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Grand Lake Stripers


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#1 bob_marlo

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 05:40 PM

hey all,

the "grand lake report" caught my eye and I am thrilled to hear about the action being so close to where i live. i'm still somewhat new to NS and have spent most of my time fishing smallies and most recently muskie up in NB. While i have spent lots of time fishing the bay, i was just looking for some info on fishing grand lake for stripers (specifically this time of year). Mostly wondering how late in the year is good, and just some general tactics. Most of my muskie gear (6"-10" crank and jerk baits) works for the big bass when trolling in the SJ river. I've heard top water baits (personal fave) are good but does that hold true this late in the season? Also what kind of territory do the bass like (depth, structure, etc)? I did spend some time trolling with bigger baits in grand this summer, and ended up just catching smallies all day (not a bad thing i guess)

any kind of advice to get me started would be greatly appreciated and i'll add in that i am a strictly C&R fisherman with the proper big game nets that allow you to unhook your fish boat side while they are still in the water to avoid any harm.

thx
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#2 darren

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 10:06 AM

Well, it appears that you have the right gear for stripers. You need to take a look at Grand, I'd recommend google maps. The south end of the lake has the only open launch now.
As far as where to find the fish, just start looking. A good sonar is a must. It's not the fish you'll see most of the time, but the schools of bait, that help you narrow down the search areas. I've found big fish in less than 3 feet of water, and smaller ones in 80 feet, so it pays to move around. Right now the water temps are great, and with all the wind we've had the lake has turned over at least three times.
I can only tell you what baits I've used, you may have other secret weapons. One thing for sure, topwaters are not the best choice. I haven't taken any stripers on topwater plugs since 2003. Now, I'm not saying they won't work if the conditions are right, but it would seem that the Grand lake fish prefer their meals below the surface. However, I always try a topwater towards evening, just in case. My best baits are large minnow plugs, about as long as a pencil (5-7"), swimbaits, and bucktails. Sometimes you need to down-size the baits to get bit. There are many that use cut bait, herring, mackerel, shad, but I like to release my fish so I try to avoid swallowed hook problems. Trolling works well most of the time, but a nice quiet drift can be deadly while casting. I haven't tried a fly rod yet, but maybe this weekend.
Oh yes, be careful on Grand, the wind can turn that lake into a hell-storm of waves in a hurry. If the forecast calls for winds out of the west, SW, or NW, you should be good, anything from N-NE or due east is downright nasty.
The water is high right now which makes the ramp shallow, so you have to back in quite a piece before your boat will float off the trailer. If you have a buddy, it helps if he motors off.
That's about all, the season is open until the end of December, and I've heard the fishing gets better if you can stand the cold.


Darren Cole
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#3 bob_marlo

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:09 PM

great to hear! and yes, ive been on grand before and seen it get nasty right quick......wont be able to fight the temptation of throwin a couple top water baits here and there but im pretty sure i have a lot of the stuff your talking about..sure be nice to finally get a bite on the pricey swimbaits i bought for smallies (they dont seem to likem much).....still have a one last trip to NB planned for the big n toothys but after that i'll def wanna shot the stipers in grand...awesome to have a lake open this late in the year....lets just hope everyone is responsible out there and it can stay this way.....

thx a million for the info...tight lines darren!
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