April 25, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3646  Water Temperature: 56-65 F

It is warming again after winds and cool nights torpedoed the warming process and fishing conditions reverted to those found 2 weeks ago. The difference is that bass want to spawn now that day length is longer. Bass fishing has improved while striped bass fishing has stayed the same. Fishing for both species will improve during the next two weeks.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass have moved shallow to find warmer water and nest sites. Black fry from the first spawn are just hatching now. Male bass swimming with and guarding young fry are not as aggressive as those guarding fresh eggs on a nest. Bass that missed the first spawn will find a nest site this week. Spawning will reach a peak between now and the first week of May. Then it will gradually taper off. San Juan bass are a week ahead of main channel and downlake bass.

Lower lake bass want to be in shallow, warm water but still need security. The very best habitat for catching bass is under an overhanging ledge that offers shade yet is shallow enough to provide warmer water. Find a visible rock outcropping, point or terraced edge with a sharp break (rougher the better and undercut if possible) where bass can hide. Depth will only be 5-10 feet and visibility is such that most fish can be seen taking the lure. A good lure combination is a shallow running crank bait which triggers a quick rush from the bass. Follow that with a plastic grub which the curious bass will eat after getting excited by the crank bait. Make sure the grub goes all the way to the bottom, take up the slack and set the hook.

Stripers remain in the main channel by current. Nothing has changed. Each night surface temperature falls back into the mid 50's. Then during the day the surface warms to near 65. Afternoon fishing for stripers is much better than morning fishing. One fishing strategy is to purchase a two pole stamp. Park in the main channel close enough to fish ‘bassy' points and ledges. Use the second pole to drift a weightless anchovy in the deep water behind the boat. Throw a handful of chum before casting the bait to the identical spot. Stripers coming up to bask in the sun on warm flats at channel edge will find the bait. When that happens drop the bass rod and fish bait until the stripers quit. Then resume plugging the shore for bass until another striper school is found or finds you.

Look for stripers at Glen Canyon dam, power plant intake and Navajo Canyon points after first set of islands. Check most of the way back in Last Chance, Rock Creek, and Mountain Sheep. The mouth of Halls Creek at the main channel and back of Bullfrog are dependable but it may be too early for Moki Wall. Troll from Trachyte to 4 mile in the main channel in the upper lake and in the Dirty Devil.

Walleye are heating up in the San Juan and upper lake. Crappie are in short supply. Bonus bluegill will be found in typical crappie habitat.