Rago sticks Willow Beach stripers of 41.5 and 32.5 pounds

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JERRY RAGO shows off a 41.5-pound Willow Beach striped bass that stands as his 11th over 40 pounds. A couple days later, he caught and released a 40.5 pounder for an even 12.
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BY MIKE STEVENS 

WILLOW BEACH— Various bodies of water along the Colorado River chain including both ends of Lake Mohave and the river itself have been teaming up to provide respectable mixed-bag fishing at a very angler-friendly time to be out there as far as conditions are concerned.

It all starts at the north end of Lake Mohave where at least one trophy striped bass was bagged on a big swimbait by an angler that’s no stranger to that brand of fishing.

Jerry Rago of Rago Baits was fishing a variety of his own products out of Willow Beach and doing well on solid stripers, but his day was highlighted by a 41.5 pounder. Rago told Western Outdoor News that was his eleventh striped bass over 40 pounds, but he wasn’t done there. A couple days later (and just before WON press time) he said he had just caught-and-released a 32.5 pounder.

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Trout are stocked on a weekly basis at Willow Beach Marina which is a primary reason the area gets a lot of attention from anglers looking for trophy stripers.

Down on the other end of Lake Mohave, there are also linesides showing up for anglers trolling umbrella rigs and working spoons, swimbaits or jerkbaits according to Mike Huseman of River King Outfitters in Bullhead City. He said the smallmouth bite has been “average” with a good number of fish moving up shallow where they are biting drop-shot rigs with some consistency.

Below Davis Dam in the Colorado River, Huseman told WON even more stripers are being caught on trout-pattern glidebaits and jerkbaits while trout are back to being regularly stocked in several locations within this zone. But that’s not the only species cooperating for anglers right now in the river.

The smallmouth bite on the river is slowing just a bit, but dark-colored crankbaits are getting the ones that are still greedy,” said Huseman. “There’s another bite that has continued that not a lot of anglers are aware of, and that’s the trophy redear bite. We are finding them in backwaters next to tules and under docks and catching them on 1- and 2-inch grubs in cherry red and bubble gum. These aren’t normally this far north in the river so get them while you can we don’t know how long this will last.”

Rusty Braun at Riviera Marina also had nothing but good to say about the striper bite below Davis Dam in the Laughlin area.

“Local angler Richard Erdmann was back with a nice 16.96-pound striper,” said Braun. He was fishing from shore just down river from the Harrah’s Casino on the Arizona side with a lure in rainbow trout pattern.”

He said Rotary Park and Community Park have been the primary trout stocking sites in recent weeks, but Davis Camp will also get them.

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