Stripers Show up at Dam
Those anglers that have been diligently paying their dues fishing in the
main channel for striped bass were rewarded in a big way this week. While
catches have been steady recently the numbers caught have been modest. That
changed on Thursday when stripers were caught by the cooler full reminiscent
of 2006. Fish caught were smaller but healthier than seen the two previous
What does this mean? It appears that more fish made their way into the
channel than had previously been there. Or they could have been there all
the time and were stimulated by increasing water temperature. For whatever
reason, it seems that the likelihood of catching a good number of fish at
the dam has now increased. There will still be time periods or whole days
when fishing is slow.
It is always good to have a backup plan if all the prime spots at the dam
are occupied or fishing is not good when you arrive. There are other
locations that harbor striper schools. The closest location is the canyon
wall on the west side near the barricade line. It is not necessary to tie to
the barricades to catch fish just follow the wall north for a few hundred
yards to the end of the underwater ledge that holds the striper schools in
place. Check Buoy 1 at the mouth of Wahweap Bay, or Antelope and Navajo
Canyons, NGS power plant intake to Buoy 9 on the south canyon wall. Schools
are often there if not found at the first spot tried.
Rusty Rath, Aramark boat
pilot at Wahweap, with a 7 pound 2 ounce largemouth bass caught in Wahweap
Bay on Easter Sunday.
For those seeking other species the prospects are still the same with cool
water in the morning and warming by afternoon. There is an early morning
largemouth bass bite in the backs of the canyons where water depth is
between 10-20 feet and in coves of the channel at the same depth. Look for
murky water for best results. Often coves have sandy bottoms with "old
brush" like long submerged tumbleweeds or old trees on the bottom. This
sparse cover is enough. A little ridge of rocks in the sand may be all the
cover needed. The best bait for me this week was a bulky dark green plastic
grub like the Yamamoto hula grub. Use a slow dragging retrieve while
maintaining bottom contact.
Smallmouth bass are caught much better in the afternoon during the warmest
part of the day. Use the same techniques but target the rocky structure near
the shallow coves. Each day more walleye and crappie are caught while using
plastic to catch bass.
The fishing opportunities here are varied but what ever your personal
preference the chances of success are increasing each week.