SEPTEMBER 25, 2003

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3604

Water Temperature: 71-74 F

I finally got to sample some of the boiling stripers at Halls. They are still there and it is worth the trip. Anglers were doing better this week than last. Evening boils begin at 5-6 pm and go until dark. We found our first quick boil at the Halls Crossing houseboat field but there was more activity upstream from bouy 99 to 102. These striper schools stayed up longer. But the very best action was between bouy 103 to 104. The boils were bigger, sometimes spreading from wall to wall. They went down quickly but came right back up. We caught 16 fish averaging 3.5 pounds.

Next morning we were out early waiting at bouy 104. The fish were late and didn't start until after the morning breeze had subsided. But from 8-10 am we chased up another 25 fat topwater stripers in the same one mile stretch. Stripers were boiling from 8 AM to noon from Halls Marina to the mouth of Hansen Creek. Expect to catch 5 to 50 per day depending on your luck at being in the right place when they come up.

The best technique was to see a boil and cruise to the last known address and wait. Put the electric motor down and chase toward them as soon as they come up. The electric motor on high moves along at the same pace as the feeding stripers. After the school comes up for the third or fourth time it is better to look for a new bunch which should be within 500 yards in either direction. Chase the new school for awhile and then return to original bunch and catch some more. This does keep you moving but the action and fun are non stop.

It is suggested that cruising during prime time between Halls and Hansen is better than waiting for a boil to happen near by. Once the main body of boiling fish is located, stay in that area and wait for the up and down action to start.

There were no boils upstream from Knowles Canyon. There is one school working the Rincon area. There is another school prowling the main channel between buoys 52 and 56. The remainder of the lake is quiet on top. For areas without boils a pattern is developing. Troll shallow running shad pattern crank baits (jointed shad rap- JSR5) along the edge of the main channel where coves and cuts break up the steep cliff walls. Both bass and stripers have been caught from the ends of reefs and rocky points and coves on the same trolled lure.

Fishing has improved but will get even better during the rest of September and first part of October. Expect more striper boils and better bass fishing as the fall fishing peak nears.