October 12, 2006
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temp: 68-70 F

If this were springtime with water temperature in the upper 60ís, fishing would be peaking.  Couple that with rising water from recent rains and the parallels with fishing in late April are uncanny. Expect fishing this week to similar to the best spring has to offer - except for bedding fish.  

Bass are active throughout the water column.  They will eat plastic grubs and dropshot baits along the rocky edges.  They will chase spinnerbaits and suspending lures at mid depths around brush, grass, and rocky ambush points.  They will come up to the top for surface lures at any time of the day.  Expect bass to travel in groups.  Some likely looking points may have no fish present but then the whole school may be found on the next outcropping. In these active conditions move often until fish are found or change techniques to find fish location within the water column.  Once found the pattern should provide steady catching for an extended period.  Bass fishing is excellent lakewide.  If fish are not readily found, try dropshotting a plastic worm or grub as the go-to method for catching fish.  

Striped bass are in transition from deep water to shallow coves as they constantly look for forage.  Shad are scarce in much of the southern lake.  Stripers are then looking for grass beds where sunfish hide. Occasionally, a remnant school of shad may be located and pushed to the top by schools of stripers still strong enough to catch and eat shad.  The ensuing boil will be memorable as stripers can be caught at will for a very long time.  They stay in the area for as long as any shad are left to be found.  Then they leave the canyon to search for another elusive foraging opportunity. Boils can recur but that is not the norm in the southern lake. Boils are usually singular events.

Maynard Sorensen family with a morning catch. 

In most lake locations, stripers are not boiling but will come up to surface lures.  It is productive to cast surface lures all day long if that is the desire.  A better approach would be to have 3 rods rigged with a topwater walking bait, a suspending crankbait and a heavy slab spoon. Alternate using these techniques at each location for maximum coverage of the existing habitat.  At the end of the day the most successful lure will be the jigging spoon offered to fish seen on the graph.  

Stripers are still caught most often on anchovy bait fished at any location where stripers are found.  Find a surface feeding fish or catch one on the bottom with a spoon then use anchovies to maximize the catch from that school when the active fish stop biting.  The best method of locating stripers is to troll a deep diving crankbait at depths exceeding 20 feet. Once located the method of catch is up to you.   Active baits, like lures and spoons, tend to select healthier fish while anchovies attract slower moving fish that are showing signs of malnutrition.  Please harvest all striped bass so that the over population of striped bass can be brought back into balance. 

Bonus fish encountered while fishing this week will include increasing numbers of walleye and crappie.