Last week, a patient told me that the stripers were busting at Del Valle in the morning. For the last couple weeks, he had been catching limits of stripers on plastics from 4 am in the morning to 9:00 am and then going to work. Now that’s hard core. I don’t think my patients would appreciate that fish scent. Vaughn Wilett who I consider and expert on the lake, went there two days ago at the crack of dawn and caught over a dozen as large as 4 lbs on clousers and fat heads. They tried gurlers with no success. The Stripers, despite the non optimal water level, were busting the surface at “The Narrows” and as “Swallow Bay” early in the morning. Vaughn mentioned that once the topwater was over, the stripers played hide and seek and the main event was over at 8:30.
Based on that report, I decided to try the Oneill Forebay early in the morning hoping that there would also be busting stripers at daybreak even though the lake has started filling about two feet a day. I left the house at 5:15 and was on the lake fishing at day break. I was late and should have left at 4:30 and remember Len Bearden telling me once that if you get to the lake and you can see–you’re late. I arrived at the Medrious flats at 6:3oAM and there were 12 boats ahead of me with three of them fishing the wall and the flats. Fish were busting the surface all over the shallow flats. Your could see their silver roostertails glistening in the orange sun. Some pods were obviously big fish and others seemed smaller. It immediately got into fish, as soon as I chased the surface schools–blind casting no good. There were 3-5 pods of fish working the surface in an area the size of a football field towards the Launch. I ended up catching 15 fish – 4 over 18 inches — on small clousers. I tried a gurgler for a few casts over some working fish and the fish would swirl it but would not commit. They did however slam small closers that were thrown in the vicinity. It was all over by 9:00am and I went fishless in the the channel, along the wall, and around the islands from nine to noon. I came home just in time for for the spectacular 49r Season Opener against Green Bay. Its going to be a great year cheering for the Ducks and the Niners on the lake on Saturdays and Sundays with both teams poised for national championships.