July 27, 2005
Last week big stripers had me worried because they were
apparently trapped in cold deep water and separated from their shad food
source. Somehow the
word got out that feeding was good in warm surface water.
Big stripers came up from the deep and starting boiling all over
Lake Powell. Where only yearlings were feeding before, now 4-6 pound
adults are hitting the top and eating 1-3 inch shad.
Fishing stripers boils has become
synonymous with summer fishing at Powell and it is now in the early
stages. Slurps are still common especially uplake from Bullfrog where
larval shad are still abundant. But,
there are now just as many boils where stripers feed more actively on
larger shad. Scattered boils with large stripers were seen in the
Escalante and San Juan last week. Those
fish continue to feed. In
addition, boils have erupted from Antelope Point to Navajo Canyon, Gregory
Butte to Rainbow Bridge, San Juan to Escalante and from Bullfrog to Good
Most of the action is main channel or
main canyon where stripers can rest in deep water and still see shad on
top. Bigger stripers need to
have a cool water sanctuary to refresh themselves following a surface
feeding spree in uncomfortable warm water. The boil is quick but obvious
for a great distance. Feeding
lasts for about 2 minutes. Then stripers zip down to cool water where they
rest for a time. Still hungry, they stalk another surface shad pod and
attack once more. Boils are
going sporadically all day long. It
takes a bit of luck. If you
pass over the school when its down instead of on top the boil may be
missed. Stripers often boil in the same general area time after time with
an indefinite duration rest period in between.
Find a boil and return to that spot often for another chance to get
into the fish when they are hot.
Catching is easy if
the boil pops up in casting range. Stripers will hit full size surface
lures, medium running crank baits and spoons. My favorite is the Rebel
Jumpiní minnow. They hit plastic grubs and swim baits but tend to tear
them up, so using hard plastic bait is more economical. When boiling fish
dive, follow them down with a spoon to catch one more fish.
Bass are surface feeding in loose groups around
stripers. Look for single
splashes with some distance between fish if targeting bass.
All game fish are preying on shad in the warm water.
Shad color crank baits are working well morning and evening. I
prefer a spitting top water lure like a Sugoi Splash or Pop-R for bass.
When using soft plastic for bass try shad colors in white and
silver. Spinner baits with
white and chartreuse were effective this past week.
Now that the lake is going down catfising is improving
because there is more shallow beach area devoid of brush. Wave action has
uprooted and moved a lot of the annual brush. That makes camping better
Catching and Graphing Small Stripers
|When chasing yearling striper boils, the school of small
fish often sounds as the boat nears. Stripers then take up a fairly
constant station under the boat if they do not pop right back to the
surface. Water depth is usually 20-30 feet. The school of stripers
layers out half way between the surface and bottom. When stripers are seen
on the graph under the boat they are really catchable and quite fun to
Yearling stripers pictured on a graph
|Just lower a small plastic grub or tiny spoon over the side
of the boat. Watch the bait as it goes down. When the bait
disappears from view give it a jerk to bring it back into view.
Stripers will shoot up after the lure and flash into visible range.
Their numbers will astound you. Looks like a school of feeding pirhanas
with 10 fish attacking the lure and many others on the perimeter.
Try it just to get a good feel for seeing what your graph sees. Its good practice and will help you with identifying larger fish at greater depths.
When the school dives to the bottom, as shown here, just lower the bait all the way to the bottom to catch more fish.
Keep all the little stripers caught to save the 100,000 shad that that fish would eat during its life time.