It's that time of year when the parking lots have emptied, weather gets more unpredictable and the lake is not as nice as it was last month. Fishing becomes spotty with great success found in a few locations but the majority of canyons are only fair to good. Realizing that fishing is often tough this time of year I will concentrate on spots where chances of success are greater.
Stripers and shad are moving quickly in and out of canyons. Fast fishing in North Wash or Trachyte one day may give way to no fish the next. Each day somewhere between the Horn and Hite stripers and shad will be battling. Keep moving and checking canyons with surface lures, spoons and electronics until the school is located. There may be an occasional 10 minute boil. Watch for birds congregated in an area to tip off presence of surface feeding stripers. An active striper school charted on the fish finder will likely hit spoons jigged off the bottom in 40-60 feet of water. Perhaps the best bait right now is a 1 ounce white Stump Jumper (Bass Pro Shops p.186) with silver blade. This big white jig can be fished slowly near a passive striper school. The silver blade has a little attractive flash but sulking stripers that are ignoring spoons will sometimes go for the slower, more subtle jig presentation. Try both spoons and jigs depending on the mood of the school. Anchovies work, but my guess is that stripers are moving and susceptible to reaction baits while just a few stragglers will be found with bait. Smallmouth and blue gill action is good near Hite on small (16th ounce) tubes from the Horn to Two Mile, Four Mile and North Wash. Previously reported algae bloom is diminishing and not visible in main channel but still seen in backs of many canyons near Hite.
The only striper action reported is found in the back of Bullfrog Bay (right hand fork) where a few sporadic boils have been reported. Boiling stripers are susceptible to spoons and jigs when not on top, which is most of the time. Less shad at midlake means that anchovies work better here than at Hite. Graph a striper school and try reaction baits but if no takers are found switch immediately to bait with adequate chumming. Smallmouth fishing is only fair at Bullfrog.
Almost no shad means stripers are feeding very well on anchovies. Large striper schools are found in Warm creek (Crosby Canyon), Gunsight (near cut into Padre), Dry Rock Creek and terminal ends of other canyons where bottom depth is 60 feet. Schools viewed on the graph are suspended and appear to be dormant. They get active when chum is thrown and individual traces are seen darting out of the big school. These suspended, resting fish would be prime candidates for large white jigs fished slowly at depth fish are seen. Bass fishing is only fair in the lower lake.