September 4, 1998

Lake Elevation: 3690 msl

Water Temperature: 76-80 F

By Wayne Gustaveson

Just returned from a fish sampling trip to Rincon and Bullfrog. This report is weighted toward midlake locations with patterns that may apply at other spots. Stripers are boiling! We found striper boils at first light in the East Rincon and Slick Rock Canyon. Two to four pound stripers have shad trapped in the backs of both canyons. Stripers feed every morning and evening and are really smacking surface lures.

Slick Rock Canyon stripers boiled again from 10-12 am. What a circus! Stripers were coming up near the indian ruins where houseboats park and every boat and wave runner stops to view the scenery. Boiling stops when too much boat traffic happens in the 100 foot wide canyon only to start again when the boat wakes settle down. Two us were able to catch 48 fish in an hour and a half of sustained action. As the stripers were settling down at midday smallmouth moved in to take their turn. My last cast was ingested by a 5 pound largemouth that blasted up out of a submerged tree about 10 feet from the boat. That’s the biggest bass I’ve caught for a long time.

Slick Rock is a small canyon and wont take too much fishing pressure. So don’t be surprised if these boils do not last. I am sure they will continue at first light during the Labor Day weekend but after that it is anyone’s guess. The pattern is important. Look in the backs of canyons for shad around the submerged brush that is just barely visible under the water. Shad hide in the brush and then come to the top to feed. In a calm cove shad make a subtle surface riffle which was best described as “nervous water”. Check out 10-30 foot round patches of surface disturbance to see if it is shad or just imagination. If shad are found, stripers will appear at first light the next morning. Be there! - with surface lures tied on all fishing rods. The action lasts for about one hour.

This pattern works in the San Juan or Good Hope Bay or any canyon on the lower lake. Find shad that are staying in one area and boils will happen during one of your period checks of the shad spot. Stripers boil about twice a day for an hour or two. That means there will be long periods of calm water. But actually finding one great boil can make the whole trip - so keep looking. The first two hours of daylight are prime time.

The smallmouth bite is a good diversion while waiting for top water action to start. We found bass hitting on the ends of most outside points jutting into Rincon Bay. Fishing improved as the sun set. The best technique was to cast a smoke/sparkle single tail grub to the waters edge and then reel it quickly back to the boat. Bass were chasing small bait fish and they liked quick midwater action better than bottom bouncing movement on this particular day.

It appears that fishing is picking up again after the August lull. I am ready to go back out. I really like fishing striper boils.