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C.J. Strike Reservoir
Fishing C.J. Strike
Information provided by Idaho Fish & Game

Each of three reservoir sections provides a unique fishing experience.

The main reservoir, near the dam, provides easy access for both bank and boat angling. Trout, yellow perch, and bullheads can be taken from the bank using bait such as worms, eggs, and marshmallows. The marshmallow will float the bait off the bottom into the fishes view. You may wish to try both with and without a bobber until you find where the fish are located.

Boaters trolling with rapalas, rooster tail, or flies along the face of the dam, the south shore or in the narrows, can be rewarded with excellent trout fishing.

Anglers will also find great success in spring and early summer fishing for smallmouth bass along the dam, and in shallow coves, using jigs, plastic grubs, and lures which imitate smaller fish. For best success, fish the shallow areas and rocky banks, cast toward the cover areas, and keep your lure moving.

Best fishing on the Snake River Arm is by boat, though some bank fishing can be found at the Cove Arm site. Refer to the map for the best launch site. Trolling for trout with a rooster tail or spinning lure is the primary activity; however, smallmouth bass and channel catfish can be found in the coves and sheltered area during the spring months. The smallmouth bass will strike at fish imitating lures or plugs, while the channel catfish are bottom feeders and can be caught with nightcrawlers.

For the hardy, catch-and-release sturgeon fishing can be very good during the fall and spring from the bank or boat. Equip yourself with a hefty rod and reel, at least a 30 lb. test line, 6-9 ounce weights, and some large barbless hooks (no. 4 or better). Look for areas 20' or deeper to catch these 6 to 8 foot fish.

The most diverse fishing can be found in the Bruneau Arm. The Cottonwood Campground and Jack's Creek access site provide both boat and bank angling for bluegill, perch, crappie, trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and channel catfish. From the shore, try worms, on or near, the bottom. In the early spring, the narrows is a good area to troll for trout and to flip grubs for smallmouth bass in May and June.

Fish for the largemouth the same as described for the smallmouth but look for heavy vegetation and perhaps use a weedless lure. Bluegill like the vegetation as well and the rocky shoreline. They prefer a very small hook with bait or a fly. Using a small bobber will keep the bait off the bottom and at the level where the fish are located.

For success on crappie, try jigs retrieved in a slight jerking motion. In May and June, the crappie can be found in the shallows, usually less than 6 feet of water. Again, using a small bobber will help to keep your jig at the right depth.

Perch, bullheads and channel catfish are bottom feeders and like cut bait or worms.

Float tubers do well in the Bruneau Arm, especially in the vicinity of Cottonwood Campground. Try casting back toward over-hanging brushy areas or rocky shores with flies or bait.

The Bruneau Arm also provides an early and productive ice fishery for perch, bluegill, and trout. Ice fishing is a great way to expand your fishing season and great fun, but remember, safety first. Always check the ice, and dress for cold weather. Common ice fishing equipment includes an ice auger, a short rod with light line (tips off of old rods work great), some leaded hooks, ice jigs, flies, or swedish pimple lures. Add to that any of a variety of baits such as eggs, maggots, worms, and cut bait, and you are set. Jig the lure up and down near the bottom for perch and bluegill; and mid-depth for trout.

Species Best To Fish Misc.
Rainbow trout Spring, Fall and Winter Troll shore areas.
Smallmouth bass March to Sept. Work coves in spring.
Largemouth bass March to Sept. Look for logs and weeds.
Bluegill May to Nov. Look for logs and weeds.
Crappie May to Nov. Look for logs and weeds.
Yellow perch Year around Fish shoreline with bait.
Channel catfish May to Nov. Fish the bottom with bait along the shoreline.
Bullhead May to Nov. Fish the bottom with bait along the shoreline.
Sturgeon Year around Use fresh cut-bait in deep holes.


How to Get to C.J. Strike
At Mountain Home, follow the signs to the Mountain Home Airbase. To access the Bruneau Arm, turn south at the Bruneau turnoff (State Highway 51) and continue 14.3 miles to the Loverage Bridge access (located where the highway cross the Snake River Arm of C.J. Strike Res.). To reach Cove Arm launch, continue 3.5 miles and turn north at the Cove Arm, Crane Falls sign. Follow the signs, down the hill and to the north for 6.5 miles (caution: the last 1.5 miles is extremely rough gravel road).

To access Bruneau Arm and C.J. Strike Dam, continue through Bruneau and watch for signs for C.J. Strike Wildlife Management Area (4.1 miles past Bruneau on Highway 78), Bruneau Narrows (7.5 miles), Cottonwood Campground (5.7 miles), BLM Cove Campground (8.8 miles), Black Sands Resort (10.2 miles), and C.J. Strike Dam (11.8 miles). Take the road below the dam to access the launch below the dam and Airbase Docks (13.0 miles from Bruneau).

C.J. Strike Dam can also be reached from Mountain Home by taking State highway 67 via Grandview, or gravel road cut-off to Strike Dam road (21.2 miles from Mountain Home).

  • Full Service facilities can be found at Black Sands Resort on the Main Reservoir, and the Cottonwood Campground on the Bruneau Arm.

  • Limited camping and parking is available at the Air Base Docks, Cove Campground on the main reservoir and the launch below the dam.

  • Boat access only is found at Crane Falls, Loverage Bridge.

  • Fishing access is possible at the C.J. Strike Wildlife Management Area.
Interesting Facts
C.J. Strike Dam was built by Idaho Power Company in the early 1950's to provide power for southwestern Idaho communities. It was named for past Idaho Power President C.J. Strike (1938 - 1948). The dam is a clay core earthen-fill structure which houses three generators capable of producing 89,000 kilowatts of power. The steep, lava bluffs made this an ideal site for construction without complications of river diversion.

Land surrounding C.J. Strike is managed by Idaho Power Company and Idaho Fish and Game to maximize habitat for geese, ducks, pheasants, quail, deer, and other wild animals. The stable reservoir pool results in a fertile and productive environment for both fish and aquatic insects making this a very popular fishery.


Grandview, ID Weather

Size: 7,500 surface acres 247,000 acre-feet of water
120' deep





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