On a lake best known for its bass, Dennis Gilmer just about has Lake Gaston's striper population to himself. He uses artificial lures for his trips when clients want to focus on stripers and says monitoring baitfish movement is critical to success on his home lake.
"We don't really have a huge population of shad on Gaston, so we you have to really stay on top of where the shad are if you want to catch stripers," notes Gilmer. A good depth finder with a minimum of 168 pixels is mandatory, he says.
Current flow is also critical when chasing stripers on Gaston and other lakes. As a general rule of thumb, when consistent current is present, the fish tend to move into the upper portion of reservoirs. On Gaston this means from Holly Grove Creek on up.
Gilmer notes stripers gang up at the mouths of the creeks when the water is flowing strong out of Buggs Island. Good areas are around the bridges and mouths of upper Gaston Creeks.
This guide's top choice for Gaston stripers is a 3/8- or 1/2-oz white bucktail with a white fluke trailer. Fish up to 20 pounds are not uncommon on Gaston, but most fish run between five and seven pounds. Gilmer says the action usually begins in late February from the mouth of Smith Creek on up to the Kerr Dam.