Captain Rimrock sent scales from the 15-pound striper caught trolling last week in Bullfrog Bay.
"Trolling Bullfrog Bay Saturday afternoon. Our big fish was about 30 ft down in 40 ft of water. Only fish we caught all day. Trolling a rapalla, blue back, orange on the belly. Just shy of 15 pounds, 36 inches long, 18 1/2 inch girth.
I magnified the scales and found one that showed a good age patttern for all to see. The year marks are numbered. Number 1 is the first annulus. The space between the scales focus (center dot) and the first mark shows excellent growth as a young fish hatched in 2005. Good shad years in 2005-2006 gave it the start it needed. It obviously grew quickly despite less shad abundance in 2007. This fish was in a good spot where shad were plentiful. Finally this fish was able to eat larger forage including gizzard shad, carp, and catfish so it continued its good growth.Most school fish stop growing around 5-pounds due to intense competition with school mates. I suspect this one got larger than his cohorts and struck out on its own.
The 6th year is just the edge of the scale since all fish are assigned a birthday on January 1 each year.