October 16, 1998

Lake Elevation: 3686 msl

Water Temperature: 64-69 F

By Wayne Gustaveson

It is a good time to catch stripers. Water temperature is ideal for all sizes of striped bass making this week the peak of fall striper fishing. They can be caught with just about any fishing technique. Anchovy fishing will probably be the most productive, but there is some surface feeding happening and boils can be found. Trolling works especially where fish have recently boiled. Vertically jigging above stationary schools and around marauding packs of stripers with hammered silver spoons is really great once a school lights up and begins a serious feeding binge.

A typical day should begin with a quick cruise to the back of the canyon where shad have been located. Look for bird activity (seagulls, blue herons, ravens). Birds feed on shad that escape from stripers but land on shore. Gulls will feed right with the surfacing schools as shad try to leap out of the water. Cast surface lures or shallow running crankbaits towards shore where bird activity is found. Sometimes stripers will boil on your lure even if shad are not present.

If lucky enough to find boiling fish work them with surface lures and rattletraps until they go down. Then troll in the area of the last boil with a ’little mac’ or ‘shad rap’ to take a few more stragglers. After about 10 am look for stripers in the back of the canyon where bottom depth is 40-50 feet. When a school or scattered fish are found drop a silver spoon, white jig or anchovy to the bottom and then work it about 3-5 feet above the bottom. This technique will work all day until the setting sun brings stripers to the top where they boil once more.

Boils may be found in Warm Creek, Gunsight, Last Chance, Friendship Cove, Rincon, Slick Rock, Bullfrog Bay, Good Hope Bay, White Canyon and near Hite. Stripers will be at the 45 foot contour in all of those canyons. Additionally, look for deep (40-60 foot) stripers in Wahweap Bay on the steep walls north of Lone Rock, at the power plant intake, Navajo Canyon, Padre Canyon, Last Chance, West canyon, Rock Creek, Oak Canyon, Piute/ Neskahi and further up the San Juan.

Smallmouth fishing continues to improve. I have one test reef in the main channel just upstream from Warm Creek. Each week I go out and fish the same spot with grubs to get a feel for bass fishing success. Today I fished the reef for 15 minutes and hooked 7 smallmouth. That is the best I have done all year. Bass fishing will hold up until the temperature drops into the 50's.

Catfish are still hitting on liver, shrimp, night crawlers and anchovies. Bluegill can be caught in brushy coves on live worms.