June 28, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3673  Water Temperature: 74-78F

River inflow is slighter greater than outflow so lake is still filling. That will continue for a short time but don't expect a maximum lake level of much more than 3675 this year. Shad spawning peak has passed although there continues to be some late-season spawners working early in the morning. Young shad are only an inch long and still found near the backs of canyons near color transition zones. The rising water has flooded some tumbleweed/brush cover and all sizes of sunfish have flocked to the safety of the brush in big numbers and a variety of sizes.

The bite for all species remains strong in the upper San Juan, and near Hite. At Hite both trollers and casters are taking lots of smallmouth bass and stripers in White, Trachyte, and near Hite in the main channel. Trolling with a frenzy, shad rap, or similar shad imitator works for stripers, walleye and an occasional smallmouth. Most stripers are still being taken on anchovies particularly in White Canyon. Fishing for smallmouth bass, catfish and bluegill is super!

Fishing for all species has slowed some in the Wahweap and Bullfrog/Halls area. Wahweap had heavy rains on June 26 that closed roads. The sun came out again and all returned to normal the next day except the fish. They did not respond well to bait or lures on June 27 when I tried to find them. I suspect that the short term response to bad weather will soon pass and fishing will be good again for both smallmouth and striped bass. Continue to fish broken rock points and shelves where crayfish are hiding to find both species of bass. The rocky points shaded by steep cliff walls are particularly pleasant to fish in the morning until about 10 am when the sun climbs too high to produce shade.

Spots that produced stripers in the past week were Castle Rock (morning shaded areas), Navajo Canyon points and shallow water, Last Chance in stained water, main channel red buoy 30 closest point, Cornerstone, Mountain Sheep in back, mouth of Halls Creek near sign buoy, Moki wall and cove on east wall across channel, walls near buoy 111, Red canyon, Blue Notch, 7-Mile, Trachyte, White Canyon and area close to Hite Marina.

Stripers are boiling in the backs of many canyons in fast moving, short-lived flurries. Most boils consist of small stripers chasing very small shad. Stripers line up side by side and feed in an organized wave. When a boat approaches, the school sounds and immediately pops up a hundred yards away and resumes the "wave" in a new direction. Try throwing a full size zara spook or zara pup while fish are still on top. If you can't get there soon enough then cast a 3/4 ounce spoon and let it hit bottom before vigorously jigging it. Stripers head for the bottom to regroup after they are spooked. They are usually in the back of the canyon where water depth is 20-50 feet so the spoon is ideal for staying with them. Larger stripers are boiling at or before first light. Smaller fish are staying up most of the morning.