July 13, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3683 Water Temperature: 74-84 F

(Fishing conditions have not changed since the last report so I will leave it posted for a while longer. I am off this week coaching some Junior League (13-14 year old) All Star baseball players at a District Championship Tournament in Show Low, AZ).

The lake appears to have topped out for the year since outflow now exceeds inflow.

The skirmish between shad and stripers has swung back in favor of striped bass. Boils are less frequent now as shad numbers have been reduced in clear water. Early morning and late evening are still the best time to consistently see boils. The surface action is short lived and fish are boat shy. It seems that more boils are occurring in the evening now instead of morning. This changes on a weekly basis depending on moon phase and other environmental variables.

There are some consistent, repeatable boils in the Dirty Devil, White Canyon, Upper San Juan, Upper Escalante, Last Chance and Navajo Canyons. With less available shad these boiling fish will now go to the bottom to rest and will then feed on anchovies.

Find boiling fish. When the top water action is over chum and fish bait in the same area for some big catches. Checked a group this morning that had chummed up 60 stripers last night and then 50 this morning in the back of Navajo Canyon where bottom depth was 35 feet and the green water met brown. This pattern should be dependable lake wide. It was important to liberally chum each time catching slowed down.

Smallmouth fishing is steady. Casting or drifting a soft plastic grub at 20-30 foot depths over submerged humps, reefs and shoals is a very consistent method of catching bass. Grubs can be either fixed on a lead head (3/8 ounce) or on an 18 inch carolina rigged leader with circular Gamakatsu hook. The free floating grub is kept near bottom by the weight. Bass really like this presentation which makes a novice angler catch fish like a veteran. Just make sure the lure consistently stays on or near bottom at the 20-25 foot contour. Use a sweep set or steady turning of the reel handle to set the hook which will lodge in the corner of the jaw almost every time.

Catfish and bluegill are very catchable right now.

This report applies to all areas of the lake. The pattern mentioned for one canyon works in another. Just match conditions and try the same technique. If your are not near Navajo Canyon go to the back of Last Chance, or Red Canyon or any other canyon. Find 35 feet of water or where the color changes from green to brown and try chumming anchovies for a good striper bite. Or find boiling fish and try that same spot with bait after they dive.