Re: Where do all the wipers go??
I have to agree with Yaz. Those questions need answering, especially the question of forage fish. If it's shad and you had a real hard winter in '07, there may not be much forage for the hybrids. When you have mild winters, the shad don't die off.
Having said that, let me tell you about my Indiana lake. It's not deep. There are 40+ foot depths, but mostly it is 16-24 feet--until this year. The rain has been constant. The lake was twelve feet over summer pool until the last week; not it is only a foot over summer pool. Wipers have not been busting the surface. Shad balls or swirls are hard to find if you find them at all, and wiper fishing has been hard, hard, hard. They're down there, but they aren't interested. In fact, it's been so difficult, I have even considered using live bait and chicken livers on them.
Initially, I would suggest this. Fish the late evenings just before and after sunset. Other times are fun fishing times, but the sunset time is serious catching time. I see a lot of guys going off the lake as the sun starts to set--wrong.
Wipers love flats (areas of the lake where the water is 3-9 feet deep and adjascent to deeper water) and they love chasing baitfish onto the flats at sunset. Be there. Also, wipers like humps. They seem to hang around them. The only thing they like better than a good hump--they're almost human, aren't they?--is the mouths of inlets. Those inlets mouths are essential to wipers. They're hard to catch in big, open water, but they bunch up at the inlets.
What colors usually work in your area? We use a lot of chartreuse here. When I fish for wipers in TN or KY, we use a lot of pearl colors, but oddly the pearl does not work well in Indiana. Must be the angle of the sun. Silver and gold shiney spoons work well, too. Kastmaster makes a great casting spoon that wipers seem to take to.
I fished wipers in deep lakes. We spotted them under 49 feet of water trailing along beside shad schools. We dropped silver Kastmaters to them and they took them without hesitation. It is a trick to being a fighting wiper up out of 49 feet of water. Takes stout line and a good deal of patience. We took several one day by drop jigging.
Sometimes 3-4 inch glow grubs work, too, especially in the Fall.
Anyway, good luck with your quest. You might also check one of the earlier threads on this site where the Indiana DNR tracked wipers throughout the largest reservoir in the state. They tracked them for a full year. In fact, I saw them out tracking them this past week. They post the trackings, and it is insightful to see how the fish relate to structure and how they generally move about the 12000 acres of water. It may give you some ideas; they can't be that different in Colorado.
Keep Your Tip Top Up!