July 29, 2009
Lake Elevation: 3641
Water Temp: 79- 85 F

                                     Real Boils are happening at Lake Powell!

Since June we have been talking about catching fish from slurping boils. What's the difference? Slurps required precision casting. Stripers fed as a unit lined up shoulder to shoulder as they mowed across the surface with mouths open lapping up non swimming shad larvae. The surface riffle was small as just the fish's back was out of water. Feeding was brisk as the school seemed to chase the leader. Catching was done when the lure was placed just over and in front of the lead fish. Casts falling into the middle of the school spooked the school as they all went down at once.

Mike Wall

Slurps made better casters out of all of us. We have now learned to throw long casts in the general vicinity of where the lure was intended to land. Don't forget the casting lesson. It will always come in handy. But conditions have changed - at least in the southern lake. The key difference is now it is best to cast into the boil and not to the edge. Ideally a cast would fly just beyond the feeding fish and then be ripped quickly through the boil.

Real boils differ in that stripers tend to surround the shad school and drive then to the surface. Friendly, complacent team-feeding is now replaced by individual mayhem. Once shad are on top, stripers work from the outside of the circle into the middle, eating and injuring as many shad as possible for the brief moment that both species are on the surface.

An angler told me recently that boiling stripers were getting bigger. In reality, size is the same but now stripers are more acrobatic and can be seen leaping out of the water as they feed. True size of the 3-pound fish is apparent as these fish actually boil as they chase larger shad.

As predicted, boils in the south are now found closer to the coves as stripers have left the main channel and are working their way toward the backs of canyons. In mid and upper lake the same progression will follow. Best time is from 6-10 AM. Boils in the south are random. We saw boils at 8, 9 and 10 AM near Cookie Jar. They came up once for about a minute. We quickly moved the boat in position. When they came up the second time in range we caught 3 fish for 3 anglers. They went down before we could get the fish off and cast again.

Boils are random in the south, but steady mid lake, and best from Good Hope to Hite.  There were no San Juan reports but it is assumed boils were similar to Hite. Fish are two inches bigger in the south but much more numerous in the north.

Bass fishing with dropshot plastic baits is excellent in 20-30 feet of water off rocky points. Catfishing is at a summer peak. Bluegill are hungry for live worms.

Fishing at the big lake is great for mid summer. It's all right to swim in the clean, blue, 80 degree water between fishing adventures.