Second Saturday Striper Tips: August tactics

Arizona striper fishing can be excellent in August -- fish on the surface, or go deep around midday
Arizona striper fishing can be excellent in August — fish on the surface, or go deep around midday

Here’s a game plan for August striper fishing. It’s simple.  The water temperature gets hot and the striper go deep.

For two reasons:

  1. No eyelids, and light sensitivity, means they want to escape the bright daytime sunlight. Cooler water is deeper in the water column.  The water temperature might be 86 degrees on the surface, but at 100 feet the temperature might only be 76 degrees or less.
    2. Deeper water equals more oxygen. 
    Many Arizona lakes are having water pumped out daily. This results in the water levels dropping greatly over a short period of time.  So those coves, channels and bays are now a lot more shallow and extremely warm.  That might be great for some species of fish, but for striper, it’s a NO GO!
This trophy striper was nabbed from the surface of Lake Powell and released.
This trophy striper was nabbed from the surface of Lake Powell and released.

A warmwater feeding pattern

The water temperature at Lake Pleasant is averaging 86 degrees.  This can be good because this triggers the metabolism of the striped bass, which then feed even more aggressively.   This of course means more boils — a blast when using top-water lures.

Warm water also means that the fish are going to go deeper when they aren’t busting  shad on the surface.

 

August game plan: Xs and Os … and  ice

Fish during sunrise and sunset hours for boils. If you can handle the heat and insist on fishing during midday hours, fish deep with a dropshot and anchovies, or jig spoons.

Nighttime fishing gets really good in August with many boats catching anywhere from 50-100 fish a night. Same information applies to night fishing also: fish deeper water and don’t forget to chum and have a great light in the water to attract baitfish.

If possible, use live bait. Live shad is the ultimate bait and will greatly increase your chances.  When fishing these lakes at night. be sure to think safety all the time. Have lights, a first aid kit,  spotlight, cell phone, and also monitor monsoon activity.

Be sure to have all required life jackets in your boat.  It’s the LAW!

Don’t forget the last two important rules of striper fishing: be sure to put your catch on ICE after keeping it — and have fun!

Barry Worman is the moderator of the Arizona Striper Fishing Faebook page

 

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