Two distinct patterns are now in place making it much easier for anglers to
find stripers. Striped bass adults are hungry for shad that hide in the
backs of coves and canyons. Shad are shallow and stripers are deep, guarding
the migration route leading to the shad sanctuary. Stripers are found by
graphing the submerged creek channel leading to the back of most short
coves. Consistent holding depth for striper schools is 40-60 feet.
Striper School on Graph
My search pattern involves graphing the breaking edge of the submerged
channel. I like to look at the bottom from 45-50 feet very near the edge
leading to shallower water. Lately most fish traces graphed in this zone
have been striped bass. Shad, both gizzard and threadfin, are shallow. Bass
are in the brush. So any traces in deeper water are likely stripers.
To confirm fish identity drop a spoon straight down, let it hit bottom and
then jig it two feet off bottom and let it fall back a couple of times. If
no takers speed reel quickly in 15 foot bursts, then jig the spoon once more
at mid depth. This gets the attention of resting stripers who then may show
interest as the spoon descends to the bottom once more. A combination of
speed reeling and rapidly descending spoons usually gets a striper school
going within 5 minutes early in the morning.
Second pattern: Stripers are more often
found on steep canyon walls after 9 AM. Cut bait, first chummed and then
hooked on a short shank, lightweight jig head is an unbeatable combination
right now. Look for a cliff wall than ends near a rocky flat or rockslide
where resting stripers have a close venue to forage on crayfish. Chum
excites the resting school. Once started, the school feeds for about an hour
before shutting down once more. Catches of 25-50 three-pound fish are common
You will find striper school composition with larger fish resting on the
bottom (50-60 feet) with mid-sized fish in the middle and small
young-of-year stripers near the surface. Once the school starts feeding the
size classes mix and any size fish can be caught. Often a few fish will hit
the surface but we have found surface action includes only the small and mid
size stripers. Bigger fish are usually deeper.
Regular boils with big stripers still happen morning and evening near the
inflowing water of the Colorado and San Juan.
Bass fishing is steady for those using drop shot rigs and fishing the ends
of rocky points leading into the main channel or the submerged creek
channels leading to shad sanctuaries.
Fishing is great! Expect to catch lots of stripers.
Lake water is still warm so put fish in a cooler on ice. Don't
put them on a stringer in the warm water where decomposition will be