September 22, 2010
Lake Elevation: 3633                        
Water Temp:    71-75 F  

Unseasonably warm weather has fish waiting for the fall feeding frenzy, but for this week fishing success is spotty. The biggest problem is that striped bass are feeding on their own schedule. Normally productive feeding periods, such as early morning, may be ignored by fish that choose to feed at noon or night instead.

Jake Deangelis

The best strategy is to try fishing spots that have been productive. If no success is found in the morning then return at noon or early evening and give it another try. If jigging spoons do not work then try chumming and fishing frozen cut baits at 40-60 feet. Night fishing under a green light is another effective technique.

In the southern lake, striper schools have been located in most canyons and bays with perhaps the best hotspots being at the back of Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek (Cottonwood Cove), Lone Rock Canyon, and main Rock Creek. The San Juan is good from Cha Bay to Neskahi Bay and then in Zahn Bay.

At Bullfrog large schools of stripers were found in the back of Hansen Creek by meticulously graphing the back of the canyon where bottom depth was 50-70 feet. Large schools provided excellent results when spoons were deployed. It is better to find a large school than to drop spoons on individual fish traces. This graphing and spooning pattern is effective over the length of the lake.

There are still some boils at Hite but not every day. Evening is still the best time for a boil to blow up anywhere from North Wash to Trachyte. If lucky enough to be in position when the boil happens expect to catch 20 or more fat 3.5 pound stripers in short order. If the boil does not happen then trolling deep divers (or down riggers) provides a steady catch of the same size stripers. After a boil, fishing a storm plastic minnow or dropping a jigging spoon to the bottom in 40-60 feet of water prolongs the catch.

Bass fishing is very successful but the technique is s-l-o-w and steady. Use a drop shot rig with a Yamamoto shad-shaped worm in shad or watermelon color. Drop the bait down to 25 to 35 feet and suspend the bait 12 inches off the bottom (weight rests on lake bottom). Move the bait every minute or so and then let it suspend again. This slow deliberate style will consistently catch an amazing number of large and smallmouth bass. The best spot for bass fishing is Zahn Bay on the upper San Juan but results are great over the entire lake.

Walleye fishing is best near Hite where they can be caught trolling the tree tops or casting lures into the submerged brushy trees. Catfishing is as good as it gets right now on a sandy beach near your campsite.