Date Received: January 8, 2001 Zack Stanley
Took the boat to Copper Canyon yesterday (Sat.) and caught 8 stripers, 3 crappie and one 2 pound walleye. The possibly interesting part is that all of the stripers were caught in the numerous bays on the south side of the lake between Copper and Mike's in very shallow water (8 to 12') on walley divers.
Two of the stripers were over 4 lbs and probably over 5 lbs (legitimate weight). Once back to Kayenta, I dissected the stomach contents of these two fish. Both were full of medium size crawdads, one had six of these in the stomach. Apparently, these fish have learned to adapt when the shad disappear. The one with six crawfish in the stomach is the biggest striper I have seen come out of the San Juan since last November. I would guess the length at 24 to 26".
We were casting the wally divers into very shallow water, cranking them fast for several seconds to get them down to 6 or 8 feet, and then retrieving them on a stop and go action. The stripers usually hit right after the lure was stopped and then started again.
Date Received: March 16, 2001 - Chris & Debi Cross
Debi and I fished the ABA last Saturday (3/10). We again went to our recently most productive canyon (75 miles and 1 hr. 40 min. north of the marina). A Sunset is not a Ranger, even with a 225 on the transom. The water was green and 46-50 degrees. We fished vertical walls with a 20" bottom. I pitched Zippers, blades and Yamamoto plastic. #208 double tails got me two keepers. Debi, using an unnamed crankbait, fished in a style that no bass or any other fish ever saw, caught a 2 1/2 largemouth and five (5) crappie all over two pounds. Each of these resulted in a " HONEY, get the net". With a pounding heart I'm on the stern, ready with the net. This happened five times, as we went down the shoreline. The last one was Bubba. Weighed in at 2-13. I brought it back to weigh-in just because it was our largest fish. Had I known we (Debi) were going to catch five crappie, we would have invited you for dinner.
Date Received: April 2, 2001 - Fred Home
The tournament fishermen may not have reported their secrets from last weekend, but I will. The bass fishing in the stained water was good with some 3-4lb. largemouth and 16" small mouth. Smaller smallmouth can be caught in clear water along walls in 15-20' of water. The bonus over the weekend was the walleye are staging to spawn. We caught 10 in an hour, all ripe males in the 2 lbs class. A couple of females showed up in the 3+lb range. Walleye were especially active just before dark, but some showed in the early morning. Try crankbaits off gravel points in stained water. Stained water was 60 deg. clear water as low as 54. We also caught 30 or so crappie in the 11/2 to 2lb range fishing for bass and walleye. They all went back. Good fishing, Fred
Date Received: April 25, 2001 -Phil, Tess, Joe, Evy, Martha, and Bruce-
We have just returned from a most rewarding fishing trip up the San Juan. There were 5 of us fishing from about 8-10AM and then again from 4-7:30PM every day, casting 2" grubs of various colors/flavors and the occasional crank bait for a change of pace. We generally stayed 20-40 yds offshore and cast into on-shore structure with slow retrieval of the grubs, playing the grubs as close to the bottom as possible, from 1' to 40' depth. One guy tried a spinner bait without any real success.
We didn't keep count of the total catch, but the boat caught from 50-100 fish per day, keeping about 5 per day. We did keep track of some of the new records for our boat this trip:
5 fish caught on 5 consecutive casts by one person,
2 walleye caught on 2 consecutive casts by one person,
2 SMB caught simultaneously on the same cast.
All major LP species caught by one person on the same day -- SMB, LMB, striper, walleye, crappie, bluegill, catfish and carp, and
4 fish on simultaneously, (the fifth person was fighting a rockfish at the time).
Since we were going for black bass, we only caught about 10 striped bass the whole time, (we kept all the stripers). The only bad news was that about half of the SMB were too small to even think of keeping, these were probably yearlings. Incidentally, we were fishing from an extensively modified patio boat that allowed plenty of room for all five of us to cast with a minimum of crossed lines.
Personally, this was my first time on LP in April, and yes, what they say about Spring fishing is true... it's great.
Date Received: May 14, 2001 - Laryn Brown
We were in Copper Canyon from Thursday, May 10 through Saturday May 12. With two adults and two kids we caught 18 stripers, 20 or so crappie, 15 SMB, 2 LMB, 3 walleye, 3 bluegill and 2 catfish. This was certainly the most diverse fishing trip I have had with something different coming out of the water each time.
To put this in context, we caught nearly all the fish from shore on a 30 foot stretch of Copper Canyon. Since we only had a canoe to get around and the winds were pretty strong for two days we focused on fishing from shore on this one productive area.
We discovered an interesting shore fishing method that we named "shore trolling". Fishing with plastic grubs (color didn't really seem to matter) lower your grub in the water until it disappears from view and then let out about two more feet of line. Then, swim your lure around every rock and crack on the shoreline about 3 or 4 feet out from shore. We caught all of the crappie and bass this way. The water was quite cloudy, this might not work in really clear water.
To catch the stripers, stick an anchovy on an empty jig head and go another two feet down. Swim it slower. By the way, all the stripers were caught during a two hour feeding frenzy as they trapped the shad up against this stretch of shoreline we had been fishing. When Wayne says to watch the grebes, egrets, and ravens for shad activity, pay attention! That is how we discovered what was going on.
Using this method, my six year old and nine year old caught more fish than I could lift on one stringer. For her first fishing trip ever, my six year old was especially excited to land a four pound walleye (on four pound test line).
We saw one striper with a tail that was as wide as two outstretched hands, but couldn't get it to bite.
Now, before everyone gets all excited about Copper Canyon, remember getting in is no picnic. If you own a boat, go somewhere else, there are certainly easier ways to catch fish. The drive was so long (8 1/2 hours from Provo, UT) that we will probably stick to Blue Notch and White Canyon in the future. I ruined a brand new tire on my 4x4 getting in to the lake. But, until the crowds came on Friday, we had the whole place to ourselves (not counting Rod who goes there regularly, the coyotes, wild burros, and grebes), so we did have a good time.
Thanks to Wayne and all of you for the info that made this trip possible.
Date Received: May 29, 2001 - Jack Kruse, Boulder, CO
Fished mainly the San Juan, Escalante and main river channel from Rincon to Oak Creek. The lake fished fair compared to most years. Lots of small smallies. Too small for bass gear so fished a lot of ultra to make it more fun. Had a good year for walleye and fairly poor for largemouth. Found the best fishing to be submerged islands as I think many fisherpeople pound the shore and avoid the islands. Requires time to find and a gps to record but well worth the effort. Best jigs were Zoom hula grubs, black head and chartreuse double tails. On calm days we went deep (35-50) along main walls that had ledges coming at least 30 yards from shore and picked them off the bottom. Shore activity was nill for most of the days with sun and no wind. Largest fish were just 2lbs for both bass and walleye.
Date Received: October 1, 2001 - Chuck Fulton
We finished our annual pilgrimage to the San Juan 9/28/01. Fish were thick as fleas in Piute Cr, but did not graph much in Deep, a few in Spencer's and nothing in Zahn or Copper Area. We did get into boils every morning starting about 8 and lasting as much as a hour. These were in the little coves either side of Neskahi. I used our famous home made popper but had a guest who used a mid- sized skitter pop and killed 'em. I've got so many of my own I'll continue to use them but the skitter sure works...best I've seen. Any where a fish could be graphed, it could be jigged. I like, even better than before, the .75 oz Rattle Snakie in silver (Caballa's or Bass Pro have 'em). The standard white bucktail worked great too. The Piute Cr fish were not in as good a condition as the boilers (which were great). No afternoon boils. Water temp was 75-79. Overall we probably accounted for 250-300...jus' doin' our share.
Date Received: October 25, 2001 - Dale Frehafer...Lakeside,AZ
Several of us hit the lake on Friday mid day after our house boat finally arrived from dry storage. We put in at Dungeon for the night and then on to Cha Canyon. Saturdays fishing was outstanding!!! From small to good size smalllies mixed in with quite a few largemouths. The water was like glass ALL week until Wed PM.WE had between 5 to 9 people fishing. Most the bass were in 20-30 feet of water but on Wed afternoon, everything came to the shallow areas and would hit your grub as soon as it hit the water.The slow boats averaged 40-50 bass per person per day. Some of the hardier fishermen had 80-100..Most the fish were caught on leadheads and grubs with any color. Several were caught on lipless crankbaits. We fish Powell twice a year and this has been the best fishing in several trips. We departed on 10-12 and came back in on the 19th.
Date Received: October 29, 2001 -Chuck Fulton
John and I just got back from our annual (post houseboat) camp/fish trip to the San Juan. This time it was a long boat ride instead of being able to launch at Piute Farms. We camped and fished the Piute Wash area. There are still some shad and therefore some stripers in Piute but not as many as a month ago. Neskahi had nothing. There is a small bay between the two that had ravens and we were able to get several fish on surface lures. This same bay yielded 50 or so surface fish a month ago. They stay around until there's nothing left to eat, I guess. All fish caught were in good shape.