April 30, 1999

Lake Elevation: 3677 msl

Water Temperature: 57-63 F

By Wayne Gustaveson

From the many recent E-mail requests for information it appears I need to answer specific questions in the next few fish reports. What should I fish with is asked most often. Use something in which you have confidence. Anglers must feel a strong likelihood that fish will bite their terminal tackle. If not, they are constantly changing lures and missing valuable fishing time. Presentation is often as important as lure selection. A marabou jig and a curly tail plastic grub both catch bass and panfish. Some anglers prefer one above the other and therefore, have better success on the preferred lure. Use what has worked for you in the past. To experiment with other lures have a second and third rod rigged with new baits, but cast your favorite lure in each likely looking spot first. Thatís the easy way to try something new without missing out on the action.

Fishing for stripers from the buoy line at the dam has been steady all spring. The fish schooled there are accustomed to seeing anchovies dangled at 30 feet during all hours of the day and night. One angler seems to be doing better than others by changing the presentation slightly. He is using the same half anchovy as everyone else, but he is hooking it to a quarter ounce chartreuse jig-head on which he has threaded just the curly tail portion of a white plastic grub (2 inch). He then casts out to the wall and lets the bait sink to 20-30 feet before reeling very slowly back to the boat. The light jig head lets the bait descend slowly. The florescent color flashes and the little curly tail wiggles attracting stripers who are always looking for live fish. The anchovy provides the taste and feel of food. The innovative angler catches fish that ignore the 50 other similar pieces of anchovy hanging in front of it.

This subtle change technique may work at traditional anchovy spots like the dam, power plant intake, Moki Wall, and Hallís Creek bay. Stripers in the backs of most major canyons will be more likely to hit a lure that resembles a shad. Stripers go to the back of the canyon to search for fish and can be taken on reaction type baits that pass in close proximity. Try casting or trolling in the back of Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Oak, Reflection, San Juan, Escalante, Slick Rock, Bullfrog, Red, Trachyte and White Canyons. In each canyon fish where the water color is murky green instead of blue. Fishing bait on a rocky bottom works well lake wide early moving and late evening. Suspending anchovies 30 feet deep near steep, main channel walls may be better during the day.

Mid lake hot spot is the mouth of Moki Canyon on both the right or left sides about 100 yards in from the main channel.

Bass spawning has begun but is sporadic due to cold weather. The recent moderation in temperature means that bass fishing will soon improve particularly for smallmouth bass and bluegill. Largemouth are the most active bass right now and are being caught in the brush sticking up in the backs of the canyons. Use your favorite jig or curly tail flipped right into the brush for best success. Smallmouth nests are beginning to show up on the edges of rocky flats near deep water.