May 23, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson
LAKE ELEVATION: 3672 and rising

Fishing remains good but some subtle changes have occurred that may cause you to change your fishing techniques slightly. Lake levels are rising 6-8 inches per day. Rising conditions tend to muddy the water, add debris and change location of hungry fish. Sport fish like low light conditions and will use muddy water for shade during feeding and resting. Dry land is being covered rapidly and not necessarily inhabited with fish immediately. So find mudlines trailing off points into deep water for a temporary hot spot. Often the "mud" will float on the surface with clear water underneath. This is a great spot for walleye and stripers.

Windy conditions activate fish. Look for smallmouth bass to move shallow on wind swept points where waves are breaking and the violent turbulence dislodges crayfish from under the rocks. This pattern is only recommended for seriously deranged anglers although it is one of my favorites.

Smallmouth fishing remains great. Anglers who were using two inch grubs last month will now find that bass want a larger 3 - 5 inch grub on a quarter to 3/8 ounce lead head. Color is angler preference, the fish seem to like most of them. A really good top water bite persists for smallmouth early and late each day in protected coves with brush.

Walleye angling is good early and late with trolling being especially effective. Wally divers, thundersticks and other medium depth crankbaits trolled close to shore in 10-20 feet of water are working well, particularly from Gregory Butte to Rainbow. Worm harnesses are working but trollers cover more water and put the lure in front of more mouths.

Stripers have now spawned and will begin random movement toward the middle of the lake. Catching may be difficult this week until some concentration patterns become apparent for fish which will now have a renewed interest in feeding. The larger fish will be taken trolling main channel areas. The more numerous smaller fish will be in the backs of the canyons near shad concentrations. Remember that it is your duty to harvest all the 10-inch stripers encountered to try to keep their numbers down and in balance with shad forage. Please let me know where small stripers are found and I will share that information with other anglers. Call 520-645-2392 or e-mail