OCTOBER 5, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3677
Water Temperature: 69-71 F

Stripers have moved into normal fall habits. Their daily cycle begins and ends searching for shad. After spending the night in the submerged creek channel they attempt to drive shad schools from deep water into a short cove. If they can trap a school in shallow water a 30 minute to one hour boil period ensues.

If they are unsuccessful in trapping shad, which happens most of the time, then individual stripers will chase small groups of shad in open deep water. Look for stripers at the back of the canyon where main channel water depth is 50 feet and fish traces can be seen on the graph. Stripers not actively boiling will come to the top to hit surface lures before the sun's rays hit the water. An occasional swirl on the top water lure means that many stripers are actively searching for food down deep. Spoons or heavy white marabou jigs fished on the bottom is the most productive fishing method. Shaded canyons prolong the surface/deep water bite as long as 8-9 AM.

When full sun hits the water stripers stop searching, school up and rest near bottom at 60-90 feet. Location will be in close proximity to feeding opportunities usually at channel depth of 50-90 feet. The typical canyon has steep sandstone walls at the mouth which continue to the back where they give way to a beach area with tamarisk trees. Stripers will habitually be located where the sandstone walls meet the brush covered flood plain. Anchoring and fishing anchovies at 60 feet near resting schools works best midday. Infrequently there is a mid day boil where stripers drive shad to the same coves they tried to use in the morning.

Stripers rest until about 4 PM when direct sunlight again begins to fade and they resume active pursuit of shad. They leave the deep resting spot and rise to 30-50 feet where spoons and jigs are readily accepted and an occasional boil is encountered in a nearby cove. Boils are most often seen right at dark.

Stripers are exceptional nocturnal feeders and will continue shad pursuit at night. Attracting shad to the boat with artificial light (lantern or spotlight) is a very effective method of locating stripers. If no shad come after an hour you will need to move to a shad rich area. If shad show up then fishing under the shad with anchovies is a deadly technique for catching stripers.

Canyons currently holding shad/stripers include: Lone Rock, Warm Creek, Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance, Rock Creek (main and Dry), Oak, Reflection, Rincon, Iceberg, Slick Rock, Bullfrog Bay, Ticaboo, Red/Blue Notch, islands at mouth of White/Farleys/Trachyte, and channel upstream from Hite.

There is a good top water BASS bite from first light until the sun hits the water. Then bass go deep- 25 to 30 feet. They are catchable but the bite is very SUBTLE. That's a nice way of saying they're biting and you can't feel it. I suggest going heavier - at least ounce weight (football head) on the jig head. At 25-30 feet you MUST know exactly how the lure should feel. The extra weight lets you get the feel each time it hits bottom. The bite will be incredibly soft so you need to know what the lure feels like and then respond quickly when it deviates from the norm. Set the hook on everything that feels "different".