May 16, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3604
Water Temp: 67-74 F

SMALLMOUTH BASS have gone ballistic. The open water reefs that were vacant last month are now RED HOT. Smallmouth bass from 6 inches to 2 pounds are surrounding reefs and long rocky points. Smaller bass are right on top of the reef in a few feet of clear water. Larger fish are residing off the reef edge at depths from 15-25 feet.

This reef in the middle of Grotto Canyon was good for 6 bass in 6 casts mid day.  (More could have been caught but the wind  drifted the boat out of range)

It's a sure thing to toss a single tail plastic grub (smoke, green or pumpkin) on a quarter ounce jig head to waiting bass. Just let the grub hit the reef and drag it a few feet at a time. Smallmouth bass will be all over it like a puppy chewing a bone.

Bass spawning is all but over. There may be a few bass still guarding nests but the rising lake covered the nests beyond visibility. Just fish the open reef structure now and perhaps a guarding male can be caught. If not, there are so many bass hitting that spawning is no longer significant.


Other fish species have made the switch to the 25 foot bottom contour on outside primary points leading into deep water. Stripers, walleye, and largemouth bass are consistently found on irregular bottom contours marked by "yellow water reefs" mixed with "deep blue water". Look for the flat shoreline with lots of reefs and extended points to find a mixed bag of fish. Points often have a "saddle" just off shore with another reef much further out in the bay. This is the best habitat to fish this week.
To effectively fish reefs, employ a combination of casting or trolling the reef edges (with shallow runners like jerk baits or Wally divers), to spooning deep on the reef edge, or dragging a plastic grub or tube at 20 feet. Bass, stripers and walleye will all hit the same lures when the hot spot is located.

Yellow water reefs surrounded by deeper blue water are the prime habitat this week.

I caught nothing but fat stripers today using the end of reef technique. The reaction bait (spoon or crank bait) was appealing to stripers that feed on sunfish and crayfish. These fish have left the schools to forage on their own. They have fared better than the schooling stripers that do not get fed every day.

Schooling stripers are still being handily caught on bait in the main channel between the dam and the back of Navajo Canyon.

At Bullfrog/Halls bait fishing is good from Lake Canyon to Hansen Creek.

Spring fishing is now at a peak. It will remain good for the remainder of May and then slow down in June. Morning and evening fishing is best with fish shallow along the shore. Fishing slows mid day with the sun straight overhead when fish move deeper. Concentrate on the deep edges of open water reefs to catch fish all day long.