JULY 29, 2004

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3580

Water Temperature: 78-85 F

Fishing is good for stripers midlake.

The ideal trip would begin with a launch at Halls Crossing ramp which is the only full service ramp still operating normally. Other ramps allow launching access but they present challenges with gravel, traction, potholes and slope. But the launch is still possible at Bullfrog and Wahweap and the lake worth it once on the water.

Start the boil search by looking early and late in Bullfrog Bay, Stanton Creek and Halls Creek. You may need to go no further. Boils have been reported from Bullfrog downstream to Annies Canyon and then on to Rincon and Escalante. Upstream from Bullfrog expect boils at Moki, Hansen Creek, Cedar/Warm Springs, with a few boils in Good Hope Bay. Still the best boils seem to be centered at Bullfrog/Halls. With the exception of the San Juan the rest of the lake is quiet.

Morning boils start at first light and continue until 9 am. A few mid day slurps are seen but fish do not get catchable until 3 PM and boils peak from 5 till dark. Boils are mostly in the channel with only a few in the canyons and coves.

It is possible to find a good 2-hour chase period when boils are constantly popping up each morning and evening. Boils are quick and fish fussy but those that judge direction of travel correctly are able to get close enough to feeding schools to catch 10 fish. Most anglers on a 3-day trip are reporting 2 days of fair success punctuated by one day of dream fishing where more than 20 4-pound stripers are caught from one boil in a short time.

Shad minnow jigging spoon manufactured by Wally Lures. Stripers need to cool off after chasing shad in the 80-degree surface water. After a boil subsides, stripers dive to 30 plus feet where refreshing cold water resides below the thermocline. Stripers linger there looking for a few wounded shad victims to fall through the water column. One very effective method of catching post-boil stripers is vertically jigging spoons off the bottom. Drop the spoon to the bottom at the boil site and work the spoon in long jerks allowing the spoon to flutter from 8-10 feet after each pull. Spooning is more effective if stripers can be seen on the graph. If they have left the area then spooning is futile. But graphing the school then dropping spoons may put more stripers in the well than casting to boils. Spooning is more productive than trolling after the boil subsides.

Kastmaster - probably the most common jigging spoon

Bass are holding in deep water just above the thermocline. Expect to find them at 25 feet when they are not chasing shad with boiling stripers. Deep resting bass are on a crayfish pattern and will take green plastic grubs.

Catfish are very active and will hit bait all night long. The best fishing for many species may be after dark as the moon gets full this weekend.