April 30, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3593
Water Temp: 57-64 F

The lake is now rising 2-4 inches per day and the filling rate will continue to increase during May. Increased runoff is due to warming weather. Fish respond to warming by increasing activity. In turn, cooling causes them to sulk on the bottom. The intermittent winds really cool the bite while an extended warm calm period ignites a flurry of fishing results. There needs to be a longer warm period than seen in April to really make the fish perk up.

Bass spawning has been impacted by wind induced weather anomalies. Largemouth spawned haphazardly and smallmouth bass spawning has been delayed. Much more spawning is to come but rising lake levels will take away most of the sight-fishing opportunities. Bass fishing will peak during the next two weeks. In current conditions, plastic baits fished on the bottom have been the best technique. Continue to fish shallow rock ridges, reefs and points for best bass success.

Joel Belmont with stripers caught under green light at night.

Crappie have spawned and will continue to guard nests for the next two weeks. There will be another spawn that will coincide with smallmouth spawning on the next warm spell. Expect this to happen when morning water temperature exceeds 62 degrees.

Good walleye fishing is delayed by the same lack of warming. All these warming worries will be forgotten when the heat does come.

The good news is striped bass. They have turned a "cold shoulder" to the weather and have just gone about their business of finding current in the main channel to the delight of anglers. Fishing has been excellent in the southern lake from the dam, to buoy 3, to the intake, buoy 9, with stops in Antelope and Navajo Canyons. Running the circuit of these favorite fishing spots has resulted in catches of at least 20 and often many more stripers for bait anglers.

Patience is required. It seems the schools start and stop. When they are on fishing is furious; when off, not fish is caught. Fortunately, they are on most of the time. Chumming gets the school going. Then all that have prepared by using invisible fluorocarbon line with either a light jig head or Carolina rigged circle hook catch fish in a hurry when the school comes in range.

In the northern lake, the mouth of Moki canyon is the most consistent place but many schools are holding along canyon walls both uplake and down from Bullfrog. I like Lake Canyon and Slick Rock for consistent action.

The Hite area is affected by runoff. Good Hope Bay is still murky but fishable. Head to the back of the canyon to find fish when muddy water dominates the channel. Trolling for stripers in the bays is consistent but not better than fishing bait in the channel. All stripers are now eating plankton which means they are able to forage individually. Therefore, schools have broken down. Many lone fish will be found in the backs of bays while schools are in the channel.