July 2, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3694 msl
Water Temperature: 75-83 F
Air temperatures hover around 100 each day with calm mornings followed by thermal winds in the 15-20 mph range each afternoon. Fishing early and late is essential to beat the heat. The lake level is closing in on the full pool mark and continues to rise about 3 inches per day.
Fishing pressure is slight. There is little competition for fishing spots. I went fishing for 2 hours and was pleasantly surprised with my success. Fishing the same main channel points that I try for each fish report I found the smallmouth catching to be just as good as it was a month ago. My son and I caught 15 smallmouth, The real surprise was that the fish were larger. The majority of the bass were over one pound and the biggest was almost 2 pounds. We caught a couple tiny ones as well, but we really had fun. I think the bigger fish result from lack of fishing pressure. A big fish on each spot will only get caught once a day. If you are the first to fish the spot - you get the big one. Since my tests spots are heavily fished areas near Wahweap Marina and I don't get out until about 8 am I usually don't get there first. Today the bigger fish were waiting for me. The boat traffic in the main channel doesn't really bother me or the fish. I think the fish get accustomed to boat noise. As long as boat traffic is not associated with a negative action (like being hooked) then fish ignore boats and get on with the business of shopping for crayfish and sunfish.
We tested two different techniques. We both used dark green single tail grubs. One was hooked to a 1/4 ounce lead head, the other to a semi circular Gamakatsu hook with a two medium split shot 14 inches up the line. Both techniques worked well but on one shoal the split shot rig accounted for 4 fish in 4 casts. Numerous trailing fish were seen with each hooked fish. The split shot rig out fished the lead head rig today. We found that it was necessary to slow down and let the bait rest on the bottom in between movements. I would suggest 15 second delays between movement. Picture the fish looking at the bait resting on the bottom. Give him time to make up his mind if he is interested and then move the bait a little. That should help with his decision to bite the green thing before it gets away. Do not fish too fast for summer smallmouth bass!
The first striper boil was reported today. Tiny shad are moving in the backs of the canyons followed by schools of small stripers. The boils are quick and not yet approachable but as shad grow larger, boils will be of longer duration. Just be aware that a striper boil could happen near the back of any canyon. The bigger stripers are moving along main channel walls. Try a number of different spots to intercept randomly moving fish. Once found stripers are readily caught on the same anchovy techniques that have worked all spring. There was a new report of a striper school near the petrified logs at Spencers Camp on the San Juan. The other hot spots previously mentioned will continue to produce on a random basis. Fishing at the dam is getting better again but remains sporadic.