While many have given up on Bistineau, calling it a "dead lake," it still holds great fish. With the right knowledge and experience, these fish are not hard to find.
One angler who frequently fishes Bistineau for bass proves this.
Jerry Lee launched March 23 from Plum Orchard landing know that, with the pre-front conditions moving in, the bass were starting to become more active and starting to feed. The warming weather had pushed bass to move into shallower water and get on their beds.
"The fish are on their beds in 1 to 4 feet of water," Lee said. "The water temperature was at 60 degrees, but the air temperature only got up to 58. The water was a dark, stained color."
Lee was rigged out with a 6-foot, 6-inch Carrot Stick rod with a Quantum Energy PT reel spooled with 20-pound Suffix braided line with which he was pitching a black-and-blue Paca Craw for bedding fish. For fish in deeper water, he used a watermelon seed Fluke.
His experience has taught him how to target fish during this transitory time.
"Fish the Paca Craw real slow for the bedding fish," Lee explained. "Fish the Fluke without a weight next to cypress trees and fallen tops."
After catching two bedding fish in shallow water, Lee changed his approach and backed out to deeper water. Moving to Mud Slough, Lee caught seven more fish in 7 and 8 feet of water.
But one of the problems with Bistineau remains salvinia, which mats up in different areas of the reservoir. The key to continued success is flexibility.
"The lake changes every day, depending on wind direction; the salvinia moves around a lot," Lee said. "You can fish an area one day, and then the next day you can't fish it if the salvinia moves in."
Despite the challenges the exotic vegetation presents, Lee caught nine bass that day, the biggest weighing in at 7 pounds.
That proves quality fish are there for anglers willing to put in the time to learn the productive areas.