BIG Striper boated at Lake Mead

Lake Mead U.S. Open - Prefishing in full swing for biggest U.S. Open in history, blasting off Oct. 14-16

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The striped bass bite at Lake Mead is always shifting gears it seems, and though the majority of lineside catches run in the single digits through the year — aside from those occasional special times when everything lines up perfectly — there are certainly some trophy catches made here and there. One such recent catch highlighted the recent fishing at Mead in a big way.

“What a rare catch!” said Mike Graves of his friend Tom Walton of Palm Desert’s 30-pound lineside that he stuck on a recent early morning at Mead. “We caught the fish around 8:30 in the Vegas Wash. We were catching boiling stripers really good on top but getting some bigger fish a bit deeper, so Tom was bouncing a 42-gram ColtSniper off the bottom at around 30 feet when the fish hit.”

Apparently ColtSnipers aren’t just for tuna anymore.

As far as the current striper bite, the boils are getting fewer and further between and the majority of the lake’s jailbirds appear to have dropped down the water column for the time being.

“We’re not having much of a surface bite lately,” said John Wood at Angler’s Edge Guide Service. “It’s been pretty much a jigging spoon bite in open water from Sand Island to Saddle Island.” A few anglers are also finding smaller stripers on the troll in the Overton and Gregg Basin areas.

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With prefishing for next week’s annual U.S. Open in full swing, there’s clearly not a whole lot of viable information to pull on as far as the bass bite goes. But there’s one thing that’s going to make a definite impact next week — which usually is key this time of year: bait.

“There’s been very few bass guys in the lower basin and probably for good reason,” Wood said. “We’re just seeing very little bait up shallow. We are going to have a big cool down here on Thursday, which may be good or may be bad, but it could move that bait up into the coves.”

The water level has come up a bit over the past week and a half and temps are running in the 74-75 degree range as of press time. The heaviest inflows into the lake beyond Vegas Wash are from the Colorado River above Sandy Point.

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