September 26, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3627
Water Temp: 77-79
F

Striped bass have apparently gone on a two week vacation. Fishing for the normally voracious predators has been uncharacteristically quiet. The culprit seems to be living the high life for most of the summer. Stripers are fat and apparently content to coast for a while on the reserves they stored during the easy days of summer.

Shad are still abundant but some schools are moving to the backs of coves. This is normal shad behavior in the fall and may explain the present lack of surface feeding activity. Stripers are still looking in the main channel for an easy meal. Shad are not there and/or stripers have not found them. This separation is short term. Stripers will get hungry soon and begin searching until shad are found. Boils will start up again but they will now be found on shore instead of in open water.
 

Jamie Jenneve's other son from NY with smallmouth caught from shore.

 


The best striper action of the past week occurred when a striper school was graphed and seen feeding at depth on shad. Then spoons dropped straight down on the active school worked for a short time before the school scooted off to parts unknown. It is still difficult to stay with the rapidly moving striper schools.

Not to worry- Bass have come to the rescue. Large and smallmouth bass fishing is wonderful. The pattern is quite specific, but once bass are located they are easy to catch.

Imagine a slick rock cove with brush and rocks piled along the shoreline in the back of the cove. The tendency is to move in close to shore to get in casting range of the visible brush and rocks. That is ALMOST the right thing to do. Bass are actually holding in deep water very near the cove. Remember all that brush covered by 45 feet of rising water is still out there. Find the first underwater tree that you can see or graph. Then turnaround and fish on the deep water side of the tree. Bass are in 25-40 feet of water in the migration lane leading to that great looking brushy cove. Instead of casting to the shoreline, fish the slot in the middle of the canyon leading to the cove.

The best technique for imitating a prey fish in open water at depth is a drop shot rig where the weight is on the bottom and the plastic lure is suspended 18 inches above substrate. Use a gray or green shad imitating bait. Find a fish or two on the graph. Drop the bait under the boat until it stops sinking. With the weight on the bottom, lift the lure gently to its full 18-inch height and get set for a quick hook up.

Fishing is best from Padre Bay to Good Hope with the terminal ends of the lake quiet.