October 3, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3690
Water Temperature: 73 F

Exciting news from all quarters of the Lake. Striped bass are hot! It is just a matter of putting the right technique in place at the right location.

For lower lake anglers the hot spot today was the back of Warm Creek. Striped bass reported last week to be holding on the walls in the narrows continued their migratory movement and now reside in Warm Creek. They are right in the middle of the Warm Creek main channel beginning at the mouth of Crosby Canyon and continuing back about one half mile. Fish are holding at 25-60 feet where the bottom is 60-80 feet deep.

The most effective technique is lowering a half-ounce silver jigging spoon to the bottom. Raise it up 5-10 feet, then vertically jig it up and down with enthusiasm. There are some of the one pound yearlings being caught but most of the fish are 3-8 pounds and some really robust fish. There are still shad in Warm Creek so these fish continue to eat regularly and are maintaining body condition. Other canyons that may harbor similar striper schools in the lower lake are Navajo, West, Last Chance and Rock Creek. The anchovy bite on the walls near the dam and power plant has slowed dramatically with only small fish being caught.

Mid lake is a repeat of the same pattern. Stripers are being spooned from Piute and Cha on the San Juan and from Reflection Canyon. Remember to look closer to the back of the canyons than the fish have been found previously. Further uplake the spoon bite works at the Rincon and in Slick Rock Canyon. The back of Bullfrog and Halls Creek have also been productive. Anchovies will work well at the mid lake sites. Spoons work better in locations where shad are present. Check the fish-finding graph for bait as well as stripers when deciding on a plan of attack.

The upper San Juan is one of the last shad strong holds. There are lots of shad downstream from Piute Farms and some really quick striper boils are happening. The boils are of short duration but they will get bigger and better as temperatures continue to cool. Similar events transpire in the Colorado River above Hite where shad are plentiful and quick boils can be found with a little more regularity.

The best striper spot on the lake continues to be Blue Notch/Red Canyon in Good Hope Bay. Jigging with spoons is almost a sure thing with incredible numbers of stripers stacked up in the canyons mouths. There have also been sporadic boils reported.

Timing is not that critical as long as you fish early and late. The only really tough times are from 10 am to 2 pm. It is really hard to buy a fish mid day and pretty easy the rest of the time.

Bass are still holding quite deep. We caught a 2 pound smallmouth today on an anchovy at 60 feet in Warm Creek. Yesterday the quality smallmouth were taken in submerged creek channels that were noticeable deeper than surrounding structure. Fish deep with big grubs except early and late when top water works well in coves where shad are present. Fishing should remain good for striped bass and black bass during all of October.