MAY 4, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3675
Water Temperature: 63-72 F

Lake elevation is dropping as Bureau of Reclamation dumps water now to make up for planned low flows in June. Luckily the lake is not going down rapidly which would dry out nests and strand young, emerging fish. But new brush is not being flooded which provides protection for vulnerable fry. That does not bode well for fish production in future years.

Bass fishing remains excellent with runoff beginning, but without daily redefinition of the shore line due to rapidly rising water. Bass are still holding where they were two weeks ago. Conditions are right for catching both large and smallmouth in good numbers. Bass fishing is presently as good as it gets in the spring.

New striper reports in the upper lake indicate trolling is the best method of catch from White Canyon to Bullfrog (catch rate 2 fish per hour). Use thunderstick jr, rapala, little mac, shad-r, shad rap or similar minnow shaped deep divers that will run about 20 feet deep on regular monofilament. Color is not critical but gold/copper is working surprisingly well. Troll fast (4 mph) where scattered fish are seen on the graph. Try the main channel from White Canyon to Good Hope, and mouth of Ticaboo. Look for green stained water for best results.

(HOT SPOT ) Try the back of Bullfrog Bay near gravel islands in the evening after 5 PM for trolling up some nice stripers.

Bonus walleye will be caught by trollers and bass anglers in early morning and late evening. Troll closer to structure than is needed to catch stripers. Cast to shaded rocky structure of rapidly descending shore line. Add a night crawler if you are really serious about catching walleye.

Good schools of 8-10 inch bluegill are vulnerable in Good Hope Bay. They are grouped tightly and often seen off the deep side of big boulder type structure. Use small jigs or live worms and anchor to hold position. Bluegill are very stationary and a moving boat will reduce the catch.

In the lower lake stripers are steadily caught (0.5 fish per hour) at the intake, dam and points in Navajo Canyon. Mid day is most productive time. Anchovy bait at 50 feet is a good starting point when fish are not actively feeding. As the school starts feeding, fishing depth can be gradually decreased to 20 feet. HINT: Steady chumming increases catch. Every time the hook is rebaited I cut the anchovy in thirds and put one chunk on the hook and throw two chunks in the water. That keeps the prowling fish near your boat and interested in food. A single chunk of bait does not entice school feeding stripers like a shower of anchovy chunks descending all at once.

Don't overlook the trolling pattern for stripers in green water in backs of lower lake canyons, especially Last Chance.