JANUARY 8,2001
By Wayne Gustaveson
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Lake Elevation: 3669  Water temperature: 49-52 F

Stripers have been located at Hite and the upper San Juan by winter anglers trolling, casting and fishing anchovies.

In the upper San Juan between Copper and Mikes Canyons stripers were taken by casting wally divers toward shore, cranking fast to get them to depth and then using a stop and go retrieve. Stripers would hit as the lure began to move after the pause. These fish were in shallow water (8-12 feet) looking for crayfish when caught. Crappie and walleye were taken using the same technique.

At Hite anglers took large numbers of stripers using anchovies on jig heads fished right off the bottom on main channel humps (30-50 feet) where stripers were graphed. Schools were very stationary and could be caught day after day in exactly the same spot. Chumming increased catch rate. Trolling, casting and jigging produced fish but bait fishing was the most productive method.

Trollers in Wahweap bay are catching a few walleye bouncing lures into the edges of vertical structure but action is not fast. A few crappie have been caught but not nearly as often as seen last year at this time.

All of these techniques will work for stripers anywhere in Lake Powell. The trick is to find a school of stripers which are very stationary and will provide continued action for many days once located. Since fish are localized in large schools it takes a lot of looking to find the school. Key areas are slopes leading out of the submerged creek channel where bottom depth is 80-100 feet. Stripers search the sloping structure for food and will move up to chunk-rock structure to look for crayfish.

Winter is a good time to look for walleye. These cool water fish are active in 50 degree water and will be in prespawn condition next month.