October 27, 2010
Lake Elevation: 3634                  
Water Temp:    66-68F

Where did the summer go? I will be sampling uplake during the first two weeks of November so this will be my last regular fish report for the year. If something good happens a supplemental report will be posted on Wayneswords.com. Here is what to expect during the next month.

Winter Wayne with quarry

Striped bass will continue to be found in deep water. Focus on the 60 foot depth strata to make best use of graphing time and eliminate looking in areas that are less productive. It will be easy to graph schools in the back of major canyons like Warm Creek, Rock Creek, Bullfrog and Halls, and Red Canyon. Stripers will be in most canyons but those listed are a sure thing. Graph a school of stripers, chum the spot and then catch fish with bait. When fish rise off the bottom the use of other tackle like spoons, grubs, and hard plastic lures will work for active fish. But chumming a school into activity will be an important component of a successful trip. Bring frozen cut bait even if it's not the intention to fish with it. The pattern will work most of the winter. Remember to keep all stripers caught to balance predators with prey populations.

Inflow areas near Hite and the upper San Juan will harbor actively feeding stripers which will boil occasionally and actively take trolled lures in the upper 40 feet of water and jigging spoons at greater depths. Down rigger trolling will work very well over the entire lake with lures running at the same depth as fish are seen on the graph (60-80 feet).

Bass fishing is now at its Fall peak. Largemouth are in the shallows and will take surface lures including buzz baits, spinner baits and a wide range of crankbaits. Of course plastic lures always work for bass with the best colors being greens, browns and black. As water cools into the mid 50s smallmouth feeding will lessen making fishing challenging. Slow moving dropshot plastic lures (Yamamoto shad shaped worms) may be the best winter strategy for cold water bass.

An unexpected winter bonus is an exceptional crappie fishery in the far reaches of the San Juan, Escalante and Hite areas. Fish the thickest patches of submerged brush morning and evening where water depth is 8-25 feet. Work the bow of the boat right into the brushy thicket and then drop small plastic or hair jigs into the open spaces between tree limbs to find suspended crappie holding at 3-12 feet. Crappie do not leave the trees so fishing in the forest is a must. Take plenty of small jig heads to replace lost baits. Crappie will respond to lures fished under lights at night in the same thickets where they are found during the day. Remember the crappie limit is 10 so leave some of these fish to spawn again next spring.

fishing will be decent all winter in the Hite area. Trolling and spooning will work but the reliable standard is slow trolling with a bottom bouncer weight and night crawler worm harness. Both stripers and walleye are often found near the mud line where the Colorado River plunges into the lake. It will be an exciting winter to fish in cool water at magnificent Lake Powell.