IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT TROUT

by Jon Novoselac

I never made it to the Golden Trout Wilderness, ’cause Amanda and I had a few other fun things to do on our trip, including our long-planned and eagerly awaited visit to Vegas. I did spend a bit more time fishing, though. Two more trips, in fact.

David, my brother-in-law-to-be, organised a striped bass expedition for us on Lake Mead in Nevada. Two thumbs-up to him. A good trip it was.

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in America, when referring to maximum water capacity. Located on the Colorado River, it’s an hour or so from Vegas. Surrounded by desert and mountains, it’s another spectacular part of the American west.

Our guide for the day was Mike Swartz, a resident of Boulder City. Previously a tournament bass fisherman, he’s been a full-time guide for more than ten years now.

A while back, Mike was quoted in Outdoor Life. “Lake Mead is a fantastic fishery for stripers, especially for schooling stripers ranging from three to five pounds, with the occasional seven pounder thrown in.”

At about 6:00am on our way to our first fishing spot, he told us that the bass would be feeding at two levels – low in the water column and on the surface.

He went on to explain the two best ways to fish for them. “Jigging and on the surface with poppers. Drop the jig straight down from your baitcaster, jig it a few times after you hit the bottom and retrieve as fast as you can.”

He continued with more instructions.

“You’ll also catch ’em on the surface. The stripers circle bait fish and drive them up. Then, they swim through the school to stun ’em. When the bait fish regain their consciousness on the surface, a popper does a good job of imitating a tasty meal.”

He was spot-on. Here’s David with one he landed.

We each caught half a dozen just like this. On the way home, we toyed around with the idea of moving to Vegas. Not such a bad idea, really…

After our striped bass extravaganza, Amanda and I enjoyed a peaceful trip to an out-of-the-way lagoon in California.

Lots of deep water, with good shoreline vegetation to harbour lots of fish. I was told that it’s a good trout fishery in the cooler months, but our mission on this trip was to land a bass and a bluegill or two.

I haven’t caught one of these for a while and boy, it was good to reel him in.

So it’s not all about trout. But golly gee, I shur do lurve fishin’ fer trout.

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