April 5, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3662  Water Temperature: 54-58 F

The first major spring warming was erased by a persistent wind which mixed warm water with cold. Fortunately the entire upper layer is now starting to warm so all of the heat was not lost. Bass spawning was delayed and will now occur the next time water temperatures top 60 degrees. Abrupt warming following a cold spell allows bass to nest and spawn simultaneously resulting in great fishing. Continued cold stormy weather means that bass will spawn haphazardly usually over an extended time period resulting in only fair fishing. Watch the weather following the next cold front for an indication of expected fishing success. A calm, stable period means great fishing while a series of storm fronts will allow only modest success.

Striped bass respond like black bass to changing weather. Last week's warmth caused stripers to be caught in great numbers near the dam and power plant intake (Wahweap). Wind-cooling forced stripers deeper and away from attractive currents. Schools of stripers caught at the intake moved along the canyon wall and were found half way between the dam and power plant during the windy period.. Stripers often travel along a wall as they navigate. A prime tactic to locate them is to fish along the shade-line created by the steep cliff. Troll or skip from spot to spot with anchovy bait along the shade line to intercept a moving school. Don't dwell too long in one spot, but keep moving until a school is found. Finding stripers is much harder than catching them this time of year.

In the upper lake the mudline near North Wash is the last place that stripers can readily see forage before entering turbid water. Sight feeding stripers will return to clear water to feed making the mudline a logical starting point to look for stripers on a given spring day.

Catching fish in the spring tends to be hit and miss. That is mostly the fault of fish who go dormant with cooling and then "come alive" with significant warming. Anglers using favorite "confidence" lures will finally find fish. Don't abandon the lure that worked last year just because it hasn't worked yet today. Keep looking for the spot and the pattern instead of the magic lure. It is the nature of spring fish to be grouped in favored spots. When the key spot is found fishing is good with most lures. Finding them is the challenge.

Bass: shallow edge of ledge or flat with a deep water escape route in close proximity. Clean rock with brush near by is better than silty flat. Walleye in same habitat only deeper and earlier in day.

Stripers: Suspended near attractive current of inflowing or outgoing water. Traveling along shade-line near steep cliff walls. Resting on bottom in submerged creek channel where bottom depth is 40-60 feet. Tightly schooled.