August 13, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3693 msl
Water Temperature: 76-83 F
Super surface feeding opportunities continue for anglers willing to make the long run to the upper reservoir. But top water action is improving over the rest of the lake as well. Fish are still deep mid day but can be caught on grubs and spoons.
Striped bass are boiling with regularity in the upper San Juan arm and near Hite. A trip to either location will be rewarded with a chance to catch 1-5 pound striped bass on top. Early morning and late evening are the most productive times but boils have been seen all day long in those locations. Increasing top water action has been seen at Bullfrog at the Ferry Boat Ramp cove and in the back of Moki Canyon. Occasional boils have been seen at the mouth of Antelope Canyon, Warm Creek and Navajo Canyon. These lower lake boils are quick, sporadic and so far, not repeatable. Look in the upper lake for consistent action.
There is a consistent striped bass anchovy bite in the main channel at the highest part of the cliff on Antelope Island between the mouth of Navajo and the Narrows leading to Padre Bay. Expect to catch 5-10 fish during morning hours (6-9 am). Stripers up to 5 pounds are feeding on crayfish on a 30 foot shelf in otherwise deep water. Look for similar rocky ledges near cliffs in main channel areas for anchovy fishing opportunities lakewide. Catching is much better early and late than during mid day.
Smallmouth fishing is only fair in the lower lake but dramatically better uplake. Main channel reefs, islands, and shoals are the habitat preferred by crayfish-eating smallmouth. Bottom-bouncing a dark green, chartreuse or smoke colored grub is very effective for smallmouth up to 2 pounds. The upper San Juan, Escalante, and Good Hope Bay are prime locations but smallmouth are found everywhere on rocky structure with deep water near by. Park the boat on the fast breaking edge of a main channel island and drop the grub straight down to the bottom at 15-30 feet. Wait for bottom contact and then snap back hard enough to set the hook. If no fish hits on the first or second hop, reel in and try another vertical drop along the edge of the reef. You will find working the precise edge of a drop off will pay big dividends in smallmouth caught.
Catfishing is just great on any beach that a house boat can camp on. Use table scraps for a hour of quick fishing after dinner. Leftover chicken fajitas are irresistible catfish cuisine. I put the green pepper on the hook first follow by onion and a little piece of chicken. No kidding - this works great.