JULY 10, 2003

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3615

Water Temperature: 76-83 F

Fish reports were pouring in this week from the "Bullfrog Boils". It was hard to keep up with all the successful anglers who chased stripers around Bullfrog Bay. The common report was that boils were best in the early morning and late evening but there were boils seen through out the day. Most boils were of the slurp variety with 30-50 fish popping up to skim larval shad from the surface. The boils lasted from a few minutes to a half hour. Most boils were not long but recurred often. Many reported seeing more than 100 boils over the long holiday weekend.

With time the stripers became increasingly boat shy. Wise anglers found that casting small shad imitating lures over and ahead of the feeding schools would catch fish while lures hitting in the middle of the school spooked feeding stripers. Lures reeled through the leading edge of the feeding school were the most effective.

Center of the boiling action was Bullfrog Bay. Boils extended uplake to Hansen Creek and included Halls Creek. There was still no surface action reported upstream from Moki. Downlake boils with catchable stripers were found in the San Juan at Cha Bay and Neskahi Bay. Less catchable stripers were boiling in Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and near main channel buoy 24 and buoy 36-39. Catching stripers from these schools required a little more stealth and casting over and beyond the leading fish in the school was very important.

As the moon gets brighter boils will decrease in number and duration. Usually full moon results in evening boils being much better and more consistent that morning boils. Shad will continue to grow during the brief lull in surface feeding induced by the full moon. Larger shad are more difficult targets. Stripers will soon have to work harder to find shad. That means boils will become less frequent but when seen they will be more violent in intensity. Stripers eating larger shad are much easier to catch. Stealth will not be as important when stripers are eating larger shad.

Expect boiling intensity to decrease this week as nights get brighter. Boils will still be consistently found but number and duration will diminish. After the full moon boil duration, intensity and striper catch ability will steadily improve as the moon darkens.

The year of the striper boil continues. This has been the most successful July on record for catching surface feeding stripers. We expect August to be even better.

Bass fishing is steady but not as flashy as fishing top water for stripers. Look deeper for smallmouth with the 25 foot contour being the center of the action. Use shad colored grubs, tubes and Senkos for best results.