JUNE 22, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3683
Water Temperature: 73-80 F

Inflow just barely exceeds outflow. The lake will rise only very gradually for the next two weeks. Water temperature is near the summer average with cool 70's in the channel and low 80's in the shallows.

There was a dramatic improvement in fishing this past week. Smallmouth are the main players but stripers are adding a little spice with boiling activity.

Smallmouth continue to delight anglers on main channel rocks, shoals, points, and reefs. My weekly test trip resulted in 35 smallmouth in 3 hours for 3 anglers. Soft plastic grubs on 1/4 ounce lead heads fished in 5-25 feet of water worked consistently from 7 to 10 am. All colors that we tried worked. I favor dark green so it caught the most fish but I don't think color mattered to the smallmouth. Clear water is better than cloudy. Main channel and main canyon is better than backs of coves. Smallmouth are hitting very well over the entire reservoir.

Striped bass were boiling and catchable in White Canyon and Navajo Canyon. It is a little early in the year for consistent, repeatable boils but check canyons near Hite and the upper San Juan for boils. It will be worth the effort if you get in on an early summer striper feeding spree. Check Navajo Canyon, Last Chance, and canyons from Good Hope to Hite for boils, especially early in the morning. Rattletraps may be the best lure for catching early season surface feeding fish. I have also had decent luck with a small jig or grub tied as a trailer from the back hook of a Zara Spook. Deliver the tiny edible morsel with a big loud lure that can fly a long ways.

Bait fishing for stripers improved with fish being caught again on lower lake cliff walls and points in Navajo. Main channel rock hazards (reefs) are potential striper holding spots. Look for similar areas out of main channel where a pinnacle rock or submerged island with deep water, or cove area of cliff wall present potential striper holding areas. Chum and fish these areas to intercept a school that is moving along the cliff wall. You may only find stripers in one of five spots but the one spot will be worth it.

Fish were last caught on bait and reported in Cedar and Warm Springs Canyons. There is a predawn rattletrap bite consistently occurring within the tire reef at Bullfrog Marina. Catch fish until the sun peaks over the eastern horizon. Stripers have been consistently caught near Castle Butte in Good Hope Bay all spring.