April 20, 2005
By Ron Colby
Lake Elevation: 3558
Water Temp: 56 - 62 F

Fishing this past weekend was nothing short of spectacular! Warming and rising water is triggering the spawn and fish of all species are moving shallow. The past couple of days the wind has been blowing and some cold weather has cooled things down but by Friday and Saturday temperatures are expected to get back up into the 80s warming the water again and allowing for another fantastic weekend of fishing.

Stripers are being found near the backs of most canyons where the water color changes to a light green. They are holding in 40' - 50' of water. Early morning and late evening they will move shallow and can sometimes be seen chasing shad along the shore line. Keep a topwater bait ready for any breaking fish. Many of the anglers in the bass tournaments last weekend reported catching big stripers on topwater baits, Zara Spooks, Sammys and Pop-Rs. Rattle traps, shad colored cranks and soft plastics would also produce when casting to or from shore. The best method reported for producing the most fish was trolling deep diving cranks in and out of the changing water color area near the backs of the canyons.

Bass, both Large Mouth and Small Mouth, are seen building nests throughout the entire lake. SMB will be out on the gravel points, sandy banks and ledges that range in depth from 6" to 12' of water. The extremely protective males will aggressively attack any crawdad and shad colored grubs and crankbaits that come by. LMB will be near the very backs of little cuts and coves that have any floating or submerged tumbleweeds or brush. Use a Senko or Texas rigged worm to entice them out of the cover. With a soft breeze putting a ripple on the water, using chartreuse and white spinner baits for both SMB and LMB will catch a few.

Walleyes are being caught at random but seem to be near deep points that are 20' or deeper. If the wind creates a mudline in the water coming off of these points they will be in the area under the mudline ambushing shad and crankbaits that are pulled through.

I have seen schools of Bluegill in and around the flooded tumbleweeds. They are a little spooky but calm down in a couple of seconds after a bait has been placed near them. A float with a small worm should work great for the kids.