June 4, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3682 msl
Water Temperature: 67-77 F
Most stripers left the prespawn staging areas that have produced all spring. But they really didn't travel very far. Fishing is actually better now because there are more striper schools in more places and potentially more anglers can get involved.
Here are the newly located striper catching hot spots: Main Warm Creek (back of canyon 3 points upstream from mouth of Crosby Canyon). Navajo Canyon (points on left just past first set of double islands). Main channel buoy 16 (early morning). Last Chance (back of Little Arch canyon where bottom depth is 25-40 feet and extreme end of canyon - left fork). Slick Rock Canyon (near fence ruin). Main channel left hand side going upstream from Slick Rock Canyon, past islands to beaches and steep walls. Bullfrog Bay (Ferry boat cove - from shore). Moki canyon (one mile up canyon from mouth) and at end of Moki wall (main channel) about a mile upstream where canyon wall ends.
There are two patterns. Some stripers are in the backs of the canyons where shad are spawning (Upper San Juan, Good Hope, Last Chance and Hite). Fish at first light with shad imitating baits and even surface lures. Feeding coincides with shad spawning so action subsides when the sun hits the water.
Then stripers move deeper and suspend in open water (main channel and main canyon) where they feed on plankton. This action lasts all day (best early morning and late evening) and is normally associated with steep walls, drop offs near shoals and main channel locations. Stripers are always looking for something larger than microscopic plankton and will readily hit cut anchovy bait. Chumming increases the catch about 10 fold when plankton feeders are found. Investing 3-4 anchovies every fifteen minutes results in a cooler full of chunky 1-2 pound stripers by the end of the trip. With water temperatures nearing 70 it is time to put the stringer away and immediately place your catch on ice. Rapid cooling is the key to maintaining the excellent table quality of striped bass.
Smallmouth continue to delight anglers fishing main channel and secondary points with soft plastic grubs, and crank baits all day long. Top water lures work early in the morning. Fish are small but fun. Size of fish tends to increase as you proceed uplake. Dark green and smoked colored grubs worked well last week.
Catfish and bluegill are hitting bait on shore right at your camp.