Fall Fishing Techniques for Stripers Feb 2, 2019 13:54:50 GMT
Post by Virginia Striper©® on Feb 2, 2019 13:54:50 GMT
Fall Fishing Techniques for Stripers
by Wayne Gustaveson @ www.wayneswords.com
Fall is the most exciting time. When shad are available stripers drive them to the surface creating surface feeding frenzies or “boils” (Click on Striper Boils). When feeding on the surface, stripers are constantly looking to the surface for food. Lures that stay on the surface and swim side-to-side making a V-wake, most resemble shad and demand attention from striped bass even when not actively feeding. It is common to retrieve the stick bait and see striped bass come up to look - then swirl as they head back down. This swirl is guaranteed assurance that stripers are in the area and can be coerced into feeding. Prospecting for stripers in the back of the canyon with a stick bait is a quick way to locate active fish.
Winter patterns for stripers make them more vulnerable to anglers. In Fall stripers chase shad into brushy flood plains and feed shallow early and late. When temperatures plummet shad go deeper and stripers follow after them. During fall stripers were found chasing shad into submerged creek channels (40-60 feet) which led to shallow flood plains. In Winter stripers have pulled out deeper to the main channel where the canyon is wider. Bottom depth will be near 60-100 feet. Suspended at 70-90 feet shad schools which appear as a mass of grey fog may be sen on the graph. Stripers lay below the suspended shad in a dormant state, but when hungry will rise to the 45-60 foot range to capture a shad meal.
Stripers appear as a moving mass with individual fish shapes apparent around the edges of the school. Striper schools will often have "X" shaped marks on the perimeter while shad schools have a smooth perimeter. The resting school may appear as a black tower growing from the lake bottom. The tower is often accompanied by scattered unevenness which are fish laying on the bottom. In the excitement of hooking a fish remember to take a moment to glance at the graph and see the lines emerge from the tower as stripers go into feeding mode overdrive. This active school mode is the goal of every fishing trip. Memorize the line pattern so every active school seen in the future will translate to more stripers being caught.
Graph for fish traces about 1/3 the way out from the back of the canyon. Find the traces which are usually concentrated in Winter, but widely scattered in Fall. As the winter pattern solidifies shad schools and adjoining stripers get closer together and easier to find.
The best technique is to use a hammered silver jigging spoon, a shad colored slab spoon (wally lure- shad minnow), a half ounce or heavier white marabou jig or anchovy bait. Drop the lure into the striper school at the depth indicated on the graph. It is important to measure line as it drops so fish suspended at 50 feet can be targeted. If fish are 10 feet off the bottom then start at the bottom and reel up 10 feet so the lure is inside the school. If no response, try bait fishing at the same depth that stripers are marked on the graph. Stripers will feed all winter long but are less active when water temperature is colder than 55 degrees. The winter catching peak is from November 15 to December 15.
Most fish in Lake Powell are accustomed to seeing some green flash in their daily travels. Chartreuse is very visible in low light conditions that prevail at 40, 60 and deeper depths where the spoon is so effective. A chartreuse bucktail completes the total package in deep water. A shad colored (hologram) spoon with bucktail looks like a shad at depth in low light. It has the characteristic movement of a wounded shad as it sweeps toward the bottom on slack line. It creates a vibration and a resounding "thunk" as it hits bottom. We surface dwellers discount the very different properties that sound waves have in water versus air. Fish can hear for very long distances. More importantly they have the lateral line sensory organ that allows them to FEEL vibrations. Swimming motions of a fish in close proximity are felt by other fish.
A spoon at depth must be a sensory overload for striped bass that are still hungry but have to left the shallows. They hear and feel a spoon hit and rush over to take a look. The wounded shad tries to swim off the bottom as it is jigged by the angler. It doesn't have enough strength to get away and falls back. The green flash is added incentive. The spoon is inhaled. FISH ON!