JULY 12, 1996


Lake Powell's fish have settled into their summer patterns. Stripers are boiling early, late and randomly in the middle of day. Bass, catfish and bluegill are readily caught. So if you would like to experience some great fishing here is the formula.

Fishing at Hite is a sure thing. Striped bass are boiling in the Dirty Devil and all around the marina. If boils are not seen just cast a surface lure like a zara spook at randomly rising fish near the marina. The best time is during the fist 2 hours of daylight but fish can be caught all day long.

Four pound stripers are boiling in Zahn Bay in the San Juan, Good Hope Bay and sporadically in the canyons from Good Hope to Bullfrog. Moki Canyon, Moki wall, Hall's and Bullfrog Bay have boils lasting long enough to catch 2-5 fish from each boil. It is not necessary to be a diehard fisherman to catch fish now. A great strategy is to have a fishing rod equipped with a surface lure ready while swimming and skiing in an area where boils have been reported. When a boil is seen, cruise to within casting range, stop the motor and glide parallel to the boil, casting as quickly as possible to an individual fish swirling on the surface. When the fish dive, resume skiiing until they come back up and cast to them again. It is fun and adds another dimension to the trip.

Anyone taking a day trip to Rainbow Bridge will pass a boil along the way. Just take a rod along and have it ready for that 10 minute fishing opportunity when it arises. The lower lake, Wahweap to Last Chance, has smaller fish boiling but they are still fun to chase and catch. Use a small jig trailer attached to a larger surface lure to catch the smaller stripers and larger fish that are feeding on small shad.

Bass fishing is very steady and predictable. Bass are on the edges of drop offs, ledges, points and rock piles. Use a smoke or salt-and-pepper colored plastic grub either on a jig head or just a hook with a split shot sinker attached 18 inches up the line. The split shot rig can be dragged along a ledge or point. The weight contacts the bottom while the buoyant jig attracts the attention of the bass. Bass can be caught all day long. They are shallow early, go deeper at mid day and move back shallow in the evening. Adjust the amount of weight on the line accordingly. Remember to keep bottom contact to increase the bass catch rate.

Catfish are really purring now right at your campsite. They come into shallow sandy beaches to feed at dusk and just after dark. Use any smelly bait like liver or anchovies to catch these great tasting fish. Use the same split shot rig used for bass. Use a small bait just large enough to cover the hook. Catfish are easily filleted just like a bass without any heroic measures needed to skin or dress them.

Bluegill will use your boat as shade. Just put a small piece of worm on a very small hook to let the kids learn how to catch these aggressive, brightly colored panfish. Bread them with egg and cracker crumbs and fry them crisp for a real taste treat.