September 9, 2010
Lake Elevation: 3634                        
Water Temp:    74-77 F  

The good news is that water temperature is falling which will lead to a fall feeding frenzy. But right now the temperature has not gone down enough to change recent fish behavior significantly. Here is a rundown by species.

Ryan Chamberlain

Striped bass adults are holding in large schools below the thermocline (40 feet or deeper). They are very anxious to eat and will light up at the drop of a spoon or a bait chum shower. Graph to find striper schools resting on the bottom. They will usually be in the submerged creek channel, or near the terminal end of a steep cliff wall. When the bait or lure is offered, individual fish rise in the water column followed by the entire school hoping to feed on the limited offering presented to them. When switched to feeding mode, school mates will come all the way to the surface following hooked fish or chasing bait. When the school loses interest it will go back to the bottom near the original site where it can be relocated later in the day or on another day. These resting schools tend to stay in the same place for a long time making them easy targets for return fishing opportunities.

Juvenile stripers
are near shore and in the backs of canyons where shad are hiding in brush and off-colored water. They are seen chasing along the surface occasionally but the best catching lures are shallow running crankbaits or small spoons. Occasionally a school of shad ventures too far from brushy cover where it is attacked by small stripers and even the adults who will come up quickly from depth to join the feeding opportunity. Boils still happen but are not common. If no shad are found juvenile stripers revert to eating plankton and suspended in the upper 20 feet of water where plankton is more concentrated. They are susceptible to trolling to locate schools.

There are evening striper boils occurring near Hite and the San Juan inflow during calm weather conditions. Wind can spoil the boil party but the inflow is the best location to find top water fishing opportunities.

Largemouth bass are found in brushy locations, most likely at a depth of 15-27 feet. The deepest brush is rooted at 27 feet at the current water level. Largemouth will not abandon the cover unless something better is found. Some weed beds are now appearing while old tamarisk tree cover is decomposing. A combination of weeds and thick cover would be the most likely spot to find largemouth.

Water temperature and cover, including brush and rocks, are the key elements needed to find smallmouth bass. The magic depth is 25 feet when looking for adult bass. Keep the bait in that zone to maximize bass catch.

Walleye are still hanging in the tree tops from 15-25 feet trying to find sunfish or shad. Trolling the tree tops with a lure diving just deep enough to tick the tree tops is an effective walleye technique. Perhaps more walleye are lying on the bottom in with the striper schools guarding the submerged creek channels hoping to participate in a shad feeding event. One of every 10-20 fish caught on spoons from 40-60 feet turns out to be a walleye.

Catfish and sunfish are close to shore near camp spots where a boat can beach. Fishing is good and weather is great.