Full moon last week again slowed boils at Wahweap and Bullfrog. They didn't
stop, just got inconsistent. But it seems that Hite stripers started to boil
again after taking a month off. This week boils are slow and infrequent
although a long lasting random boil can be found anytime. The best place to
look is at Hite which is not red hot but boils there are more consistent and
longer lasting than at any other location.
Striper school on Graph
For the rest of the lake here is the strategy learned from a recent trip to
the San Juan. Early morning is prime time
as predator and prey move at first light. A large school of fish was graphed
at 35 feet in the channel 200 yards from camp near Neskahi Canyon. The spoon
was dropped and the quick bite confirmed that these fish were stripers. The
school followed the hooked fish toward the surface and many active stripers
were caught vertically jigging before
the school and the boat drifted apart.
I then headed toward Piute Canyon but stopped to investigate two splashes
over a long point protruding into the bay. Surface lures cast to the
splashes were immediately swallowed by hungry bass and stripers. Both
species were having their way with a shad school. The surface action was
intense for the next 30 minutes but most of the splashes came from
smallmouth bass up to 2 pounds. Stripers left but could be found again on
the edge of the point where bottom depth was 30-40 feet.
Spoons were the best offering and both bass
and stripers were caught.
The best plan is use the graph and look for schools
of bait or stripers. When found stripers will immediately take
spoons. Bounce the lure off the bottom twice, then speed reel the spoon back
through the water column. Stripers and bass are very willing to chase spoons
when shad are near. If a boil surfaces use a topwater lure, but plan on
fishing with spoons for the best chance of putting fish in the cooler.
I am sure that trolling a deep diving
shad-imitating lure in these same situations will fill the cooler
just as fast as spooning. Use your favorite method. There are many fish
waiting for their next meal. I think in times when surface boils are scarce
that hungry fish will be eager to tackle a trolled lure. So troll, jig deep
and watch the graph while waiting for the next boil to pop up. This week the
wise angler will go slowly and graph the bottom instead of cruising many
miles looking for infrequent surface action. Striper school will be on the
edge of the main channel and very willing to consume baits down at their
level from 20-40 feet.
It is interesting to note that we discovered an oxygen depletion layer in
water deeper than 40 feet in the San Juan main channel. That makes it easier
to find stripers as they consistently hold at 35-40 feet while not actively
feeding. There is no need to fish at 60 feet since predators will avoid that
oxygen poor zone. This depletion does not seem to be a problem in the main
lake, only at Hite and upper San Juan.