August 22, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temp: 80-88 F


My Goodness! Something happened to Lake Powel this week. The cause is uncertain but we know that yearling stripers that were feeding on top near Hite went deep. At the same time the bottom feeding fish on the south end came to the surface. I suspect there is a logical reason, such as water level decline displacing shad from brush shelters causing them to seek open water. Rather then try to explain the phenomenon, I just went fishing! It has been awhile since I have found full open water boils where I could reach them from Wahweap or Antelope Point. This morning 103 stripers were caught in 2 hours of fishing.

Warm Creek was where I fished, but my guess is that the same conditions are at work from Wahweap to Dangling Rope and beyond. At dawn stripers start to hit the surface as widely spaced individuals. A spoon thrown near a single splash is quickly eaten. Top water lures are taken only half the time. Then as the sun climbs, stripers run shad schools toward shore or into a cove. Real boils erupt with hundreds of yearling stripers feeding tightly together. Fish in full boils hit anything, with walking topwater baits being the most effective. When boiling fish go down to regroup, pick up a hammered silver spoon to follow them to the bottom. When they come back up, use the topwater lure. Fishing becomes non stop catching when using these complementary lures.

Jack "Hotwheels" Herrin 'surrounded'.

Scan the shoreline for the location of the boil. A neat trick is to look toward the East into the rising sun as it peaks over the horizon. Striper splashes will light up like flashing strobe lights as the sun backlights the splash spray. Follow the strobes to the center the activity. My advice is to keep moving while looking for boils instead of waiting in one spot - even if that was where they were seen yesterday. Stripers have no loyalty to spots. They just follow shad that are doing their best to avoid the stripers.

How long will the southern lake boils last? There are no guarantees. Today's boil may have been the last. More likely we should see boils at least through this weekend. Do not wait hoping for a prolonged surface feeding event. My guess is these boils will be short lived. Be prepared to look in lots of places to find boiling fish.

Bass and walleye will be near the boiling stripers. Expect bass to hit as the stripers go deep. Today I found healthy 3 pound stripers on bottom under the 16-inch boiling stripers. As we reeled in each hooked fish, many shad were regurgitated. I am sure the deeper fish were laying low, waiting for the dead and wounded shad shower to come into the deeper water. Again shad-colored spoons are the ticket to find bass, walleye and larger stripers after the boil.

Catfish and sunfish are eager to provide fishing action for all near camp.