temperature crept back into the 50's following a few warm windless
afternoons, but there is much more warming needed to really get fish going.
Right now game fish are feeding sporadically. Catching is hit and miss.
The best choice of fishing location is near aquatic weed beds and tumbleweed
piles that are near deep water. Bass and stripers are holding quite
consistently at 30 foot depths. They come shallower to feed and drop back
over the ledge to rest. Find a spot with cover and deep water in near
proximity and chances of finding willing fish increases. Good coves with
lots of cover in the backs of shallow canyons will not be occupied until
water warms to 57-60 degrees. This week look for cover on the edge of deep
water for best results.
Tumbleweeds located on a steep terraced
bank near deep water. Weeds must extend into the depths to provide effective
cold water cover.
Tumbleweed piles are not forgiving when crankbaits or spoons get tangled in
the branches. Weedless lures are a necessity and slow movement is the best
presentation. Spinner baits fill the need as do suspending crankbaits - if
the bait can be fishing along the brush tops instead of in the middle where
snags await. Weedless baits like texas-rigged senkos with no weight are
perhaps the best lures to settle into the weed pockets without hanging up.
On my outing this week I found slow fishing. I was able to catch some
stripers that were actively searching for small fish along the 20- foot deep
margin of a weed bed. They hit a spoon quickly and repeatedly and then were
gone. Active stripers are moving quickly and hard to keep in casting range.
When we tried anchovies in the vacated area it was as if the stripers had
forgotten all about bait. We did not turn a fish on anchovies. I suspect
without fishing pressure this winter, stripers have either gone dormant or
actively chased sunfish in weed beds. In either case the appeal of bait is
taken from fat 2-pound striper stomach. Bass and stripers are keying
on bluegill in weedbeds and tumbleweed cover.
On the bright side warming of a few more degrees will increase fish
metabolism and need to feed. March should be good fishing with largemouth
the prime target. Isolated tumbleweed pockets in sunny coves with deep water
near by will be the best location. Stripers will be in slightly deeper water
but very near the bass water. Bonus walleye will be in the same proximity.
All are eating sunfish that hide in the thickest cover available.
Remember to protect Lake Powell from the
threat of invading quagga mussels that have been found in the lower Colorado
River. Before launching in Lake Powell inspect your boat for the presence of
adult mussels on the hull, motor or trim tabs. Kill them by washing with
scalding hot water.