By: Robbie Biccum
Just mentioning the name conjures up a whole different picture than when you think of Largemouth Bass. When I think of stripers I think of hundreds of schooling fish with several MONSTER Stripers swimming just under the "schoolies". I think of DINNER! Oh yeah, Stripers are yummy. And fight, if you get a striper over 5 lbs. hell wrestle you all the way to the boat. If you are fortunate enough to land a nice size Striper of 30 lbs. or better hell have you talking to yourself as you see color and can barely believe you have actually hooked this Big Fish.
Striper definitely get fished out here in California and on the Colorado but they are still have the "red headed stepchild" syndrome to overcome. I mean that many people see Striper fishing as something you can do anytime when the "BASS" arent biting. Personally, Ill make a special trip to Lake Mead or Willow Beach just to fish for the big Striper these waters hold. I remember talking with the Ranger one year out of the north end of Lake Mead at Sandy Point and he was telling my friends and I that they had just tagged and released a 63 lb. Striper at the mouth of Ice Berg Canyon where the river finally becomes the lake. Willow Beach is famous for its trout habitat and since the big release of water several years back from Hoover dam the Stripers have been making nice meals of the native trout population. AC has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that BIG TROUT IMMITATIONS will land BIG STRIPERS at willow beach. My favorite pattern at Willow Beach is the 10" Basstrix Trout Pattern from their T-Series Baits.
Stripers, like all fish are pretty predictable if you pay attention to the basics. Weather is a good indication of just how much work you will have cut out for you when you are pursuing fish of any kind. Pay attention to your Barometer and your Thermometer. Each of these instruments will help you locate fish. When your barometer reading is low go fishing. Call your boss if you have to but get out and GO FISHING!!! When you have changes in weather over a period of time you need to determine what this will do to the Stripers you are after. For instance, if the weather is getting colder Stripers may be inclined to stay at or close to the surface to stay in their "comfort zone". One thing you can be sure of is that the fish, especially Striper, will be moving. Maybe because of the weather or maybe its the food supply.
If the weather is affecting the Striper you can bet it is affecting the bait fish too. What do your instruments tell you. Can you find a ball of bait? Is it concentrated or loose. If it is concentrated then you can be sure active fish are feeding underneath. Drop you big Trout Bait down there and get your Striper.
With Stripers another great tool to use is your eyes and ears. Stripers are voracious eaters. I have personally been awakened way before sun-up at Lake Mead to the sound of feeding Stripers that had cornered shad in the bay where we camped. Can you guess what I did? Yep, about 4:00 a.m. I waded out into waste deep water with my dad whom I had woken up. As all good fishing buddies would do and we started casting crank baits (Its all we had at the time) that was BLRU (Before Lures R Us). So here we were waste deep casting our lures into the blackness and getting slammed on every cast. We had our limit in less than two hours. Sounds like along time since they are slamming the baits every cast but it wasnt the catchin that was the hard part it was the removin. You see in my haste to get us started fishing I forgot the pliers. Can you imagine removing two treble hooks from a 5 - 10 lb. stripers mouth in the dark with no pliers. The sensible thing would have been to go back and get pliers but we just had no idea that the Stripers would stay in our little cove for so long. Believe me Id do it again if I had a chance at a bite like that.
So Look and Listen for Stripers "Boiling" on shad.
Our little cove was shallow and was full of trees. This proved helpful as they soon became our fish holders. When we were done we collected our limits from the various bushes whichever happened to be closest to where we landed our last fish. It was quite a site and it looked as if fish were now grown on trees. My wife and Mom and Dad ate Striper for just about every dinner meal during our week long stay and we never tired of it. Fresh from the water what more could you ask.
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