This morning I fished fished solo on Stillhouse as it’s been a while since I put my finger on the pulse of things here.
The fish were sluggish early on this morning, and an “eased” 3/8 oz. slab did best (two rightmost lures are 3/8 oz). By late morning as the fish became more active color and size seemed much less important as fish hit 3/4 oz and 3/8 oz. slabs equally well.
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I’m a proponent of “staying in touch” with fish and bait movement by getting on the water very regularly, even if only for short periods of time. I use the term “getting on the water” instead of “fishing” because many times I’ll simply run sonar to check areas out without ever wetting a line.
Today was one of those days when such efforts paid off. Here’s how…
Since Stillhouse has now dropped 17-18 feet below full pool, some areas I’d normally be fishing this time of year are literally out of the water. I’ve had to relook at the lake in its currently reduced configuration and find areas that exist now (depth-wise and topography-wise) that are similar in construct to the areas I have been accustomed to fishing in years with normal water levels. This has involved a lot of detailed map reading and then on-the-water verification once potential areas are identified.
What happened today was very unique. As I went to check out an area, I found bird activity over top of it, which is a strong indicator of fish action beneath, especially when no loons or cormorants are present. As I searched with sonar I found fish where I’d hoped they’d be, but, I also found nearby, connected areas pointed out by the bird action which, upon inspection with sonar, proved to be bottom features not shown on the electronic topo maps, and which were attractive to fish.
Rarely do I find fish under birds and not place a waypoint on my chartplotter only so I can return there later and check it out. Some of my most reliable fishing areas were first discovered by watching sonar while following winter bird action.
So, for 3.5 hours invested, I came away with 7 distinct new areas to revisit in this winter season, and in the future should low lake conditions persist or return. The action occurred as follows:
Area 1025, caught 5 fish and moved to the next visible bird action.
Area 1026, caught 5 fish and moved to the next visible bird action.
Area 1027, caught 5 fish and moved to the next visible bird action.
Area 1028, caught 5 fish and moved to the next visible bird action.
Area 1029, caught 5 fish and moved to the next visible bird action.
Area 1030, caught 12 fish and moved.
Area 74, caught 5 fish.
All fish were taken on TNT 180 slabs. I changed up today using a white 3/4 oz. slab, a 3/8 oz. chartreuse slab, and a 3/8 oz. silver slab.
TALLY = 42 FISH all caught and released
Start Time: 8:30a
End Time: 11:45a
Air Temp: 38F at trip’s start.
Water Surface Temp: 56.4F.
Wind: Winds were NNE4-5.
Skies: Skies were grey the entire trip.