MARCH 21, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3677
Water Temperature: 50-54 F

We had a nice weekend. Reports of bass moving up in shallow water were common. Bass move to the warmest water available this time of year. They cruise to a warm spot, park on the bottom with their nose pointed at a stick or some structure. Then they turn their body to the sun to absorb as much warmth as possible. They are not feeding as much as they are just sunning themselves. They can be caught with some coaxing but usually just run from the boat once they are seen. Last weekend the best baits were jig and pig (pork rind on a skirted weedless lead head jig) and spinner baits. Both baits are worked right in thick brush and are spring fishing standards. Backs of canyons with dirty water are still best but bass have now been caught in clear water as well.

Of course, as soon as fish movement begins we have a major snow storm and everything stops until the sun returns. Temperatures are bitter today with thick overcast, wind and blowing snow. It is very close to fishing time, however. As soon as the weather breaks this time and we have three good days of sun the bass will begin to bite in earnest. I expect next week's report to be more promising. Right now there is nothing happening. This weekend may be too soon but next week may be the time.

Striped bass are still dormant. They can be graphed but not caught with any regularity. There are some crappie biting very sporadically in a few canyons. That fishery will get better in April. Walleye have not shown yet this spring.

Smallmouth showed up better than expected in the past two March fishing tournaments. I think that means the smallmouth fishing may be better this year than last. Look for them on clean rock structure where siltation is minimal and there are ample places to hide and hunt.