Despite unsettled and windy weather the bass and crappie spawn continues.
Wind mixes warm water and reduces surface temperature. That temperature drop
causes male bass and crappie to leave the nest. This is normal and happens
every year. After 3 days of guarding, eggs hatch and yellow fry burrow into
the rock substrate where they are protected from predators. Even though the
male leaves the nest fry can still survive.
The next warming trend rejuvenates the male, causing a return to the nest
and restarts the process all over again. He finds a new female, they lay and
fertilize new eggs on top of the fry nestled under the rocks and he guards
the nest again where he remains as long as water stays warm. It is possible
to find 3 different ages of eggs and fry on a nest at any given time after
the initial spawn. Likewise all female bass have an ovary full of eggs as
they spawn only a few eggs at a time. Bass never completely evacuate the
ovary so some eggs remain in the ovary year round.
The big winds just past, lowered surface temperature to 54. Temperature
jumped back to 65 by late afternoon yesterday when winds were calm. Bass
responded to the increase by moving back up to nests sites. That movement
from deep to shallow water obviously increases fishing success as fish
activity increases with warming.
Knowing these behavioral factors allows one to employ effective fishing
techniques. If water temperature is in the low 50s then fish deep and slow
for sluggish bass. If temperature is in the mid 60s then fish shallow for
active bass. Right now bulky plastic baits with
much surface area sink slowly and tantalize shallow bass. Try hula grubs,
Flappin' Hogs, and other skirted and double tail baits in greens and browns
for good success for large and smallmouth bass.
Bass and crappie fishing success is excellent lake
wide with the exception of the northern lake above Good Hope Bay
where runoff is coloring the water and reducing the temperature. The San
Juan may be the very best with incredible numbers of smallmouth being
Striped bass are providing very little
action to those accustomed to fishing in the channel with bait. Yesterday
only 5 stripers were caught at the dam on anchovies. However, catches of
10-30 fish were reported from the backs of the canyons by those trolling
deep diving crank baits. Stripers are still holding in the main canyons at a
depth of 25 feet. Troll the flood plain in the back of the canyon with
Thundersticks, husky jerks, Rapala deep divers and other baits that run
deeper than 14 feet to find consistent success. Early morning and late
evening seems best for striper fishing with a lull at mid day.
The plan for this week is to troll for stripers early. I am finding stripers
holding in most canyons that have been consistent producers over the years.
If stripers were caught last year or two years ago in a canyon, try that
spot again this spring but troll the area for best success.
Then when temperatures rise, move to shallow water and fish for bass and
crappie. Fishing success is phenomenal now using this multi species