June 27, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temp: 77-81 F

It's summer. Water surface is warm and fish have gone deep to cool off. But "deep" is a relative term.
 

Chris Wilson with striper caught on bait at mouth of Dungeon Canyon.

 
Deep to an adult striper is now 40-60 feet. Stripers are resting in the cold water beneath the thermocline where they use less energy. But food is shallow so stripers still must come up to eat. Adult stripers are still parked on drop-offs in front of tamarisk flats along the main channel. Look for a school on the bottom near the first break from 40-60 feet. Anchovy chum will start the school feeding and draw them off the bottom. Then they can be caught mid depth and shallow on a variety of lures. Many of the hot spots mentioned in previous reports are still producing what seems like a never ending supply of 3-pound stripers that are thin, but fun to catch and good enough to eat.

Deep to a juvenile striper is 20 feet. These cruisers up to 18 inches are feeding on plankton in the warm surface layers. If a pod of shad happens by then the striper school shuns plankton and blows up on the surface. The surface commotion is still more like a slurp than a full boil. Shad are getting bigger but not necessarily more numerous. Slurp boils in the lower lake are common but few stay up long enough for anglers to see them and then catch a fish. Seems the shad supply is dwindling making boils much shorter in duration. Top water striper catching is declining in the southern lake from Rock Creek to Warm Creek.


While morning slurps and ghost boils are most common, feeding duration seems longer at mid day. If lucky enough to see one of these random feeding events the chances of catching fish around noon is greater than in the morning. The problem is that the feeding event is random and usually catches one off guard without a rod in hand. Surface action is seen daily in the lower lake but not many fish were caught on top this week. If fishing boils is the goal, go north of Bullfrog to have the best chance of catching stripers on top. Water is now clear enough in the upper lake (Good Hope to Hite) and San Juan arm to support good shad numbers and lots of striper surface action.
Wade Cavender with "slurper size" stripers

Deep to an adult bass is 20-40 feet. Bass will be at the first temperature break above the thermocline. Temperature from the surface to 20 feet is in the 75-80 degree range. Bass reside in the 70-75 degree water found deeper than 20 feet. Concentrate on structure at that depth to find some large bass and many small ones. Plastic tubes, grubs and senkos work well on heavy jig heads (drop shot or Carolina rig) which are needed to get the baits down to the bottom. Bluegill and crayfish are the food of choice so watermelon, smoke, and brown colors are working well. Bass fishing is best early and late. Success seems to decline abruptly after 10 AM.

Catfish really like the warm shallows each evening. Put a hot dog round on a hook and invite a catfish to dinner.