Smith Lake striper fishing report plus Electronics facts

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Posted by Dale Welch Striper Guide Service on November 05, 2001 at 07:10:37:

Hi ya'll. It has been a while, but then I have been very busy catching stripers, not to mention taking care of the plagiarism my web page suffered earlier this year (warning.... crooks are on the internet too).


This crazy weather has really made striper fishing tough this year on Smith Lake. Have you ever heard of it getting so cold so early in the year as it did this year? Well the weather has played a big part on pattern predictibility all year long.

Stripers are moving up into the creeks from midway to the upper ends. No they are not in the very shallow water yet, that only happens during the spring while attempting to spawn.

Live shad is the best method of catching, however trolling lures (Redfins or Little Macs) with downriggers is (at times) productive especially after 9 AM when the stripers have begun to scatter out and go deeper.

Top water activity has already started with the early morning water temperature being around 62 degrees. Look for it around points with a sharp drop-off to deeper water. That may change from day to day, so keep your eyes open for that "middle of the lake" frenzy.
Lures include Redfins, spoons and bucktails tipped with curly tail grubs (white and chartruse are my favorites).


My life long career was electronics prior to starting the first ever striper fishing business on Smith Lake, so I am always fascinated when fishermen discuss fish finders. It wil be impossible to discuss all the aspects of fishfinders so I will touch on a few of the most misunderstood features.

1 Fish ID

The only way one can program a microprocessor to ID fish is to have it call any echo it sees not attached to the bottom a fish. Think about it. While using fish ID, I am sure you have at times seen a row of fish across the fish finder at a certain depth, especially when fishing deep still waters. That is how the fish ID shows a thermocline. Ever found a school of fish that wouldn't bite and stayed in the same place for as long as you were there fishing for them and getting hung up frequently? You guessed it....the fish ID had found a standing tree and couldn't make the connection to the bottom. I could go on and on but by now you I am sure you got the "picture", so "nuff said".


I will limit this discussion to LCD units. Older technology (paper graphs and flashers) are a whole other ball game.

No matter how good all the technical specifications such as power output, bit processing, signal to noise ratio and frequency (frequency does affect depth limits and resolution) the final outcome is what you see on the screen that counts. If the screen does not have a sufficient number of small (1 mm or less in size) pixels (small blocks on a LCD screen lit up to comprise the image). I use pixel size for reference rather than the number of pixels because if you have a 4H X 6W inch screen with only 100 pixels vertical (H), you have no usable screen resolution and your capabilities are limited to establishing the water depth. All fish images will show as a "blob" on the screen leaving you unable to distinguish between a school of bait fish and a larger single fish.


This myth started long ago and the technical history would not help you use your fish finder any better, so I will stay that part. All fish will not show up as an arch, only under certain conditions. Before I explain that statement further let me give you a scenereo to think about. Suppose you attach a 1 inch metal ball to your fishing line and drop it down under the boat (in the water of course) to a depth of 30 feet and keep it there. What will you see on the fish finder? You are right.....a straight line all the way across the screen, as soon as a complete scroll is finished. Now move the ball up and down a few feet, keeping it under the boat (transducer) and you will see the line on the scren begin to become a wavey line. Fish may show up the same way at times. If the fish simply swims (at the same depth) completely through your cone angle (in and out) then you might see an arch, but if the fish never gets out of your cone angle you see the same thing you did with the metal ball.

I hope this helps you use you use and understand fish finder a little better.

'till later.....keep a tight line and catch a big'un

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