July 2, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3631
Water Temp: 76-80

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 magnitude.

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