Fishing Report 3/15/2022 - 4/15/2022

This prespawn fishing season has been one to remember! The fishing has be tremendous, but the weather conditions have been treacherous. Here's a fishing report on the lakes I charter on for this past month:

Lake Nockamixon

Lake Nockamixon is producing record sized largemouth and smallmouth bass so far this year. The average sized bass so far this year is currently 4 lbs! I landed a largemouth bass that weighed 6 lbs and several clients have caught largemouth and smallmouth bass pushing 5 lbs.

While the size of these bass are world class so far this year, the quantities we're catching are relatively smaller. The average fishing charter has been yielding less than 5 bass per 4 hour charter.

The water temperatures were stuck in the 40's until just a week or so ago when they finally jumped into the 50's. This low water temperature has been keeping fish in their deeper prespawn staging spots, we haven't seen many fish start to move up to their spawning grounds yet.

The water clarity has also varied dramatically over the past month. The water clarity was just stained until flooding storms pounded the lake in early April. The northern end and southern end of the lakes turned super murky (Almost appearing like chocolate milk) while the middle of the lake became very heavily stained.

The best fishing lures this past month have been gizzard shad imitations. This is because big female bass are feeding heavily on large protein rich meals that require minimal energy to capture (Such as large gizzard shad and baitfish) from their prespawn staging grounds. We have been finding fish in 20 feet to 7 feet deep and they would come up from the depths to ambush our lures that we've been throwing over them. Key areas include offshore structure, main lake points, rip rap, and laydowns in 7 feet to 30 feet deep of water. When the water was just stained, jerkbaits and swimbaits excelled. When the water was very murky, we need to use crankbaits that put off more vibration to hook more fish. Lure color simply depended on water clarity. We've been using natural shad colors in stained water and vibrant bright colors in murky water.

At the time of writing this report, the smaller aggressive male bass are slowly starting to make their way up towards their shallow spawning grounds. The majority of the females haven't moved up yet. With the cold temperatures and fluctuating weather conditions lately, I would expect waves of large bass to start pushing shallow in early May. Until then, you should be able to continue catching prespawn bass with the techniques described above.

Blue Marsh Lake

Blue Marsh Lake has been producing great numbers of bass so far this year! One day, we landed over 30 largemouth and smallmouth bass! However, the average size of the fish has been about 1.5 lbs. The biggest fish landed by a client so far has been a 4 lb largemouth bass!

The water temperature has been in the upper 40's to mid 50's over the past month. The water clarity remains stained, normal for the lake. We have been finding a lot of smaller aggressive males have started moving up. The larger female bass seem to be still staging in their prespawn locations in about 5 feet to 15 feet of water.

Shad imitations have produced the largest quantities of bass caught so far this year. Jerkbaits and crankbaits have accounted for the majority of fish caught while we covered water trying to find active and feeding prespawn bass. We have also used dropshot rigs and ned rigs to finesse bass in some high percentage areas. Regarding lure color, simply "matching the hatch" has done the trick so far.

I would expect the quantities of fish caught to remain high into the upcoming month as more fish continue to move up shallow. I also expect to see larger females start pushing shallower as the water continues to warm up by late April and early May.

Beltzville Lake

Beltzville Lake has been a little bit tough to start the season. However, decent smallmouth and largemouth bass are being caught still! The average sized bass right now seems to be about 2.5 lbs. The average quantity of fish has been a little bit lower than years past. I believe this could be due to the extreme weather conditions this fishery has recently endured.

Water temperatures have been in the 40's for a while but are finally peaking up into the 50's. The water clarity is slightly more stained this year than in years past which is pushing the fish shallower than average.

A variety of baits and techniques have been used to catch fish so far this year. Jigs, dropshots, and ned rigs have been decent producers in high percentage areas while jerkbaits and crankbaits have been producing results while covering water to find active feeding prespawn bass. Regarding lure color, I've been simply matching the hatch.

We have been seeing some fish already starting to push shallow in their spawning grounds, but the vast majority of bass won't start moving up shallow until early may. Until then, we'll continue to keep catching fish using reaction baits in their prespawn staging areas in 5 feet to 15 feet deep of water while finesse fishing high percentage areas.

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