June 24, 2009
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3638
Water Temp: 72- 75F

One method of judging how fishing changes from week to week is to try the same methods in the same spots each week. Last week I chased striper boils from Wahweap to Padre Bay and caught one fish from every third boil. This week I caught one fish in every other boil and two fish in some. Since the frequency of sighting boils also increased, my determination is that fishing for stripers in boils is getting better.

Tight 'Slurp' of stripers feeding on larval shad.

Here is a closer look at techniques. The best lures are those that cast great distances with accuracy. We had good success with large rattletraps because many schools were headed down as the boat got in range. 'Traps' dive and could be effectively presented to fleeing fish.

The best lure for me was the full size Jumpin' Minnow. It is heavier and therefore casts further than anything but a heavy spoon. Fish are feeding on top so the surface lure was just right. You should fish with your best "confidence" lure. If a lure has been good for you in the past it will be good now.

Still it is imperative that the lure is cast in front and beyond the lead fish. As the lure hits water quickly work it into the racing striper school. Stripers are looking toward the surface. They swim fast enough to beat their school mate to the next shad. A larger 'fish' (lure) will be eaten if it is in just the right spot. Casting into or behind a moving school is fruitless. Perfect placement results in a hook up with a 20-25 inch striper. Anything less is ignored.

Boat handling is key. Fish in boils are vulnerable for 5-30 seconds. Move quickly into range trying to parallel direction of fish travel. I shut off the motor when in range and grab the rod while the boat is slowing to a stop. Sometimes the school will stay on top long enough to put one cast into the school. More likely the school will sound and then resurface. The most effective cast is to the resurfacing school. Hopefully, fish come up in range and the first cast goes beyond the lead fish. Spend some time watching the school and make one good cast instead of three errant ones. I only stay with a pod of stripers long enough to see them resurface three times. After that they are wary and I move to find a fresh school.

Boils cover the length of Lake Powell and are continuous from daylight to dark when the water is calm. Wind may put them down for an hour but they come right back up as soon as the lake calms. Boils are strong from Wahweap to San Juan and Escalante. Reports are less from Rincon to Good Hope but I suspect that is lack of reports and not lack of striper boils. My crew reports strong boils in Good Hope this morning. Water is clearing and fishing out of Hite is effective once more.

If the craziness of chasing fish does not appeal then look for a striper boil near shore. Go to that spot and cast a surface walking bait or popper into the submerged trees and have fun with bass on topwater lures.