Topwater action with Rick on SLR

After chasing the elusive “windless morning” on San Luis reservoir for the last three weeks, the perfect morning greeted us as we made the boat launch at 6:30 am Monday morning at Basalt. As we pulled up, two guys from Santa Barbara were already leaving for the day. They told us that large fish were breaking all over the minnow filled bay since 4am that morning and that they didn’t have the right equipment. We looked around and saw the minnows but no big fish were breaking at all. It felt like we were late for the dance again. We quickly boated over to Lone Oak Bay and trolled flies along the high banks for awhile picking up half a dozen fish in 25 feet of water. As we approached the bay,  I could see small minnows scattering along the banks where the steep riprap met the shallow banks.

After a quick warm up session with Rick at the boat launch on how to fish a “walking” Zara Spook. We started casting the shoreline in the bay. On the first cast, I was suprised when a huge swirl behind my Spook left me unbuttoned on the first swing. I knew the next few casts would produce and I turned on the camera. After Rick farmed his first set, he concentrated on keeping less slack in his line while retrieving. His second grab awarded him a 7 lbr — his first topwater striper ever. He played it in perfectly on 8 lb test mono. Spectacular.

With three live keepers in the tank at 9AM we decided to explore. When the sun hit the water, topwater action slowed down and turned off. We trolled the blue water of the bay and ended up with about 15 fish from 17-20 inches. I noticed that the water near the launch (all the way to the dam) was very green with algae but the fish finders suggested that the layer was only in the top 5 feet of the column. We trolled the green gunk back to the launch around noon and had a double hook up of large fish on the way in. Seems the green water still held fish at about 20 feet. We fished only flies and Spooks all day and had a great day. I think we need to be on the water at 4:30 which means getting up at 3:00 AM! I wish my dad was alive because he really loved this kind of fishing and the beautiful morning made me think of him.

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