October 5, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3602
Water Temp: 72-74 F
The bright spot is the San Juan river arm where stripers are still boiling and smallmouth are feeding on top with the stripers. Main channel stripers have moved further uplake each week and are now in the San Juan. Last sighting was in the main channel near Bald Rock Canyon. They continue to feed from first light until 9 AM. They are easy to see with hundreds of fish splashing in unison in the main travel lane of the channel. Expect them to continue upriver to Cha and beyond this week.
For the remainder of the lake stripers are feeding deep and randomly moving among numerous shad schools. These stripers are catchable if found with the graph and then immediately attacked with jigging spoons. They readily hit spoons on the first drop but tend to move away quickly, leaving no forwarding address. At this point the search must begin again. It may be a long time between schools.
Stripers are moving towards the backs of canyons and coves so look for shallow shad schools to narrow the search pattern. Lure choice is not as important as being right over the school and reacting quickly before they move on. Get the bait to the bottom quickly for best results. Jig it a few times then speed reel it back to the boat and try again.
Trolling deep diving lures may be an effective technique but try to do it where striper schools were seen working or graphed rather than blindly trolling the whole lake.
Smallmouth are holding at 20-25 feet. They are stationary so once found they can be caught with regularity. Tubes, grubs and senkos are consistent producers on fast falling rocky structure. Little reefs in open water and long rocky fingers that extend far into the lake are holding lots of bass. Fish the breaking edge of a steep drop off for best results. If shad are present use a shallow running crankbait like a rattletrap or shad rap for a fast catch of larger bass. Rattletraps were the best bait on the San Juan last weekend.
Catfish are hungry. Sunfish are easy. If the big stripers elude you then save the trip by downsizing terminal tackle and catching some of the many other species waiting for you in Lake Powell.