Stripers and Plankton

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
I have mentioned in the past few reports that some schools of stripers are surviving during the low forage springtime period. Here is a bit more information. Plankton is the main forage for shad, and most small young fish. When shad have spawned and grown to about an inch most of the game fish switch over and eat shad instead of plankton. Then in the winter when shad numbers decline some fish eat plankton again.

Right now plankton is found in larger schools in canyons on the south side of the lake where a long fetch allows the wind to drive plankton that then stacks up in certain coves as the wind directs. As you fish around the lake, glance over the side of the boat occasionally and look for plankton. I know that is a really weird suggestion but right now it can help you find schools of stripers that are using plankton as forage.

Here is what plankton looks like to the naked eye in a cove where we have been doing very well catching healthy stripers for the last month.

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