July 3, 1998

Lake Elevation: 3696 msl

Water Temperature: 72-80 F

By Wayne Gustaveson


The skirmish lines are drawn. Ten inch stripers are guarding the green water in the backs of the canyons for any sign of shad. When the inch-long, thread-like shad venture out of the muddy water to eat plankton the battle begins. Tiny stripers attack shad just like the 10 pound adults. The action is ferocious, just on a smaller scale than boils that happen in the fall. Down size your equipment to ultra light gear to get the same excitement generated by the bigger boils. Use a small jigging spoon, a quarter-ounce jig with a white curly tail grub, or a short surface lure. Zara pups, tiny torpedoes, Pop-Rís, or near nuthinís will catch the feisty surface-feeding stripers.

These boiling stripers schools are not spooky or fast moving because the prey moves very slowly at such a small size. The boat can be positioned right next to the boil and multiple fish can be caught from each school. If the schools get out of range of light tackle too quickly compensate by using a full size zara spook or similar surface lure and attach an 18 inch leader to the back hook. Tie on the tiny jig or spoon to the leader. Now the zara spook booster rocket can propel your tiny bait to the feeding school and the terminal offering will be small enough to entice a bite. Use a heavy 12-14 pound-test leader to keep the terminal bait from tangling with the larger lure when casting.

Boils are most likely to happen early and late but they have also been seen at high noon. Keep a rod rigged for top water action and opportunistically fish when the occasion arises. Boils are happening in Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek, Bullfrog, Halls, and White Canyon. Action will be closer to the back than the mouth but it will be where the shad school happens to be when detected by stripers. Both species are extremely mobile but young shad are hatched in the backs of the canyons and hiding in brush where the current activity is centered. Now is the time to help the great fishery resource by harvesting the small stripers and allowing the young shad to grow up. Small stripers are eating the small shad before any other fish have a chance. Fishing the boils is fun and the best way to keep the fishery healthy. Keep the small stripers. It is all right to whistle while you work.

Adult fish have not moved laterally but they are going deeper with the rapid increase in surface temperature. Anglers are still catching fish at the dam, power plant intake, Navajo Canyon, main channel points, Moki wall, White canyon. Fishing pressure has decreased dramatically with hot summer temperatures so it is possible to have some really great fishing all to yourself. Try early morning for real pleasant fishing.

Smallmouth bass have moved into summer locations and patterns. Bass catch is picking up dramatically. One half to one pound smallmouth are tearing up green hued grubs in the rocky shallows. Catfishing is really good on sandy beaches at dusk. Have a great holiday weekend.