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Zenit

Lake Cenaiko Thread

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Since this lake gets a lot of fishing pressure, and lots of people ask about it, I thought I would kind of keep a rolling thread on this metro area designated trout lake, as I usually get down there 2-3 times a week, sometimes more. Lots of people give up on this lake after the first few weekends following opener; really, IMHO this lake can be fished all season, but the fish can get kinda persnickety after mid-June - yet, they still can be taken, you can see them cruising the lake quite a bit.

Below is a general post re: Cenaiko I made in another thread. I went out there yesterday morning, and am planning to go out there again today, a little better equipped than I was yesterday. Yesterday I got out there as the park opened, started with a slip bobber at 14 feet with a green & white jig dressed with a few waxies, which seem to be what is working best, fishing off the pier. At about 7, feeding time popped up - except they were cruising on the top, meandering in a lazy circle on the west end of the lake, feeding off of water insects. I usually bring my fly rod with me when I am out there, but as I had changed line & leader a few days earlier, I neglected to put my fly rod back in the Explorer, and by was I kicking myself for it. I started tossing Mepps Thunderbugs in front of the feeding fish as they made their way around the lake - nothing doing. I watched this go on for about 40 minutes or so, and then packed it it - I usually stay out there for more than just 2 hours, but on a day when I wasn't properly geared up, I figured the rest of the morning might be kind of pointless. crazy.gif You don't see this kind of feeding activity every day on that lake, but it happens often enough - slip bobbers and worms/waxies work well on this lake, but this time of year, different presentations are req'd.

Anyway - we'll see how I do this morning.

Quote:

Cenaiko was very productive up until about a week ago, the last couple of days have been real slow. I head up there 2-3 times a week, mostly right when the park opens but mix in a little evening stuff too. I've caught a few 20+ browns and seen many others taken as well, up until things slowed down; rainbows have been of decent size, mostly in the 12-16 range. Mainly seem to be biting on waxies, although crawlers, Turbo dough, and egg clusters have also caught fish for me there this year, mostly with a slip bobber and fished anywhere from 10-14 feet. Kastmasters, Super Dupers & Syclops spoons are the only hardware I use on the lake, and have all caught fish. I tried fly fishing the earlier part of the year, on the west end of the lake where good sized browns could be seen just cruising in a circle in 5-7 feet of water, but didn't have much success, and now that end of the lake is all weeds. Right now the only place to fish the lake is off the pier, and as one might imagine it gets pretty crowded there, especially in the evenings. There is another decent hole, directly opposite of the pier on the north side of the lake, which drops off to 30 feet pretty quickly, but I don't ever seem to catch much out there.

Might go down there tonight and get real deep with a slip sinker at the bottom of the hole and see if that's where they're hanging around.

Bottom line, right now if one is willing to put in some time on the lake, one can still drag a few fish out of there, but it has dropped off noticeably from a few weeks ago.


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welcome to FM zenit!

I agree with you in that if the trout are feeding on bugs on the surface, you might as well pack up and leave unless you brought a flyrod. It will be pretty tough going.

Thanks for the post; keep us updated!

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Thought I would update this thread a bit.

July was really slow on Cenaiko, August has been a bit better, but good sized fish are hard to come by. The morning bite has been virtually non-existent, although I did come by 2 rainbows this morning, both around 13-14 inches. I haven't seen a brown come out of the lake in over a month, and I'm down there 4-5 times a week. Almost all rainbows- but the surprise fish of the summer was a 17 inch brook trout, caught on a red worm and a little ball of green Turbo Dough in about 20 feet of water, 10 feet in front of the casting dock. Surprised the heck out of me - winter, they're pretty plentiful, but they are few & far between during the summer months.

Bait: all live bait now; those small Mepps spinners and Kastmaster spoons that work so good in the spring are pretty worthless now, unless you want to catch tiny bass or crappies, or Cenaiko's "Denizen of the Deep shocked.gif (more on that later). They will hit on waxies or small Gitzit jigs with either a waxie or PowerBait teaser, but I use just a #10 blood hook with a red worm and either the glitter green TurboDough or the salmon/peach PowerBait Trout dough, just a real small ball over the barb, seem kind of goofy but that's been working for me all summer. I've thrown some terrestial patterns with my fly rod on occasion during the summer, with nowhere near the catch rate of May/early June; it's a nice place to practice casting, but that's all it seems to be after the first couple weeks of the season with a fly rod. There was one guy a few nights ago that was catching small brookies in about 15 feet of water, sitting on the beach at the south end of the lake, he was just using a Lindy rig on the bottom with the hook covered with a ball of PowerBait; kinda surprised me, as I've done the same thing out there on occasion, but never with much success.

Location: the dock is still the place to be, I had my SmartCast out there with me today and as low as the lake is, the deep hole to the left of the dock is still 32 feet, and in front of the dock , maybe about 10-15 feet out, is still 27-28 feet. As one might suspect, they're all hanging within a couple feet of the bottom, except for early morning or dusk when they sometimes will feed on the surface if the lake is calm. The south end, because the lake is so down, now one can fish right off the sand and right into the dropoff, goes from 2 feet to 15 feet in a hurry. Seems most people are catching crappies and bass there, but occasionally (as I mentioned before) people will pull some trout out of there too. On the north/northeast end of the lake, the water has dropped enough so that there is a mini-island that one can walk out to and fish that knuckle/drop-off on that side of the lake with a set of chest waders, the place that is popular with the ice crowd; that's also where the smashed in culvert still runs into the lake, coldest water in the entire lake. Havn't fished it much this year, but gonna give that spot some more attention in the next month or so.

'Denizen of the Deep:' As some have already heard, there is a big fat tiger muskie hanging around Cenaiko. He was caught on Opening Day by a gentleman using 6 pound test and a small Mepps #1 long Agila (incredibly), and in spite of entreaties by myself and a couple of the other regulars, he released him back into the lake; I and others offered to haul the fish over to the river, but he wasn't too keen on that, being out of season and all. (DNR told me later that if he would have called them, they would have just OKed him keeping it, obviously that bugger doesn't help matters in a designated trout lake.) No sightings/hookings since then...until Friday, about 5 PM. I strongly suspected that tiger muskie doesn't move much from the northwest corner of the lake, plenty of panfish and bass to snack on in and amongst the milfoil, and that is where another guy hooked him on Friday, again on a small ultralight and again on a small trout-sized spinnerbait. The guy played him for about ten minutes, and then the muskie got bored with it all; didn't bust the line, just jerked the snap straight & busted it in half. So...he's still out there. Wish one of you muskie fanatics would do us all a favor and come out to Cenaiko and remove said fish from the pond wink.gifMy guess is he's 20+ pounds, not real long but really fat; he wasn't measured or weighed on OD when he was dragged up on shore, visual estimation only.

...and for those of you that like to fish for bass, this smallie was taken out of the lake at 6:30 AM yesterday, on a topwater rainbow pattern Spook, first cast.

Monster Bronzeback

Another view

The guy who caught him is a good guy, a regular who buys his stamp but only fishes for bass; he's put a lot of time into the lake this year with very little reward, but his payday came yesterday. That fish weighted in at 5 pounds 3 ounces, a little over 24 inches (real fat fish, as you can see), and will be on his wall in a week or so.

That's it for now. Hopefully my pals & fellow regulars Joe, Josh, Teddy, Mike, Nick & Keith won't see this post and kick my tail for divulging what we know about the lake wink.gif

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Just a note of WARNING !!!! There is NO LIVE BAIT ALLOWED ON CENAIKO LAKE , the posted signs are there and state that specifically, conservation officers and park rangers do enforce this, believe me you don't want to pay the fine !!!!

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You are correct, duffman. Crawlers, waxies, angleworms, all fine on Cenaiko, just like any other designated trout lake.

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Sure would be nice if we got a decent winter to ice fish those trout this year on opener... For some of us, its our only chance to get out after those trout...

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I'm pretty sure the season closes on 31 October, and re-opens for ice fishing on 13 January 2007, of course depending on ice conditions.

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Quote:

Sure would be nice if we got a decent winter to ice fish those trout this year on opener... For some of us, its our only chance to get out after those trout...


Curious as to why that is. I hope it's not because of the persistent belief that the lake gets fished so hard that after the first couple of weekends, it is "fished out" and not worth the effort. That is simply not true. The DNR IMHO does a nice job keeping the lake full of rainbows and browns (although their enforcement efforts there re: regulations in place for a designated trout lake leave a lot to be desired; I've seen them there a whopping one time this year.) The lake has not been fished as hard this year as in past years, owing to the warm July & August & the drought, which has the lake at the lowest level I've seen in quite some time (although the holes are still pretty close to normal depth, if the DNR map can be believed.) The minnow bucket crowd has been less prevalent as usual; not sure if this was/is the result of some pretty hefty tickets being written last year or better attempts at educating the folks wanting to fish the lake (althoug it still seems that 8 out of 10 people don't know that it is a designated trout lake and a stamp is required to fish the lake.) I've only seem 2 people fish with minnows from a bucket all year, which is a LOT lower than in years past.

Also-95% of people that fish the lake really don't have any idea how to fish for the trout; they come out with their big round bobbers at 5 feet with a #2 hook on the end of a nylon leader with 2 year old 10 pound test line, get discouraged after ten minutes, and either are happy to go after the bass and panfish off the weedline, the suckers on the bottom or over to the river. It might get fished a lot, like most metro lakes, but unlike most metro lakes, Cenaiko's main population of hungry gamesters are a bit more finicky & selective than your average bass or sunfish/crappies, and I am certain that the lake has a far lower rate of fish per angler, just because most people that come out there really aren't aware of how to go about catching trout after they move out of the shallows and it's not so easy as throwing out a Mepps spinner or a Super Dooper in 5 feet of water in May. Of the folks I see on a regular basis at the pond, that are aware of what it takes to find 'em and catch' em on more than just an accidental basis, I could count them on two hands.

It's a nice little lake, for those of us that don't have the opportunity to drive to the Whitewater, Temperance, etc. more than 1-2 times a year; May/early June and October is a good times for fly fishing and ultralite spinner/spoon rigs,

the summer months a nice time to just relax with a slip bobber on the dock or wade around the holes on the north/northwest side of the lake and try to find out where they are hiding. The action, even in the slower summer months, is still good enough for me to have some fun, take a few nice pics, and even bring a few eater size rainbows home for dinner during the week (another myth- the rainbows in Cenaiko do not, for the most part, have the pellet-fed white flesh inside that lots of folks seems to like to insist that they do; I will take a few 12-14 inch fish home each week for the pan, they've all been as pink inside and I don't notice any difference between how they taste and the rainbows caught in the Whitewater taste - that's another story I hear every week that is simply not true.) The only complaint I have about the lake is that I think the DNR really does a poor job or enforcing the regulations out there - I know they are short staffed, and they've got a lot of ground to cover, but as one of only 2 designated trout lakes in the metro, and one that is exposed to a lot more access/people than the other one (Courthouse,) I really feel they could do a little more and at least some someone out there on a weekly basis, at least on the weekends. But even this is just a mild gripe, for the reasons I stated before.

For the record - my biggest fish this year per species are a 18 inch rainbow (Opening Day, #0 Mepps Syclops, west end shallows), the 17 inch brookie I mentioned earlier (angleworm & green/yellow TurboDough, off the dock in early August) & a 20+ inch brown (early June, again off the dock, waxworms on a green Gitzit jig.) The brookie was a personal record for me, by far the biggest I have ever caught, if I hadn't caught it in a stocked pond I'd definitely be getting a replica made for the wall.

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I know when it normally opens that is not the problem. I know the ice was bad last year but they could have made easier to find out when they opened it.

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I also got one of those nice browns last winter it was 23 inches long and a few raindbow around that 17 inch mark. I did have one of the those big lakers on and ended up losing it as it round just out of reach of the gaff. I have to say as well it would be nice to see a CO down there more often. I even called tip because some people were taking multiple limits and i was the one who got checked and they did not even check those people out. I watched them change cloths at their car and come back down and fish some more after placing their limit in a cooler in the trunk. I did get enough trout for dinner but drives me nuts to see people who need to take over limits. I hope they get some more of them big browns in there it was fun to watch them big fish with people jigs in there mouth. My grandpa has a rainbow he caught from there on his wall it was 8 pound 6 oz. Caught on a flu flu and wax worm.

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I didn't buy my trout stamp this year. Will hafta get it! And then you can teach me a thing or three or 103 about trout fishing since I've only caught 1 in my life.

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Come down to the pond anytime, I and the rest of the "regulars" would be happy to have you join us. smile.gif

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Just curious if you "regulars" are predicting a good hard-water season out on Cenaiko with how your summer nites have gone? Is it typical to get a few nice trout a week in the summer or are we in store for a great opener on the ice?? smile.gif I only ask, because the opening weekend is the only outside chance I have at getting home from school to get some fishing in and I love pulling those trout up the hole

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Zenit when are you guys down there ? I am always up for fishing with people who know what they are doing. I cant wait i am headed to ely for a week in oct for trout walleyes and pannies plus deer and grouse. Let me know what days this week might work and i will check with the lady and see what i can pull off.

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Which part of the lake are you guys on? Finally, made it out last winter for a few hours on opener, but could only manage one trout. I was on the west side: next to the dock. Some pointer would be greatly appreciated.

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I was on the west side as well and got a few fish but alot of people around me did not do so well. Dont fish to deep in the winter fish will rise for the bait.

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Quote:

Just curious if you "regulars" are predicting a good hard-water season out on Cenaiko with how your summer nites have gone? Is it typical to get a few nice trout a week in the summer or are we in store for a great opener on the ice??
smile.gif
I only ask, because the opening weekend is the only outside chance I have at getting home from school to get some fishing in and I love pulling those trout up the hole


I don't ice fish on that lake as much as I should, so I'll defer to some of the other regulars that do. Seems that universally, the guys that fish both seasons all agree that ice fishing is generally been more productive, if only because the brookies, which are durned hard to catch, even on opener when the water is mighty frigid, are a lot more active during the ice season.

Based on their opinions, I would guess that this winter should be pretty good. Except for a 3-4 week stretch in July when the weather was ridiculously hot, the lake was down about 6-7 feet (my estimate) because of the drought, and the water tem even at the bottom of the holes was much higher than usual, the season IMHO has been better than average. The usually summer dearth of 20+ browns, sure, but the 12-14 inch ranbows have been a pretty steady bite all season long.

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Quote:

Zenit when are you guys down there ? I am always up for fishing with people who know what they are doing. I cant wait i am headed to ely for a week in oct for trout walleyes and pannies plus deer and grouse. Let me know what days this week might work and i will check with the lady and see what i can pull off.


The last two months, mostly evenings...the morning bite was unproductive for quite a stretch, so a lot of us stopped going down before work for an hour or so starting in mid-July. Since the water is up a bit, and the water temp has cooled considerably, I've went down there a couple mornings this week for an hour or so before work and have gotten rainbows every morning...mostly in that 6-6:30 period before the sun comes up. I'll give mornings a whirl again this weekend, between 6-8, if I don't get anything before 8, I'm outta there. Saturday night, a few of the regular gang should be on the dock from about 4 or so until park close, although I may try the northeast hole/knuckle with my waders for an hour prior to heading to the dock.

Would be glad to have you join us smile.gif I'm usually down there Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the week, Thursday nights usually seem like a convenient time for the "regulars", weekends kinda depends on what I've got going on, but I'm almost always down there Sunday evenings.

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Quote:

Which part of the lake are you guys on? Finally, made it out last winter for a few hours on opener, but could only manage one trout. I was on the west side: next to the dock. Some pointer would be greatly appreciated.


The ice guys seem to like the east/southeast sections of the lake the best, although of course that 36 foot hole kitty corner to the dock where you were can't be a bad spot either.

The DNR's .PDF map of the lake is of an entirely different lake altogether, but their .TIFF link works. I've converted this to .PDF and will email it to any one that might want it. Here's the link to the DNR's .TIFF format map of Lake Cenaiko.

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I should meet up with you and the regulars at cenaiko some time soon. I have been fishing Courthouse pretty regularly for two years now. I haven't had the greatest luck this season. But it would be great to talk with other people that have some good experience fishing lakes with stocked stream trout in them. Vice versa if you would like to come fish courthouse you would be more than welcome to join me. There have been some huge browns swimming the shore line as of lately.

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Anybody catch the " Denison of the Deep" yet? I've tryed on a couple of time last week, of course getting startled glances at the bucktails I was using!!!

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The colder weather is getting me anxious for that ice to start forming! I hope its decent enough to get out there on opener this year!! Someone take care of that "denison" now this fall so others wont need to lose a nice trout to it through the ice as they try and reel it up! smile.gif

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