OCTOBER 26, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3676
Water Temperature: 64-66 F

This has not been a good week for fishing. Storm fronts, cooling water, changing patterns all have contributed to inconsistent catching. It is not over for the year. Fishing for stripers, will improve as temperatures continue to drop. Bass fishing will have one more flurry before winter dormancy sets in.

A bass tournament held this past weekend was quite successful despite wet, cold, windy conditions. Participants caught mostly smallmouth on topwater and plastic grubs. Most brought in 5 fish limits of bass exceeding 12 inches. The winner caught a few largemouth with his smallmouth by fishing topwater lures along a tire breakwater near Wahweap Lodge. This early morning surface bite along with deep jigging with soft plastic baits during the day will continue to be productive as long as temperatures remain in the 60's. Then it will get tougher.

Stripers are being forced to change habits by approaching winter weather. Boils are a rare exception now. Stripers still try to move shallow each morning to feed but shad are difficult to move and becoming harder to find. Stripers can be consistently caught in deep water access routes (travel lanes) between shallow flood plains and deep water. Look for submerged creek channels with fish traces which can be seen on a graph at dawn each morning. Even when no shallow shad are found stripers are still looking where shad used to be and will bite for the first two hours each morning. Drop spoons, troll crank baits, throw surface lures between 6-8 am for best results. Repeat the process in the evening.

During mid day stripers move deeper and toward winter feeding grounds. Look in backs of bays where water depth is 60-100 feet. Fish anchovies at 60 feet even when bottom depth is much deeper. Hungry fish come up to feed while resting fish are deeper. Fast trolling with down riggers or leaded line is effective for dormant fish, particularly near Hite.

Winter patterns should be productive in Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Oak, Rincon, Halls, Bullfrog, Good Hope and Piute Canyon on San Juan.

While fish are making this transition from fall to winter patterns they feed more at night than during the day. Anchor in 50 feet of water and attract shad with bright light. Then fish anchovies under shad school for best success.

It seems that channel catfish are still actively feeding and are being caught in good numbers up and down lake. Fish bait on the shallow sloping sand bottom for best results.