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Colorado River

Fall conditions mean big swimbait stripers around Willow Beach

BY MIKE STEVENS/WON Staff Writer Published: Nov 07, 2018

WILLOW BEACH — Fall can be the best time of year to target striped bass throughout the Colorado River Chain, and Willow Beach started to trend in that direction in October. The common thread between the bigger models caught are swimbaits in the size and pattern of stocked trout that are being delivered on a weekly basis.

swansongSWAN’S SONG — Jesse Swan of Henderson, Nev. caught this 25.9-pound striper near Monkey Hole out of Willow Beach.


Still, Willow Beach is as Willow Beach does, so it’s the regular big-fish devotees that are getting the best of it. Jesse Swan of Henderson, Nev. fits that bill, and he reached out to Western Outdoor News with details of a solid October that seems to be rolling right into November.


“The fall weather has brought some big bites at the river,” said Swan. “I’ve been heading south to Monkey Hole and tracking down nice fish with big swimbaits, matching the hatch with a 10-inch Hiroshima Customs trout or a 9-inch DFT from Hardcore Swimbait Customs.”


He added the fact that he caught several stripers over 20 pounds – including one just under 30 – over the month of October, and along with the baits he mentioned, a Deps 250 has also been in the mix during this impressive run. Swan’s latest tanker was a 25.9 pounder that ate the Hiroshima at Monkey Hole.


He also touched on the big picture conditions that are optimal for these types of lures.


“Regular10 to 15 mph winds create enough ripple, and that helps the fish not hesitate to hit bigger swimbaits,” he added. “A slower retrieve with the weather cooling down will also increase hookups around Willow Beach.”


The “hatch” that is being matched here are stocker trout going into Willow Beach every week compliments of the Willow Beach Fish Hatchery that reopened just over a year ago. Naturally, local trout heads are also taking advantage, and the bite has been especially hot of late and on quality fish. Minijigs, floating baits and just about any classic trout lure has been working. These rainbows are stocked on a year-round basis as, even during scorching daytime temperatures, Willow Beach has a consistent supply of cold water from Hoover Dam.


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