Was it the cool down we experienced last week that seems to have really energized fishing? Maybe it was a result of the Corp releasing water to reach the target level of 1069? Both? Either way, we saw an increase in the number of Stripers schooling on the surface and plenty of Bass moving into shallow water. The surface temp only dropped a couple of degrees, 70 as of Thursday AM, the lake level was a different story. The water level was 1071.52 Thursday morning, .52 above full pool, however that is down 1.78 feet from last week. The weather forecasts looks great going into next week with very mild weather thru the middle or end of next week when our next front approaches. With it likely that the water releases will continue to be strong, and another full moon arriving on the 31st, fishing may be really good for the next few days!
The Striper patterns are basically the same, with the exception being the increase in schooling activity. I think there has also been an overall improvement in the bite. Down lines are still the big producers, with some really nice schools of fish showing up over the creek channels and the river channel. The fish may be roaming over the channel proper or associated with a flat, point or hump near the channel. This pattern has been effective all over the lake, so I don’t really know if there is a best “area”. Herring are still the bait of choice for this technique, but jigging spoons may also be effective if the fish are very densely grouped up .
This schooling fish pattern has been pretty strong, with some really nice groups of fish pushing bait to the surface. I think the greatest activity is early and late, but there are some fish showing up throughout the day. This bite can also be very good in the afternoon and evenings. Cast buck tails, wake baits, Chug Bugs, Steelshads and Magic Swimmers to the schools, all have been effective in recent days.
The after hours Bomber bite has also improved with anglers reporting good catches beginning right when the sun sinks below the tree line. Nothing unusual about this technique, run and gun the saddles, long flat points or shallow humps, the bite is quick if the fish are there! Long a bombers, and McStik jerk baits are staples for this pattern. Dock lights are also holding plenty of fish so that makes for another good pattern to fish after dark or prior to sunup. Flukes, Jerk baits, small buck tails, and live baits on the pitch rod are all good choices for casting to the lights.
Bass fishing is good and many of the patterns that have been in place are still very effective, just add some shallow water patterns into the mix to complement the deep water patterns. Topwater and swim baits are very viable choices for the Spotted Bass, cast them over brush, points and humps, use the wind to your advantage. Still plenty of fish in the 18 to 25 foot brush/humps but these same baits will also work over shallower targets as well. Small Chuggers, Magic Swimmers, Flukes and walking baits are producing well over these areas. If the fish do not respond to the top waters and swim baits, or you want to show ‘em a change up, swimming a Keitech swim bait over the same areas will also produce well along the Spybaits. If the wind will help you out a little, a big spinnerbait, 1 oz or 3/4 oz, over points and humps can also be a very solid pattern. Anglers have reported some good catches using this bait/technique in recent days. One footnote on the Sebiles: If is really calm, maybe high blue skies, and the fish seem reluctant tot take the bait on or near the surface, let the bait sink to the bottom, or down to 12 to 15 feet then start the retrieve, Often that will trigger the bite!
Plastics on a drop shot or a Weedless Wonder continue to produce well, with finesse worms, trick worms and Senkos all being good choices. These combos are working well on a variety of sructurtres, brush, points and humps, or just fishing secondary points, rocks and docks. Basically, there are enough shallow fish that the “bank beating” pattern with the plastics will amount for some pretty good numbers. Fish any points or structures you see, and docks are always worth a cast or two.
We also have some schooling Bass, still sporadic, and lots of single fish or small schools of fish pushing bait mostly early and late. They are catchable if you can get a bait to them, small baits that cast well are the ticket. The Steelshad is always a good choice, Spy baits, Flex-it spoons or sliced spoons will also be effective.