September 13, 2007
is readjustment time as the water begins to cool, the lake level continues
to fall and predators try to find their next meal. Recent electrofishing
sampling at San Juan and Rincon showed an eerie absence of shad or any small
fish for that matter. All fish that were bite-size were hiding in thick
cover of rooted aquatic weeds in less than 15 feet of water near shore. Some
weed beds were quite tall and hid many fish. Those baby fish condos were
constantly patrolled by hungry predators hoping "Nemo" would stick his head
out too far.
Bass fishing was excellent around weeds which are fairly shallow at this lake level. A good strategy was to use a topwater lure over the weed tops in low light periods or toss a shallow running lure that would move through the weeds without hanging up. Spinner baits and weedless plastics like texas-rigged worms, senkos and flukes were ideal. Fishing shallow water along shoreline rocks was good for little smallmouth but the bigger fish were on the cliff walls or near weeds.
Live well overload
Neskahi Bay on the San Juan was excellent fishing as always. I was
disappointed with the large number of thin bass here, as competition for
food in this bay must be intense. There are way too many bass in Neskahi
Bay. If fishing there, please harvest a limit of 20 smallmouth bass to
reduce total fish numbers and help balance predator and prey numbers.
Surprisingly, striped bass at Neskahi were 18-22 inches long and in good
health. My guess is that stripers are able to feed on slightly larger prey
while 10-inch smallmouth bass do not have large enough mouths to eat what
prey is available. Small fish are gone or hiding in tight cover. Largemouth
bass feed well in these circumstances but smallmouth suffer.
Good striper bait fishing spot near the mouth of Long Canyon - Opposite shoreline.