JULY 4, 1996


The long dormant stripers are finally making their way to the top. The surface is now boiling with small shad and striped bass in hot pursuit. The action begins about 1/2 hour after first light and last for 2 hours in the morning and then erupts again for the last 2 hours of light in the evening. There is a mid day boil which is randomly spaced and of short duration.

The character of the striper boil differs with lake location. The best action is in the Dirty Devil and Zahn Bay. Here 4-8 pound stripers are working large shad and can be caught on stick baits like zara spooks and jumping minnows or rattletraps fished just under the surface. It is possible to catch 10-20 of these fat healthy trophy fish in a morning or evening of watching for and chasing the boils that continually pop up in the upper reaches of Lake Powell.

In the clear water of the main lake (Good Hope to Last Chance) the boils contain smaller stripers and smaller shad. Here the boils are very quick allowing only a cast or two into each boil before the fish go down and pop up some distance away. Often a perfect cast into the boil does not hook a fish because the shad being eaten are less than 1 inch long and stripers are looking for a very small bait. Change your luck by tying a small jig to the back hook of a large lure. Cast the large lure to the surfacing fish and then let them hit the small trailer lure.

Boils are commonly seen in Hall's Creek, the main San Juan Arm, and main channel from the San Juan to Last Chance. Boils can be seen anywhere on Lake Powell but the prime time to look is early and late each day.

Smallmouth are located on rock piles points and ledges and continue to bite smoke colored plastic grubs. Change the weight of the jig head to match fishing conditions. Light weight or no weight works early in the day while the fish are shallow, while heavier weights may be required at mid day to reach deeper fish.

Catfish are biting well particularly in the upper reservoir, but cooperative cats can be found on any gently sloping sandy beach at dusk and just after dark. Use liver, shrimp, anchovies or any other olfactory pleasing, soft bait for quick catfish action.