September 10, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3693 msl
Water Temperature: 74-77 F
Stripers have quit feeding on the surface except for some really quick boils randomly scattered over the reservoir. Smallmouth fishing is still good.
Stripers seemed to take last week off, maybe in honor of Labor Day. In any event, surface action was sparse. I don't think it is over for the year. I suspect major movement by the shad population temporarily eluded stripers. Hopefully, by the time this report is out, stripers will find shad and be busting the top once more. Look in areas that were good two weeks ago for resurfacing stripers. Hite, Dirty Devil, White Canyon, Good Hope, Upper San Juan, and the backs of most major canyons on Lake Powell.
Consider a striper boil to be a bonus this week. If you find one, GREAT. If not, the smallmouth fishing is good. Stripers are definitely still looking for shad. Schools holding deep can be caught with regularity. The best technique is to find them on the electronic graph and then drop a silver jigging spoon down to the resting school. Once started the school lights up, comes off the bottom and eats jigging spoons like stainless steel potato chips. My best suggestion for this week is to work spoons on the bottom while waiting to see a boil. Fish in the same locations that boils were seen previously. White jigs and single tail grubs fished at 40-90 feet are also effective on a deep, resting school. If the stripers are without shad then anchovies will work as well. It is worth a try.
Smallmouth fishing is still good but the fish are tight to the bottom except for some surface action early and late each day. Smoked/sparkle colored jigs were better fish producers for me when I fished on Labor Day. The main channel reefs were still producing. My son and I caught 20 smallmouth in 2 hours of fishing as hundreds of boats cruised up and down the channel. The trick was to get the grub right on the bottom near the edge of a fast breaking reef. Most fish were caught at 15 feet with larger ones coming from 25-30 foot depths.
Jigging spoons work for smallmouth and largemouth as well as striped bass. It is an effective fall fishing technique. Tie a large snap to the end of your line and then attach a 3/4 ounce silver or shad colored spoon. Drop the spoon straight to the bottom until the line goes slack. Quickly lift the rod tip so the spoon "hops" 3-10 feet and then let it descend again on slack line. The erratic action of the falling spoon mimics a distressed shad and really excites predators. They bite "on-the- fall" so nothing is felt until the rod tip is lifted. Watching the line allows a preview of what is to come. If the line stops going down before the lure has had time to hit the bottom - set the hook. If the line jerks or starts to run sideways take out the slack and set the hook. I like vertical jigging almost as much as surface fishing. It is great exercise that really beats the stair stepper. The reward is fat-free if you broil or bake the fillets.