June 12, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3693 msl
Water Temperature: 67-72 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
In reviewing water temperature data over the past 5 years it is true that this is a late spring and water temperatures are lagging behind other years. That has really helped striper fishing and perhaps slowed down the bass bite. Since we have an abundance of striped bass now it is good that they are remaining extremely vulnerable to anglers. It looks like the great striper fishing will hold up through the month of June.
Specifically, the Moki Wall near Bullfrog/Halls Crossing is the hottest spot on the lake. Large stringers of stripers are hung from every where anglers are fishing sardines close to the wall. It is much better in early morning and evening and only steady fishing during midday. If it is necessary to move from Moki to do some sight seeing or skiing, stripers can be caught in Stanton Creek, at the mouth of Lake Canyon and the islands near the mouth of Slick Rock. Again, fishing early and late is better than at mid day. Red Canyon and Four Mile are good uplake. Watch out for drift wood in the Good Hope to Hite area and in the upper San Juan and Escalante.
Near Wahweap, the dam is the most popular spot but fishing is much better at the Power Plant intake, points midway up Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek at the mouth of Crosby Canyon and in the back of main Warm Creek near the brush. Donít forget the backs of Last Chance and Rock Creek. The narrows between Padre and Warm Creek are producing some bigger fish (5-8 pounds) near the 16 and 17 channel marker buoys. Try main channel obstructions marked by rock buoys lakewide for an easy way to locate likely striper holding structure.
Fishing is good enough that stripers can be caught just about anywhere you want to fish. Donít be misled if a fish is not caught immediately. Remember that schooling stripers eat and rest as a group. They must be enticed into activity and chumming with cut up sardines is a good way to get them going. (El Nino has displaced the anchovy population but sardines are a great substitute.) Early and late are best times to fish but the Navajo Canyon stripers can be caught at mid day.
If your school is not in a receptive mode move to a different spot. You may find an active group immediately. NEVER FISH ONE SPOT FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR WITHOUT CATCHING FISH. You may return after an hour to a previously unproductive spot and find the fish are now biting. Move short distances to find fish and increase your catch.
There is a bass bite that occurs every morning at dawn and continues until the sun hits the water. Shad are spawning in the backs of the canyons at daylight and bass will hit surface lures and shad imitating crankbaits and plastic grubs at first light. Bass are really excited about the new green-leafed flooded brush and they will often be right in the middle of the bush. A surface lure is the only way to present a bait to them in the new thickets.
Some walleye are being caught in the dirty water near Hite. Bluegill fishing is excellent on live worms. Some really big bluegill are available and really underutilized. Catfish are really easy on sandy beaches at dusk. You really canít miss. Enjoy your trip!