May 16, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson

Fishing remains excellent particularly for smallmouth bass. The rising water has not shut off the bite yet. Actually some of the other species are getting more active.

Walleye have turned on for the mid May feeding spree. These light sensitive fish will be most vulnerable at low light conditions of early morning and evening. Use a live night crawler harness or bottom bouncing lure that can be trolled along terraces, points and ledges. Walleye hide near structure and strike like a snake at food that ventures near them. Dark, muddy water is most productive with walleye feeding all day. Clear water also pays off early and late. Find the "yellow water" edge of a submerged island or point and let the plastic grub or live night crawler descend into the "deep blue" depths until it disappears. Walleye have a distinctive habit of gingerly picking a lure up by the tail and mouthing it before actually eating it. If the lure feels like it sticks to the bottom and then suddenly breaks loose, it may be a walleye. Immediately let the lure fall back to the bottom and see if the walleye will pounce again. Be patient and maintain bottom contact.

I really don't have anything to add to the smallmouth fishing. The only help you really need is to know that if you aren't catching fish, just move to another cove or canyon. Keep hopping from spot to spot until a bass hits the first or second cast. Then you have the pattern figured out and will have a great day.

Striped bass have not spawned yet. Fast trolling (5-6 mph) a long minnow-shaped lure is most effective and small bunches of really nice trophy-sized 6-12 pound fish are being taken. The 10-inch stripers have started to boil in the backs of canyons where shad are hatching out. White canyon is the most consistent producer but expect fast action from small stripers in every canyon this week. Try trolling shallow running crank baits like rattletraps and shad raps around quick boils that disappear before the boat can get into casting range.

Remember to harvest all small stripers caught. The only way to maintain the great fishing we have now is to keep as many stripers as possible.