April 12, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3662  Water Temperature: 52-58 F

Winter weather will finally blow away by Easter weekend. Amount and duration of warming will dictate intensity of the black bass bite. Striped bass activity is directly related to amount of sunlight - not necessarily lake warming.

Prespawn striped bass in the lower lake are gathering near current created at the dam and power plant intake. Direct sun enhances striper attraction and activity levels. It seems that the best times to catch stripers at both locations is between 9 am and 2 pm (MST). Stripers may not show up at all on cloudy, windy days. But when the sun comes out stripers follow. Expect big catches of stripers at both locations on Easter weekend and the week following.

When large schools start to bite it is difficult NOT to catch them. As the feeding period progresses, stripers get selective and anglers using certain techniques tend to catch more fish. I am still working on the very best technique for catching stripers in heavily fished areas but these are some on the variables that work. Light line (or less visible line), probably smaller than 8 pound test seems to catch more fish. Large anchovy hooks are NOT a good choice. It seems a smaller bait hook completely covered by a chunk of anchovy is better. More fish are caught on a small piece of anchovy than on a whole fish. Quarter ounce jig heads in highly visible colors work well at times. Sometimes adding a plastic grub to the jig head before putting the chunk of anchovy on the hook works better. If you prefer to reel slowly then the movement of the grub would draw attention to the bait. If you prefer to hold the bait stationary then a carolina rigged anchovy would be better. Very active fish will be shallow - usually about 5 feet below the point where a bait disappears from view. Resting fish are deeper and it may take a bait fished at 50-60 feet to get a school started. Chumming a few pieces of bait every 5-10 minutes keeps stripers by your boat.

Uplake stripers are being caught trolling near Hite and incidentally to bass fishing at midlake.

The next time water warms to 60 degrees (first temperature listed at top of report) black bass will spawn. Cool weather followed by abrupt warming will put spawning bass in the shallows at the same time. Three days of sustained warm air temperatures after the water warms to 60 degrees will create excellent fishing. Gradual warming will mean scattered spawning and only good fishing.

Crappie, bluegill and walleye fishing will improve as soon as water temperatures reach 60 degrees.