May 28, 1999

Lake Elevation: 3680 msl

Water Temperature: 64-75 F

Smallmouth are going wild while striped bass are on the move. It is time to be flexible as many changes are happening with the rapidly rising water temperature and summer weather displacing the recalcitrant late spring unsettledness.

Smallmouth bass are hitting soft plastic grubs in dark green and smoked colors. The upper lake is just about as good as it gets with the lower lake starting to get good. The pattern is the same over the entire reservoir. Fish main channel and main canyon points and ledges in clear water. One fish-holding habitat is sheer cliff walls with cascading boulders or a shelf at the base of the cliff with broken rock at 15-25 feet. Another good habitat is the edge of clear water shoals where the yellow appearing rock turns to dark blue with a sudden drop off. A reef or shoal that appears to have shade pockets or undercut ledges is perfect. Don't spend a lot of time on flats or huge shallow rock slides. Smallmouth are on steep structure with big rocks. Bonus walleye will be caught while fishing for bass in the deep blue edges near the yellow reefs. Smallmouth bass are generally one pound or less and this is basically a catch and release fun fishery. Bigger smallmouth are deeper and prone to hit only very early and late in the day. Look at 25-40 feet for bigger smallmouth.

As predicted striped bass have moved out of prespawn staging areas. A few stragglers remain and anglers will be able to catch 5-10 fish at the dam, power plant intake and Moki wall, Easy fishing for stripers at these spots has ended. Moving striped bass are hard to find and striper fishing will be very sporadic for the next week or so. Stripers will move randomly searching for food and could be encountered at any time. My suggestion is to fish for smallmouth and take advantage of striped bass when they are encountered. Be ready with anchovies when a striped bass is caught with the jig. Immediately chum the area and then spend 15 minutes trying bait to see if the striped bass school will start feeding.

I need your help this week. When stripers are located please let me know by email or phone so we can pass the word out to others and continue to harvest striped bass with the goal of keeping that population in balance with threadfin shad forage.

Shad spawning is now in full bloom. Stripers and bass in the backs of the canyons where spawning occurs gorge on shad at morning's first light. Tremendous fishing happens for a short time at dawn around shad schools but catching fish after the sun hits the water is slow. Fish main channel where bass are consistently eating sunfish and crayfish for best results.

Catfish and bluegill are getting active and will provide good action for the rest of the summer.