SEPTEMBER 21, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3678 (M. S. L.) Water Temperature: 75-78 F

Stripers are moving toward the backs of canyons. Recent surface feeding striper boils have been in open water of bays and canyons. Now stripers are herding shad into short open cuts near deep water. Shad are trapped in coves as stripers guard deep water escape routes. Shad rush to the shallows to escape each time stripers attack. Frightened shad will actually jump onto the bank where ravens, gulls, herons, and even coyotes will feed on them. As more shallow water action happens, birds and other predators move in to capitalize on the free shad meal. Look for ravens and blue herons standing on shore, gulls or terns overhead, or shad trapped in the back of a canyon to tip off striper activity. Birds remain after an on-shore ambush which tips off the spot to look for the next boil.

Boils happen anytime of day in the back of any canyon. It is most common to see early boils, but there is increasing midday action as well. Stripers boil again in the afternoon and evening.

In the lower lake boils were seen recently in Gunsight, Padre, Kane Creek, Kane Wash and Mountain Sheep. They are expected to be in most canyons from Padre Bay to Rainbow Bridge. Uplake boils are increasing again near Hite, from White to Ticaboo, in the upper San Juan and Escalante. Midlake, Bullfrog/Halls, has few shad remaining but will have a modest number of boils in the early morning and evening.

Stripers only boil for short periods and then rest in deep water near the ambush site. Use the graph to find resting schools in 40-60 feet of water and then use jigging spoons or anchovy bait to get the school to resume feeding. Chumming may help get the school started.

Smallmouth are very active on main channel points from Padre Bay to Hite. They are swimming with stripers in the coves where shad are trapped. They readily take smaller surface lures and will occasionally get hooked on the 5 inch zara spooks used for stripers. Dark green worms, grubs, soft jerk baits and tubes on quarter ounce lead heads will catch fish all day long.

A good fishing plan is to cruise the shore line for the first two hours of light looking for striper boils. Since striper boils are random events it is better to keep looking instead of waiting where you think they will appear. After a boil, follow the school with the graph and then fish spoons or bait in the 45 foot channel where they are resting. Stop and fillet stripers and put them on ice. Then fish for bass until a random striper boil is discovered.

Catfish are hitting well on sandy beaches. Some of the biggest bluegill of the year are biting in the upper lake near brush. Fishing is great!