Striper Fishing on 12-15-2013

I walked out on the deck facing the lake and saw the wind was picking up and blowing out of the northwest. The forecast was calling for gusts up to 25 mph with a good steady north wind. I saw my neighbor on his dock and I couldn’t resist inviting him for a quick run up the creek and a little striper fishing with the left over trout from 2 days earlier. He agreed and we layered up for a cold ride up the creek. As we rode out of the cove I noticed the water temps had dropped more than a degree from my last trip out in the creek 2 days earlier and was sitting right at 52 degrees. We idled up the creek channel and saw pod after pod of threadfin shad on the graph, and sometimes we would see long clouds of bait hugging the bottom that would continue on and on across the graph. I had scoured the back of the creek earlier for signs of stripers but I saw none. We had gotten several inches of rain over the past month and the back of the creek was still a bit muddy from the run off. We saw some birds working an area out in the wind and we watched for any surface activity beneath the birds. The birds didn’t seem to be diving on the water but it was apparent that they were concentrating on an area close to a wind blown point. We settled on pulling medium sized trout behind planer boards and a few downlines with our smaller trout. I had a few rather large medium sized trout and we put one out on a balloon straight out the back 100 feet. Our plan was to pull 2 points in the general area where the birds were circling. They seemed to be circling one point and then slowing circling another, occasionally diving at the water. The first point was a wash so we decided to run the baits across the second point and around to the leeward side where the wind was very calm and the water was glassed over. Just as we pulled the planer boards into the wind break I looked at the graph and saw that we were directly over some nice sized fish, judging from the fat arches just off the bottom of the 20ft flat on the calm side of the point. We had an audience as a younger fella was loading up his bass boat that was tied to the dock, preparing to launch. I watched the graph as the number of arches grew and I knew we had just jumped a school of stripers sitting on the leeward side of the point ambushing bait as it made its way into the calmer area behind the point. Some of the fish were moving on the graph and some were just stacked in wait. The downlined trout were going nuts just above the bottom and I told my neighbor it was just a matter of time now before something good happens. Sure enough, the right side planer board hit the speed brake and started skimming the water backwards at a high rate of speed. Gene was on the rod in a nanosecond and he set the hook on the running striper. When Gene set the hook I looked at the rod tip and the bow in the tip told me it was a good striper. I could tell the planer board was doing its job by keeping the striper near the surface and swimming parallel to the boat. The downlined trout had been picked up and dropped several times by the stripers beneath, but there were no hook ups as Gene fought his fish to the boat. Gene’s fish was a respectable teenage fish and it put up a great battle to the boat. After releasing Gene’s fish we continued on towards the back of a small cut and we marked sporadic fish as we went. We re-baited the downlines and replaced the trout on Gene’s planer board as we approached the end of the cut and the turn around point. I looked down at the graph and in 13ft of water and directly below the boat was 2 large arches and I knew from experience that we were just above two big stripers in the back of the cove. I looked at my downline and the rod tip loaded up like I had just picked up a brick just below the boat. I grabbed the rod as one of the two stripers hammered the trout on my downline. The striper was determined to get to deeper water and I was determined to get him to my side of the boat for a landing. After I won the battle the stripers left the area and we decided to head back to the house for lunch and to get warmed up. Here’s a short video of the trip to help with the visual effect from the trip.

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