August 2, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3669  Water Temperature: 78-83F

Stripers are still boiling all day long at Hite. In the rest of the lake, gangs of 10-25 stripers are hitting the surface for the first two hours in the morning and again just before dark.

Hite stripers are boiling in the main channel and most of the canyons from the Dirty Devil and down as far as Red Canyon. Some sustained 45 minute boils occur along with the regular 5-10 minute boils which are most prominent. The only drawback is persistent wind beginning about 10 am that riffles the surface enough to mask boils. As soon as the wind calms stripers can again see shad and boils start all over again. Stripers weigh 2-5 pounds and will hit full size surface stick baits, shallow running crank baits and spoons. Hite is the place to be for topwater stripers this week. This action is the stuff fishing videos are made of and you have the opportunity to star in your own show at Hite this week. These fish are great eating. Keep them all.

Elsewhere on Lake Powell surface action exists but it really can't be called a boil. It is more of a group of splashes in the same area. At first light, stripers drive small groups of shad into a cove or against a point of land. Individual stripers chase 2-3 shad to the top and a series of splashes is visible. The good part is that these stripers are just as catchable as those in a big boil and the action is wide spread. Most canyons in Lake Powell start to pop before daylight and continue until 8:30 am (MST). Then another activity period kicks off at dusk. Virtually all action will be on shore or within 200 yards of land. Look for shad trapped in the back of brushy coves in 2 feet of water. Any surface disturbance involving more than 2 splashes will be stripers. A surface lure cast immediately into the splash area will be hit. The shorter lures like Super Spook JR., Pop-R, Sugoi Splash are working better than full size Zara Spooks.

The very best lure is the 3/4 ounce jigging spoon with bucktail (shad minnow, hopkins shorty, kastmaster). With surface action being very subtle and short lived it is hard to get there in time to throw topwater to actively surfacing fish. Hungry stripers looking for shad see the spoon slipping through the water column and run to the falling shad. Fish it fast with stripers splashing on top and then let it fall and jig it off the bottom to contact the rest of the school which can't be seen for a big catch rate.

Smallmouth are very catchable, especially at Hite, but lakewide the best pattern is to find a 25-30 foot shelf in the shade at the base of a steep cliff. The 25 foot depth is critical and a broken rock shelf with deep water surrounding holds smallmouth like a magnet. Pinpoint shelf habitat and move from spot to spot to catch smallmouth in large numbers. Remember to keep a limit of 10-12 inch fish to reduce numbers and allow remaining fish to grow faster.

Catfishing is excellent lakewide where perennial streams flow in and particularly at spots where anglers have been fishing and chumming for stripers.