November 23, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3602
Water Temp: 58-61 F


Water temperature continues to slowly decline.   Stripers and shad that were holding at 25 feet last week will slowly move to deeper water. Keep trolling mid depths to locate striper schools or troll deep to find the bigger fish. Only troll in areas where fish are marked on the graph.

When a striper school is located by trolling, they will be less likely to move away from the boat as they did earlier this Fall. That provides more time to find the right bait to match the fish mood for the day. Fish the area located by trolling thoroughly with various methods to find what works best. It is possible to just continue trolling back and forth through the school if that is your preferred fishing method.

If stripers will only hit an occasional crankbait or jigging spoon both of which move quite fast, you may want to try a plastic swimbait (Storm wild-eyed shad), stump jumper or jig. The slower, gentler action of these baits may be more natural in the cooler water when fish metabolism and movement has slowed. Spoons flutter and jerk like wounded shad and will work when stripers are actively eating shad.  If stripers are resting on bottom, spoons may not work at all and a more subtle approach may be needed to get them fired up. 

Using anchovy bait and chumming works better in cooler water when fish have slowed down.  That may be the best technique for the current conditions but water temperature is still warm enough to get some good sustained reaction bites from hungry fish. Use your preferred fishing method or bait when a school of stripers has been bracketed.

Both largemouth and smallmouth remain active and are eating shad which makes them very catchable.  Largemouth will continue to feed at lower temperatures while smallmouth will go dormant sooner as water temperature dips below 55 F. There will be one more good week of fishing before black bass become more difficult to catch. 

Crappie fishing remains good in shallow brushy coves and canyons but they will soon move deeper with cooling temperatures.