July 21, 2005
The only thing hotter than a summer day in July is the fishing for big stripers on the southern end of Lake Powell. Bait fishing for 4-6 pound stripers continues to delight all those who quit swimming long enough to go fishing. Actually early morning air temperature is near 70 degrees during prime fishing time. From dawn to 8 AM bait fishing continues to be very good along shady cliff walls from the dam to Navajo Canyon.
With the exception of Glen Canyon Dam, there is little fishing competition along the walls near the mouth of Antelope Canyon, Antelope Point Marina, the power plant intake, the mouth of Navajo Canyon and many places in Navajo, the mouth of Warm Creek and so on uplake to the Escalante. Fish anchovy bait interspersed with lots of chumming to wake up resting adult stripers and entice them to feed. Schools can be restarted just about any time of day when another storm of chum descends upon them.
Use a #4 circle hook and a small weight or even a plain lightweight jig head. The real important feature is to use fluorocarbon line which is strong yet invisible to stripers visually inspecting each piece of bait before eating. Bites may be light so gently move the bait often just to test for extra pressure which indicates a fish is attached.
Night fishing is just as good under fish attracting lights near the marinas.
Boiling 3-5 pound stripers have been reported in the Escalante and San Juan. Other mid lake main channel locations are sporting boiling 2-pound stripers. Rock Creek, Last Chance, Rainbow Bridge Canyon, Dangling Rope and Good Hope Bay have recurring boils. Yearlings are seen near shore from Wahweap bay to Escalante.
I saw my first real boil Wednesday (7-20) in Wahweap Bay. I have been chasing slurping stripers who calmly feed on tiny shad. But today the same 12-14 inch stripers put on their game faces and started attacking larger shad. Bodies were flying, shad were jumping, and the boil fed in a circle instead of a straight line like slurping fish do. Boiling fish hit the rattletrap while slurpers only took a tiny plastic grub.
Smallmouth bass were boiling on the flats at the mouth of Ice Cream Canyon in Wahweap Bay. Bass were more widely scattered than boiling stripers but the action was nonstop for over an hour. Bass would hit both rattletrap and top water baits if the lure was placed near the spot where 2-20 bass were feeding on top. Bass do not feed as quickly as stripers and a trolling motor kept me in casting range the entire time. My biggest fish today was a 15-inch smallmouth caught on a Sugoi Splash.