Cold windy weather stalled much of the expected spawning activity this past
week. Runoff slowed allowing the lake to rise only one foot in a week.
Surface water temperature has been in the mid 50s most mornings. But that is
now history and a new warming trend is developing.
The modest rise in lake elevation means that clear water still exists in the
main and southern lake. Backs of canyons and coves still offer the
opportunity to sight fish for spawning bass and crappie. At the inflow areas
the mudline extends from Hite to Good Hope Bay. In the San Juan and
Escalante cloudy muddy water is only a moderate threat in the last few miles
nearest running water.
(4 year old with 4 pound bass)
New warming will increase water temperature back into the 60s and make it
unlikely that a return to the 50s will happen. That will allow bass and
crappie to move back on nests for one final spawning event. Nests will be
found at depths of 5 to 8 feet making them visible in many locations. Lures
and techniques that have been working for the past month will still be very
effective. Smallmouth bass like plastic grubs and tubes fished on rocky
points. Largemouth and crappie will be in the tree line and susceptible to
slow sinking, weedless rigged plastic double tail grubs and senkos. Spinner
baits work well for both species. Bass like the big flashy blades while
crappie are suckers for little spinners like Roadrunners. The old standard
chartreuse marabou crappie jig is still a winner. Enjoy bass and crappie
fishing for one more week before the runoff heats up and the nests get lost
in rising water.
Walleye fishing is nearing its peak. Don't expect to catch daily limits of
the tasty food fish but a few can now be caught while fishing for bass. It
is possible to troll crank baits or drag worm harnesses along the bottom for
walleye. Use afternoon wind induced mudlines as one key to find productive
spots. Main channel points, plunging into deep water, are a good place to
Striped bass are forming large schools in almost every canyon as they
prepare to spawn. The spawning trigger is a rapid rise in lake temperature.
Unfortunately, the prespawn period is about the only time that stripers are
off feed and difficult to catch. Big schools have been seen cruising the
shallows but attempts to catch them have been ignored. There are isolated
events like windy feeding opportunities or fleeing shad schools that will
ignite the large schools into a feeding frenzy. Be aware of the possibility
that a striper school could show up at any moment. React to that event when
it occurs because it will be a memorable experience.
Threadfin shad will spawn this week as morning water temperature reaches
65-70. They spawn at dawn so get up early to throw shad imitating
rattletraps or crankbaits in the back of canyons and coves. All game fish
enjoy the shad spawn as a line of tasty forage fish swims along the surface
readily visible to anglers and game fish alike. Find spawning shad and catch
bass and stripers. It is that easy.