It is still winter as far as the fish are concerned. Bass tournament participants this past weekend found conditions similar to the tournament held the week before. Fifteen boats went out and six reported for weigh-in with fish. More than half the boats did not get a keeper bass. Chris Cross won the tournament because his wife caught a 4.5 pound largemouth on a suspended crankbait in the upper San Juan for the second week in a row. I admire Chris for his dogged determination despite being out fished by his wife on a regular basis. There was no established pattern - just random fish caught here and there.
Striped bass were located in the same winter holding pattern that we saw in December. They are in the mouths of short canyons and in deep submerged creek channels of long canyons holding at 50-60 feet. Anchovies fished on the bottom on a short carolina rig were the ticket. Fish were found on the graph in modest numbers which numbers increased when anchovy chum had time to reach the bottom. Stripers may be resting on the bottom and initially missed while graphing. Pay attention to any fish trace or unusual bottom structure for a potential striper school. Stripers were caught at Lone Rock, Last Chance and Hite over the weekend. No movement toward the dam has been detected yet.
Walleye are one month away from spawning and should be in prespawn condition. Any slight warming may increase activity and perhaps allow some decent walleye catches on slowly fished, bottom bouncing hair jigs, tubes and plastic. It is a good idea to tip the rig with live night crawlers when fishing for walleye.