September 24, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3692 msl
Water Temperature: 70-74 F
The shad migration mentioned 3 weeks ago is nearing completion. Shad that were in open water have moved to the backs of canyons and coves preferably where there is off-colored water and flooded tamarisk trees. Obviously all shad can't find these ideal conditions for avoiding striper attacks so there will still be shad schools found in clear, brush-free coves. The rule is that shad are moving into cover to avoid predation. Stripers are following. Plan your trip accordingly.
Stripers and bass are feeding at first light in brushy coves where shad are found. There may be 10 similar coves on a long expanse of shoreline and fishing will only be good in one or two. Your fishing success depends on finding a shad school. Shad are easily seen morning and evening as they feed and frolic on the surface in the backs of coves. Find a cove with shad jumping and return often to find out when the predators move in to feed. Prime time is the first and last hour of light each day. Use surface lures and shallow running crank baits when bass and stripers are seen ripping into the shad schools. Terns, seagulls, ravens, ospreys and great blue herons are acutely aware of shad presence and often are the first indication that a fish-holding cove has been discovered. Birds are sign posts marking fishing spots. Follow gulls and terns as they search the shoreline from the air. When they actively dive to the water surface - GET THERE QUICK! This pattern is working over the entire lake and all species of fish can be caught in productive coves.
During the rest of the day between prime times it is necessary to fish deep (40 feet). Stripers will retreat from the shad cove and rest on the bottom in the submerged creek channel leading to the cove. If you were lucky enough to find a morning boil pull out to 40-60 feet and search for shad and striper schools on the graph. Drop jigging spoons, white marabou jigs or anchovies down to the resting schools. It may be difficult to get the fish started but once they "light up" it is possible to catch more fish on the bottom than from surface boils. If using anchovies try frequent chumming to get the school going. Then you can use jigs and spoons to catch the fish.
Bass fishing is fantastic in the upper lake from Good Hope Bay to Hite on surface lures morning and evening. From Bullfrog downstream it is important to find shad schools. Locations are too numerous to list. Use this general pattern description given above and apply it to your location. Look in the backs of all major canyons, particularly those with perennial flowing streams for shad schools. Find shad schools and return at prime time for great fishing . Get up before the sun for best results.