July 12, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3671  Water Temperature: 77 - 83F

The big news is VISIBLE stripers boils lake wide. While boils are seen almost everywhere at anytime of day, stripers are not as catchable as they will be in another week or two. Stripers are ravenously chasing very small shad which are a small target. Stripers see shad, corner them but after the first rush, shad scatter and stripers lose focus. Then shad regroup and stripers follow suit. Stripers again rush forward and repeat the process time after time. It has to be frustrating for stripers. They are expending great amounts of energy constantly chasing shad in warm water for the small reward they get for catching an occasional one inch shad.

Above the surface, anglers see small boils pop up all around. Stripers stay up long enough to get the boat in range for one cast. Since stripers are searching for fleeing shad instead of eating shad trapped against the surface the regular dependable surface lures are not working well. Baits cranked down to represent fleeing shad are more productive. Best baits for boils are small (- 3/4 ounce) silver and shad colored spoons, crank baits (fat-free shad, swimmin' image, rattletrap, etc), and white jigs in marabou and plastic.

Timing of boils is slightly different than expected. These small boils are not found at first light but usually an hour after daybreak. Shad wait for plankton to rise in the water column in response to increasing daylight before venturing out where stripers can see them. The boiling action persist until about 10 am. The whole process heats up again at 4 pm til dark.

There will be an occasional big boil where stripers stay up and eat long enough to get the boat close and catch more than one fish. Standard surface lures like zara spook, jumpin' minnow, and chug bug will work in boils of longer duration and magnitude. The larger boils are found where shad are bigger in size and numbers. Look at Hite and upper San Juan for the more advanced action. These bigger boils are more likely to be seen very early and very late when big stripers find adult shad.

More stripers can be caught fishing anchovies in areas where stripers rest after a morning of chasing shad. Find a grumpy school that is still hungry after a futile early morning chase and a slow moving anchovy looks mighty tempting. Last Chance was particularly good along with any lake area where boils were previously seen. Graph a resting school, then drop baits for a big catch.

Smallmouth fishing has slowed mid lake and down lake. Bass are found in deeper water and are more likely to feed early and late instead of all day. Bass are still very catchable just not as good as they have been earlier this spring. The exception is Hite and Upper San Juan where bass fishing is still excellent and topwater action is tremendous.

Catfishing is at its peak with lots of little ones and few dandy cats being reported recently. Use a soft stink bait in early evening and after dark for best results.