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With the heat of July upon us, heading to the cool pines seems the thing to do. But the best fishing will be at first and last light, or when the pillowy darks clouds are pilling up and the barometer is dropping.
But for those willing to brave the heat, consider a jaunt to Willow Beach — besides the huge stripers and stocked rainbows, the desert bighorn sheep are in the rut. So you might see or hear the big rams butting heads.
There is some shore fishing at Willow Beach, and you could luck out and see sheep there (they like to eat the grass at first light), you do need a boat. Binoculars are a must, unless you have hawk-like eyes. Even then. . .
Another option right now is Lake Mead for nighttime stripers. A few of the veteran Mead anglers say the nighttime action is intense, but it seems like few anglers are taking advantage of the opportunities. Give it a try.
Summer nights are also made for catfishing. You don’t need a boat, just a comfortable piece of shoreline. Use a stout fishing pole, heavy line (at least 10 pound test), a slip sinker and a treble hook. Baits are easy — hot dogs, liver, corn and even frozen anchovies will work.
Get a pair of forked sticks (they also sell specialty catfish pole holders) and place you pole horizontally between the two poles after you cast out. Be sure to take any slack out of the line. People put lots of different strike indicators on their lines, but my favorite is a simple one — a fishing bobber placed on the line between two of the eyelets. Just make sure the little hook that clamps the line is offset so the line flows freely through it.
For the hook set, but patient. Reel up and take the slack out of the line, but let the fish run with the bait just a little before setting the hook. Then pretend you are trying to stop a speeding train (that’s why the heaviest line you can manage to still cast).
Our biologists say catfish are under-utilized resources. What that really means to you is that they are plentiful– in all the lakes. You can catch them anywhere.
So good luck. Go catch some memories. Hopefully when you are reading this I will be fishing in some high mountain lake or stream in Colorado, but we will likely end our vacation in my old stomping grounds — the White Mountains. It’s always like coming home.