August 8, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3632  Water Temperature: 79-85 F

It's a sad day in the history of the fish report. I have lost track of the stripers in the lower lake. They have eluded me for the second week in a row. There may have been some uplake movement of stripers as they search for more abundant shad forage. My journey from Wahweap includes stops in Navajo Canyon, Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance, and Rock Creek. Stripers are gone for all I know. In actuality they are probably right where they have been all year. They may start to bite any day now. If you find them please let me know so I can pass out the word and we can all start catching stripers once more.

Uplake is a different matter. As predicted two weeks ago striper boils have started at Bullfrog. Early morning striper surface action has been reported in the main channel from Buoy 95A to Buoy 99. Much of the area is bounded by steep canyon walls. Stripers are trapping shad right against the wall so the feeding activity is often only one fish length from the wall but may be hundreds of yards long. The "skinny boil" may look more like a boat wake smacking the wall than feeding fish so look carefully at every splash. Feeding starts at first light and continues until about 9 am or until boat traffic puts the fish down. It may be difficult to get a surface lure to stay in the narrow feeding zone. Sassy shad and spoons that hit the wall and fall straight down may be needed to get the best catch rate.

Boils continue at Hite. But good news travels faster than the wind. Much fishing pressure has made fishing boils very competitive. It is difficult to fish a boil by yourself since the feeding area is quite small. Boils range from Hite to Two Mile Canyon. Morning and evening are best but fish will feed all day long. Probably the best striper catching will be done by those fishing on the bottom with spoons where the boil was last seen.

The best surface fishing striper spot is the upper San Juan. It is so hard to get there with no road access that anglers are few and those that are there have the boils to themselves. It is not necessary to go all the way to Zahn Bay. In fact, boils are less common above Spencers Camp. Good catches have been reported from Piute/Neskahi and along the Great Bend. Boils are common but spoons catch as many fish as surface lures. Full size Zara Spooks, or Super Spook Jr.'s work great while fish are on top but just as soon as they dive drop a Wally Lure Shad Minnow, Hopkins Shorty or Kastmaster to the bottom to catch spooked but hungry stripers. Spoons resemble injured shad falling out of the school and fit the striped bass prey search image perfectly.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains good. I caught one fish per spot today which is average. Select the breaking edge of reefs, and the terminal ends of rocky points for best success. I move quickly from reefs to points instead of fishing an entire mile long rock slide. I think that results in more fish at the end of the day. With water still warm the deeper, slower presentations like drop shot grubs, and heavy jigs fished at 25-35 feet may be the best approach. I like to use surface lures for the first two hours of daylight and find that hard to beat.