APRIL 8, 2004

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3582

Water Temperature: 57-64 F

Bass are still lingering on shallow flats and rocky ridges lakewide. No new spawning has happened but males continue to guard nests with eggs and fry deposited when the water was warmer. Bass move on and off nests with each passing thundershower. Water temperature remains at 57 in the morning. Fishing is still good for bass and will remain so while water temperature is constant. So far bass fishing has not been disrupted by full moon or rainy weather. Best bass presentations include reaction type crank baits, spinner baits and soft plastic tubes. During the spawn bass are more likely to be on or near sandy habitat. Look for a rocky edge on a sand flat for bast results.

Stripers are in the back of most canyons where water is a murky green color. Look for schools (doesn't matter if they are shad or stripers) on the graph. When fish are located try spoons on the bottom directly under graphed schooling fish. When one striper bites the rest of the school turns on and all fish are extremely catchable as long as that one fish is hooked. A good strategy is to play the fish as long as possible or until another is hooked. Then land the first fish and quickly get a spoon in the water once more. The school will move away or shut down as quickly as they started. When that happens it may be necessary to troll through the area with a shallow runner like a rattletrap or a deep diving crank or both. When a striper is trolled up be ready with spoons once more as the fish nears the boat. The following school of stripers can be caught under the boat while the first fish is landed.

Morning and evening fishing is best but stripers can be captured any time during the day. Low light conditions created by cloudy weather has been the most productive time to catch larger stripers (5 pounds and better). Stripers have been caught this week in Navajo, Warm Creek, Gunsight, Padre, Kane Wash, Mountain Sheep, and Rock Creek.

Do NOT expect stripers to run to the dam this spring. There is too much food in the back of the canyons. Spawning and feeding needs are met in the backs of canyons where shad live so there is no need for stripers to migrate to the dam. This generation of stripers was spawned in the back of the canyon and will return there to spawn. Migration to the dam will happen only when there is no food in the back of the canyon.

There have been very few walleye and crappie captured to date. Some largemouth are being caught but the main action is provided by striped bass and smallmouth.