Lake level is 1068.76 feet (2.24 feet below full pool) with water temps from 86-88 degrees. The main lake is clear, but the backs of the creeks are slightly stained. The stripers are south and will stay there for next few months. Shoal, Bald Ridge, Young Deer, and Big are holding the biggest concentrations of fish so far this summer and the go to technique right now is a down line with a frisky herring. Your down line set up should be an Okuma Striper rod with an Okuma Coldwater line counter with 15-20# monofilament as your main line. Next tie on a 1.75oz Striper Tackle Pro Pencil sinker, 8-10 feet of Seaguar Tatsu 12# flourocarbon leader, and a #1 Gamakatsu circle or #1/0 octopus hook and put your herring down 30-60 feet. Look for the fish to start moving out deeper into the creek channels in 70-90 feet of water and out of the pockets they have been. This year the pitch rod bite has been awesome as well. Pair your Okuma Helios 4000 spinning reel with an Okuma Reflections 7’2” Medium spinning rod and load it up with 15# braid. Tie in about 3 feet of 12# Tatsu fluorocarbon leader and attach a #5 split shot about 2 feet above a #2 Gamakatsu circle hook. Hook your herring inside the mouth and out between the nostrils and pitch him out the back of the boat about 50-60 feet. The stripers are getting into bigger and bigger schools, so locating them with your Humminbird Helix or Solix is getting easier to target these schools. Lively bait is the key to catching fish in August. Keeping herring alive during the summer can be difficult, but if you will chill your bait tank water throughout the day with no chlorine ice (available at Oakwood Bait and Tackler or Hammond’s) or ice bottles (milk jugs or 2 liter bottles) and use a 02 system to introduce pure oxygen into the water. Make sure to always keep lively baits down in front of the fish and plan accordingly when purchasing your bait. This time of year we are starting with at least 7 dozen baits for a 4 hour trip as we are changing out baits for fresh ones approximately every 5 minutes. The lead core trolling bite is really starting to pick up and the Striper Tackle/ Captain Mack’s Fat Hawg spoon in nickel/silver or pearl/blue and the 1.5 or 2oz Striper Tackle/ Captain Mack’s Super Spin Shad in white with glow tail body or crystal with pearl/black body 6-8 colors out will be what to start with. The Super Spin Shad is large shad head with an under spin blade and a custom 5 inch shad body fitted to it that was designed for lead core and down rigger trolling.
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