August 12, 2009
|Striped bass have established a very unusual feeding
pattern in the main lake. Feeding is consistent and fish very catchable if
able to understand what to look for.
Each morning at 6 AM (MST) feeding begins for school fish. (If seeking a trophy it is likely that this time coincides with cessation of feeding of the larger generation.) At 6 AM single and double splashes begin. Striper splashes are fairly recognizable after some study. Look toward the rising sun and find 3 to 4 splashes in close proximity that are back lighted by the early sun. The splash often tosses a spray of water one to two feet in the air. Sometimes there is no splash, only a rolling motion of the back breaking water as the fish surfaces much like a dolphin. Carp jump too but they rise straight up and then crash back into the lake in a clumsy striper imitation.
When stripers are identified get there as quickly as possible and then cruise on fast idle or full thrust on the electric motor. Fish are feeding individually and scattered within a general area. Cruise and cast as a single fish comes up in range. If the lure hits within ten seconds and two feet of the splash ring a hookup is almost assured. This feeding behavior continues until 7 AM.
From 7-8 AM schools form and small boils are likely in the slick rock coves off the main channel. Cruise the canyons and coves again looking for a splash. When found stripers are very aggressive and will hit lures tossed into the school feeding zone. It is best to deliver the lure just beyond the feeding activity and retrieve quickly right into the boiling activity.
Small boils and singles continue until 9 or sometimes 10 AM. In the afternoon the action begins again. At 4 PM schools that have been resting come up and feed in the largest and tightest boils of the day. Look along the edge of the main channel and in the slick rock coves for larger boils. This action continues for an hour or two and then striper schools break down to chase fleeing single shad that have splintered from the main bait ball. Last evening from 6 until dark the entire main channel from Padre Bay to Rock Creek was dotted with single striper splashes as far as the eye could see.