Warming had the expected effect. Bass reoccupied nests that were abandoned
during the cold spell. Bass nests were found along much of the shoreline
this week. Typically there is a row of brush sticking out of the water in
the coves. Largemouth nests will be between the shore and the brush while
smallmouth nests will be on the deep water side of the brush line.
Largemouth make their nest close to the base of the bush. Smallmouth nests
will more likely be on open rock areas.
This week will mark the last chance for sight-fishing spawning bass. When
the current fry crop swims away from the nest, the bass spawn will be over.
Bass will then go deeper and head for feeding areas. They will be hungry and
perhaps even more willing to eat angled offerings. The compounding factor is
that fast rising lake level will make it harder to find the sweet spots.
The window is now open to catch walleye. Warm water makes them feed around
the clock instead of only at night. Some 10-fish limits of walleye have been
caught trolling and casting. That is a rarity but this is a special year.
Try trolling small 3-inch crankbaits in the backs of canyons where water
depth is 15-25 feet. Walleye really like subdued light. Fishing very early
and very late is a good strategy. They can be caught during the day when
shaded by a cloud of muddy water washed off shore by wind action. Mudlines
harbor many different kinds of fish in May. Spend extra time fishing when a
mudline is close by.
Striped bass are still in those huge schools waiting to spawn. One party
found a prespawn school in Padre Bay and caught 384 stripers on bait in two
days of fishing. The reward is great when a big school is located. The
problem is looking on the right point in Padre Bay to find the moving
target. I plan to find it this week and will report the exact location.
Warming has increased the number of stripers caught trolling, casting and
spooning. The biggest reward comes from graphing a huge resting school and
chumming with anchovies to put fish in a feeding mood.
Look for striper schools in spots that have produced good bait fishing in
past years. These include main channel walls, slick rock points in bays and
shallow humps surrounded by deep water. Trolling while graphing is a good
approach. Both deep and shallow running lures will work. It may be wise to
troll both while searching for the school. When a school is found, use
spoons, jigs, or bait to catch a bunch of fat, healthy stripers.
Catfising is getting better each week in the backs of canyons on sandy