Again ... fishing action heats up, rain cools things down. For this week I’d start fishing the checks on the Tri-County Canal. There seems to be a better bite there at the moment. The inlets at Lake Maloney and Sutherland Reservoir should see a bit more action as the water warms up a bit through the weekend. Temperatures forecast into next week will probably turn the bite back on.
Go west to Lake McConaughy and trolling fans are getting in line along the dam at dusk and dawn to catch a few walleye. I think most of the walleye are moving away from the dam and into the flooded timber in the northern bays.
Here’s a good walleye technique a pro-angler friend of mine uses and still fishes this way in many of his tournaments. The general practice is to slow drift or troll for walleye, but he anchors and puts his bait right on the bottom, or just a few inches off the bottom. He does not move the bait; he simply lets it stay there. A lively minnow will do the work for him. It is not vertical jigging. You simply put the bait in one place and keep it there.
Putting stationary bait on the bottom, usually a jig head tipped with a minnow catches lots of walleye for him. Sometimes he’ll rig the jighead up 8 to 12 inches from the bottom, like a drop-shot rig. He will find walleye on his sonar and mark the depth. He will then position the bait just above where he has marked the walleye. It usually doesn’t take long for walleye to see this bait presentation. If you think about the anatomy of a walleye and where its eyes are on its body, this is where a walleye is most likely to see the bait. Give this a try.
Red Willow Reservoir has seen some crappie action this week. Most of the crappies are being taken in the arms of the lake in 10 to 15 feet of water. Minnows and slip bobbers are a good technique right now. Small doll flies with a slow drop rate are catching a lot of fish too. There has also been some good smallmouth bass action along the drop-offs on the southern shoreline.
I talked with John Bauer up at Merritt Reservoir and he says the fishing is picking up. Water temperatures are cool, but rising and that generally triggers a better bite. Look for largemouth bass in 12 to 15 feet of water earlier in the day and 3-5 feet of water in the afternoons along northern shorelines. He tells me that there is also some musky and northern pike action.
If you like to go after walleye, Merritt is known as a place to use leeches for bait. A slip-bobber set up in six to ten feet of water near a weed line up in the Snake River arm is a great place to start. The Powder Horn arm of the lake is where you may find most of the northern pike and musky action. Big spinnerbaits along the face of the dam have also produced some big catches. Call Bauer at 402-376-3437 to get the latest scoop on the fishing at Merritt Reservoir.
According to the solunar tables for fishing this weekend, peak times will be between 1pm and 4pm. Minor fishing periods will be 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and again around 10 p.m. to midnight.
Have a safe and great weekend in the outdoors.