September 6, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3665  Water Temperature: 77-80F

Fishing was slow on the last big summer weekend with lots of boat traffic, full moon and warm water. It will take significant night time cooling to get Fall fishing jump started but the darkening moon will help get fish pointed in the right direction.

With bright moon and cloudless nights morning fishing is slow. Late afternoon is much more productive for stripers and smallmouth. The afternoon/evening feeding period will prevail for another week. Then the next two weeks in September may be the peak of Fall fishing.

Stripers are deep! Hite and the San Juan continue to be the most consistent fishing spots but afternoon fishing lakewide is characterized by small yearling stripers being suspended in the water column in the upper 30 feet. The bigger fish are deeper - sometimes down to 80-90 feet. During the majority of the daylight period it is best to use anchovy bait and employ serious chumming techniques to get and keep stripers going. Stripers can be graphed in deep slots (creek channels) that are very near shallow water. Back ends of slot canyons are great spots where the boat can be positioned over deep water with shallow water within a short cast on either side of the boat. Fish bait in the deep slot during the day and reaction spoons and surface lures on the shallow edges during twilight periods. Plain slick rock canyons are not as productive as canyons with rocky points near deep water. Any canyon where shad are seen is worth fishing.

At Hite the most productive spots are in 2-mile and 4-mile canyons and the main channel between. Spoon fishing is most effective but an occasional boil is encountered and anchovies will work as well. On the San Juan there are many stripers stacked in Deep and Piute canyons and in Zahn Bay from Donkey Island to Nokai Canyon. Catch fish with your choice of methods in these locations.

Smallmouth are in clear, deep main channel water where rocky structure falls quickly into deep water with 25-35 feet depths being most productive. Look for football size rock (or larger) where crayfish may find a place to hide during daylight hours. In twilight periods topwater baits are the preferred technique especially near Hite, upper San Juan and any other location where shad are present. Bass fishing will get dramatically better during the last half of September.

Catfish are regularly caught both day and night with bait fished on the bottom. Catfish frequent areas where stripers have been recently chummed or where houseboats have regularly parked. Soft odorous baits on a size 2-4 hook and a light weight are most effective.