JUNE 29, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation:3683
Water temperature: 73-82 F

The July 4th Holiday week is busy and exciting. Fishing fits right in around the other water activities. Anglers can have a great time by getting up before the sun rises and spending two enjoyable quiet hours casting for surface feeding bass and stripers. After the sun starts to sink toward the western horizon anglers can put away the skis and find some more cooperative fish.

Stripers are boiling in fast moving, short-lived flurries. Most boils consist of small stripers chasing very small shad. Stripers line up side by side and feed in an organized wave. When a boat approaches, the school sounds and immediately pops up a hundred yards away and resumes the "wave" in a new direction. Try throwing a full size zara spook or zara pup while fish are still on top. If you can't get there soon enough then cast a 3/4 ounce spoon and let it hit bottom before vigorously jigging it. Stripers head for the bottom to regroup after they are spooked. They are usually in the back of the canyon where water depth is 20-50 feet so the spoon is ideal for staying with them. Larger stripers are boiling at or before first light. Smaller fish are staying up most of the morning.

You will see striper boils this week in the back of major canyons which hold shad. Look in Navajo, West, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Halls, Bullfrog, Stanton Creek, Red, White, Dirty Devil, and the upper San Juan. First light before direct sunshine hits is prime time. Try again as shadows cover the same areas in the evening.

If you're not up to the chase then downsize your lure to a Pop-r, skittle shad or sugoi splash and work the stickups and rocky points for bass. They hit with ferocity during the same twilight period.

the day all fish will be deeper. With boat traffic and direct sunshine, bass and stripers will be at 20-50 feet. Bass will hit soft plastic jigs on main channel rocks and points. Stripers will be looking for bait along steep canyon walls where a bit of a ledge or broken rock provides cover for crayfish. Stripers can be steadily caught at about 2-3 fish per hour on main channel points in Navajo Canyon, Last Chance, red buoy 22 in the lower lake. Catching is much better at night under lantern light from an anchored boat in 30-60 feet of water. Catch a striper during the day and go back to that spot at night to fill the cooler with fillets. Look in Cedar, Warm Springs, Red Canyon, mouth of Ticaboo, and Castle Butte for night feeding fish.

Bluegill are still on the nest so look in shallow water for big keeper size fish that are really easy to see and catch on live worms and small hooks. Catfish will be prowling every sandy beach where a boat can be parked. They are partial to what you had for dinner so put a scrap of fajita or hot dog on the hook and invite a catfish to the party.