November 6, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3686 msl
Water Temperature: 59-62 F
As we cruised downlake yesterday following a sampling trip on the San Juan arm we found perfectly flat, calm lake conditions and did not pass another boat until we reached Wahweap Bay. The cruise was almost mystical. To have the entire lake in warm rich fall color to oneself for a whole day is a sensory overload. That was special.
The fishing, however, was only fair. We sampled at Piute/Neskahi and found smallmouth fishing to be sluggish. The only dependable bite was to throw a dark green double tail jig to small islands or fast falling shorelines and points. Once the jig hit bottom it was then reeled very slowly and steadily back to the boat. When the jig was midway between the bottom and the boat an occasional smallmouth could be coaxed into biting. Suspended mid depth fish are some of the toughest fish to catch. Slow trolling the shorelines may work but we didnít try that.
We found no striped bass activity but had reports that shad, stripers. and bass were quite active in the Piute Farms/Zahn Bay area. There were striper boils found at noon near Piute Farms on Nov. 3rd. Stripers were 4-6 pounds, healthy and really put on an impressive surface display. If contemplating a trip to the San Juan I would recommend going all the way to the Piute Farms area. If your not ready for that commitment then fishing near any of the four marinas is just as good as midway up the San Juan.
Striper boils were seen under the Colorado River bridge near Hite. Trollers are consistently taking nice stripers near points and ledges in the main channel 6 miles downstream from Hite. There are occasional boils in the canyons between Hite and Good Hope Bay. On the lower lake there is a consistent anchovy bite in main Wahweap Bay just north of Lone Rock canyon. Look for the only red half moon colored steep cliff in otherwise white walls. The red cliff can be seen from miles away. Look for it as you pass the rental boat marina. Fish bait 25-50 feet deep off the red cliff wall.
Fish are moving into winter patterns. Bass fishing will now be sporadic and less predictable. Stripers will become more stationary and will actually be easier to find once a gathering spot is located. Some of the best striper catches are still to come so do not store the rods for the winter yet.