Warming has begun anew following a week of cool weather and wind. Fish have responded accordingly with bass resuming their spawn and stripers hitting with more regularity.
The hottest spot for striped bass is the power plant intake. The dam is good at times but fishing space is limited with most fish caught on the visitors center side of the barricade by the first 4 or 5 metal buoys. The cliff walls in between the dam and intake hold many fish that travel between the two sites.
Large prespawn striper schools move in and out during the day. When they are in, most anglers catch fish in a hurry. The activity period is usually 3 hours long. Activity begins according to the whim of the stripers. It varies from early to late. On April 25th it was best from noon to 4 PM. During the last warming trend mid day to afternoon was best. Then as temperature stabilized the morning period was best fishing. A patient angler willing to wait out the dry spells will be rewarded with 30 fish when they start to bite. This is one of the few times that I recommend waiting instead of looking for inactive stripers. Tips that may help while waiting for fish to start biting include moving to different spots along the intake wall. Inactive fish were more likely to hit a bait that was slowly descending between 45 and 60 feet and usually on the first cast. Move along the wall, cast often, use just enough weight to get the bait down to 60 feet. Chumming is good. Amount of chum invested usually correlates well with number of fish caught at the end of the day.
Uplake, stripers are biting well at the mudline which is found near the mouth of North Wash. Trolling rattletraps and wally divers and drifting anchovies at 40 feet is working well with larger stripers (up to 10 pounds) moving from the lake toward the headwaters for spawning purposes. .
Bass resumed spawning on April 23rd. There is one group of bass that spawned right before the storm. These eggs are now hatching and males will be guarding fry. The second group will be spawning and very aggressive this week. Another group has yet to spawn and will do so soon. With all bass trying to spawn fish those areas that provide spawning habitat. Steep, deep rockslides good in summer are not the area of choice. Look on points, ledges, terraces in water from 2-10 feet deep. Short coves off the main canyon with broken rock structure are the hot spots. Avoid deep drops and silty areas. Most canyons have a sand bottom with slick rock sides. Look on the sides for broken rock and soil to find bass nests. Presence of brush enhances the prospect of catching a largemouth.
Crappie will begin to spawn this week Their numbers are not large but the next two weeks will be the best time to find them. Release the dark black males to protect the nest and provide more crappie for next year.