October 30, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3600
Water Temp: 61-64 F

Winter weather has been postponed by warm afternoons, calm days, and beautiful sunsets. If you like to take pictures, the subtle sun exposures make everyone a professional this time of year. Oh yes, fishing is not bad either.

It is very easy to get skunked fishing right now because fish are bunched up in certain areas. We are spoiled by summer fishing when hungry fish are eating often and widely spread. In these conditions all can catch fish in every canyon with the right combination of patience and knowledge. Now knowledge and patience are important but opportunity is the key. Fish feed in two hour bursts. That's the opportunity. It takes a little luck and keen observation to recognize when feeding begins.

Jacob Berry - largemouth he caught on plastic grub.

To reduce the patience factor and increase opportunity head to the inflow areas. The upper San Juan and Colorado inflow upstream from Good Hope Bay are good for all species. Look for the temperature break between the cold inflowing river and the warm lake water. Great fishing will be on the warm side of the cold water. If I had to choose the best spot right now it would be in the San Juan Arm from Alcove Canyon to Spencer's Camp. Use shad colored plastic baits to catch bass, stripers, walleye and crappie. The shoreline has some nondescript structure that harbors bass. The big flat expanse of open water has plenty of stripers. Just troll the plastics in open water while moving between bass fishing spots to find stripers. All are keying on shad on the warm side of the bay. It's as good as it gets right now.

There is a nice school of stripers near the Dome Rock in upper Bullfrog Bay (Red X). Use fluorocarbon leader for best success!

For those that can't run to the headwaters, a cooperative school of stripers has moved into the back of Wahweap between Lone Rock and Lone Rock Canyon. The school is right in the middle of the bay where bottom depth is 50-55 feet. It takes some graphing to get on the school, but once located fishing is great as long as the anchovy chum keeps falling. When the moon was full, afternoon fishing was best. But now the moon is waning, fish can be caught any time day or night. But here is where the patience factor comes in. The exact time that they want to feed must be discovered. A good plan is to check for the school every two hours. If they are not there in the morning then try again later until they light up. Coolers fill in a hurry when the bite is on.

Bass are as moody as the stripers. Mornings were not good fishing last week but now that the nights are not as bright bass catching will improve. Flat calm periods are not as good as those where a little breeze breaks up the surface and allows bass better feeding visibility. There will be a two hour feeding period that is awesome followed by a slow period until bass decide to feed again. I expect morning and evening to be best this week. Plastics fished  on the bottom are generally working better than crankbaits. 

Bonus crappie are in their fall feeding period. Again the inflow areas are best but search the brush and rocks just like spring time fishing. Schools are tightly bunched so they are easy to miss, but once discovered schools are large and tightly bunched. Remember the 10 fish limit on these fun pan fish.