Early entry for Catch of the Year: Visiting angler hauls in 39-pound striper

February 16, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — There’s news on the trout front and an early entry for Catch of the Year in this week’s report from Rusty Braun, proprietor of Riviera Marina in Bullhead City.

First things first.

“The catch of the year (so far) is our visiting angler from Bishop, California, Jerry Thoreson,” Braun said. “The striper he is holding weighed in at 39.36 pounds and was 473⁄8 inches. This is the largest and heaviest striped bass I have had the pleasure to weigh in.

“I was once told that a trophy fish was any that was over about 12 pounds, give or take a couple of pounds either way. This fish is an example of a trophy to be mounted on one’s wall, so to say.

“Another idea was presented to me, to say it should have been released (so it could be caught again). This goes several ways on this fish. It was hooked using a hard bait and was hooked deep, so the chances of survival was slim. Most of the anglers who fish for largemouth bass practice catch-and-release and some do the same with the smallmouth bass. This is due to the tournaments that net a lot of these species, which is why they are required to keep them alive and then release them after weigh-in.

“The striper, to most, is not a game fish; it’s for the table.”

There are some regulations for keeping big fish, at least in some locales.

“Up on Lake Mohave, there is no limit for fish under 20 inches,” Braun said. “Over 20 inches, (the limit is) 20 fish. This can add up when they are getting in the 10-pound range, so to some, it’s let the small ones go so they will get bigger and to others it’s keep the smaller fish so others will have a better chance to grow.”

Braun said Thoreson’s catch proved that “for now, we are getting some big fish here along the Colorado River.”

He also said things are getting better at Lake Mohave.

“The striper bite is picking up just outside of Katherine Landing. They are in the 4- to 7-pound range with anchovies and storm baits working well.”

As for the trout in the river, there’s more good news.

“The rainbow trout stocking has resumed,” Braun said, noting that the program at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery was idled by the recent government shutdown. With hopes of averting a second shutdown, the outlook is good for trout enthusiasts.

“We have Jim Rott with a limit of (five) trout he landed in the Community Park area, using power bait and fishing from the shore,” Braun said. “This time of year, our water levels are going up some and down a lot. Anyone using a boat here along the Colorado River needs to watch and learn the river channel.”

If you have enjoyed some success fishing on area waters, let Braun know about it so he can share the news. Braun can be reached at Riviera Marina, 520 Riviera Blvd., or by calling 928-763-8550.

“Hope this helps for now....and we will see you in soon,” he said. “Now go catch a fish.”