After a few weeks of generalized surface feeding activity shad numbers have declined but more importantly forage fish have learned to avoid stripers. Boils have decreased in number as striper schools need to work harder to drive shad to the surface or trap them in the back of a cove. Boils still occur but on an irregular basis. Stripers find a school of deep shad and attempt to drive them to a vulnerable feeding ground. When stripers are successful a memorable boil ensues. The feeding experience is often not repeatable the next day. Now anglers have to be a little bit lucky to find stripers on top.
The best time to look for surface action is still during the first 3 hours of daylight. The boil is just as likely to occur at 8:30 AM as 5 AM.. This week boils were reported in the backs of canyons adjoining Padre Bay, at Castle Creek on the San Juan, and at Trachyte, Farleys, and North Wash in the Hite area.
With shad becoming more scarce the anchovy catch is increasing. Fish anchovies at 30-40 feet at the mouth of Antelope canyon in the main channel, shaded walls on the point of Padre Canyon jutting out into Padre Bay (Padre canyon side of butte separating Padre from Kane Creek), one mile downstream from Halls Creek on the walls of the main channel, and cliff walls near the mouth of Forgotten Canyon. The San Juan has uncountable numbers of stripers to be had in Deep Canyon, Piute Canyon, steep rockslide between Cha Canyon and Pinnacle Rock, island upstream and on the opposite side of the bay from Neskahi Canyon.
Some fish are declining in health. Catching them is enough of an energy drain that they cannot return to depth. KEEP ALL STRIPERS. Fillet the healthy ones and properly dispose of those too thin to fillet. Do not leave them floating on the surface. Preferred method of disposal is at a fish cleaning station.
Bass fishing is good with a "mojo" rig ( fixed threadlike sinker 12 inches above a 4" inch series Yamamoto 9S Baby Senko Shiner (color 905). The "mojo" rig uses a 1/0 thin Gamakatsu EWG hook to give a flighty wavering movement to the stick-like Senko bait. Just drop it onto rock structure, into a bush or tree, and the "mojo" rig imparts the dying flutter of a wounded bait fish as it careens to the bottom in a zigzag tailspin. When you rip it or retrieve it quickly, that Baby Senko Shiner flits and darts all over. Lifting and ripping it above structure definitely attracts summer bass. See fishing tips on www.wayneswords.com for rigging detail. Catfish are hitting well on gently sloped sandy beach habitat.