OCT 4, 1996


Striped bass surface feeding is the big news this week. The 4-7 pound fish are feeding one half hour after sunrise and staying up for 1 hour. The boils last from 15 seconds to 15 minutes. Locating the relatively few schools that are feeding is the hardest part. Once parked next to the boiling fish the catching is easy if you have a good knot tied to your lure and a drag that works smoothly. These fish are STRONG. They will break your line if afforded even the smallest opportunity.

There is a whole bunch of Lake Powell where no striper action is found. To try to get you started here are the best spots to try to find a boil. Most boils are in the main channel so look in the most obvious places first. In the lower lake, boils start at the mouth of Navajo Canyon and in the narrows where Padre Bay starts. Main channel boils have been seen at channel buoys 47, 61 and 83. Bullfrog Bay has quieted down and those stripers are apparently working the channel between Lake and Slick Rock Canyons. The best action is found from Hite to the Dirty Devil River. There is only an occasional, infrequent boil in the San Juan and Escalante.

The action at Hite is best in the afternoon but there is also the standard feeding period one half hour after first light that lasts for one hour. Timing is critical. Be on the water from 6:30 to 7:30 am (Mountain Standard Time). It is worth the effort to be there when the fish start feeding.

We have reports that bigger smallmouth are feeding now and that largemouth are being caught with more regularity. Fish around shad schools on points and in coves for best results. Shad can often be seen dimpling the surface during calm periods morning and evening. Fish under these schools for the best bass results. Use the standard plastic grubs in shad colors most of the time and surface lures early and late. Bass fishing has peaked and success will decline now as the weather cools. There will still be some really good days but storms fronts will make some dry spells occur. Striped bass action will get better in October and continue into November. It will be more critical to stay right on the schools to avoid missing them completely. Once found the fish will be very dependable at resurfacing at the same location in a repeatable pattern. Expect fish to move on shore soon. When they leave the channels and start working shad in coves the peak of the striper action for 1996 will occur.