February 8, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3651  Water Temperature: 45-49 F

The coldest water temperatures of the year have cooled fishing success for all species. Stripers are still catchable but school integrity has broken down. Stripers in the lower lake are feeding individually or in small groups.

On a recent trip to Gunsight Canyon stripers were graphed most often at 40-50 feet. That was probably a preferred temperature zone on this particular day. Fishing anchovies near bottom at 45 feet was productive but only individual fish were caught where schools had been found previously. It was more productive to drift bait than to anchor and wait for a school to come into catching range. Graphed stripers eagerly accepted anchovy bait and each fish graphed was a likely candidate to be caught. They reacted to the first handful of chum and were either caught or moved away within 5 minutes. The key was to keep moving. Drop chum on each fish seen and hope that the individual fish would react. If the fish saw the chum descend in clear water, more often than not, that individual fish could be caught.

Searching for individual stripers is a slow way to fish. But the weather is getting quite nice in the afternoons with 60 degree air temperatures forecast. The lake is quiet and absolutely beautiful with all the new sand beaches and rock structures now showing. Spring is close at hand. Bass fishing will get better in March. There will be some walleye caught this month especially in the upper lake.