May 9, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3602
Water Temp: 60-70 F

Warm days this week will finally put cold weather in the rear view mirror. Weekend storms have increased river flows, jacked up runoff and that will continue until the snow is gone with warmer days ahead. The lake is now rising 2-6 inches a day. It should come up four more feet in the next few weeks.

Bass have been struggling with cold fronts Bass spawning has been sporadic but there will be another spawning surge over the next 10 days where multiple spawning smallmouth bass will bring off one more nest of black fry. Rising lake levels will move the shoreline away from the existing nests. Sight-fishing for spawning fish is not as good in May but catching spawning fish will great. Just fish deeper and further away from shore where the nests were made in April at lower lake levels. This week nests will be at least 2-feet deeper than when first constructed.

Lowell Marthe Good Hope walleye

Warming water temperatures activate fish. Walleye have finished spawning (walleye) and get very hungry when their cold-blooded body finally warms up. They respond by eating early and often. The next 3 weeks will be the best time to catch hungry walleye. Fish in low light periods - early and late. Take advantage of boat wakes and windy afternoons to find murky water where walleye shade up to feed. Mudlines along rocky points, muddy coves, and mud covered brush are prime walleye spots during May.

Stripers are literally everywhere. They are in the backs of canyons, in mid channel and in deep water. Warming will make them seem even more abundant as the younger plankton-eaters will be caught more often. Troll, cast, or graph and bait fish - your preference. Keep all stripers. The smaller fish are better table fare and the bigger fish are fun to catch. Both sizes are equally caught on bait or lures. Stripers in the back of the canyons and coves are not boiling but they are "looking up" so they will hit a topwater lure early and late. It is possible to create your own boil from dawn to 8 AM.

Known striper schools in the southern lake are found at the Dam, Buoy 1, Antelope Canyon (mouth and mid canyon), Navajo Canyon (double islands and back of canyon), Padre Bay canyons (back of canyons), main channel at mouth of Friendship Cove, Rock Creek (directly across channel [east] from the floating restroom, and Oak Canyon.

At Bullfrog/Halls stripers are being caught at Moki Wall, mouth of Moki,  mouth of Hansen Creek (north side - mouth), Buoy 90, mouth and inside Lake Canyon and in Bullfrog Marina at night under the lights.

Uplake the runoff is increasing and visibility dropping. Stripers were caught handily trolling from Buoy 118-119. All of the side canyons produce good fishing for all species and have clearer water than the main channel.

If you haven't guessed it yet, fishing is darn good right now.

Steffen and Skyler Koury with Navajo Canyon Stripers