Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rocky Fork:

 Bass fishing has been great. Use a red square-bill and fish around wood in water that’s 8 feet deep or less. Also try a spinnerbait, but keep it close to wood. Some nice size crappies have been caught in the brush on minnows or black-chartreuse jigs. For saugeyes, try trolling off of the south beach with a chartreuse/red flake twister, tipped with a nightcrawler piece. Bluegills are plentiful around docks.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. Lawrence River Muskellunge

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) manages the St. Lawrence River muskellunge studies as ESF was contracted by DEC to do so beginning in 1987. Since that time, over 80 musky spawning and nursery areas have been identified, and those sites have been granted additional levels of protection from habitat alteration.
Despite that protection, muskellunge populations have declined, and the identified causes are habitat changes (vegetative and fish communities on nursery grounds), the presence of round gobies in spawning/nursery habitats, and Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv) mortality. The VHSv outbreaks in 2005 and 2006 saw massive die-offs of pre-spawn female muskellunge.
In assessing muskellunge population trends, the Annual Report states, “Spring trap-net surveys at index sites sampled each year indicated declining spawning adult abundance since 2008, with marginally improved catches in 2013 and 2014. Catches of young-of-the-year muskellunge in index seine hauls also declined since 2004, but improved lightly in 2013 and 2014.
“An angler diary program, which indicates the relative quality of muskie fishing through angler catches, also indicated that angling success remains well below the target of one fish caught per 10 hours of fishing.”

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Lake Erie anglers

Fishing for walleyes, the big daddy for Lake Erie anglers, will be exceptional this year, thanks to outstanding hatches in 2014 and 2015. Anglers can expect to encounter many walleyes from year classes dating back to 2009 along with a fair number of fish hatched in 2003 and now measuring 28 inches and more. With a lot of fish from the successful 2015 hatches available this year, Erie walleye anglers can expect to catch a few sub-15-inchers. Anglers are reminded Erie walleyes less than 15 inches long must be released immediately.The daily walleye possession limit is four through April 30.
Quota allocations set by representatives of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Ontario set the possession limit at six walleyes daily from May 1 through Feb. 28, 2018.Yellow perch, easy to catch and tasty on the table, will be readily available this year on Erie waters, especially in the western basin. Central basin anglers will find average numbers, with most of the perch coming from the 2012 year class and some from the 2014 hatch.
The daily bag limit for perch is 30 with no minimum length regulation.Fishing for hard-fighting smallmouth bass is expected to be on par with recent years. Smallmouths love the hard-bottom areas near and off shore, leaving the harbors and marshes to exceptional numbers of largemouth bass. Areas with vegetation, brush and wood cover are likely largemouth hangouts.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Devils Lake

Ice fishing is done for the season, and the focus now will shift to the coulees that are opening upstream in the basin. Northern pike generally show up first, followed by walleyes and white bass, but some anglers already have reported catching walleyes and white bass. Basically, any ditch or coulee with open water has the potential of holding fish right now if it connects to Devils Lake or other bodies of water in the basin. Don't forget new North Dakota fishing licenses were required as of April 1.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lake Powell

 It has come up 6 inches since last week. Spring runoff has begun a bit early due to warm days in March. That may change as another storm front is now on the way. Early runoff is a double edged sword for fishing success from Trachyte to Good Hope Bay. This week, reports indicated good steady fishing success for smallmouth bass, walleye, stripers and largemouth. Catching was steady for those using bass jigs along the shoreline and trolling with wally divers and shad raps at 2.5 to 3 mph in open water.
Early runoff will “muddy the water” and have some impact on fishing success in the northern lake. Right now the mudline is in the vicinity of White Canyon/Trachyte. The muddy water could move quickly downstream depending on the strength of the Colorado River inflow. Anyone headed to the northern lake this weekend will find good fishable water and good success in catching a wide range of species.
In the southern lake bait fishing was working better for stripers than most other methods. Most anglers were finding success at the dam. One reported suggested cutting an anchovy in half and hooking it on a 1/4 oz. leadhead. “Then cast the bait out about 50 to 60 feet into deep water and let it just drift down on its own arc controlled by the length of line out. By the time it gets to about 40 to 50 feet deep you’ll get a good bite.” The Wahweap fish cleaning station was busy every day with many fishing crews bringing in 20-30 fish to fillet

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Early season bass

Early season bass fishing is usually a shallow water affair. During May and early June any shallow cover like reeds, fallen trees, or docks and boat lifts is a probable spot to locate bass. A simple way to target fish in the shallows is with a “do nothing” soft stick bait fished weightless.          
Soft stick baits look like the common ballpoint pen and don’t provide much action when rigged weightless. What I like to do is hook them “wacky” style, inserting an over-sized Kahle-style hook into the bait’s middle. When rigged this way, the bait has a tantalizing fall with each end providing just enough wobble to attract any bass lurking nearby to come over, inspect, and often eat the bait.
This is simple fishing where I cast the bait to shallow cover and slowly let it fall while watching for bites. Depending on water clarity, sometimes I see the bass approach and bite, other times I simply see the line start to move off. Patience to let the bait sink and sit is key, as bass will often come and take the bait, even once it’s reached bottom.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Percy Priest

The last week on Percy Priest has been very productive. The bass have been biting up-lake in the river off the mud flats around wood. Crank baits, rattle traps, and top water lures have been successful. Down-lake has been productive when you can get into the right pattern. However, it can be a very slow day until you find the bass on the lower end. Alabama rigs and jerk baits have been the ticket. The crappie have been biting well between Fate Sanders and Jefferson Pike Bridge. Fishing brush piles in 10-16 feet of water, stumps, brush piles off the mud flats are effective. Casting Crappie Magnets in chartreuse and clear or tight-lining minnows 2-3 feet off the bottom has been effective. Lastly, the hybrid fishing has been phenomenal. Both trolling and casting plastic shad baits has produced quantity and quality fish in the 5-15 pound range. These hybrid have been suspended in 10-20 feet of water mid-lake.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cheatham Lake:

 As of Monday afternoon, Sycamore Creek is 49-50 degrees and the main lake is 48 degrees. Both are stained but not muddy. Visibility is 1-1.5 feet. I have been catching most of my fish on Strike King chrome with a black back Red Eye Shad. Ordinarily this time of year I would be using jerk baits, crank baits or swim baits, but the low visibility gives me less confidence in these tools since we are more dependent on sight due to very little sound generation. If the water clears up, these would be my baits of choice. The other important thing I learned this week is the importance of my electronics. Similar to the fall season, if I did not find shad and fish on my electronics, I caught very few fish. When I did find these concentrations, I did very well. Where these concentrations are depth-wise is also critical since the fish are not as active and won’t chase as well. When you figure the correct depth range, count your bait down to the proper depth and yo-yo it right through the middle of the school for best results. I also learned that the concentrations have moved slightly from day to day. It may have only been 300-400 yards, but if I had not noticed this on my electronics, I may have completely missed the bite. Currently the concentrations have been in the main creek channel, but this could change with the approaching warm temperatures.