MARCH 29, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3676 Water Temperature: 53-62 F

Compared to the previous week fishing was fantastic. Realistically, just about everyone caught a few fish as water warmed during the day. Bass moved up to the surface to bask in the warm surface layer in the afternoon. Crappie and bluegill were in the brush. Stripers began to move shallow in search of food.

Bass, crappie and bluegill delight in the first 60 degree water of the season. They move to warm spots and can be readily seen in shallow, clear and murky water around brush. They are not always catchable but often the relaxed, laid-back, warm water response overcomes the natural fear of boats and they can be observed and will take small plastic jigs. The key is warm water. Main channel temperature is 53 and warm water pockets are scattered. Rely on the temperature differential to guide you to fish. For those of you waiting for word, the time is now. Fishing will be good all during the rest of March and April on good weather days. Weather fronts will slow bass action for a few days with each temperature drop. No spawning has occurred yet but it could happen within a week if the current weather pattern continues.

Stripers are warming up. They have been caught in the afternoon near the dam with shore anglers doing better than boat anglers as stripers run along the canyon walls going to and from the sanctuary in front of the dam. That can mean a good burst of fishing as the school moves through with a long pause while waiting for the next school. The biggest stringer seen was 12 fish. The power plant intake is putting out the same sporadic catches.

Stripers were also caught trolling crank baits and dunking anchovies in the backs of canyons. This fishing was not fast but a couple of fish were taken for each hour of trolling or bait-fishing. Shad raps and rattletraps were working in Navajo in the murky water at a bottom depth of 25 feet. Anchovies were catching fish at 30 feet. Striper fishing will improve. Right now bass and crappie fishing is better.

I suggest being equipped to fish for all different species and trying various techniques at each stop to see which fish are most cooperative. It will change throughout the day and at each location.

The report applies to the entire lake. Water is reaching 60 for the first time in all protected areas. The main channel is cold but fishing in warm spots is now productive lakewide. Find a warm spot and you will find fish.