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North and Mid Lake 11/5-6

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Finally got back down to the lake, it had been since July that we had been, far too long for anyone to not be at Powell. We arrived at Defiance house around ten, and both Ticaboo and the lodge were packed due to the tournament. Our names were not on the after hours list so we called and found out we had booked Paige instead of Bullfrog with the third night free discount. The lady tried to ring up someone to come help us but help never showed. We figured, okay, our fault, we will check back in in the morning. I spoke to another guy dropping off a group at the lodge who had rented a slip and ran into similar issues with simple reservation type things. Anyway, spent the night in the parking lot at the top of the ramp, finagled a sleeping situation between three adults, a yukon, a boat and two sleeping bags as we were prepped for a hotel. A little fox was our guest as we grilled up some hamburgers into the early morning.

8 oclock rolls around, three people were at the desk and were able to switch our reservation and get us situated. Instead of leaving our stuff we wanted to get out and fish so to the ramp we went. Launching seemed fine, there are buoys behind the ramp now marking the shallow spots they don't want you to back into. Most people seemed to be launching just fine, the whole area is shallow and a mess though so trim up and go slow until you get out past the water break. We talked with a couple of guys at the dock who had just come back from near the Escalante and said the smallmouth fishing "was on fire." With the tournament we didn't mind heading south, we first stopped in the Rincon, we fished a couple of spots pretty hard with not too many good results. A handful of Smallmouth and that's it. So we went further down, probably about halfway between the bottom of the Rincon and the mouth of the Escalante, fishing was much faster and better, but nothing too crazy size wise. On our way back up we stopped at another spot in the Rincon with no results, well one smallmouth, then we went in the back of Iceberg, we did graph up a few schools of shad and saw some Stripers so we spooned for a good half hour with one Striper coming into the boat. Further back up lake we went and went into Halls. There was bait all over the place back there and lots of feeding fish under different bait balls. We caught a few more smallies and just casting around in about 30 feet of water were catching some Stripers. On the way back out we spooned a good looking school, although they were there and right on the screen we could only coax up about 5, all in pretty good shape, nothing would quite get them going.
That first day we ended somewhere near 40-50 Smallies and about a dozen Stripers. Water temps were 61-65ish and the water and weather were clear and beautiful.

While I was cleaning fish everyone went up to check us in, and to our amazement our names were left off the after hours list once again. Luckily the restaurant was still open so someone was available and helped us finally check in.

Saturday we headed north despite the tourney, we stopped in a shaded area below the bathroom at Good Hope and started to have good action, a walleye, a few Largies and Smallies in a flurry for about an hour. Then as we fished up and got into the sun things slowed and in that spot after getting into the sun only Nixon could get a couple more Largemouth. From there we found some Striper schools in the main channel area below the bathroom but weren't able to get a single bite on spoons. So we tried some of the side canyons, in Popcorn there were some schools at least willing to bite, nothing crazy but in about 50-60 feet of water and 30' foot down some smaller stripers would bite, just good enough to make you keep trying, but just as soon as you hook 3/4 in a row, you'd go another 20 minutes of not a bite? Could never really get them to fully go crazy. From there we went farther north and started trying some of the smaller fingers on the northwest side of Castle Butte, here we got a couple more schools of Stripers to commit, at least for a bit, still never developed into anything crazy but a little bit faster than other times. These schools were at the mouth of coves probably only 100 yards deep and in probably 75' feet about halfway down.

Day 2 we ended about the opposite of the first day, around 40ish Stipers, all but two in good shape, and around 20ish bass. Not sure what the deal was, we even tried chumming quite a bit, just could never get them to really go into a frenzy, maybe still just transitioning? At the fish cleaning station that night I talked with two guys from New Mexico who had just stayed in Bullfrog bay the whole day and landed about 40 trolling about 25' down.

The fall trips always give me a great respect and appreciation for the really good anglers out there, guys like Ed who actually prefer Fall over Spring. Love the challenge of trying to figure it all out though. For spooning we mainly used slab spoons, and for the bass we used gulp on a jig head or a ned rig. The weather was amazing, the fishing was good, and it was peaceful and great being back down, even with the hotel booking fiasco. Sunday we deconned the boat and headed out. We will try and head back in mid-December.

Preston
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greyhackle

Well-Known Member
Great report. Sorry about the hotel thing. I booked a walkout boat access room over a month ago and when we got there they had changed us to the 2nd floor. At least we had a bed and they adjusted the bill. I’m to old to sleep in the truck anymore. I’d have been super grumpy if I’d had to sleep on the seat of my truck. Great pictures.
 

Mooner

Active Member
Do you have any pictures of the lures you were using for the stripers? Me and the family are headed down Wednesday for four days to hopefully get 7 more hours on the new boat for it's first service.
 

Dungee

Escalante-Class Member
Do you have any pictures of the lures you were using for the stripers? Me and the family are headed down Wednesday for four days to hopefully get 7 more hours on the new boat for it's first service.

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We like to use slab spoons that look similar to this. Preferably at least 1.5 ounces to get down fast. There are other threads dedicated to that topic too if you try looking them up.
 
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