Colorado River

Cooler temps sparking striped, green bass bites at Lake Havasu

BY BLAKE WARREN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 29, 2016

LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZ. — As usual, it’s always a long summer at Lake Havasu, with oppressive heat getting most anglers off the water by mid-morning at the latest during the majority of the hot season. But now, with night temps and water temps coming down some with the transition to fall, things are looking up on both the striped and green bass scenes at the classic desert fishery.

SWIMBAIT STRIPER — Lake Havasu local Jordan Panster is finding some nicer-model linesides on a variety of different swimbaits.

With water temps dropping under 75 degrees in many spots for the first time in months, the stripers are getting more active and both largemouth and smallies are also breaking out of their summer doldrums.

“The stripers are up and boiling all over the main basin in the mornings, it’s just a matter of locating ‘em,” said Cliff Rubin at Bass Tackle Master. “Guys are finding ‘em around Site 6, the Palms, Thompson Bay, the pump station and down at the buoy lines at the Springs. When they’re up boiling, guys are getting ‘em with the usual topwaters – Vixens and Spooks. Then they’re going underneath the boils once they slow down up top and doing well with Rat-L-Traps, Pointer 128s, deep-diving cranks and spoons. Thirty-fish days are definitely possible and I had a few guys say they got close to a hundred stripers a day a few times this past week. Not a ton of big ones yet but the better 3- to 6-pound fish are mainly showing in the afternoons.”

The smallmouth and largemouth are also getting more active with the cooler temps, Rubin said. The bronzebacks continue to hold to rocky points and aren’t hitting surface stuff all that well anymore, but slowly-worked drop-shots, jigs and Texas-rigged creature baits are picking up good numbers of smallies.

WHILE MOST STRIPERS being caught in the current solid bite at Lake Havasu are running from schoolie-size to 6 pounds, Capt. Chris Blythe of Captain Chris Blythe’s Fishing Guide Service is managing to put his clients on a better grade of 5- to 12-pound linesides.

“The largemouth are starting to come off the grass a little bit and there’s a pretty good bite going for ‘em with deep-diving cranks and lipless crankbaits in shad patterns,” Rubin said. When the wind kicks up, working spinnerbaits in the same areas has been producing as well. Not all the bucketmouths have ventured out of the green stuff, however, and anglers sticking with the grass plan are still scoring pretty nicely on the flip with Sweet Beavers, craw-trailered football jigs and Texas-rigged plastics. Rubin noted that the bite has been pretty good for at least a few days running now, with anglers that are dialed in putting together solid 20-plus-pound limits for a mix of largemouth and smallies.

Catfish are still in the mix at Havasu too. The vast majority of cat catches continue to come in the evenings into the nights, with just about any cut bait doing the trick at the moment. Redear are a little tougher and most of the panfish have sought deeper water, so if you’re looking to target them, look to isolated pockets in the 30- to 50-foot zone with drop-shotted nightcrawlers.

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