Oct. 10, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3626  Water Temperature: 68 - 70 F
The weather this past week has been some of the very best of the year. Cool nights, and warm calm days have stopped the declining surface water temperature. There have been few changes in fish behavior this past week which is better for uplake anglers where bass and stripers were being caught regularly. The slow fishing for anglers launching at Wahweap continues.

First the good news. From Hite to Bullfrog and in the San Juan expect to find a few non-recurring early morning or late evening striper boils. They don't boil every morning and often not at the same location but it happens often enough that it is probable a boil will be seen in a 2-3 day trip. Shad seem to be common enough that stripers have plenty to eat. Even when there is no boil stripers will hit spoons during the magic twilight periods at either end of the day. After the boil, trolling, spooning and casting where stripers were seen continues to produce fish. After that it gets difficult as stripers tend to rest and don't feed.

The best spots for morning striper boils are from Hite Marina to 4-mile canyon, Bullfrog bay near the houseboats to the Haystacks, Rincon, and the upper San Juan from Cha to Spencers Camp. Spooning and deep trolling is the same lake wide. Find shad in the back of the canyon or cove and then follow the submerged creek channel out to 60-80 feet and bounce the lure right off the bottom. When lures quit working chum the spot with anchovies and fish bait during the mid day period. With fat stripers it takes some extra effort to get then started so use lots of chum.

Bass fishing has slowed way down lakewide. There is one pattern that continues to work as bass are bunched up off prominent points. It seems bass are stationed on the end of the point waiting for bait to swim by. Look for the most prominent point midway back in a canyon where water depth is 40-60 feet. Make sure the point falls quickly to deep water rather than a long-running gently sloping smooth point. Rough edges hold more fish than smooth structure. Cast to the end of the point and then work the lure down to deep water. Fish from point to point. The coves in between points look great but are not holding many fish. Bass hooked near the point are seldom alone. Look for trailing bass.

Hard plastic surface and shallow running baits only worked in coves where bass were chasing shad. The very best bass rig today was a drop shot senko. Single tail grubs were not as good. The stop and go suspending pattern was much preferred by sulking bass. Use a quarter to half ounce drop shot weight. Rig the senko wacky style. That means it is hooked in the middle instead of the end of the bait. When the weight hits bottom hop the lure a few times making sure that the line remains almost tight. Bass will hit as the lure falls and then suspends. When wacky-rigged the bait bends in the middle then snaps back after each movement. The senko has a side to side vibration on the fall that resembles a finning bait fish rather than the crayfish imitation done by the plastic grub.

Catfishing has been steady in all locations. They seem to be the only species that continues to do what's expected in these very interesting fall conditions.