MAY 11, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3676
Water Temperature: 62-70 F

Inflow has finally exceeded outflow and the lake is starting to rise. Don't expect a big elevation change, but the lake is finally coming up. The big news is a week of wind that has really hobbled anglers. Wind is common each year around May 10th and it has always stopped other years. So my guess is that it will finally stop blowing this year too. There can't be much left.

Wind related fishing patterns can be very rewarding. Mud lines in clear water should never be passed up by serious anglers. Predators move shallow in wind washed rocks. Breaking waves reduce visibility and light penetration, and increase turbidity making predators less wary. Heavy breaking waves wash crayfish, small fish and other food out from under rocks. Shad move to murky water where visibility is less and they can elude sight feeding predators.

Fishing mud lines require a quick moving reaction bait that can be worked quickly as the boat blows past the most productive spots. Use crank baits, both shallow and deep divers, spinner baits, heavy jigs, spoons and other lures that get to the bottom quickly. Cast into mud trailing into deep water. Usually mud floats on the surface with clear water below. Mud settles quickly after the storm event. Look for a good reef or point and fish it while the water is muddy. The mud line event may only last for 30 minutes to 2 hours so react quickly when found.

Smallmouth bass are still being caught well on soft plastic jigs and tube baits. Most broken rock over the entire lake has smallmouth in attendance. Most fish are less than a pound but they provide great sport. Bigger smallmouth are further away from the bank in 15 to 30 feet of water. You wont catch as many but fish will be bigger. The general rule for bigger fish is slow and deep.

Walleye are found at 30 feet on main channel and main canyon deep rocky structure or shelves. Fish early morning with a soft plastic jig, heavy jig head (3/8 ounce or better) with live worm trailer. Fish shade after the sun tops the horizon. Fish slow and maintain bottom contact.

Stripers are in transition mode. Spawning is imminent for mature fish (minority of the population). Spawners are active at dusk and after dark. But all stripers will now begin to respond more to food and less to current as the spawning urge lessens. Random movement will take stripers to the backs of canyons where shad are spawning at first light of morning. The movement and timing of events make stripers hard to track. When a school is found they are still easy to catch. Their location is just not as predictable as they were when stacked in prespawn staging areas. Lengthen your search pattern and take advantage of stripers when a chance encounter tips school location.

Bullfrog Bay by the gravel islands near the south campground was the best spot last week but it is spotty at times. Trolling is a good way to locate schools, but fishing with anchovies may be best once location is discovered.