May 30, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water Temp: 68-74 F

Striper fishing is HOT. There are thousands still to be caught in the 140-mile long main channel and if that's not enough a few slurp boils are starting as well.
 

Dave Gundy and family from Boise, ID

Dave Gundy's report sums up striper fishing in the channel. "We had excellent striper fishing right off the back of the houseboat in every spot we stopped between Bullfrog and Dangling Rope."

That seems amazing but from Rock Creek to Bullfrog there are enough stripers to make that statement true. The key habitat is the brushy flat edge of a cut, cove or channel where water depth falls quickly from 20 to 40 feet. Graph that 40 foot contour line looking for resting striper schools on the bottom. When the striper haystack is seen - STOP, CHUM AND CAST.

If the school of stripers sees the chum descending they will come off the bottom to feed. The typical depth of feeding fish is the edge of visibility. When the descending bait disappears from sight, stop it and wait for the hit. Stripers are looking for food and are very aggressive. The logical thing to do is cast anchovy pieces to the rising fish. That works great. But these schooling fish will hit many other lures including plastic grubs and tubes, spoons, hair jigs, even flies. When the school lights up throw everything in the tackle box and let them pick out their favorite.

Channel hotspots include: the dam, Antelope Canyon, Navajo Canyon, main channel between Rock Creek mouth and Dungeon Canyon, Jacks Arch, Escalante, Long Canyon, Dome Rock in Bullfrog Bay, Moki wall and canyon. These are just a few of the many places that are "great fishing" (defined as a potential 100 fish spots).

Slurp boils have been seen in San Juan's Neskahi Bay and a very few in Bullfrog Bay. Good Hope and beyond will boil just as soon as the water clears enough for stripers to see shad. It won't take long.

Typical Slurp - Cast to the first fish on the left side to prevent spooking the school.

Slurps are slow moving striper schools surface feeding on larval shad. Feeding often looks like a wind riffle or a wake. On closer examination the riffle has a silver lining. The surface commotion is small but stripers to 5-pounds are found feeding on shad larvae. The trick is to find a lure that casts far enough to hit the slurp before it sounds, but is small enough to mimic a one-inch larval shad. Perhaps the best bait is silver Kastmaster or other small spoon. Let it sink a foot and then retrieve quickly and erratically to excite schooling stripers. If a big fish is in the slurp a topwater lure will draw him out. Be sure to cast just beyond the lead fish for a quick hook up. Tossing the lure into the main body of feeding fish will spook them and make them sound.

Bass are still biting on the terminal end of each reef or long rocky point. Smallmouth bass from tiny to 3-pounds are hitting plastic tubes, grubs and senkos. They can be readily located by trolling a shad rap or Wally diver along the 10 to 15 foot breaking edge of main channel reefs. Find a pod of fish by trolling a shad rap, then stop and cast plastic baits to catch a bunch.

Want Fish? We got 'Em.