Twelve-year-old Mason Levin caught this 44 inch, 29 lb. striper July 7 while out fishing with Quentin Ellis from right here in Eureka. Mason caught the bait and this fish himself. His bait of choice was a perch.
There’s lot of talk about perch bringing in these stripers now. It seems as the water warms and stripers go deeper, so do bigger perch. They’re down there in deeper water in big schools, along with the shad and stripers in cooler water below the thermocline, which is running about 28 ft. So put whatever bait you choose down at 30 – 40 ft. and you should get some meat in the boat.
On that note I would like to add what to do when one is hooked. I’ve had a few people who think big fish need to have the hook set hard then pull back so far that they get that slack in the line and lose the fish. If you’re pulling that rod straight, up don’t go past 12 o’clock, and if from the side, just set it in like a hard snap and keep it tight is the #1 rule.
We were out Monday and got three in the boat using big shad, but lost five because the hook was not set too soft for fear of what I said. When a striper hits, he pulls down pretty hard. Grab the rod and give a dig in while reeling and just keep it tight.
Enough of that, I’ve been so busy with the stripers I have not been out much this week here at the Island. With the warmer water going upriver past Beaver when they’re generating so they can find cooler water can pay off for all our warm water fish seeking small shad, for they move that way to cool down, too. You will see pods of them on top and the fish won’t be far behind.
They don’t move the water much on the weekends, so the best time to try this is on weekdays after 3 p.m.
Well, I have another trip on Beaver Lake tomorrow, so I better go catch some bait. Take a kid fishing or better yet let one take you.
Johnson Guide Service, (479) 253-2258 www.fishofexcellence.com