NOVEMBER 30, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3673 Water Temperature: 51-53 F

Water's cold and bass have slowed way down. It is still possible to catch stripers.

Shad don't like cold water. They have gone deep to 100 feet or more where the water temperature is stable and doesn't fluctuate morning and evening or when the wind blows. When temps are this close to critical for shad survival any rapid rise or fall in temperature can be lethal. Cold shad slow down and are easy targets for winter stripers. Stripers follow shad deep and feed on them under water just like they do on top. A striper school will move in on resting shad school and drive, push, harass them toward some structure to limit avenues of escape. Active stripers move shad up from the bottom and then feed between 40 and 60 feet.. These depths are critical. Concentrate all striper fishing in this depth range.

Recent reports indicate that trolling in Bullfrog Bay with down riggers at 60 feet was effective. This would be an effective technique lake wide if concentrated where shad are present. Spooning at Hite was okay but not fast fishing. The traditional winter feeding grounds at the mouth of Crosby Canyon in Warm Creek was not productive but stripers can be caught in the long canyons where bottom depth is 40 to 100 feet. Look for stripers on the graph about half way back in the canyon in Navajo, Last Chance, Lone Rock Canyon, Wire Grass and other cuts off Wahweap Bay.

Start graphing where depth is 100 feet looking for schools rather than single fish. When a shad school is found work gradually shallower until individual traces or small groups of fish are seen. Drop spoons directly into fish traces and jig vigorously. Active stripers will hit the spoon very quickly. When the school starts hitting try to stay right over them for maximum catch. Dropping an anchor or making noise may spook the school. I throw a marker and then line up and drift over the spot a time or two. Two drifts will let you know if the fish are staying in the area or moving quickly through it. Active fish may follow your boat and lure as you drift by their holding location.

On November 30th I caught 18 stripers in Wahweap Bay in 2.5 hours using these techniques.