Cooling Water, Expect Stripers to Strike Softely
Report Date: December 20, 2010
Striper Report as of 12-17-10
Water Temperature: 50 to 55 Degrees
Lake Level: 5 feet below full pool
The water is cooling rapidly. Fish are in the major creeks with some schooling during low light and calm conditions. If the sun is high during did-day try a jigging spoon in 30 to 50 feet clean bottom on your graph. If they swirl on the surface, throw a bucktail jig and fluke or just a fluke on a jig head. Make it dance and fall. Use small jigs and light line. Work the lure or jig slow and pause regularly. The strike will be soft, even from a big fish. Herring will also work good on free line or down line until the water temperature drops below 47 to 48 degrees. This usually occurs by the first or second week of January. They will not eat live bait well again until about the first week of April.
If the water temperature stabilizes or warms some above 47 degrees as winter progresses larger stripers may become active. As this happens, bait moves all the way to the back of creeks and the larger fish feed on tiny thread fin shad. Small lures such as a "sassy shad" on a 1/8 ounce jig head work. My favorite is a Mr. Twister paddle tail in 3 inch pearl. Fly fishing with small flies works well. Crappie minnows under small floats also work.
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