August 15, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3631  Water Temperature: 79-85 F

Striper boil craziness is calming down. At one point last weekend 17 boats surrounded one striper boil in the main channel near Hite while other boats watched the action with amazement. Heavy fishing pressure has kept the stripers from hitting the surface as often and perhaps spread them out. Boils are not as big, don't last as long and are more widespread than last week, but they will continue as long as shad are plentiful. Scattered boils stretch from Hite to Good Hope and from Bullfrog to Lake Canyon.. The upper San Juan is good from Piute Canyon to Zahn Bay. There are even some boils seen in the lower lake but these are small and scattered. Striper boils have been seen but no fish caught from them in the lower lake.

At Bullfrog groups of surface feeding stripers are feeding calmly over the same wide area. It is not really a boil but reminds me of trout jumping in a mountain lake. Casting surface lures or shallow running crankbaits in a random pattern around the boat works well for scattered fish. Look for boils at the Bullfrog tire breakwater at mornings first light. Then head up Bullfrog Bay to Crappie Cove which is the first cove on the right past the houseboat bouy field. This is perhaps the most consistent spot for boils. There are also boils uplake as far as Bouy 99 and downlake to the mouth of Lake Canyon. Most of these boils are quick and it may be difficult to get close enough to cast before the fish go down.

You will be happy to know that I have relocated stripers in the lower lake. They can be caught on anchovies fished at 35 feet in the back of Navajo where main channel depth is 60 feet. Look for the water to change color from clear to green. Stripers and some shad are holding in the quarter mile long green water section but not further back in the brown water which is too warm and shallow. I had equal success on weighted and unweighted anchovy baits. It helped to slowly reel the bait back to the boat after letting it hit bottom. I was close to the canyon wall in the shade near a 40 foot ledge. Some of the fish were caught as shallow as 15 feet.

The upper San Juan has good fishing for all species. Boils have been seen from Piute Canyon upstream to Zahn Bay early morning and late evening. Water shallower than 35 feet is not as good as places where main channel depth is 60 feet. Spencers camp is a good starting point.

Smallmouth fishing was better today than it was last week. The first good smallmouth point I tried in Navajo produced 3 bass in 4 casts. I was using a 5 inch watermelon colored senko hooked right in the middle (wacky rigged). The 11 inch bass ate the whole thing and were hooked fairly deep. If trying this rig for the first time remember not to jerk when the fish is felt. Just start reeling and gradually apply more pressure as the fish gets closer to the boat.

Catfishing is great both night and day. These bottom sweepers are prowling most sandy beaches and can be readily caught in big numbers with chicken liver, live worms or anchovies