May 15, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3682 msl
Water Temperature: 60-66 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
How to catch spawning striped bass and tactics for fishing in the wind!
Striped bass fishing is still hot as the spawn nears. Huge prespawning schools are stacked at traditional locations such as the dam, power plant intake, and Moki wall near Bullfrog and Hall’s Crossing. These fish are easy targets for bait anglers who anchor over the schools and put a chunk of anchovy near the schooling fish. Feeding activity in one fish seems to awaken the whole school and fish are caught in bunches. Then fish move or go dormant until the next flurry of feeding activity. It is common to catch large numbers of fish in these conditions. There are schools of fish all along the main channel walls. If your spot has cooled off venture out to a new location. The well known spots are heavily fished so searching out a new school is advised.
Be prepared for striper migrations with the next warming trend. A rapid increase in surface temperature triggers the urge to spawn and causes fish to move from staging to spawning areas. Spawning occurs on the surface in open water but males wait for females near long prominent points. In the Wahweap area fish move from the dam to long points extending from Antelope Island. From Moki Wall expect fish to move to Stanton creek or main channel points upstream. Presence of fish is easily determined by trolling a Little Mac or similar deep diving lure across points. Usually catching one fish indicates a spawning school which can then be caught by casting jigging spoons or ½ ounce white jigs in 10 to 30 feet of water. Spawning occurs at dusk and into the night which is the best time to catch a really BIG fish. Males are staged on the points at all hours and are extremely eager to hit lures.
Windy conditions this week kept temperatures down and delayed the striper spawn. I found concentrations of males on three different points of Antelope island extending into Warm Creek. Wind driven waves washed silt into the clear lake creating a mudline off the points. Stripers were right under the dirtiest water and were incredibly active. I caught over 30 fish in two hours casting Little Macs and jigging a ½ ounce hammered silverYamamoto jigging spoon. There were two size groups: two-year old fish were 12 to 15 inches and adult fish were 20-27 inches. The biggest fish weighed 5 pounds.
Walleye are being caught on main channel points and submerged islands particularly early in the morning. Bluegill are still prespawn but can be taken in good numbers when a school is located. Do not over look the lowly night crawler when fishing for these two species. It can really increase the catch rate.
Bass action is good from smallmouth and largemouth. Weather fronts slow the bass catch for a day or two. It is a late spring for bass fishing which means smallmouth bass fishing should get really good in June when some of the other fisheries slow down.