Lake level has been stable for two weeks. Water temperature has risen
briefly but wind today puts it right back at 51 degrees this morning. With
these important variables unchanged there is no reason for fish behavior to
change. That means successful fishing methods during the past two weeks will
continue to work until a significant change occurs.
Richard Laycock, Cheyenne WY -
Here is what to expect. Larger stripers are
lying on the bottom waiting for warmer water or for a fish to swim by their
resting spot. Deep trolling will put the lure
in the zone but it is essential that the lure is in close proximity or even
bumping bottom on occasion. Lure contact on bottom in the resting zone is
the best way to rouse a sleepy striper. Down riggers or deep diving lures
that get down at least 20 feet are best for larger stripers.
The other technique is to drop lures down to resting stripers seen on the
graph. Spoons are the standard but I find them to be too active right now
for really lethargic stripers. A better choice is a
one-ounce or heavier marabou or bucktail jig with soft
plastic trailer attached. Drop the jig to the resting school and
then slowly work the bait right in the school. One fish biting will excite
others and cause a quick flurry of activity in these schooling fish that are
programmed to react to feeding by school mates.
Ice fishing techniques may work on these resting schools. Put an anchovy
tail on a small spoon and work that slowly in the school. Or use the drop
shot rig favored by bass fishermen. The key is to put a slow-moving tasty
morsel near the dormant school to catch fish.
I prefer catching active fish. Yearling stripers
are near the surface eating plankton. They will react to small lures zipping
quickly through the plankton school. Three inch
lures that dive from 4-8 feet trolled at 3.5 or 4 mph work best.
The best lure for me has been the Lucky Craft Pointer 78. The Lucky Craft
Bevy Shad 75 has been a close second. The consistent location is near the
back of the canyon where water is off color and
bottom depth is between 18 and 25 feet. Make sure to troll fast -
at least 3.5 miles per hour.
Bass fishing is great for big
fish. That means not many little bass are caught and time between bites may
be lengthy, but each bite that comes is from a quality bass. Successful
techniques are centered in the shallow brush zone along the shore. Spinner
baits, bulky soft plastics like Yamamoto Flappin Hogs, or the old standard
Jig and Pig (pork rind) work for bass up to 6 pounds.
Forage has been such that largemouth have grown to impressive size. It would
not surprise me to see the lake record 10 pound 2 ounce largemouth record
fall in 2010. The smallmouth record of 5 pounds 6 ounces is in real
jeopardy. Take a scale along this spring in case you are the lucky angler.
It would be nice to know if the huge fish in hand should be released or
brought in for an official weigh-in ceremony.
The real fun is a few weeks away. The best spring
crappie fishing in decades will begin in April. That will be the
highlight of the spring for me.
If you haven't picked up on it yet, fishing at Lake
Powell is going to be really good in 2010.