Summer is hanging on with seasonally warm air temperatures keeping the water warm and holding fish deep. Labor Day weekend will find smallmouth bass and stripers in deep water. Sorry, but there will be no (or very few) striper boils with warm water and a bright full moon during the busy weekend.
Catch stripers by fishing early and late with jigging spoons or anchovy bait. Stripers remain in areas where they have been caught in July and August. Return to areas of recent success. There have been no major fish movements with most schools very near feeding spots that have been used all summer long. One important difference is the decrease in shad numbers which has prompted more stripers to feed on bait. Look for suspended stripers fairly shallow in the water column (30-40 feet) that are susceptible to anchovies much like they are in the spring time.
There has been a resurgence of striper catching at the dam on the west side at the second and third barricade from the wall. Some days yearling stripers are widespread but each day the favored spot near the wall produces 30-50 fish for the lucky boater tied in that spot. The key is to watch the graph and raise and lower the one-inch anchovy chunk to match depth of fish passing under the boat. This pattern may be repeatable at Moki Wall near Bullfrog and other steep wall locations that are historically good for catching stripers in the spring.
Best locations for bait fishing are the dam, Padre Canyon wall jutting into Padre bay, Last Chance last canyon on right, West Canyon walls where bottom depth is 55 feet. In the Bullfrog area troll along the main channel cliff walls until catching a striper then fish with bait. Main channel cliff areas 1-3 miles downstream from Halls and near Forgotten Canyon are good starting points. At Hite fish in the main channel between buoys 132 and 134 with spoons or troll lures until finding fish then use jigging spoons. The San Juan is overcrowded with striped bass ready to hit bait. Lots of fish at 40-55 feet in Deep Canyon, back of Piute Canyon and from Zahn Bay to Copper Canyon. The Escalante had very little striper action at last report.
Smallmouth are anxious to hit topwater lures very early in the morning and longer in shaded areas where sunrise is delayed by the shadow of the walls. In full light bass go deep, 25-40 feet. Get down with plastic grubs, tubes and bounce lures off the bottom for best results. Main channel clear water is better than stained water in the backs of canyons. Smallmouth like to move up and down rather than long lateral distances to find food. They prefer to feed by sight instead of smell so they are more often found in clear water.
Catfish are really active at dusk and can be found on most gently sloping sandy beaches where houseboats consistently park. Use soft smelly baits like chicken liver or table scraps on a hook with a light or no weight in 8-12 feet of water right behind the boat.