July 11, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3695 and holding
Water Temperature: 77-80 F

Stripers are boiling but the catching is difficult. They are feeding on extremely small shad so large lures are generally being ignored. One very effective lure is the smaller size Kastmaster or similar spoon. The spoon is small enough to resemble a larval shad yet heavy enough to cast to a rapidly moving boil. Reel the lure fast to keep it near the surface but add twitches and pauses to imitate a frightened shad. Another combination lure that works is a surface popper with a small jig attached with a dropper leader. The surface lure is heavy enough to cast and attracts stripers to the surface commotion.

The trailing small white grub is then attacked by the feeding stripers. The combination surface lure with diving trailer can be fished at various speeds to match the attitude of your particular striper school.

Look for stripers boiling in the afternoons at the following locations: Dirty Devil, White Canyon, Red Canyon, Moki, Slick Rock, Upper San Juan, Navajo Canyon, and Warm Creek. Boils happen anywhere that young shad are found. Cruising calm water in the afternoon with a small Kastmaster attached to the rod is as close to a sure thing as can be found.

Larger stripers up to 10 pounds have been taken by trollers in the back of Warm Springs Canyon. Fishing with anchovies near Castle Butte in Good Hope Bay has paid dividends on larger fish. Anchovies fished over deep ledges or rock piles on steep main channel walls will become more effective as summer progresses. Remember that chumming with anchovies is now legal and very effective in starting a feeding frenzy in a resting striper school. Cut 6 anchovies in small pieces and broadcast around the boat. Then fish with little or no weight and a small piece of anchovy for quick action for stripers from 10 inches to 10 pounds.

Smallmouth fishing has slowed down but they can still be caught on grubs fished over deep structure. Find the edge of the structure and drop the grub straight down with pinpoint accuracy right on the deep breaking edge for best results. Better fish are 20-30 feet deep.

Catfishing is getting better with each passing day. They will be found on the same shallow beach sites that are the best for camping. Find a campsite and catfish will be there. Use liver, anchovy or shrimp in combination with a live worm for an unbeatable bait. Be on the lookout for driftwood from Good Hope Bay to Hite and in the upper San Juan.