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Sweetwater Fishing -Freshwater Stripers Freshwater fishing discussion. Articles on tactics and techniques for freshwater stripers as well as Bass & other species.


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  #1  
Old 02-24-2006, 09:44 AM
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Default Early Springtime Reservoir Stripers

Early Springtime Reservoir Stripers on Artificials

By Mark (Willie) Williams
Inland Lake Fishing Charters


With water temps in the high 40?s to low 50?s, fishing for early springtime stripers (like so many other gamefish) ?downsizing? is the way to start the season. For the most part stripers are shallow this time of year due to the cool water temps. Stripers are usually feeding on 1?-3? threadfin or gizzard shad. Small lures like topwater jerkbaits or swimming minnows reeled slowly are a good choice along with bucktail jigs without any trailers (match the hatch). Good locations can be headwaters, slow tapering points and feeder creeks.

When water temps start rising into the high 50?s stripers start to get more aggressive and feed on larger 8-10? gizzard shad. This is when I start going to larger topwaters. Some of my favorite topwaters are swimming minnows, poppers, stickbaits & prop baits. Remember to go BIG, because when stripers are feeding on large 10? shad they often overlook a 4? lure.

Your best bite with shallow water stripers is very early in the morning or in the evening. When I say early morning, I mean early morning. Be on the water a few hours before the sun starts popping up as the morning bite can be over by 8:00 am and extend only if you have overcast skies or fog in the forecast. Windy days can stretch a morning bite out also since chop on the water can break up light penetration. The reasoning is that stripers are very light sensitive and once the sun starts rising they tend to move deeper.

When cold-water stripers start going deep is when I start heavy metal fishing. I?m not talking Mettalica or Motley Crue, but jigging spoons and blade baits. Some of my favorites include Hopkins spoons, Silver Buddies, Zip Lures and even Fuzzy Duzzits, which are popular blade baits with muskie fisherman when hunting deepwater muskies. These baits are now starting to make the crossover (like so many other muskie lures) to striper fishing. Rattling baits, such as Diamond Shads, Rattlin Rapalas and Rat-L-Traps are good versatile choices. These are great lures for covering water fast and are also very effective when vertical jigging.

Key locations for deep-water stripers can be main feeder creeks branching off the river channel. If the water temp is below 50 degrees, look for stripers in the 30-50 ft. range. In many cases they will be close to some kind of structure such as points, humps or old creek beds. Standing timbers near creek and river channels can be striper and wiper holding magnets also. When fishing standing timber on sunny days, the fish will more than likely be in the trees, and on the outside on overcast days. When jigging or working standing timber it is a good idea to beef up your line and invest in a good lure retriever or plug knocker, as your going to need it sooner or later.

When trying to locate deep-water stripers make sure to be on the lookout for schools of shad for they will we close by. Finding these schools can be a time consuming process but it really can pay off.

When deep water jigging, I recommend a sensitive rod with some good backbone. I also downsize my line to12-15lb test since it keeps you in better contact with your lure. The sensitive rods? key role is detecting the slightest hit. I have caught stripers as far down as 70ft. and it is amazing how soft of a hit a 20lb striper can make when inhaling your lure (when in doubt, set the hook!) Remember, it is very important to keep contact with your lure on the fall since they rarely hit it on the rise.

These are some of my favorite and productive strategies for coldwater stripers. Some of the most exciting fishing is catching stripers on artificial lures, especially topwaters, and if you have never experienced it you owe it to yourself to go out and give it a try.
Just remember to HANG ON!


Best Fishes
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2006, 10:44 AM
Lucky420 Lucky420 is offline
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Casino,
Can I apply these tips to Hybrids? I usually don't have any luck untill mid June. I have been wondering where the rockets hide in the springtime.
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:49 AM
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Absolutely, Just make sure to downsize. Look for them in the feeder creeks and on the surface in the main lake when water temps start getting in the 50's. Remember that they are very active in the morning and early evening
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2006, 11:16 AM
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Thanks Casino!
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2006, 09:01 AM
Gwig Gwig is offline
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Default Finding fish

Hello all Went out two times in the last week. water temp was 46 to 48. Tried casting on points and inlets but no action. Then ran down lines with shiners 10 to 20 ft. no action. I am fishing a small 300 acre lake . Have caught several striper in the 30 to 40 in. range last year and loads of hybrid 20 to 27 in. last year. Ran all over the lake and cannot even find the bait fish . Where could they be .?? The lake is electric only so it takes a while to cover. Is the water temp a little cold yet or am i doing something wrong. I know it is just a matter of time till they show themselves . I usually only catch them in the morning till the sun gets up and then they stop bitting. Then in the evening at dusk . I want to be able to fish longer in the morning . Should i start using umbrella rigs, planer boards, live bait or what. Lake is only at most 35 ft. deep,no curent ,and only one feeder stream.Where the feeder stream comes in the water is only about 2 to 3 ft. deep and very muddy most times. Most fish are caught near the dam in the deeper water. Main forrage is gizzard shad. Have caught most fish on 1/4 to 3/8 oz jig with 5" super fluke(white). Any ideas would be helpful. Thanx in advance Mike
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:34 PM
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LittleMiamiJeff LittleMiamiJeff is offline
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Hey Little Casino!
I read your post, thanks for the great info, one of my goals this year is to get a fix on East Fork Lake in Clermont Co. OH, just east of Cincinnati, OH.
You're close, maybe you can shed some light on what happened this evening on the Little Miami River, which the East Fork of the Little Miami dumps into, the LMR then dumps into Ohio River just upstream from Downtown Cincy.
I was fishing a smithwick minnow, caught a smallie (was hoping hybrids were coming up river, but smallie cancelled "skunk" :))
I then snagged a huge shad, close to 8". I've never seen a shad that big.
Had black dot behing eyes/gills, so I'm assuming it was large shad.
My question would be, with such large shad, does it make sense there are hybrids big enough to eat this sucker? I haven't actually seen any smaller shad running up river yet, but they must be deeper.
Any help is appreciated!
Nu2Stripers aka LittleMiamiJeff on www.ohiogamefishing.com
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:56 AM
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Gwig,

You could of just been experiencing 'one of those days'. It could of been a series of factors, barometric pressure, muddy water, cooler water temp ect. Some things to consider trying when your faced with a post front or cold muddy water is still fishing with cutbait, chicken livers and even sqiud.
When your working artificials work them slooow, and have you ever used chartreuse on this lake?
We had some slow days fishing for hybrids last week and with conditions just like the one's you were faced with, and as you already know, we just need for the water to warm up a bit to get them turned on!



Nu2stripers,

Quote:
I then snagged a huge shad, close to 8". I've never seen a shad that big.
Had black dot behing eyes/gills
It sounds like a hog threadfin shad seeing how you mentioned the black dot on the gill covers. Threadfins usually average around 6" and are more streamlined than gizzard shad. Gizzard shads are more plump in appearance and I have seen some gizzard shads 15" long.
As far as hybrids feeding on 8" shad, I'm sure there are some hybrids in the river that won't have a problem munching on them. I personally favor using shad in the 4-6" when targeting hybrids. Shad will start spawing when the water temps start reaching 60 degree's, and thats when you will really start seeing them up the creeks!

BTW..You ever fish Brookville reservoir over here in Indiana?

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Old 04-08-2006, 02:21 PM
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LittleMiamiJeff LittleMiamiJeff is offline
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Default fished Brookville?

LIttle Casino,
I've been to Brookville a few times in the past, mostly water ski and jet ski. (don't mean to be cursing here on the site! )
I'm in the weighing out the cost mode for buying KY and IN non-res licenses, I could see the benefit, but not sure how much "want to fish" and reality will allow.
Focus for wipers is East Fork Lake, and the Little Miami River, both of which have 15# + wipers in them, any day now! :)
Water from EF below spillway is 50-52 degrees, on headwaters I was recording 54-56 from transducer on yak.
This latest storm brought warmer rain with it, I think. I'm going paddling and trolling later this afternoon/evening, I'll let you know what comes of it.
God Bless,
LMJeff
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:56 AM
Gwig Gwig is offline
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Default cold water

Went out on mon. morning . The lake temp was up to 50 . lots more activety down deep. no fish but a good sign,i think? down lining 4" shiners with 3/4 oz slip sinker at the depth we saw fish but no takers. Any day i think they will turn on..I Hope
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:27 PM
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Default trolling from kayak

I wonder if I'm trolling too fast, using deep diving Norman, 16 feet or so, I'm marking fish in 15-25 foot depth, in 50ft of water or so.
I've also trolled storm shad, long rapala minnow, strike king 1/2 and 3/8 oz willow blade what-ever bait. Frustrating, seeing what I believe to be wipers on lowrance, no bites. Could be carp or cats I guess.
Any suggestions?
Jeff
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:56 PM
Mean Morone Mean Morone is offline
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Hey Jeff, sounds like you caught you a big Gizzard shad. I don't think there are that many threadfins around here. I know there are some in the Ohio River, but I haven't seen very many. Hey, you should take that yak of yours out on Tunnel Mill on East Fork. You should be able to get a few hybrids and possibly a big one.
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Morone
Hey Jeff, sounds like you caught you a big Gizzard shad. I don't think there are that many threadfins around here. I know there are some in the Ohio River, but I haven't seen very many. Hey, you should take that yak of yours out on Tunnel Mill on East Fork. You should be able to get a few hybrids and possibly a big one.
Hey Scott! :) Good to see you on Stripers 24/7, Welcome!
Where is the Tunnel Mill? I'd love to hook up with some of the Wipers out there.
Let me know if you can get out there some Sat. AM, I'd appreciate your expertise!
God Bless,
Jeff
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:39 PM
Mean Morone Mean Morone is offline
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Default Tunnel Mill

Hey Jeff, I hear that the hybrids are running right now. They are the smaller males I think because I haven't heard of any over 15 inches yet. Within the next couple of weeks, the big females should be making a run. Send me a Pm here or on OGF. I will try to give details.
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:05 PM
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Nu2stripers, how fast are you trolling? You need to be going between 3-5.5mph. I like to be closer to 3 at this time of year. Also how far back are your lines? Center line needs to be out at least 150 feet I like 200 better. Are you using planer boards? They are a must, as most fish will come off boards, the center line gets alot less hits. I like to run 150-200 ft back of boards with boards 35-50 feet out. Also I would switch baits to a 1oz white or chaurtreuse bucktail with a trailer of matching color. JMHO
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:15 PM
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Thanks Striper Sniper, for the info. I am not letting that much line out, I'm paddling a kayak while I'm trolling, not sure if I can support planer boards, have never used them.
I'm going to try getting the line out farther/deeper. I can't tell you how fast I'm moving, don't have gps at this point.
Saw your pics from your day with Little Casino, man o' man!
Jeff
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