I’m not sure why, but the striper and catfishing has been nothing short of phenomenal this year on Lake Mead, especially in Virgin Canyon near South Cove. A couple of weeks ago, I had back-to-back trips where my anglers and I caught 227 and then 340 fish, respectively. The 340 fish-catch is an all-time record.
Last week, Flagstaff resident and taxidermist extraordinaire, Chris Favour, set a new record for striper hunters when he landed a lunker striper that weighed 12 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught that fish in 20 feet of water on a single anchovy head at 4:10 a.m.
Not to be outdone, his wife, Shelley, set the record for the most fish caught by a lady angler on one trip. Favour, who had never fished for stripers before, nor had she ever used two poles while fishing, brought in an amazing 67 fish in just 5 ½ hours of angling.
Another group of anglers, Chuck and Julie Decker of Glendale, along with their 13-year-old granddaughter, Sam, caught 28 channel cats out of the 186 that were put in the boat on their trip. The previous record was 22 of the whisker-fish for one trip. Sam also caught 49 fish, which is her personal best and a record for a young lady under 15 years old.
According to my records, we have taken 2,350 stripers on our trips this summer. We still have six weeks to fish so I think my anglers and I are going to set a new all-time record this summer.
Before you think we are “emptying the lake of fish,” remember that the AZGFD estimates there are between two and seven million stripers in Lake Mead at any one time.
And we utilize all of the fish we catch. If anything, we are helping the local fishery that we fish.