I’m Home and its Striper O’Clock … thinking of the Solar Eclipse

Three weeks had passed since my last fishing expedition on the lake, accompanied by Dan Blanton. It was evident that the conditions had shifted since then. Despite ten days of rain and runoff in the preceding weeks, the water level remained at approximately 70 percent. Today, the water temperature stood at 57 degrees. Typically, by March, we’d expect to see stripers gathering for spawning at San Luis, but this year seemed different; the spawning seemed to be delayed. Moreover, the usual abundance of bait in the shallows was notably absent. Upon dissecting some of the fish I caught today, I discovered no traces of minnows, only a solitary crawdad, indicating their hunger and reliance on incidental food. Despite their slightly leaner appearance for this time of year, the fish put up a good fight. With the water gradually warming, I anticipate the fishing will pick up once the minnows make their appearance.

My morning commenced at the Bay of Pigs, where I encountered vast schools of fish meandering about. Initially, I mistook them for shad, but upon closer inspection, they were likely stripers. Hours spent pursuing them with various flies yielded no success. Eventually, I shifted my focus to the rocks along the dam, a reliable spot for catching fish in the past. Working the fly along the bottom and close to the shoreline from Daves Rock to Guardrail, I managed to tease up six fish. A brief attempt at using livescope near the racks revealed no fish in the top 40 feet around the structure. After being asked to vacate the dam by a Department of Water Resources truck, I relocated to Las Peadros, where I caught a couple more fish, concluding the day with a total of eight. Despite the relatively slow pace, the weather improved considerably in the afternoon.

Upon returning to the Dino Launch and trailering the boat, I encountered an issue with the steering linkage to the outboard which had frozen. Resolving this will be necessary before my next outing unless I fancy navigating the boat in circles. Boat maintenance seems to be an ongoing endeavor, as evidenced by my recent oil change last weekend. They’re certainly money pits, always presenting some sort of challenge.

During my journey back from Henderson Springs, I swung by my cousin’s house to retrieve a couple of rods he was holding for me. Testing them out today, I’ve found them to be new favorites. All my catches today were made using Hardy Marksman Z one-piece rods—an 8 and 9 weight—both equipped with Rio OBS lines. These rods stand out as the most powerful and lightweight in my collection, which includes esteemed brands like Helios II, Loomis NRX, Echo Prime, and Zane Pro one-piece rods.

As excitement builds for the upcoming total solar eclipse across North America, memories of the 2017 event come flooding back. Planning for that experience took a year, and fishing under totality was truly unforgettable. While I had hoped to film this year’s eclipse from El Salto near Mazatlan, it appears the totality will narrowly miss the lake by 10 percent. After witnessing this total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the next opportunity to see one from the contiguous United States won’t arise until August 23, 2044—by which time, I’ll be 88 years old.




2 thoughts on “I’m Home and its Striper O’Clock … thinking of the Solar Eclipse

  1. I’m going out Tues. 4-9-24…probably the big lake tho I’ve heard that some action might be at FB too…decisions !!!!!!

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