Stripers are still slurping in little shad with a vengeance. It is likely
that slurping stripers will be seen in every clear water canyon and channel
this week. Catching them may be more difficult than locating them.
Stripers feed lazily when little shad are abundant and slow moving. A group
of 10 or more stripers pop to the surface and gorge on tiny shad. An
approaching boat causes the feeding school to turn in a different direction
or to sound only to resurface a safe distance away. Shad are abundant and
wide spread so stripers can feed in any direction. The trick is to get close
enough to cast into slurping stripers without putting the fish down.
Ciara Padrnos - Prescott, AZ
Small spoons may be the most effective presentation but don't be afraid to
try a surface lure. The key to both techniques is to work the lures gently.
Shad are not swimming much so a fast moving, erratic presentation is not
normal to their feeding image. Reel the topwater lure at a slow to medium
speed with only limited sideways jerks. Do the same with spoons. Work it
just fast enough to keep it in the feeding zone. The real secret is to make
long casts with small lures. That takes a good rod and reel with quality
matching line. Present the lure just beyond the leading fish or just past
the entire school. Splashing into the middle of the slurping fish seldom
allows success. It will be much better when shad grow a bit larger and the
margin for boating and casting error will increase by one order of
Slurps are now common from dawn until 10 AM. After that fishing is tough
until late afternoon. During the heat of the day is a good time to play in
the water. Fish early and late for maximum success. Bait fishing is much
better in the afternoon when stripers have completed the morning shad hunt
and are in deep water planning their next assault.
Bass fishing is still tough and will remain so until the lake starts to
drop. Bass love the fresh green habitat now abundant in so many different
lake locations. It will take lake stabilization and or decline until bass
are able to be caught in a stable summer pattern. Right now they are feeding
early in the morning near the stripers slurps but from the comfort of their
newly discovered green brush habitat. This may be the most difficult warm
water time to catch bass. That will soon change as the lake stabilizes.
Walleye are the bonus fish now and can be caught early and late on the fast
falling points that lead into the main channel. Fish shady pockets in the
morning and under mudlines on breezy afternoons all along the main channel
edge for feisty walleye.
Catfish are hot now every evening near your camp. Try scraps from dinner
right behind the boat for quick success. My favorite catfish recipe is
blackened fillets with Cajun spices. Mmmmm