December 10, 1999

Lake Elevation: 3683 msl

Water Temperature: 52-54 F

By Wayne Gustaveson

Striped bass fishing continues to delight anglers in Warm Creek. Schools are predictably stationary on the bottom at 60 feet. Once located stripers can be caught continually for hours at a time. Start looking at the junction of Crosby Canyon and main Warm Creek. The Crosby Canyon channel is deeper than 80 feet and filled with shad schools. There is a submerged ridge where the bottom depth climbs to 60 feet (about 300 yards out from the big cliff rock at the mouth of Crosby) and parallels the west shoreline. Graph this ridge and the quick drop off on the east shoreline. When a school or individual fish is graphed near the bottom, mark the spot or throw out the anchor. Fish anchovies, jigs or spoons for great fishing. Once over a school you are set for the day if you fish anchovies and continually chum to keep the fish interested.

Last Wednesday we anchored over the first school marked at 10 am. We didnít move until 2 PM when it was time to fillet the 85 fish which were caught. Anchovies were the most consistent bait. But by watching the graph it was easy to see when a large school was directly under the boat. Each time that happened I dropped a spoon or white jig and caught fish quickly on the artificial baits. All fish were hooked within 5 feet of the bottom. Just lower the anchovy down until the line goes slack and then reel up one turn. A gentle jigging action was better than a motionless bait. I think the best technique was to slowly reel the bait off the bottom and then send it back down. Stripers would often gently mouth the bait and then swim with the bait as it was gently moved away from them. Sometimes a sharp jerk dislodged the bait while a gentle sweeping action allowed more hookups.

This pattern is repeatable in almost every canyon in the lower lake and many places over the entire lake. Pick a warm afternoon for a really delightful day of fishing. Think of it as ice fishing only with warm conditions. Itís hard to beat.