By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3679
Water Temperature: 74-77 F

Got in the boat this morning and went hunting. Headed toward the dam and then up the channel toward Antelope Canyon. The early morning colors under a partly cloudy sky were so incredible it would have been easy to miss the first splash. The boat glided toward the splash as I loaded my rod tip with a jumpin minnow and aimed just beyond the ripples. The lure hit the water and was inhaled as it started to swim. The striper missed and then struck again 3 times before leaving it alone. I put the boat just barely on plane and continued slowly up the channel. Every splash was a striper. Pinpoint casting to each separate rise resulted in a striper slashing at the lure. Most stripers only hit once or twice and very few were hooked but it was a very enjoyable fishing trip to SEE the fish first and then try to get in range to catch them. That's why I call it "hunting".

Striper hunting is good a mile upstream and down from Antelope Launch Ramp. Cruise the channel and stop just within casting range of each splash seen from first light until 8 am. There are good striper hunting opportunities in Warm Creek (haystacks), Navajo Canyon, and around Antelope Island especially near Castle Rock. These same conditions should prevail lakewide.

On September 6th from 9-10 am stripers were boiling just on the Warm Creek side of Castle Rock in the main channel and closer to Antelope Island. Arctic Terns were diving into the feeding frenzy and were easy to follow as they stayed with the roving stripers and guided the way. Over- cast conditions contributed to the late day boil. Hunt longer on cloudy days. When it is bright and sunny the surface bursts usually quit by 8:30 am (MST).

This pattern prevails over the entire lake. Individual scattered fish feed on top for two hours each morning and then once in a while a large boil erupts. If lucky enough to see it then a huge catch (twenty plus stripers) results. If not, it is fun to try out casting accuracy to the individual swirls and see if a fish or two can be caught on top.

The rest of the daylight hours can be spent chasing smallmouth bass. They too are schooled and chasing bait fish. Smallmouth boil occasionally but are more often caught near the bottom on soft plastic grubs fixed to quarter ounce lead head jigs. Shad colors (smoked, silver, black) and crayfish colors (green, brown, pumpkin) are working very well.

Bass fishing is good to excellent. Canyons and bays near tributaries are more productive than lower and mid lake areas. Bass can be caught anywhere on submerged islands and prominent points. It seems best to move quickly from spot to spot instead of spending a lot of time at each stop. Bass are caught in bunches with some good looking spots fishless. Keep moving until a concentration is found.

Catfishing is good and sunfish are very aggressive and will be caught right along with smallmouth bass on rocky structure.