OCT 11, 1996


It's transition time. As always happens, just as a certain technique is working well and fish are being regularly caught something changes. The choices are to keep using the methods that worked last week and find diminishing returns or to change with the fish. Every Fall shad move out of the main bays and begin a migration towards the backs of the canyons. The journey takes a month and is determined by how rapidly the water temperature cools into the 50's. Mild October temperatures have slowed the journey this year with shad and game fish lingering in the open bays. But the inconsistency in fishing this past week is attributable to the transition that is occurring.

Surface boils for stripers and topwater fishing for bass will lessen with each day. Boils will still happen but at a reduced interval. When stripers do come up they will be in the back of a canyon or cove or even right on the shoreline. These boils can be more productive and longer lasting than open water boils since shad are cornered and stripers are hesitant to leave and let the shad escape.

To keep up with migration it is time to turn on the graph and find shad and striper schools midway back in long canyons, particularly those that have had boiling stripers nearby. There is still good boiling activity in the evening near Hite but those fish have moved from the channel towards the back of Dirty Devil, North Wash, White and Trachyte. The Bullfrog stripers may be found in the back of Bullfrog Creek, Halls Creek, Lake Canyon and Slick Rock. Stripers in the lower lake will be towards the back of Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and Rock Creek.

Bass fishing is slowing down but can still be regarded as good. Use grubs at 15 to 30 feet particularly around large rocks at the mouth of canyons. As the transition continues bass will move closer to the back of the canyon. The split shot or Carolina rigged grub is the most effective presentation and is responsible for some great catches of fish. Catfish are still active and will continue to prowl as long as the temperatures remain in the 60's. They can be caught in shallow water on any soft smelly bait in the early evening hours.