I went to CJ Strike Reservoir in Idaho for my first time with a friend to do some bass fishing. I was stoked on what we found! I learned a lot about the place, and we “Kraked” some sweet bass! Here is a map of where we fished, what we used, how we did, and the conditions we faced on our trip doing some CJ Strike bass fishing.
CJ Strike Bass Fishing
Here is what the conditions were on Thursday evening & Friday morning on July 24th & 25th at CJ Strike Reservoir.
Wind: Thursday night it blew steadily until 10:30 pm at 15 – 20 mph. Friday morning it was calm 0 – 5 mph
Weather: Bright & Sunny, Air temperature high in the afternoon was about 85 degrees.
Water Temperature: 73 – 75 degrees
Water Clarity: Darkly Stained, you could see bottom at only about 2 – 3 feet.
Where we went:
Here is the map of the places we fished on CJ Strike from the shore, and on a one man pontoon. One of us would wade out into the water and fish along the bank, and the other guy drifted along in the pontoon.
What we Used:
I tried a few different things, but these were our main staples of baits for catching bass on this trip.
1. Jackall Cross Tail Shad: Set up on a drop shot rig, this thing caught us some fun smallmouth bass. The colors we used were green pumpkin pepper and ayu. We would cast it out, and slowly drag the rig along the bottom. It seemed to work best to keep it moving along the bottom with an occasional shake of the rod tip.
2. Smallie Beaver: Set up on a light texas rig with a 3/16 oz bullet weight this bait wound up catching us the most fish. I also fished it on a carolina rig, but the texas rig was the ticket. The best colors were green pumpkin, and sprayed grass. We would just hop it along the bottom, imitating crayfish skirting along in the water.
3. Havoc Pit Boss: I fished this bait on the jika rig. I caught a beast of a largemouth, and lost another decent smallmouth on this bait. I didn’t get a lot of strikes, but when I did they were good ones! The color I used was green pumpkin with purple flake. I would cast it out, and just crawl it along the bottom.
How we did:
I met up with my friend Carsten White Thursday night at the cottonwood campground on CJ strike. It took us a minute to get dialed in on where the fish were holding. Once we found a couple good spots, we landed quite a few. Here is the rundown of what we did, and how we put together a good pattern to land us a few bass. Our mobility was limited to fishing from the bank, and drifting in a one man pontoon, but we were still able to catch some bass.
Thursday night while waiting for Carsten to show up, I pulled out my Jika rig with the havoc pit boss and started fishing. I was throwing to shallow structure I thought might hold bass. I was stoked when only after a few minutes my line started taking off. I set the hook and watched a smalmouth erupted from the water and chuck my bait. I surveyed the area looking for other pieces of cover to pitch too, and saw a good looking dock. I walked over to it, and pitched the pit boss along side it. After only a few twitches of the rod, my line started swimming off. I immediately set the hook, and could tell I had some weight on the end of the line. I couldn’t believe it when a beast came thrashing out of the water. It took me a minute to get it in, but here is the pictures of the 19 inch toad I caught from under the dock. He was thick!
When Carsten arrived on the scene I got him set up on a drop shot rig. We wound up doing pretty well with this little set up. We used it at all night, and first thing in the morning. We only landed a couple on the drop shot rig, but we had plenty of strikes. After surveying the area we were fishing near cottonwood campground, we decided on moving to another shoreline. It looked like there might be better structure running deeper into the water.
Switching shorelines turned into a good decision. We were having trouble getting our drop shot rig’s snagged up in the rocks at this new place, so we switched to some light texas rigged smallie beavers. This turned out to be the ticket, and we quickly landed several smallmouth before we had to leave for home. Here is a picture of one of the smallmouth bass Carsten caught on the smallie beaver.
The weather was epic. It was windy Thursday night, but Friday it calmed down to where we could enjoy some good fishing. CJ strike bass fishing was a fun time. I’m looking forward to visiting this place again. There are some giants lurking in these waters. I hope I can tap into a few more of them. All our fish were caught in about 4 – 15 feet of water. The chunkier the rock on the bottom the better. The chunky lava rock seemed to be housing more smallmouth.
Hope this helps you if you ever decide to get out and try “Kraken” bass at CJ Strike. Please feel free to share thoughts and comments below about your experience with bass fishing CJ strike reservoir.
Special thanks to Carsten White for letting me sleep in his camp trailer, and always bringing stoke juice when “Kraken” bass!
Spinning Rod & Reel Set up:
Abu Garcia Spinning Reel
Shimano Convergence 7’2″ Medium Heavy Spinning Worm Rod
6-Pound Test Fluorocarbon Fishing Line
Spiderwire Stealth Braid 300-Yard Spool Moss Green 15lbs.
Baitcasting Rod & Reel Set up:
Spiderwire Stealth Braid 300-Yard Spool Moss Gree 30lbs.
Sufix Invisiline Casting Flourocarbon 100-Yards Spool Size Fishing Line (Clear, 10-Pound)
Shimano Sellus Medium Heavy Worm and Jig Cast Rod 7’2″
Quantum Fishing Smoke 9 Bearing Baitcast Reel 7:3:1 ratio