SEP 27, 1996


The lake is cooling rapidly with windy weather mixing the warm water with the colder water below. That puts fish into transition between summer and winter patterns. They could be hitting the surface or prowling the bottom. The fish are really active and very catchable but do not be afraid to try varied techniques to find which is working best at the moment. Have three rods rigged with assorted terminal tackle. At each new spot first try the surface with one rod, then fish mid depth with another and finally probe the bottom with the last rod. Keep moving because the fish will be bunched. Some points will be void while the next point may produce 10 bass or stripers.

Stripers are still boiling but the full moon and/or unsettled weather fronts have made the action inconsistent. Some great boils are still being seen but there are days when no boils are found. The Bullfrog area is the center of the boiling action. It is absolutely imperative to be on the water during the first and last hours of daylight if serious about locating striped bass. There have been boils at Rincon, Slick Rock, Annies, Hall's and Bullfrog, Hansen Creek and Smith Fork canyons.

Be aware that the change in water temperature will change the location of shad and stripers. Shad have been in the main channel but they will move to the backs of coves as temperatures drop. Stripers will follow shad and boils will occur in the coves and short canyons instead of main channel or bays. The shoreline boil is often harder to see but will last longer than a mid channel boil because the shad can be pinned against shore for extended periods of time. Sometimes a huge school of shad will be corralled for days or even weeks by stripers that guard the mouth of a cove and eat anything that ventures out of the shallow water sanctuary. Find shad trapped in the back of a canyon and good fishing is yours.

Smallmouth fishing is good with larger fish starting to show up. They are still holding at 15-30 feet and can be taken on shad colored grubs particularly if shad are seen in the general vicinity. There is plenty of food available to sport fish but they are really aggressive and willing to hit many artificial and natural baits.

Catfish and bluegill are obvious at most campsites and easy to catch. They are some of the best eating fish in the lake and a large stringer can be filled in short order.