the state recently shocked Bonaparte lake because of a very high concentration of Bass. Maybe I'll try some ice fly fishing later.:confused:
I spoke to a man at Lost Lake that said the same thing. Deeper water still holds trout of all types. If the number of bass is too high they will kill the lake, that would mean a 3 year wait for it to revive...:(
I'd expect they'd lift the limit on fish first before they suddenly shock it. Plenty of good fish in there that'd be a shame to waste if they're just going to kill it off. Whoever stalks Bonaparte has to be paying a bit. Didn't they stock some 40-50 thousand fish this last time around? Lemme pull up the fishrapper...

Looks like they had a typo. Says they planted "2,7000" brook 3-4", 14,000 kokanee 2-3", and 4,000 tiger trout. Just thinking if they had the foresight they wouldn't have planted this much then kill it off the same season. Ugh.

I enjoyed fishing this lake my last time out. With it being just over an hour away I'd hate for it to be killed off and have to wait several years for it to be good fishing again.
Thanks for that update. A friend of ours just fished Bonaparte, he said it was slow but he was able to catch his limit but they were smaller then normal for this time of the year. Today he's headed to Wannacut lake and will give us an update on that lake next week.


Active Member
Steve, We'll look forward to that update on Wannacut-I would be pleasently surprised to hear that the fishing was anything other than "slow" and "smaller than normal". It has been in decline for the past couple of years with lots of little fish but few of those 16''-18'' beauties we were catching there 5 years ago.

Ive, Here's your update on Wannacut. Its a bust for larger trout and to many baiters. The resort manager said the state stocked late and small this year so 6" to 8" is average take home at this time.

Latest posts