August 6, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3632
Water Temp: 81-87

Things are "looking up" for fishing all over the lake. Last weeks report indicated dismal prospects for the main lake and those predictions were confirmed. Now the corner has been turned and fishing success will build each week until a grand peak is reached in late September.

The biggest news is shad are abundant and predators are living large on the buffet circuit. The few fish being caught now are FAT. Shad abundance is one of the main factors in past poor fishing success. The other negative factors are warm surface temperature and vast forests of submerged tree habitat which has fish goggle-eyed.

Slick Rock Coves are prime "boil" habitat.

Fishing prospects for the southern third of the lake remain tough with the most cooperative fish being catfish and bluegill. Try fishing around brush with live worms in the backs of canyons for nice sized panfish. Catfish are in the sandy shallows near campsites. Use the same live worms, shrimp or chicken liver for the best chance to catch fish for supper.

The mid section of the lake, from Rock Creek to Bullfrog including the San Juan, boasts some decent striper boils early in the morning and late in the evening. Boils are hard to find as shad have moved out of the channel and are now in the coves. Cruise the shoreline at first light to find scattered single stripers surfacing. Scattered individual stripers will group up as the sun climbs and then school up to create some real boils. The action quits abruptly at 8 AM (MST).

The most productive habitat is slick rock coves without brush. Stripers trap shad in rock coves and hold them there for a week or more at a time. Shad are more abundant in the backs of canyons but brushy cover inhibits feeding. Boils are in the open coves instead of along brushy shorelines.

"FAT" striper caught with LV 300 lipless vibrator.

The northern lake is the place to be. Nothing even comes close to fishing success in the northern reaches of the lake. Boils may be found throughout the day with early and late best, but boils can spring up anytime. Shad are still in the channel uplake making stripers easier to find. Cruise the main channel from White Canyon all the way to buoy 110 for excellent fishing opportunities. That is 25 miles of potential striper boils!

Bass fishing patterns play off shad behavior. Shad schools are often in the channel. That places bass on rock structure close to shad and "looking up" to eat. Bass waiting for a shad swim-by are susceptible to mid range shad crankbaits or lipless vibrators. Dragging a rattletrap along the 20 foot breaking edge of structure will catch more bass than other methods. Instead of fishing the shoreline and brushy coves, cast crankbaits to the open channel for more consistent bass action. A slow retrieve is still best to consistently catch fish.

Loose striper boil against slick rock 8-6-08