August 18, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temp: 79-82 F

Full moon is coming and stripers are acting spooky as expected. Bright nights have slowed the morning action.  Cloudy conditions seem to bring out the early morning boils but mornings after bright nights are quiet. Stripers cannot leave the shad alone so they will feed some time during the day. It seems that about 2 mornings each week are great fishing while 5 mornings are just average. If there is no surface action at dawn then expect stripers to start eating at 7-9 AM.   Under the bright moon the randomness of boils is magnified.  They can happen anytime of day.  The best advice is to fish the last 2 hours of daylight for the most consistent boiling action. 

Boils over the expanse of Lake Powell are very quick. It may be that main channel shad are schooled in small groups that scatter quickly when stripers attack.  For whatever reason the boils are up and down in short order.  That leaves only two fishing options:  Run and gun as quickly as possible, or park where boils come up often and try to be in position to cast when the boil surfaces in range of the parked boat.   At the end of the day either method will result in the same number of fish caught.

Boils are consistently seen from the dam to Navajo Canyon, the first 8 miles of the San Juan, Cottonwood Canyon to Rincon, Bullfrog and Halls Bay, and Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay.  Of course boils may happen anywhere but these were the spots with the most reports last week.

Smallmouth bass are very catchable in the evenings either in boils on surface lures or on the broken rock of the main channel with plastic grubs and shad crank baits. Smallmouth bass fishing in the San Juan is excellent. Lots of 1-2 pound bass are being caught by those targeting bass or fishing for stripers.  Some good largemouth are showing up too.

Night fishing for stripers at the south end of the lake has been good under green lights on cloudy nights.  Bright nights are not as good but some fish are being caught each night. The 14-inch yearlings are eager to eat both day and night. Expect to catch a bunch of those every time out.  They are very fat and have great fillets for excellent table fare.  

Catfish are not slowed by the full moon.  They regularly bite each night despite weather conditions.  Use liver or hot dogs on shallow sandy beaches.  Any beach that provides a good boat anchorage is the exact habitat catfish prefer.