By Marty Peterson
Ray and Martin Schelble, Don and Cary Hill, Richard Snow and I all went to Hite on Jan. 9th. Although there is snow on the ground in the shade, winds were calm and the weather was real tolerable. Water temp around 50. At the Hite store we were told that few have been fishing there, and all they could report was of one group that reported catching around 150 stripers one day in Farley Canyon. We went up to the Dirty Devil confluence area, started trolling rapalas on mono. 5 minutes later we caught a striper. Last year we learned that often times trolling up one meant a whole school in the area. So we cast our lines back into the area behind the boat. 6 casts brought in 6 stripers. We found that once a school is located, casting into the area is about the same as finding a surface boil and casting into it. Soon we found lure choice to be unimportant, and also caught fish out of schools on anchovies, kastmasters, and jigs. 80 to 100 fish later we went to work with our fillet knives. Although some were skinny, many had good meat.
The next morning two boats went back and had more of the same. Ray and I decided to go to Trachyte where Ray picked up a very nice largemouth and then a nice smallmouth on anchovies. But we wanted fat striper and kept looking. Fished hard but found no striper (at least that would bite) in the canyon. So we went hunting for crappie. Later fishing open water casting a rapala toward a school we landed a crappie 13 3/4 inches. It will be submitted as a new catch and release state record. Also several other large crappie came out of that school.
Monday we found walleye. Mixed in with a few stripers we picked up walleye trolling with rapalas, casting jigs, and jigging spoons. All were caught against the east walls both north and south of Hite. We kept some and all had good fillets and seemed hungry but still healthy.
Tuesday morning we spent casting jigs to the shores catching smallmouth and walleye. But that afternoon even though we had plenty of striper fillets (all we could fit in our coolers) we couldn’t resist going back to the confluence area to do some more catch and release striper fishing. It was still just like fishing boils. When one fish would be reeled up to the boat we could throw jigs at the several fish often following the first one in, sometimes creating havoc with our lines as the fish hit and then fought around the boats. We even had two fish on one rapala, one on the front hook and one on the back hook. Unfortunately this wrecks the lure, apparently they are not built to have two 4 lb. fish playing tug of war over the same lure.
Even though it is January, the fishing and weather were great. All the lake we fished, we had to ourselves. The fish we ran into were plentiful, very active and all fought well.