Warm weather has arrived. The lake is warming and rising rapidly. These
events signal big changes. Shortly threadfin shad will begin spawning, bass
and crappie will conclude their spawning activity and striped bass will join
the ranks of spawning fish.
But first, there will be one more week where all of the positive fishing
events from April will continue. Large and smallmouth bass
are still on
nests. Crappie are protecting nests in thick brush. It is still possible to
sight fish for shallow nesting fish. It is really cool to watch them guard
the nest and nip at your bait while they try to move it away without being
caught! But the visual display ends this week as the rising lake will muddy
the water and deepen the stationary nest sites. All this will reduce
visibility and prevent fish from being seen by anglers as readily as
happened in April.
Bass and crappie fishing will continue to be excellent. Water cools off
overnight and slows down the morning bass bite. The bite shifts into high
gear about noon and gets progressively better until dark. Largemouth bass
and crappie are associated with the myriad of brushy cuts and coves so
prevalent on the lake this year. It is very unusual to see this much brush
scattered among rocky structure.
All fish are big and healthy. Crappie size rivals the glory days when 3
pound fish were common. In fact, a 3 pound 5 ounce crappie was caught in the
Escalante Arm last week. That fish will likely be the new
Utah State Record
crappie. It is 3 ounces heavier than the current record crappie taken at
Quail Creek, in UT.
This warming trend will activate walleye. The month of May is traditionally
the best time to catch walleye and this year will be no different. Look for
walleye in muddy water along windy shorelines. They move into coves to feed
but need access to deep water as an escape feature. Fish along the shallow
edges of the main channel to maximize walleye success. Pre dawn light and
warm evenings are the best times to catch walleye. The most productive
technique seems to be trolling across rocky points with a lure that bumps
bottom at 12 feet. Concentrate on the 12-foot contour with a Wally Diver in
black and white. The standard worm harness and bottom bouncer is always a
good bet to take walleye
Striper fishing is challenging as they have moved shallower in the backs of
canyons. Best catches now have come on lures trolled at about 10 feet. My
best lure this week has been the Lucky Craft Pointer 128 in ghost color.
Trolling still works best as schools are still moving and hard to stay over.
Expect stripers to become more active at night as the spawn gets closer. A
rapid temperature spike on a hot calm day will trigger spawning which occurs
at night in shallow water. Locate a school of males holding near long
prominent points in the evening. Then return to that location at night to
see if the big females have moved into the area to spawn. It is now time to
catch that 30-pound plus striper for this year.