APRIL 13, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3676
Water temperature: 57-66 F

I was wrong. The lake dropped a half foot. Anticipated run off is not filling the lake as fast as water is being let out for downstream needs. Temperature is rising. The overnight low was 57 which, not surprisingly, is the same as early morning main channel temperature. Calm coves are warmer and temperature in the mid 60's is common.

All warmwater fish seek warmest available water in the spring. Usually surface temperature will be highest in stained water. But in clear water a shallow bottom surrounded by rocks will absorb sunlight and may be warmer than the surface water temperature. Fish seeking warmth may not be feeding. Hence, the number of fish seen in clear water has increased while catch rate has not. The fish catching zone is the same. Find greenish-brown stained water for the most productive fishing.

Bass have begun to spawn. They are seeking warm water with rocky substrate and overhead cover. Look at the edges where deep water joins shallow. Nests can be seen in clear water but catching may be better where murky water obscures vision of both angler and fish. Spawning will become more intense as water temperature climbs into the 60's. The second wave of spawning is always stronger than the first. Bass fishing is still moderate and will improve.

Striped bass have the same affinity for warmest water available. Feeding schools will be in the same green-brown water. They are still lethargic and will be reluctant to turn on as is the custom in warmer water. But in my opinion, striper catch rate will be better in the backs of canyons at 30-40 feet than it is on the traditional spring spots like Moki Wall and power plant intake.

I have had no recent reports from Moki Wall but the power plant intake striper catch rate is about 4 fish per hour per boat from 1-4 PM. Catch in morning and evening drops off. I suggest working the backs of the canyons at about 40 feet with bass lures (especially spinner baits) and when a striper is caught then concentrate on trying to get more schooling fish to respond. Chum and use anchovies once a striper has been caught and the potential school location has been discovered. I suggest West Canyon, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Oak, Slick Rock, Trachyte, White Canyon and Dirty Devil. Look for warmest water available with green brown color. Night fishing at any of these locations may surpass that found during the day for those out in houseboats looking for a place to spend the night. Use a lantern or crappie light to attract plankton and shad. Striped bass will then follow.