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If the current high pressure dome over the state edges away and allows gulf moisture into the state starting Friday as predicted, expect fishing conditions to improve significantly, but not necessarily at night due to a full moon Aug. 5.
It’s not that the fish won’t be feeding at night — they may feed with a vengeance. But those using submersible lights to attract fish might be sorely disappointed, especially when Luna is high and bright.
However, predator fish do like to hunt when the on moon-bright nights, as do many terrestrial predators. There are three keys — vibration, scent, and silhouette. Or if fishing for stripers, add chumming to the mix.
Don’t forget the Perseids meteor showers should be getting better each night as we approach Aug. 12, which is expected to be their climax; check out the notification below.
News Flash: POSSIBLE PERSEID METEOR OUTBURST: This year’s Perseid meteor shower could be even better than usual. According to NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, a filament of comet dust has drifted across Earth’s path and when Earth passes through it, sometime between 0800 and 0900 UT (1 – 2 am PDT) on Aug. 12, the Perseid meteor rate could surge to twice its normal value. Checkhttp://spaceweather.comfor details and observing tips.
You can certainly go out and buy a whole bunch of specific lures for night fishing. Think of it as stimulating the economy. Or, you can save your money (to pay for boat gas and go more often), and modify your existing lures.Think BLACK. Black lures show up in the water better, especially on moon bright nights (get a can of flat black spray paint, or glossy if you are flamboyant).
If you are using something like a spinner, maybe increase the size of the blade, or go with a blade design that puts more vibration in the water. I once took a buzzbait and added a trailing micro Mepps spinner as a trailer. It worked like a bass calling device at times and even attracted some slabber crappies
Bring lots of scent. There used to be a cadre of old timers from Sun City at Lake Pleasant who would routinely spray their lures with WD 40 while fishing for white bass. Time and time again, they proved to me that it did make a difference. Scent works.
Largemouth bass especially attack by sight, but are attracted by vibration and scent.
Also, have a backup plan, or really, a backup rod or two, or three. Well, maybe four or five. Six or more is just an extravant confusion at night that can get you tangled in cussing despair.
A lot of times the vibrating lure, the topwater splasher or whatever will attract the bass, and they might even slap at the lure. But they won’t always get hooked. Have a flutter-down bait ready to throw. It can be a spoon, spinner, soft plastic (like a Senko), or even a curly-tail jig. Simply toss it in where the strike had occurred, and let the bait flutter to the bottom.
Even if you don’t get the bass that hit your lure, you might get one of his buddies, or even that big old lazy hawg opportunistically hanging around the bottom gulping up sinking body parts or wounded prey species from the more frenzied action of others. Kind of like the wily older veteran congressmen who sit back let the rookies stir the political pot.
Plan two – searching the bottom for less active bass.
Personally, I like Texas-rigged lizards or even Carolina-rigged worms for working the bottom when bass are holding deep, even at night. Rattling spider jigs are my idea of sheer fishing fun. But I freely admit that the good drop-shot guys often out-fish me, sometimes to the point of embarrassment (which is when I switch methods). There are those other times when they catch lots of smaller fish, and I am shopping at lunker city. You never know. Be versatile my friends.
Okay, enough on the bass front. As the thermometer throbs, I hear the cool pines calling like irresistible mountain sirens luring me to fishing delight. When the high pressure dips, especially when T-bumpers start piling up along the orographic uplift caused by the Mogollon Rim or other terrain features, the trout usually come out of their summer lethargy and start feeding aggressively. So will the bass at places like Willow Springs Lake. The sweet part about Willow Springs, Fool Hollow and Show Low lakes is that you can have your bass and eat trout too.
So dip into some monsoon mountain magic to wash the heat out of the pores of your mind and the depths of your soul. It will give you that wonderful cat-ate-the-canary smile your co-workers won’t quite understand in the weeks to come, well, unless you are like me and can’t resist sharing fishing tales.
Or plan three is to be visit Lees Ferry for some world-class summer fishing most anglers ignore, but alas, it appears the cicada song is in essence sung at the Ferry right now — you (and I) may have to wait until next year for that — again (drats).
Cicadas or not, there is a certain wind and rain sculptured, colored sandstone mystique about Lees Ferry that is not matched by any place I have ever fished, well, except maybe Lake Powell. But the often deep canyon shadows contrasting with the brightly illuminated and time etched red sandstone cliffs of the Marble Canyon Gorge will help you experience the geologic ages, right before experiencing the thrill of a muscled wild rainbow dancing on the end of your line in the fast current.
But I don’t care who you are, that’s a world-class angling experience that can make your soul greedy for more in the ensuring decades.
Or go get exquisitely lonely at Mead or Powell. Millions of people in ant-like progression might visit those lakes, but are funneled to very specific locales. There are hundreds of miles of picturesuqe empty shoreline just begging for fishing exploration. You might not ever see another angler yet fill your creel with exciting action.
Also imagine if you will catching so many hard-fighting fish in the morning that you wonder if your arms and shoulders will be too sore to fish the afternoon bite, but you do it anyway with a grimace and a smile then have to take over-the-counter pain and inflamation medications to do it all over again the next day.
So go out and catch some smile-producing memories this summer. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
Here’s an angler report for an area we don’t have in the fishing report, even though it is just downstream a fair ways from Buffalo Crossing on the Black River, so I put it here for your enjoyment.
I just got back from fishing the Black River this weekend. A couple
friends and I backpacked in to the confluence of Fish Creek and the
Black River, just northwest of Hannagan Meadow. It was our first
In basically 1 day, I caught 10 browns, 4 rainbows, a smallmouth
bass, and probably 8 of the fish in the attached picture. The
largest fish was about a 10 inch brown. Most fish were 5-8 inches
big. I thought this area was supposed to be clear of the browns and have Apache trout.
Is the fish in the picture a Roundtail Chub? If not, what is it. I
never seen one before. The croaked at you when taking the hook out,
similar to a channel catfish.
PS. Dean sent a follow up e-mail saying he saw lots of wildlife. “I saw about 10 deer, 2 turkeys, a rattlesnake, 5 garter snakes, 2 skunks, 2 adult osprey and one juvenile that I got close to and took this attached picture. I even saw a Coati on the drive home, which was the first of those I ever saw.”