|Long awaited Spring warming is forecast for this coming
weekend. Bass have been poised all month on the edge of the flat waiting for
warmth that will trigger the spawn. Looks like it will finally happen. There
was some largemouth bass nest building and spawning in the northern lake
early in the month but the big smallmouth spawning event is still to come.
Kimber with Bullfrog Bass caught from shore.
Sight-fishing for aggressive bass that have just spawned is exciting. Male
bass that guard fresh eggs on the new nest will attack anything that comes
close to "his nest". Aggression peaks for two days post-spawn and then
tapers off each succeeding day after that. Timing the trip to coincide with
actual spawning ensures a memorable trip. That will happen this weekend and
Catching bass is not all that technical in these conditions. Basically
anything that swims near the nest is fair game. The lure choice is then
determined by confidence of the angler. Past success with a certain lure,
technique or presentation should determine how to fish during the next week.
If it worked before it should work even better now.
For beginners perhaps the easiest and most effective bait is a weightless
plastic bait like the Zoom Fluke or Yamamoto Senko. Toss the bait beyond the
nest, retrieve until it is over the nest and then let it slowly descend
right on the rocks. The male bass will take it on the way down or pick it up
and carry it off the rocks. Catch the male bass off the nest but then
release it to protect the eggs from predation. If bass are to be kept for
supper, keep the females or those fish not on nests. In the bass world,
males determine the survival of the next generation and females are excess
fish to be harvested.
Crappie will be spawning at the same time. Crappie will nest in thick cover
and the male security guard will often be a very black color. Release the
black fish and those caught on nests to ensure the survival of the next
generation. Use small plastic or hair jigs on very light jig heads (1/16th -
1/32nd ounce). Place them about 4-feet under a bobber to present the bait at
a steady depth and a slow speed which crappie prefer.
Brian Walters with stripers caught at the
fishing is red hot in the channel near
the Dam. Use anchovy bait for a big catch of adult fish prowling the canyon
walls. Try the dam, Buoy 1, Antelope Canyon, Buoy 9, and Navajo Canyon for a
big catch. Uplake start fishing at Moki Wall, Moki Canyon and the wall
upstream from the mouth of Moki. Lake Canyon and the mouth of Halls Creek
are good as well.
Striper fishing is even better in the backs of canyons around brush piles
that harbor small sunfish. Both adults and juveniles are hanging out in the
backs of canyons. Find them by fishing reaction baits like a lipless
vibrator or jerk bait, on the shallow edge of the canyon near deep water.
Cast to the shoreline much like fishing for bass.
Stripers, bass and walleye are sharing the same habitat. A hooked
striper is usually accompanied by 5 others trying to grab the bait from its
mouth. When one striper is being played cast behind the hooked fish to catch
the school mates.
Jerk baits like pointers, bevy shad, and Bomber long A's work well, as do
plastic grubs and tubes and spoons. Use your confidence lure. The fish will
love it too.