August 7, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3694 msl
Water Temperature: 79-85 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
Striper boils at Piute Farms!
There was some real excitement this past week in the striped bass department. Russ Romney of Page, AZ caught a 19 pound striper fishing an anchovy near Glen Canyon Dam. His young kids captured 45 other stripers before Russ caught the big one.
Moki Wall near Bullfrog/Halls has turned on again with large stringers of 2-6 pound stripers showing up. See Mark Connolly’s report on Lake Powell home page - Anglers Corner for Bullfrog detail.
Adult stripers are prowling at 50-70 feet where water temperatures are cooler yet some food is still available. Only small schools of shad are available in the very warm water. Most adult stripers are searching for crayfish around deep broken rock structure. If you have been fishing sheer cliffs your success has decreased lately since stripers only travel along the walls to find the next rocky outcropping. Try anchoring over 60 foot structure where broken rock provides hiding habitat for crayfish to have the best striper success. Most stripers caught deep on bait do not survive even if released into the 80 degree surface water. Put them immediately on ice in a cooler to maintain their excellent eating quality. Striper physical condition continues to hold up as crayfish provide enough energy to keep the fish healthy. I think that our harvest efforts this spring have been rewarded by healthy stripers this summer. Keep catching and keeping stripers.
The most exciting news is that big stripers are boiling in the upper San Juan near Piute Farms launch area. Boils are located in side coves and short canyons between Piute Farms and Zahn Bay rather than being in the main channel. It will take some looking around but it will be worth the trip if you are afflicted with the dreaded striper boil virus that causes some anglers to do crazy things when they hear about surface feeding fish.
Smallmouth bass are really tightly grouped on main channel island type structure that has deep water all around it. I have found sunfish, largemouth, walleye and catfish lurking near drop offs where water depth quickly falls from 10 to 30 or 40 feet. Fish rock piles near the mouths of canyons. Follow shallow flats out to where the canyon drops off into hundreds of feet of water. The break point is the critical spot to find fish concentrations. One of the most productive patterns is to find a submerged island with ledges offering a little shade. Dropping a grub vertically past the shady ledge usually results in a smallmouth attack. Try parking the boat over the ledge and fishing vertically instead of casting horizontally. Bounce the grub on the bottom two or three times and then reel it quickly back to the boat to get the attention of suspended fish in a chasing mood. If searching for just the right colored grub, try white or clear sparkling colors for a pleasant surprise.