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.
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
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.