FEBRUARY 23, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3559
Water Temperature: 50-52 F

Fishing has started sooner than expected this year.  I suspect the reasons include healthy striped bass that continue to eat despite cold temperatures and shad schools that are easy prey in close proximity.  With plenty of forage, large-bodied adults continue to take advantage of easy shad meals.  Big stripers need lots of food, even in cold water. The result is almost daily feeding. When stripers are eating anglers can catch them.

Halls Creek / Bullfrog seems to be the most consistent spot. Stripers were recently found in the back of Halls Creek and were susceptible to flat line trolling with deep diving Shad-Raps in shad colors.  Stripers were shallow, 25-40 feet, for this time of year.  The big silver predators were gorging on shad and willing to take lures.  This technique does not always work.  Stripers dive to the bottom when not actively feeding and will not rise to a shallow lure. 

Troll for a while and continually scan for deep schools.  Deep stripers can be caught by vertically jigging spoons on resting fish, slow trolling cut bait near bottom, or by stationary bait fishing with much chumming.   Find a school on the graph and use your preferred technique.

Stripers can be found in almost every major canyon.  They feed for short periods each day and can be caught when active.

Night fishing is excellent around the lighted marinas.  The Halls buoy field is good with the current hot spot being the houseboat pumpout station area.  Wahweap marina is still good but better at night than in the daytime. Use a green light for best results. Drop anchovies to the bottom and stay alert for soft biting winter fish.  A bonus catfish will occasionally be caught.

Walleye are now in prespawn mode and will show up on steep vertical structure on warm afternoons and evenings.  There are more walleye upstream from Bullfrog than down. Largemouth bass have been caught both shallow and deep on warm, calm afternoons in between storm fronts.