DECEMBER 29, 2004

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3564

Water Temperature: 50-52 F

Water temperature has reached real wintertime levels now making it difficult to catch fish. It is not impossible - just difficult.

Striped bass will be found near shad over the submerged creek channel in most major canyons. Shad like open water as far away from structure as possible. They would prefer aquatic weeds for protection but that is just not available to them at the depths where water temperature is most stable. Shad are holding at 60-150 feet. Stripers are lying right on the bottom in the same general area.

Feeding happens on a random basis. When actively feeding stripers are very visible on a graph. When resting they appear to be part of the bottom. The most difficult portion of the trip is convincing one striper to bite. One fish feeding will excite his schoolmates. Probe the bottom with jigging spoons, large feather jigs, or anchovies to get that first bite. Fishing is slow. Catching more than 5 fish would be a great trip.

Night fishing for stripers with lights will produce a larger catch.

Bass fishing has slowed down but smallmouth are probably more catchable than stripers. Use drop-shot rigged plastic tubes, grubs or senkos on deep drops near creek channel intersections. Smallmouth will commonly be 30-50 feet deep now that shad have gone deep. Work the bait down a rocky point or against a steep wall until the fish holding location is found. It is slow fishing but some real trophy bass can be caught this time of year.