February 14, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3651  Water Temperature: 46-49 F

We have reached the starting point, the beginning. A new fishing season is about to be launched. Put another way, we are also at the absolute low point in the fishing cycle. Fishing doesn't get any tougher than it is right now. Cold temperature, low forage, and short days mean fishing success is more about enjoying the lake and the scenery than about catching fish.

Stripers in the backs of canyons are not schooled, scattered and slow to respond to bait. They are even less inclined to chase lures. They are waiting for day length to increase before moving to current in anticipation of spawning.

Bass are waiting for the first warming to occur before moving shallow. Watch for surface temperatures above 50 degrees before largemouth move and above 55 before smallmouth begin to respond.

Perhaps the best chance for success would be walleye fishing out of Hite. Walleye are a cool water species presently about 3 weeks away from spawning. Prespawn females are actively searching for food and may be taken during low light periods. Fish spoons, grubs, and live bait (night crawlers) on the bottom for best success.

The key to catching a fish now would be to find a warm afternoon where the water temperature spikes above 52 degrees and remains there over night. Spring time is right around the corner and fishing will warm with the weather.