September 15, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3602
Water Temp: 74-77 F

Fishing is quite similar to last week. Striped bass have found spots where shad are abundant so they have dug in and refused to move on. In fact, the good spots are getting better as more stripers congregate in the shad killing fields. 

Rock creek, in the lower lake continues to be the center of feeding activity.  Stripers hit the surface in loose bunches as the dawn brightens.  Then as the sun peaks over the canyon wall the boils start. Some days the boil is in the back of the canyon.  Other days it is in the main channel.  On windy mornings there are no boils at all. Gulls, herons and ravens are near boiling stripers that happen anywhere near shore.   The best lures for Rock Creek stripers are the full-size Jumpin Minnow, Kinami Jay Walkers and Bass Pro Lazereye Walker.

The general boil progression begins in shallow water and then moves toward the main channel as stripers herd shad.  For now, shad seem to feel more secure in open water with no cover to provide an ambush point for stripers. In some lake areas shad have been herded into shallow water where they found cover in aquatic weeds.  These shad hide in the weeds to avoid the striper onslaught.  More and more shad will move on shore in the near future and boils will be found more often in coves.  But for this week look toward the channel for best success.

There is some splashing going on in shallow water in the back of the canyons.  Most of those very scattered splashes are smallmouth bass enjoying a shad meal.  Cast the same striper surface lures to catch a bunch of bass in a hurry.

From the San Juan mouth upstream to Good Hope, striper boils are still main channel and still very quick. “Tracking” the boil worked well last week. Stripers boil, go down and then resurface. Determine the direction of travel and then idle the boat in that general direction.  If luck is with you, the boil will come up in casting range allowing one or two fish to be caught.  Unhook the fish, idle in the same direction and then be in position again once the fish resurface.  It was reported last week that boils could be tracked for miles in this manner with many fish caught from multiple quick boils.

Morning and evening twilight are still the best times for long lasting boils.  But quick boils in open water are continuing until mid morning and sometimes all day long.  Best baits are the same full size surface lures but the Storm Wild Eye swim baits are working just as well in the quick boils.

Smallmouth fishing is good for anyone that gets tired of chasing stripers. Use soft plastic grubs on main channel rocks, reefs and points.  Twenty-five feet is still the best depth for the bigger bass.