February 11, 2011

Friday, 11 February 2011 15:06 Wayne Gustaveson

wayne with two fat stripers caught spooning

Today's fishing adventure started off with great expectations. Lucas, the Quagga tech at the top of the ramp, told us a 12-pound striper was caught yesterday near the wakeless zone in front of Wahweap Main ramp. So we started looking there but found only a blank screen on the graph.

We then went to Warm Creek because we hadn't fished that in a couple of weeks and thought the fish would welcome our arrival. But two hours of graphing, stopping and spooning was not rewarded at all. We cut our losses and headed to Lone Rock where most fish have been caught recently.

The southwest corner was fishless. So we started graphing again.  The third hour passed with no fish. Then half way between Lone Rock and the shoreline of Lone Rock canyon we graphed a school. Our activity level was intense. We spooned, chummed, dropped anchor and succeeded in catching two stripers before all that activity drove the school away.  The screen went blank again. Fishing bait was not productive which was very surprising.


The next option was to go in with very little to show for our efforts. We opted to stay for 30 more minutes. The next time we saw a school on the graph we spooned and hovered over them with the electric motor.  I am not sure if it was time of day (1 PM), location or just perseverance. But this time it worked. In the next 30 minutes we put 18 stripers in the boat, all on spoons at 78 feet.

These fish were in the best shape of any stripers I have caught since last August. That was a pleasant surprise. One fish had a 6-inch gizzard shad in the stomach but most were empty.  The trip up from 70 feet tends to invert a lot of stomachs as the pressure change expands the air bladder.

On average we had a great trip.  But I preferred the last hour over the first three.


Foot note: Spooning selects active fish which are seeking shad and actively pursuing their prey. These fish are the strongest and healthiest specimens. Conversely, fishing bait attracts those fish that are not competitive with fish-eaters.  Thinner fish will be selected more often when offering an easy alternative with chumming and bait fishing.

Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 13:04