AUGUST 26, 2004

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3573

Water Temperature: 74-79 F

Despite lower lake levels launching prospects have improved with a new private ramp open at Antelope Point. Sheets of pipe matting have been placed on Wahweap main and Stateline boat ramps. Bullfrog ramp is still a challenge but launching is possible for fishing boats. Big boats should launch at Halls Ramp.

The big news is a long awaited dip in surface temperature. Bath water conditions are no more. Water now measures in the mid 70's, energizing fish and signaling the start of the fall feeding frenzy. The best fishing for the year is still ahead in September and October.

Striper boils have emerged in many more locations. It is no longer necessary to wait at the mouth of Halls or Stanton Creek. Those fish are still boiling but there are just as many stripers hitting the surface uplake and down. Uplake boils are found in the main channel from buoy 105 to 119. Downlake boils are seen from Annies Canyon to the mouth of the San Juan. The San Juan has consistent surface activity in Cha and Neskahi Bay. And now boils have emerged in the Narrows from the dam to Navajo Canyon. Some boils are moving out of the channel and into the cuts but main channel is the center of activity. Look for ravens, grebes and coyotes to tip off out-of-the-way boil locations.

Morning and evening twilight are the best time to look for surfacing fish. Guaranteed boils only happen for the first and last hour of the day. Boils are much less predictable when full sun is on the water. Bass and stripers may feed on the surface any time they choose but daytime boils are random.

Bass are chasing shad with stripers morning and evening. During the day try casting a shallow running crankbait across rocky points or drop a bulky plastic grub off the end of the point in 25 feet of water. Bass fishing is getting better but will improve much more in September.

Catfish are hot on sandy beaches at night. Hang a fishing light in the water or a lantern on the back deck to attract shad and game fish. If fishing in less than 30 feet of water only catfish will be caught. If water depth is more than 40 feet then stripers may be taken.