November 19, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3687 msl
Water Temperature: 61-63 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
We have proven that the never ending summer we are living is good for bass anglers but making it kind of tough for striper catching. Smallmouth catching continues to be good and is generally better on main channel structure than in the backs of canyons. Some bigger bass are being caught now and largemouth are showing up in greater abundance than earlier in the year. It has been absolutely delightful weather there is no argument about that.
Striper fishing must be concentrated in areas where shad are not abundant to be successful. Shad-rich coves have provided food for stripers so consistently that all baits except live shad are virtually ignored. In the upper lake avoid Red Canyon and Trachyte and fish 2-mile, 4- mile and main channel looking for small striper schools on the graph at depths of 60 feet.
Mid lake there are few shad so fishing in Bullfrog/Halls and Moki Canyon is fair to good on anchovies. The Rincon has very few shad, predator fish and crystal clear water. Cloudy water is needed for success midlake. Avoid Rincon and go to Long Canyon and Bown’s instead. The San Juan is slow for stripers. From Rainbow Bridge downstream conditions are right for fair to good striper fishing. Anchovies, slab spoons and heavy white jigs are good baits for Oak, West, Last Chance, Navajo and Warm Creek.
There is a striper catching method that does work in the shad-rich upper lake for the very heartiest of anglers. Fishing at night while anchored at 50-60 feet in the channel near a shad/striper feeding area pays big dividends. Hang a bright crappie light over the side to attract shad. Use anchovies or even a cut-up shad captured on site as bait. Place the bait below the shad school within 20 feet of the bottom to intercept schools of stripers traveling to and from nightly feeding areas in the backs of the cove. A real “night person” can catch up to 50 fish in 4-5 hours fishing using this method.. Stripers are feeding mostly at night in the current weather pattern and this is the very best way to catch them.