Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Conchas Lake:

 Fishing was very good using crank baits, sweet beavers, top water lures, worms, tubes, Senkos, jigs and curly tail grubs for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Fishing was good using chartreuse and white crank baits for white bass. Fishing was fair using crank baits, jig and minnow combinations and spinner minnow combinations for walleye. Fishing was fair using night crawlers, stink bait and cut bait for catfish. Fishing was good using minnows for crappie.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Colorado River inflow

Walleye on very active now and can be caught all day long. They are abundant from the Escalante to the Colorado River inflow. Most of the tagged fish are near Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. The best technique is to use a live worm or artificial bait, like Berkeley Gulp Minnows and Smelt. Maintain bottom contact while slowly moving the bait along a flat bench in the 10-30 foot range. When filleting the walleye don’t forget to take the cheek meat for a special dinner surprise.
Striped bass fishing is slowing down in the well know areas like the dam. Its time to expand your range while chasing stripers to canyon walls further uplake. There are many untouched bait fishing spots in most canyons, including Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, Padre Canyon, Last Chance and Rock Creek. Look for the high cliff walls near the back of the canyon for best results. Just chum an area and fish for a short time to find fish. If no fish are caught, then move to the next likely spot.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Seven Mile Canyon to Red Canyon

 . Now that our tagging trip is done the water temperature is going to climb into the 60s which will turn on the walleye lakewide. May is the magic month and the best time to catch a tagged fish from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay. Here are some helpful hints.
Walleye were found most often on flat benches that averaged 20-25 feet deep. Sometimes there was a bench or flat extending from a steep cliff wall. Trolling close to the wall and over the bench will put the night crawler right along the ledge where fish are holding. Other productive habitats included an open water ridge where the shallow peak was near 20-25 feet. Surrounding water was much deeper often falling to 70-100 feet. Walleye liked to park on top of the ridge and wait for food. Trolling a bottom bouncer along the ridge top was very effective. The most common technique was to just fish near shore where the underwater ledges were near 20 feet. The lakewide message is to know the depth and fish on flat surfaces near the 20 foot mark.
The best technique during our trip was to make bottom contact with a bottom bouncer rig that weighed 1-3 ounces. Heavy rigs worked on the cliff wall bench where the weight would make a distinct thump as it contacted bottom. Each time the weight came off the bottom it would make another distinct jolt with bottom contact. This worked when fishing almost straight down (jigging) on a shallow small bench where the rig would not be as effective on the deep water side of the bench.
Lighter bottom bouncer rigs could be slow trolled over large shallow flats where the night crawler was displayed over a large flat area until contact was made with a hungry walleye. Whole night crawlers impaled on a 2 or 3 hook harness seemed to be the most successful presentation in colder water. That may change as the water warms and walleye get more aggressive.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saginaw Bay:

 Walleye fishing remains slow, possibly due to cold water temperatures and the stained water. Boat anglers fishing 16 to 18 feet off Linwood managed to catch a couple fish but still had trouble finding clear water. Stained water was still an issue off Spoils Island but anglers were still doing better here when fishing close to the rocks. Vertical jigging was better than trolling. Most are using a "blue ice" jig tipped with a minnow and fishing within 3 feet of the rocks. The Finn Road launch ramp was plugged with phragmites (wetland grass) and only useable by airboat at the moment. Boat anglers were practicing catch and release bass fishing off Sebewaing and Caseville. Walleye catches were slim to none. Shore anglers at Bay Port caught bullhead, small perch and small bass. Boats have just started launching from Port Austin, and have taken a couple of lake trout and walleye.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lake Ontario’s Eastern Basin

To assess the status of warm-water fish populations in Lake Ontario’s Eastern Basin, the Lake Ontario Research Unit conducts gill-netting operations annually. The 2015 nettings captured the lowest number of smallmouth bass since 2004, and the 2015 numbers were among the lowest in 39 years of netting.
Adding to this gloomy picture is the fact that no strong year-classes of smallmouths have been detected in recent years.
Even though the 2015 nettings showed a decrease in walleye abundance, the news is a bit brighter here as the Annual Report states, “ ... with the evidence of moderate to strong reproduction in recent years, the fishery is expected to remain relatively stable for the next few years.”
In its assessment of yellow perch populations in the Eastern Basin, the Annual Report says, “in 2015, yellow perch catch declined to the lowest level in the time series. This decrease may be partly attributable to water temperature patterns and catch variability; however, angler reports also suggested lower yellow perch abundance in 2015.”

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lake Erie

black bass department, catch rates declined in 2016 but still remain relatively high at around .9 bass per hour of fishing. Only three percent of the bass caught last year were actually harvested. Robinson noted that 2016 was the first year that the decline was evident in the measure of angling quality.
While the future looks good for the warm water fisheries, the cold water fisheries are a bit more disconcerting. While lake trout have exhibited high abundance in recent years, 2016 saw the bottom drop out with a 57 percent decline in survey netting results.
“Sea lamprey woundings also increased last year,” said Jim Markham, cold-water biologist with the Lake Erie Unit. “Our target is five wounds per 100 lake trout and we were over 15 last year.”
Stocking numbers will also be down in 2017 due to problems at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery located in Warren, Pa. A lake trout acoustic telemetry study is underway as of 2016 to follow laker movements, helping to identify key habitats preferred such as primary spawning areas. No wild fish have been documented as of this time.