JUNE 5, 2003

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3612

Water Temperature: 73-82 F

Here are the details affecting fishing success this week. Water is rising rapidly. Game fish are eating shad. Shad are spawning at first light and found almost everywhere in record numbers. To catch fish use lures that imitate shad. Windy afternoons are common. The fishing day begins at 4:30 and lasts 5 hours.

HITE: Launching access is the best it has been all spring. The marina ramp is still being used but the break water ramp could be used as well. Peak river flows (50,000 cfs) could make boating hazardous so avoid the current which is easy to see and stay to the east side when leaving the marina. There is a line of floating debris that must be carefully negotiated. Once past the debris boating downlake is trouble free. The clear water starts at buoy 108. Fishing is best in the murky green water and Good Hope/Red Canyon may be the best spot. Walleye and smallmouth fishing is very good. Try crank baits and small spinners (beetle spins) for walleye. Adult stripers are up river spawning and will work back down stream as the river flow begins declining next week. Smaller stripers (less than 5 pounds) are feeding on shad and can be caught at first light by casting near spawning shad schools. Watch for single "striper" splashes which differ from "carp" splashes. Cast surface lures and medium running shad imitating crankbaits to ambush points for best results. Later in the day trolling shad lures on flat line mono works for stripers, walleye and smallmouth.

BULLFROG-HALLS: Bullfrog ramp is open to its widest potential and access is great even if ramp slope is still a bit too gentle. Get up early and fish topwater lures around islands, reefs and points for lots of bass and a few stripers. Cast to points, islands, reefs in bays and main canyon. When topwater and cranks stop working about 9 AM then trolling the same locations with shallow lures or soft plastic shad lures works very well. Use shallow runners like sassy shad on a quarter ounce jig head and troll them at 3-4 mph right across the shallow (3-5 feet) rocky reefs. Stripers and bass hit just as the lure leaves the shallow rocks and swims into deeper water.

WAHWEAP: During early morning cast crankbaits along main channel points and coves. Cruise uplake to at least Padre/Last Chance/West for best results. Then use same techniques that are working at Bullfrog.

SAN JUAN: Stripers are boiling in Piute/Neskahi bay. Water colors up dramatically upstream. Smallmouth are feeding right with the stripers and all are caught on surface lures in the early morning or late evening when the wind is calm. On our recent sampling trip anglers reported evening boils on June 1 then no boils on June 2. We were out at first light on June 3rd and found shad spawning along the shore. Casting topwater lures randomly took an occasional striper. Fishing an area where striper splashes were seen increased our catch rate. At 7 am we left the shoreline as open water boils began in Neskahi Bay upstream from Neskahi Canyon. These fish ran from the boat but were feeding slowly on small shad. After catching a few stripers from 5 different open water boils we heard another boil near shore. This boil lasted an hour before we had to leave. While filleting fish in Piute canyon at 10 AM another boil started right at camp. This boil lasted for over an hour. We had the trip of a lifetime in the morning but the wind blew in the afternoon. It is imperative to go early to achieve desired results.

The end result is the fish are telling us to "Go early or stay home".