Reporting from Connecticut Outfitters (www.ct-outfitters.com), Captain Blain Anderson told us that the spring run of striper has been on fire. He starts his day snagging big bunker then live lines bait back to big striped bass. “We’re catching good numbers of fish between 20 and 30 pounds with some in the 40-pound range,” Blain said. He adds that the northern part of the river is slowing down so the stripers are dropping back to the saltwater. “Guys are fishing in 20 to 100 feet of water with live eels at night and bunker during the day,” he said. The most common rig is an 8/0 Gami circle hook and 4 feet of 50-pound fluorocarbon leader. Tie the leader to a three-way swivel and add a 12-inch dropper and enough weight to hit bottom. “Find the structure and you’ll find the bass,” he said. Blain said that the fluke bite has also turned on. “We’re not seeing a lot of fish but we’re seeing big fish,” he said. Blue fish are showing up in the normal places such as the local reefs, Plum Gut, the Race and Sluiceway. “Guys are having fun throwing topwater plugs at the blues,” Blain said.
Keeping up with bass fishing in the Mid-Atlantic keeps Ken Penrod busy. He reports that water in the Upper Potomac River is a little high, but that is just the way Ken likes it. “You can work over top of the substantial grass,” he said. He’s catching nice-sized smallmouth bass with Mizmo tubes between the launch ramp and Burkharts Riffle along the ledges where the water ripples and foams. The Upper Potomac is our most productive river right now. He’s seen a big improvement in the water conditions on the Tidal Potomac. Despite bad weather and small craft warnings, he’s been able to work the rocky cover with tubes, Speed Traps and Case Magic Sticks. He found some quality striped bass at the end of Washington Channel. He even pulled some 3- to 5-pound largemouth from Penrod Cove with Luhr Jensen Brush Babies and Hot Lips crankbaits. Ken was able to hide from the wind in the Mattawoman area where he found good tide and fair fishing with Penrod Special spinner baits worked over the grass beds between Marsh Island and the river.
Picture working a big twitchbait around a pile of partially submerged timber and having a 10-pound brown trout hammer the lure. Fred McClintock at Trophy Guide Service (trophyguideservice.com) pictures that scenario almost every day. Fred has been fishing the Kentucky stretch of the Cumberland River with Smithwick Rouges and catching browns between 7 and 10 pounds. “Throw the lure under the timber and jerk it out,” he says. “It’s almost like fishing for largemouth bass.” Fred adds that striped bass fishing has been good on the Tennessee side of the river. On Tuesday, his party landed 9 big striped bass by slow trolling skipjack herring off planer boards. “Seven of the nine fish were over 40 pounds,” he said. Fred admitted that dirty water has slowed the action, but he’s finding fish around deadfalls in two- to five-feet of water.
“We’ve had lots and lots of rain,” reports Jeff Rowland from south-central Iowa. Jeff said that the high water has pushed the fish into Roberts Creek. “Crappies are magnetized to that little creek,” he said. Jeff is catching fish on red and white, red and chartreuse and white and purple tube jigs. “When they’re hitting you could catch them on a piece of yarn,” he joked. Jeff said that the fish are looking for clear water making it easy for fishermen to find them. He’s been catching crappies from 12 to 13 inches with big ones pushing 15 inches. “The slabs look like pork chops,” he said. Read more about fishing in Iowa in Jeff’s book, The Real Life Adventures of a Marion County Angler available on his web site: (www.iowafishingguide.com).
From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Wes Jancik at Anglers Covey reports excellent trout fishing at Eleven Mile Canyon and Spinning Mountain Ranch. “The water’s high,” he said, “so all the other places are blown out.” He’s fishing blue olives, caddis flies, copper johns and pheasant tail nymphs. To fish Spinning Mountain, Wes recommends anglers lay their fly against the banks and the shallows. At Eleven Mile he suggests throwing a fly into the eddies and behind rocks. “Eleven Mile Canyon has a lot of deep holes,” he says, “you’ll want to nymph those.” On a good day in the middle of a hatch, Wes says that the guides will catch up to 10 rainbows or brown trout ranging from 12 to 18 inches. He said that the fish in Spinning Mountain are spooky. “Watch your approach when you walk up,” he said. Anglers need not worry about spooking the fish in Eleven Mile Canyon. “Those fish are stupider,” Wes said.