The striper fishing, for the most part, has been nothing short of phenomenal. That is, until the monsoons came around. When that happens, fishing at night for stripers and catfish seems to just fall off the table.
Trips started producing right around 100 fish, which I think most anglers will agree, is still pretty good. But as the month rolled on, the average dropped. It got to the point where our trips produced just 55 to 75 fish. And that was with three or four anglers.
I had trips booked through the end of August, but I called up those anglers and asked if they wanted to reschedule to next summer. Several did, but others, like Kingman residents Ryan Esplin and his 13-year old son, Evan, decided to the roll the dice and give it a try.
Before I could take them out, I had to deal with some boat issues. And that meant going out to test the boat after it was repaired. I decided to ask friends Roger and Ryan Asplin if they wanted to go out maybe for one last time.
Both agreed to go and off we went. Seemed like an almost perfect night to fish at my honey hole, Schleeter Rock. The only problem was the fish didn’t cooperate. Despite fishing hard all night, we had the worst trip of the summer. We put only 55 fish, 44 stripers and 11 catfish in the ice chests.
Then it was time to go out with the Esplins, and I was worried. I don’t want to go fishing when I don’t think we will have a good trip. Also joining us on the boat was Jay Chan, and am I ever glad he was able to go. If not for his extraordinary efforts the trip might have been a total bust.
Once again the lake conditions looked like they had many times before. Light winds and warm temperatures usually meant a good night of fishing. But other than Jay, who had a great night, it was really tough fishing.
At the end of the trip there were 70 fish in the ice chests. Sixty-six of those fish were stripers, 4 were channel cats. But Jay had caught 45 of those fish. The other 25 were divided among Ryan, Evan and myself.
The good news was thanks to Jay, the Esplins were able to take home a lot of good eating fish filets and I think that everyone had a good time.