Date Received: April 30, 2002 - Tom Buck
After much trolling on Saturday, without success, we finally located a gigantic school of stripers near the back of Lake Canyon. It's a 10 mile run from Bullfrog marina. We fished near the first set of submerged trees, now sticking up, near the back of the canyon. Water was semi-clear, temp unknown. We jigged anchovies from 12 to 24 feet deep. Seems like the larger fish were 3 cranks up from the bottom, if you could get through the school on the drop. The bite was strong from 3pm until sunset. The healthiest fish were 16 to 18 inches. Anything longer than that was terribly skinny. All eggs observed were golden brown. Catch rate was about 10 per hour per person. (Bite rate was 50/hr., lots of bait stealers). Chumming reactivated the school whenever the bite slowed. Then we'd catch 5 more. We landed 75 stripers from that school. The graph was always full. Weather was breezy and it was partly sunny Saturday, sunny on Sunday.
Date Received: May 6, 2002 - Louise Catron
Well, my fish'n partners and I hit the lake about 0800 on Sunday 4/28 to set up camp at Hansen Creek. With the water so low, it was more difficult to find just the right camp spot. Got to fishing that afternoon in Spring Creek Canyon (I think), the canyon across Hansen. Did okay. Caught several SMB up to 12" and kept all from 9-12 as suggested. Another boat went into Forgotten Canyon and had about the same luck. Sunday the bait of choice we found was a tube bait in a green color, but we seemed to catch SMB on about any color. We concentrated on the rock rubble that we could find. Caught most in about 10 to 15 feet of water but we did catch a few right at shoreline. Monday, went back to the same canyon with about the same success, the days color was a smoke w/ red flake tube. Also caught some on green tubes and a smoke w/ red flake jig. The other boat went into Cedar Canyon and Warm Springs Canyon. While fishing the rubble again, we also caught 3 walleye and and three stripers that day. Caught a few catfish that night at camp also.
Tuesday, we went into Forgotten and concentrated on the rubble in there. Caught more SMB, no big ones, just "keeper sizes". We got blown off the lake about noon or so.
Wednesday, we heard the weather was also calling for more wind so we packed up camp and headed into Hall's and got us a trailer. Went out that afternoon and caught more SMB on the same color of tubes fishing the rubble areas again. Had a great fish fry that evening also. Thursday, The front must have moved through as the lake was calm. This was our best day of catching, we landed a few 14 to 16 inch SMB and several in the 9-12 keeper size in Hall's Bay and also on the main channel. Peaked into Bullfrog Bay but not much success toward the mouth end.
Friday, we headed back home with fond memories. All in all, we caught 3 walleye, 3 stripers, 3 catfish, and a bunch of SMB using mainly tubes and 3" jigs. Sorry for not recording my catch but I was unable to download the data sheet on my PC. We'll be back!
Date Received: May 7, 2002 -Roger Sullivan - Grand Junction
Trolled a few hours around the back of halls creek and caught stripers, a walleye and a crappie. Speed was about 4 mph and almost all the fish were caught on a white hot-n-tot, the crappie was taken on a med-small white spoon plug. Most fish were caught using a led core line setup at about 25-35 feet down.
Date Received: May 13, 2002 - Randy Rushton, West Jordan, UT
I recently Rented a House Boat at Bullfrog Marina and headed north. We stayed a few days at Smith Fork canyon. The 8th was probably the coldest, a cold front had just come through, but it warmed up quickly. By the 9th the water was great. Me & the kids went swimming, exploring, and even a bit of fishing off the back of the house boat. We caught quite a few Channel cats and stripers using anchovies. I'm sending a picture of my youngest and the Channel Cat he caught. We all had a ball & wished we could have stayed longer. Fishing was best in early morning and late evening. Fished off the bottom in the bay in approx. 20' to 30' of water
Date Received: May 17, 2002 - Dennis Jarvis
Just returned from Bullfrog. We fished the Mokai wall 3 mornings, no luck. We found the stripers in the middle of Bullfrog Bay. We headed toward the back of the bay and started fishing when the left bank was all sand, in 60' of water drifting anchovies down 20 to 30 ft. I caught several walleyes with crank baits suspended at 35' in 60 foot deep water. The camp ground at Bullfrog is closed until June 1st.
Date Received: May 17, 2002 - Great Auk - Durango, CO
We spent 6 days (May 9-15) working waters between Tapestry Wall and Good Hope. Initially the water was about 62 degrees, but it warmed to 68 or higher by the end of the trip. Got a few walleye and zillions of smallmouths. Those little guys were hitting virtually every cast on tube worms, and even on missed strikes, they'd hit again and again until hooked. They were everywhere in the rocks, in the shadows, next to the shore and down to about 15 feet. We scoped really hard for stripers everywhere, along channel cliffs, at points, in the backs of canyons, along rockslides, under overhangs, checking all of our old secret spots, but only found two piles of them, yielding about 25 fish. All were healthy, save one skinny little guy. Our guess is that they haven't come back to this area yet from wherever they hide during the winter, but another week or two of warm weather should fix that situation.
Date Received: May 17, 2002 - Joe Kruger and Dave Edens, Texas
May 6 - May 13th
We beached our houseboat in the west fork of Moki Canyon for 3 days. We fished Moki Wall and main channel around the islands. On the second day we finally got the wall to payoff with stripers on anchovies. All stripers were healthy and 2-3 lbs. One 5 lb catfish had to be happy we stopped it from eating... it was stuffed with anchovy’s... biggest belly I ever saw. We caught mostly feisty little smallmouth in the stickups at the end of the west fork. There was a lot of fish being caught at the entrance to Hall’s Creek Bay on the west wall right next to the main channel. They seemed to be smaller than Moki.
The wind blew hard for about 36 hours (30-40 kts max) which made sleeping and fishing kind of difficult, even though we had 5 anchors out.
On the 10th we cruised all the way to Ribbon Canyon. We caught mostly smallmouth in the canyon. Fished the west wall of the Escalante River, right at the mouth of the river. There was a huge school of stripers there. When the sun hit the wall we went to the very end of Indian Creek Canyon and found a school of willing striper. I am sure that I caught the biggest one, but I will never know for sure as my knot tying ability was not equal to the task.
Then the wind came back. It seemed to be 90 degrees to the houseboat (that seems to be the way it always is) with gusts close to 50 knots. We again had 5 anchors out (3 on the upwind side) and one slipped right under a huge boulder. We played lots of dominos and cards and I managed to get to know my daughter’s long haired boyfriend. The wind finally died down for a day and we put one of the upwind anchors on the bow. That night the wind kicked up out of the other direction and a thunderstorm went over us. I slept through it, Dave didn't.
We used 3/16th or 1/4 oz lead head jigs with about an inch of frozen anchovy and chummed with 1/4 to 1 inch anchovy chunks. Many thanks to the person who suggested the cut in the stripers gills to bleed the fish. That made for a nice clean filet.
Date Received: May 20, 2002 - Joe Kruger
Wayne this is the results of an afternoon at the mouth of the Escalante and Indian Creek Canyon. Caught on anchovys. Biggest was 2 lbs 12 oz. Your website is great. It taught a Speckled Trout / Redfish maniac how to catch striper. Many thanks.
Date Received: May 28, 2002 - Dave Huffaker
My 10 year old son and I spent 4 fantastic days in the upper San Juan over the weekend. I usually avoid the holiday weekends due to the crowds but I finally have a boat with the range to get me to the San Juan and back.
Drove through SNOW up Spanish Fork canyon Thursday night on the way down. Launched from Bullfrog at 5:00 am Friday. Believe it or not, we did not see even one other boat underway for 80 miles from Bullfrog to Zahn Bay. That run alone made the whole trip worthwhile. The water was like glass for 2+ hours. Weather was great. Water temp 62-64 in the main channel and up to near 70 in protected coves in the afternoons. Stained water starts just south of Zahn Bay.
Friday: SMB are everywhere along the main channel with a few LMB. Caught around 30 smb and 10lmb mostly on senko's and grubs. Decided to troll crankbaits in Zahn bay and hit the motherload. Many times had 2 on at a time. Most stripers were very healthy around 20 inches with a few smaller around 12-14". Also caught 4 nice walleye. Deep Thunderstick, Wallydivers, and Shad Raps all worked flat line with no extra weight.
Saturday: SMB and LMB again in the am in the main channel. Caught one nice 17" smb on a topwater Sammy. Best LMB only 16", most on senko's and 4" grubs on 1/8 oz. heads. Largemouth were very predictable on cracks in the steep cliff walls. You could throw an unweighted senko to nearly every good crack and get a fish. Most were 10-14", with a few nicer ones. Went back to troll in Zahn bay in the afternoon. The stripers were still there, especially on the north shore just south of Donkey Island where the depth was around 25 to 35 feet and there was a pretty good algae bloom. We caught 5 more nice walleye and a huge crappie also on the same crankbaits.
Saturday afternoon the two Wildlife officers from Bullfrog stopped to check us. I must say they were true gentlemen. I know better but I had left my wallet with my license in the tent when I had changed clothes and they let me go back and get it instead of giving me a ticket on the spot. I could not have asked to be treated any better, They were very professional and respectful and I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciate it.
Sunday: Same as Saturday. Main channel in the morning and evening for smb and lmb. Trolling for stripers and walleye mid day.
Monday: Didn't fish.Got up early, packed up, went to Dangling Rope and Rainbow Bridge with the crowds and headed back to Bullfrog and home.
I didn't keep track of the numbers but I'm sure we caught at least 100 smb, maybe 50 lmb, 20 walleye, 1 crappie, 20 bluegill, and 100+ stripers in three days of fishing. Kept a limit of walleye and a limit of smb, no stripers, no room in the coolers and not enough ice.
Date Received: June 4, 2002 - Brian Shearer
Smallmouth action excellent. Walleye being caught north of Good Hope in Main channel trolling early mornings. Stripers in White Canyon with lots being caught around Island just into right fork. Also the sand bars and Island near Castle Butte north of Red Canyon
Stripers being caught at the mouth of Lake Canyon and just across the bay from the Bullfrog ramp. Smallmouth fishing excellent.
Date Received: June 21, 2002 - Jerry Dawkins
Launched out of Bullfrog Saturday afternoon and headed up lake to Good Hope area. Found smallmouths on main lake points and inside turns. Most of them were less than 11 inches. Caught them on smoke pepper tube and Foxee jig. Wind pick up late in the afternoon, so I fished the windy side of the points for walleye. Caught 3 average size walleyes on the Foxee jig tipped with a piece of worm. Also caught a nice size catfish while walleye fishing. I tried night fishing for stripers, but the action was very slow. Sunday morning I found stripers and smallmouths herding shad up and down the bank. Rigged with a Zara Puppy I managed to catch 4 stripers and 3 smallies. Stripers were 18-19 inches and healthy. After that action died I resumed my search for walleyes. Sticking with main lake points and inside turns I landed 5 more walleyes. I also stumbled across sunfish preparing beds. I caught 3 and kept 2 for eating. All other fish were released with the exception of 4 walleyes and 2 stripers.
Date Received: June 24, 2002 - Great Auk Durango, CO
We spent six days up around Tapestry Wall, fishing everywhere from Knowles Canyon up to Red Canyon. Having fished up in that area for many years, usually catching loads of stripers, I was surprised to find practically no stripers anywhere in that region. We had two boats, both with tried and trusty sonars, and worked probably 40 secret spots plus most everything in between. We hit points, flats, backs of canyons, coves, cliffs on the main channel, rockslides, and everything else, in both mornings and evenings. In all, we could only find three little bunches. This is the second time in the last few weeks this has happened in that area. Since we pretty much have the hang of striper slaying, I'm sure wondering where those rascals are. For some reason, it looks like they have not returned to the mid-lake region in the numbers we've seen in the past. In fact, it looks like maybe they haven't returned at all. I'm curious if you have any theory about this. Or, maybe it was just us. I can understanding maybe not catching them, but I can't figure out why we couldn't even find them.
Beyond that, we caught and released several hundred smallmouths, none of which exceeded 10 inches. Those little buggers seemed to be absolutely everywhere. I'm wondering if they somehow might be affecting the striper situation.
Date Received: July 25, 2002 - Great Auk
Just got back from the Hall's area. Striper fishing remained slow for us there, but we did find a couple of small piles, more or less across from Hansen against the walls. On Sunday morning, in the fingers just before Moki, there was actually an adult-sized boil for about an hour, well out into the lake probably 200 yards or more offshore. That was the first good one I have seen in that neighborhood in years. Aside from that, we scoped all kinds of likely and unlikely places but rarely got even a single return. The area we checked was from Tapestry down to Lake Canyon. There seemed to be more north of Halls, but not anything like it has been in previous years. Unlike previous years, we have yet to hook a snaky-striper. The ones we are getting are plump and healthy. We did catch and release lots of channel csmallmouth, no largemouth.
Date Received: July 30, 2002 - Chuck Haney
We just got back from Halls Crossing, and two of our friends caught a few stripers at night at the Halls marina breakwater. We also had pretty good luck at the point and canyon right across the lake from Moki. We also saw a few small boils in the same location. Trolling later in the evening a smaller Olive Green plug produced 8 really nice stripers all in the same location along the North canyon wall across from Moki. We let out about 150’ of line and no weight, just the diving action of the plugs.
Thanks to you we had an OK trip. Keep up the good work, and thanks.
Date Received: August 4, 2002 -Rich Sutterfield, Denver CO.
Hello Wayne, here is my post for Angler's Corner. This is the first time I have contributed so I hope I am doing it right.
Waynes note: Not bad for a first report.
We arrived at Bullfrog about noon Sunday 7/28 and stayed until Thursday afternoon 8/1. This was our yearly 'family trip' to LP, so the first priority was family fun (swimming, tubing, snorkeling, etc.) and fishing was right behind that. I make several trips a year without them on serious fishing missions so I can live with those priorities once a year. Although my family likes to fish, they aren't obsessed with it like I am.
We stayed at the Defiance House Lodge, as we always do. It's a nice place, a little pricey for me, but it's the only game in town at Bullfrog so take it or leave it. My family are city folks, they need creature comforts like air conditioning, TV, restaurant, shower, etc. so it's the best way to go for us. It was a great trip as always, if you have already seen my posts on the bulletin board you know about the striper fishing. I will try to describe the patterns I found to be effective in the Bullfrog area. I don't keep track of how many fish I catch, I work with numbers a lot with my job so I don't take that out in the boat with me. I have three fish tally measurements: skunked, a fish every now and then, or lots of fish. The area I frequent is from Bullfrog, down to Lake Canyon, up to Forgotten Canyon, and everything in between. I can usually find what I'm looking for somewhere in there.
Stripers: I didn't see any boils anywhere in the area until the morning of Tuesday 7/30, but we'll get to that in a minute. I graphed many fish along the shaded main channel walls, fish were 45 - 90 feet deep with the bottom depth at 100 - 200+ feet. They were mildly interested in anchovies, very close to the shady walls with lots of chumming produced fish now and then but it was hard to get them really fired up. The first morning, I was fishing anchovies on the wall just north of the Moqui canyon entrance, and a funny thing happened. I would hear an occasional slap on the water, and a slurping, kissing sound. But I looked all around and could see no disturbance on the water. It was dead calm so I should have been able to see them, I thought. It was driving me nuts. I heard it again several times, and finally I saw the situation: stripers were cramming shad up against the wall and eating them right off the wall, like carp eating moss. It is very subtle, you would drive right by it and never see it. You have to just stop and listen for it. I tossed a super spook jr. at them and they would boil under it but wouldn't take it as well as they should. I then tried a 3 inch sassy shad on a silver jighead and they hit that just fine. Just use the trolling motor to follow them up and down the wall, pitch the jig against the wall, and hang on. I called these guys 'wallbangers'. This lasted from sunup until 10:00 am or so. Caught LOTS of fish doing this. It was really fun fishing because it was new to me.
Then, on Wednesday and Thursday morning, I hit the striper jackpot. Starting at mile marker buoy 95A, all the way up to marker 99, all along the Moqui wall stretch, it was solid striper boils from one side of the lake to the other. I would arrive at marker 95A at 5:30, just light enough to see, and there would be single fish working the surface here and there in the little coves. Throw a spook jr. at the most recent boil and it was good for a fish. Then after 6:00 or so, the whole main channel just exploded as far as I could see uplake to mile marker 99. I used super spook jr's, with the hook barbs mashed down so I could get them unhooked and back out quickly. Usually I could just wiggle the lure around without even landing the fish and it would pop out. A 3-inch sassy shad with a silver jighead worked very well also, if you don't like casting plugs with treble hooks. This lasted until 9:00 am or whenever boat traffic got excessive. But hang around a while if they quit, they might start back up again. I have no idea how many we caught on the boils, probably would have swamped the boat if we kept them all.
Smallmouth: My favorite smallmouth places are all on dry land now so I had to start over on that. Found some good structure here and there and caught smallmouth readily on smoke/black flake Kalin grubs with silver jigheads. I first tried watermelon/black flake Yamamoto grubs which usually are the hot ticket for me but didn't get many fish. Little guys kept eating the tails off them so I went to the sturdier Kalin smoke color grubs after seeing a lot of shad and that worked well. Found a very consistent pattern which isn't easy to find because it isn't that common: look for rockpiles along the vertical main channel walls where a large section of solid rock broke off and fell into a pile of broken rocks. Add a little shade, east-facing walls in the evening and west-facing walls in the mornings, and you have great smallmouth fishing and beat the heat at the same time. These rockpiles aren't very common so when you find one it is usually loaded up with a lot of bass. Work the rockpile all the way from shallow to 30 feet deep or so and you can milk it for a couple of hours. Green Sunfish like these spots too, clear them out first and then you will get into the bass. One of these rockpiles can be found about a mile or two south of Halls Creek Bay on the east-facing main channel wall. It's pretty obvious. Once you get the picture you can find more channel rockpiles and they all had fish on them.
Catfish: we spend the heat of the day swimming, tubing, snorkeling, playing with the dog in the water, etc. The key here is to stay wet and cool. I just motor around looking for a little sand beach with some rocks around it so we have something interesting to look at besides just a sandy bottom. Many of these spots back in Halls Creek bay. Whenever we take a break from swimming, we usually see catfish prowling around for anything we might have stirred up on the bottom. Our bait might make you laugh but it really works. Just break out some Oscar Meyer hot dogs, pinch off a little piece, and toss it out on a slip sinker rig. If the catfish are aggressively feeding they will be on it like white on rice. We had a lot of fun with them, and caught lots of them even in the heat of the day IF we were on a beach that sloped off quickly into deep water. We like those beaches because we jump off the end of the pontoon boat into the water for fun. For night time cats the gentle sloping beaches are better. But go swimming just before you fish, and stir the bottom silt up real good, that seems to fire up the cats.
I hope this helps others find the fishing they like, and I thank Wayne and all the Wayne's Words regulars for all the great information on this website. I wouldn't be half the Lake Powell fisherman that I am without the information he and the visitors to the site provided over the years.
Date Received: August 14, 2002 - Garling family
Arrived August 9th at Bullfrog and motored up to 4 Mile canyon and set camp just on shore from a huge striper school that was being fished heavily with anchovies and spoons to great success, it was on the left(as entering) of the island, we fished that night with my new Hydroglow, it attracted many shad(we drifted) and produced a 1/2 dozen stripers. My friend Ken was with me and he used his 6 weight fly rod off of the bow for smallmouth and it was a successful trip for him. Gary Foell was with me and had three other fisherman in his boat.
I searched for boils throughout Striper City that evening and never saw one(missed the one in the mouth of Farley by about a 1/4 mile). Total for Friday 14 stripers, 5 smallmouth. Saturday the 10th fished smb and lmb first 2-3 hrs and searched for boils to no avail. School in fourmile still being fished.
At noon we went to the biggest gathering of a SHAD RALLY that I was fortunate enough to attend, it was great to meet some new Lake Powell friends and see some old ones. At one point I counted 26 people there and know there were others. Continued to search for boils and went back and fished school in fourmile. Total 20 smb 5 bluegill 2 lmb 15 stripers.
Sunday fished for smb first 3-4 hrs and had a blast. Packed up headed back to Bullfrog area, camped across from Moki and proceeded to search for stripers between mm95 and mm99 to no avail, many historic striper boiling and school areas were barren. Early evening Total 30 smb 5 bluegill.
Monday on water at daylight searching and topwater for smb no success, went to Halls Crossing marina, at 9:30 A.M. on the way back up lake I spotted a small boil and managed to get one out of it, while there a small boil started in the buoy field. The boils were very boat shy and I tried a couple of different ways with coasting as far as you can with no engine noise producing the best results. As the day grew on so did the stripers boils, they kept getting bigger and moving more. At one time the water around our boat erupted. Total 4 smb 1 bluegill 16 stripers. The boils lasted in the area of 1-2 minutes, hard to reach and grew in size and intensity as the day grew, the last and biggest of the day occured around 2:30 P.M., sorry we had to leave.
Date Received: August 12, 2002 - Brian Shearer
Stripers boiling in the following locations: Hay Stacks near Stanton Creek
The buoy field at Halls just across from Stanton
The mouth of Lake Canyon
Bullfrog marina just inside tires early morning
Crappie cove large boils consistent in the morning until nine
Date Received: August 26, 2002 - The Wiggins Family, Paonia Colorado
We just returned from a trip to Hite and Bullfrog. Got to Hite late Sunday evening around 9:30 P. M. Caught 17 catfish from our campsite before going to bed at 11:30. Up early Monday morning could not find the stipers boiling anywhere. Caught 1 striper 1 smallie and 1 largemouth all in four mile canyon. Did not graph any large numbers of fish in Farley - White - Trachyte or around striper city (now that I know where it is). Did find lots of fish on the graph in the back of Two Mile and to the east and south of the island in Four Mile, from forty to sixty feet. Chummed and jigged till our arms hurt, no fish? That night chased small boils around the island in Four Mile canyon - caught 13 stripers - and a few small mouth. The stripers were taking the same baits as last time. My youngest son was catching his on a 4 inch pearl fliptail with black pepper flakes attached to a 3/8 ounce jig head. My oldest son was using his Yozuri 5" banana shaped flourescent white lure with the bright orange head. He has caught close to a hundred fish on this single lure in the last three trips, and I can not find another one exactly like it? I prefer a skitter pop or popping image in a shad shade with a tint of red. I don't catch as many, but they sure are fun to watch hit the top water baits.
Tuesday morning checked out all the spots heading down the lake ended up in Four mile again - caught 30 stripers - 7 smallies - 3 largemouth. All in and under boils. The fish were rising for brief boils and moving around quickly. It was hard to predict were they would move to next, and hard to keep up with. We would watch the birds and look for shad movement near the bank. Once we were sitting there wondering which way to move when the ravens that were circling landed on the bank within casting distance of us. Shortly afterwards the shad started erupting and jumping onto the bank, and right on que here came the stripers with a vengence. Tuesday morning was the best outing we had. Went back that evening to Four mile again, hit one small boil in the very end of what water you can get to. Caught a few off the boil and the rest casting jigs to the bank they had surfaced on, 13 stripers - a couple smallies. In the back of Four mile the canyon necks down to only about four feet wide and about one and a half feet deep and then widens back out and goes on for about another mile. Where it necks down it actually has a current that is flowing back into the canyon?
Wednesday morning looked everywhere again - ended back up in Four mile. Caught 13 stripers - 3 nice largemouth - 7 smallies. My oldest son had a 3 - 4 pound largemouth right at the boat when it jumped and flipped off. We released all the largemouth. After the morning topwater activity stopped we chummed and jigged again on the south side of the island after two hours of jigging I snagged a three pound cat that had about a pound of chum in him, and caught the trolling motor once. The trolling motor put up the better fight of the two, till it cut my line. I am going to have to go with someone sometime that is up on this jigging. On the way back to camp we stopped and fished in a shady wall south of the islands. I hooked onto a 12 pound carp that put up a heck of a fight, on my lightweight smallie rig using a small jig and 6 pound test line. That afternoon it was too windy to go out, so we fished for cats out of the back of the beached boat. It was so windy that you could barely get a line tossed out even with 1 ounce wieghts. I used the red meat that I cut out of the stripers fillets as bait. I do not no if this is legal or not, but it makes for great catfish bait. We caught over thirty in around two hours. Kept 17 - had 4 that would go three to four pounds each - all were over a pound. For some reason we were catching much larger cats than the average you catch from the bank? That evening when we were loading in the boat my oldest son hit his knee on a rod holder and poked a substantial hole in his knee that ended up requiring 11 stitches at the Bullfrog clinic. We decided to move to Bullfrog for our last night of camping and day of fishing.
Took a sight seeing tour into Lost Eden canyon. It was well worth the trip. There are some really spectacular alcoves and water caves at this water level. One must be over 200 feet back in. While cleaning the days catch I noticed that the largest striper which was 24 inches and around 4 1/2 pounds had 3 large crawfish - 3 small shad - and one shad that was 6 1/2 inches long. My son was amazed that the fish could eat another fish that size. I was amazed at the size of the shad. It was partially digested so I could not tell about colors or fins, but it was a big shad. Had a great time as always. Thanks for all the information.
Date Received: September 3, 2002 - Dr. Bob
Just got back from a weeklong houseboat trip. Smallmouth bass all over the place mostly caught on single tail grubs but caught a number on topwater stuff early in the morning. Found stripers in Reflection Canyon. Smaller ones on Zara Spooks, larger ones deeper on chovies. Top water action only lasted a half hour or so very early each morning.
Date Received: September 3, 2002 - Brian Shearer
Stripers boiling just outside marina and in Crappie cove early morning. The back of Lake Canyon boils until afternoon. All of the boils seen were small with only a few fish caught, stripers on the move. Fish holding at the back of Lake canyon at 60 feet. Slow fishing with anchovies but they work.
Boils at the back of San Juan before Spencer Camp. Boils and fish holding at the mouth of Neskani Wash. Smallmouth being caught at the tail end of boils with some to three pounds.
Date Received: September 12, 2002 - Gary "RedElk" Richins
We (two boats, four fishermen and a nine-year-old girl)fished out of Bullfrog.
On the afternoon of 9/9 (5 stripers trolling in front of Haystacks, 38 catfish, 5 SMB, and 3 stripers on anchovies on back side of second haystack (headed south from Bullfrog boat ramp), 5 stripers in evening using anchovies and Walley Lures from large school located about 1/2 mile north of covered houseboat storage on the opposite (west) side of Bullfrog Bay.
9/10 started trolling the upper end of Bullfrog Bay north of the northern-most houseboat buoy field. Found lots of stripers and shad, but only a few takers until 9:00, then WHAM we hooked up all three rods in our boat on stripers. As we stopped the boat to retrieve our fish, a boil started all around us, but it stopped by the time we were able to reel in our fish and switch to topwaters. Our friends caught 2 stripers on topwaters during the boil, then it ended as abruptly as it had started.
We spent the rest of the day with little success finding or catching anything, even the catfish had gone dead. At 4:00, our boats separated and the others ended up catching 16 good sized stripers trolling in about 30 feet of water in front of the haystacks.
At 6:00, our boat went back to the site of the morning boil and by 6:10 we and 3 other boats (unfortunately not our friends) were in the middle of a monster, moveable boil that lasted about an hour, and continued even as the water got rough and thunder and lightning and rain threatened. the three of us in my boat caught 43 stripers (from 2-6 pounds with the average running 3+).
This was my first "real" boil and without a doubt it was the second most exciting thing I have ever experienced, and the first was on my wedding night!!
The stripers were very healthy and fought like they were hopped up on meth or speed or steroids. What a blast!!
9/11 the fishing was lousy (1 striper trolling, no sign of any boils) with threatening weather, so we bagged it about 11:00 and headed home. Total for the trip was 46 catfish, 5 smb, 1 lmb, and 78 stripers.
None of the other fishermen we talked to had any striper success anywhere except Bullfrog Bay. Sorry I can't contribute any information up or down lake from Bullfrog.
Thanks so much to all on the Wayne's Words BB for your advice and location pointers. Thanks to Dave Wallace for his Walley Lures--they really work and have a short learning curve. Thanks to Wayne for his suggestion to try Bullfrog over Hite, and for his tip to try a Lucky Craft Sammy (it really works well and is easier to walk than a Zara Spook).
We set up the 9-year old with a closed face reel, a 6-foot graphite pistol grip rod, 10# line and a new "Wildeye" jig by Storm in "Blue Shad" color. She caught 8 stripers by herself during the boil with this setup. but the soft bodied jig was totally trashed--small price to pay for a happy 9-year old. She is my friend's youngest and I think she is hooked for life. She also caught 8 catfish and a striper on her 9th birthday which was 9/9. What a way to become a striper fisher "person"?
Sorry for being so wordy, but I am still on a boiling striper high!!
Date Received: September 18, 2002 - mhendrick
My partner and I fished the 13th and 14th out of Bullfrog. Friday (13th) started slow, we hadn't been down since June and some of our spots for LMB were out of the water. We headed back towards the green water near the launch ramp and as we stopped to check a few spots on the west side of the houseboats a boil stared. We managed to catch 4 stripers on Sammy's and spinnerbaits before the boil quickly ended. The whole thing only lasted about 3 minutes but even though we have been to the lake over a dozen times this was our first boil. A totally unforgettable experience!!
The SMB and LMB fishing however was slow, the lake had a ton of stained water from the rains and we just had trouble getting bit in the off-colored water. Saturday we ran to Moki and fished some trees in the back where we've seen LMB before. There were shad seen near the banks and despite over an hour of working Sammy's, spinnerbaits, and poppers, we couldn't get a bite. We made the long run up to Good Hope and found more of the same: a few shad, some fish breaking the surface but I only had one little SMB hit my Sammy without getting hooked. We moved further up Good Hope to Red Canyon, my partner hooked a striper on a spinner bait and as we unhooked it the cove around up started to boil and swirl. We were treated to another, longer boil. This time we managed 20-30 fish before it subsided.
We decided to fish around the edges of the small bay as you enter Red Canyon and started catching a few SMB. It seemed they were a little more active after the boil and any shad imitating jerkbait or soft plastic would produce the occasional SMB. I did catch a 15" Smallie, which is one the better SMB I've caught this year at Powell. Overall we had a blast fishing the boils and can't wait until the 24th when we are headed back.
Date Received: September 23, 2002 - Chet Garling
Arrived Fri the 18th to mudslides that filled parking lots(Utah t.v. stations reported 1.15" in 30 min, at Bullfrog)and deposited more trash and logs and cactus and etc. into the lake then I have ever seen since 1988 when I first started going to the lake. Did catch a smallmouth on topwater right off the back of the houseboat in small canyon directly across from sevenmile, the lake was as crowded as we have ever seen in September. Did not fish till Sunday morning and it took me an hour to find the stripers in Sevenmile just into the first canyon to the right as you enter, from the point back to about 50' of water. Most were holding in 80' but moved frequently, went back and got my late sleeping daughter, roused Gary and returned to fishing. We pulled out about 15 that morning. That evening we witnessed a boil and pulled out about another ten in the same place. Next day marked some more stripers in the back of Warm Springs while eating lunch between wakeboarding,skiing and kneeboarding. went back and drifted through school for a couple.
Tuesday we managed to get into the stripers for a while in sevenmile and had a small sunrise boil around the boat. The last morning I took my son,his friend and my daughter and went back to sevenmile and pulled out another 15. Total for trip on my boat 54 stripers, 8 smallmouth and one sunfish. The debris was tremendous so be careful boating or pulling someone behind your boat. Jigs used were wallylures and a special jig from Howard. Topwater success was on a rebel pop'r. Thanks again for the tip on the sevenmile area.
Date Received: September 27, 2002 - DreamWeaver
Arrived at Bullfrog and launched at about 4:00 PM. on the 17th. Wind started picking up and no boils seen in the upper portion of BF Bay. Winds increased and T-Storms hit around Dusk and continued well into the night. Next morning I headed up lake to Red Canyon. Winds picked up again. Set up camp in a cove on the north shore at the mouth of Red Canyon. This was my first time fishing in this area, and I spent most of the afternoon exploring the area and graphing for shad and Stripers. Winds and clouds continued off and on for the rest of the day, no boils spotted. Wed. morning wind still up and Cloudy. No boils observed in Red, Blue Notch or Ticaboo. Fished from 7:00am till 11:00am without success.
Wed. afternoon around 4:00 pm. I saw what appeared to be 2 stripers jump in the cove where I was camped. I caught 2 on a Sammy, and then all top water action ended. While I was reeling in the second striper and it was about 6 feet from the boat, another striper came up next to it and hooked itself on the front hook. I had both on for a few seconds then one twisted itself off. I switched to Wally lures and caught 12 more. At 5:30 the wind got worse and I quit for the day.
Weather finally started improving Thurs. morning. At 6:50 am. I spotted scattered fish jumping but no organized boils. I caught 23 Stripers on Wally lures and 4 SMB on a modified Spook. Fishing was slow but steady. The bite finally shut down at about 11:00am. That evening still no boils to be found. I caught 9 Stripers on Wally lures but the fishing was very slow.
The next morning, I brought in 5 more Stripers, but again it was very slow fishing and no boils. The moon was full now and the water temp. Varied from a high of 73.2 to a low of 70.9. Fri. afternoon was the nicest weather so far this week, the wind and clouds were gone and the sky was finally clear. I caught 4 more Stripers and then left for Bullfrog.
All the Stripers were caught in the same area. As you enter Red Canyon, there is an island in the middle of the channel that runs perpendicular to the entrance. It vaguely looks like a smaller version of Battleship rock in White Canyon. The Island does not appear on the Lake map found in Lake Powell Magazine because it is completely underwater at full pool. The stripers were all caught in an area between what would be the bow of the ship shaped Island and the cove that the bow points to.
In all the total was 55 Stripers and 4 SMB. I think the combination of the bad weather and full moon made for the slow fishing.
Date Received: October 8, 2002 -Mark Catron
Halls Creek 10/3-7
My partner and I left Farmington early Thursday morning for Hite to head off for a 5 day camp and fish in Red Canyon trip. We had been working on this trip for about 7 months, planning, asking questions on the BB, gathering info, getting vacation time, etc. Well, after fighting the white stuff coming out of the sky, we made it to Hite about 11:00. It was raining off and on, we got to looking at the mud, the clouds, etc., we decided to head to Halls to see what the weather might be like a little farther south. We had flurries from about Fry Canyon over to the county road turnoff into Red Canyon and the weather started breaking. Being the true die hards we are, we got a trailer rental that night at Halls.
Thursday pm we fished in Halls and the mouth of Bullfrog and found us a good camp site. We caught 2 LMB and 6 SMB that afternoon. Both LMB and 3 of the 6 SMB were about 14". The other 3 SMB were about 10" and we kept them for a future fish fry. We used 4" tubes, smoke, white, puke, were the most successful.
Friday we were off early to set up camp. Checked a few places around Halls and Bullfrog but no luck in the morning. About 2 in the afternoon, we got tired of fighting the chop in the main channel from the boating traffic and headed for the shoreline south of the houseboats at Halls. Fishing got good for about 3 hours. We caught the largest bass of the trip that day and ended up catching 4 LMB and 18 SMB. It was hard but we turned back all the bass over 12 inches. We only kept 4 SMB that were 9-11 size class. Again we used tubes, same colors as before. We caught about a 1/3rd right next to the bank, but the rest we caught as we dragged them behind the boat as we reeled in slowly. This was deeper water and held more bass.
Saturday was fish early morning and go check out new country. Went into Iceberg Canyon. Caught 4 small SMB for the frying pan dragging tubes, this time in watermelon with red/green flake. Saturday night dinner was interrupted by catfish. We ended up with 6 during dinner. Sunday we caught 2 LMB and 9 SMB. It was slower fishing for us that day. We did not come across any striper boils, did see some shad boils but only caught a couple of bass from them. From the fish we cleaned and those we could tell that we released, it looks like they we all eating crawdads pretty heavy. Green in color with a little orange. The crawdads were small also, maybe about 2 inches in size. Maybe next year we'll make Red Canyon. Weather was great Friday to Sunday. I think the storm that came through on Thursday slowed 'em down for a few days.
Date Received: October 16, 2002 - Don Schuster, Carbondale, Co
I just returned from four days on the lake. Figured Knowles would be great with a lot of stupid fish after being closed so I tried first but found it extremely slow, lots of algae streaks in the water.
Moved to Forgotten and saw a lot of shad schools but no boils. Middle of the day was non-productive. On warm mornings we caught a lot of smallies on rapala's top water, some to 13". Topwater action quit at 9-9:30. Found Smallies and Stripers at dusk by trolling mid canyon especially off smooth deep points. Hardly caught a fish on broken rock banks or points? No fish caught in the back canyons where water turned green. Largest Striper about 5 pounds. Plenty of three-four pounders. These were the healthiest Stripers I've seen in years. Strong and fat with bellies like a largemouth. Shad Raps worked well, but a deep diving Bagley that got a little deeper seemed to be the trick. We had four fish on at once, lost one and ended up landing a triple header of smallies. Needless to say my guests from Indiana and Virginia had a great time.
Date Received: October 23, 2002 -Rich Sutterfield
This was a last-minute low-budget trip, work has been tough lately and I haven't been able to get away for any length of time. Then on Friday morning 10/18, the planets all lined up right and suddenly I had a few days free to go fishing. I called my buddies but no one could get away on that short notice, so I decided to go by myself. I was so stressed out I just wanted to get out of the big city and enjoy what was forecast to be some great weather. So I gathered up basic camping stuff, hitched up the boat and blew out of Denver at 2:00 pm 10/18. On the way, I reconciled that the full moon probably would not help the fishing any but I would not let that deter me. This was going to be primarily a smallmouth mission, I have had a great 2002 season with stripers at LP, and wipers/white bass at other lakes. I have fished the 'boil of a lifetime' at least a dozen times this year. If stripers were boiling I would certainly fish them, but I wasn't going to spend too much time looking for them with only three full fishing days.
Got up late by my standards, tired from the haul out from Denver the night before. Launched at 7:45 and took off uplake from Bullfrog to my favorite bass/striper area, from mile 95a to mile 99, across the lake from the Moqui wall in the little coves which are full of submerged rock structures. This has been a very good area this year. Didn't see any boils, so I tied on a 3 1/2 " watermelon/black flake grub with a 1/4 oz. black jighead and started working bass structure. Immediately got bit, then another, and thought I was in good with the bass. I got broken off on a rock, so I pitched a super spook jr. that I already had rigged and caught two bass in consecutive casts. Then, about 11:00 am, the bass slowed way down when the breeze died. Tried different jig colors, and started getting bit again on shad colors, smoke and white/silver flake. A few of the bass coughed up shad next to the boat so that made sense. These fish were all in structure adjacent to the main lake channel. Averaged about 4 or 5 bass an hour until around 5:00 pm. Then the action heated up and stayed hot until dark. Had a great day with lots of sun, little wind and moderate temps.
Up at 5:00, had coffee and breakfast in the last of the moonlight and launched at 6:30. Today I planned to target stripers early. Ran uplake to time it right so I was in the canyons at sunrise looking for boils. Saw none, but chilly sunrise was great anyway with a steaming cup of coffee. Started working with the sonar to look for deep shad and stripers, and ran into a perplexing problem. Carp were everywhere. They were gathered up on the surface in large groups, sucking something off the surface. As I motored slowly along they would spook and dive under the boat. This made the sonar basically useless, of course it was graphing tons of fish everywhere. But it isn't equipped with a 'carp filter' so I didn't know what to do. Tried several areas but the carp were prolific. Gave up the hunt and went after smallmouth. Opposite pattern as the day before. Slow fishing until about 11:00 and then they lit up in shallow water, less than 20'. Shad imitating lures worked best, and several fish coughed up shad to confirm why. They slowed down about 2:00 pm so I went in the back of Bullfrog Bay to look for boils and fish bass cover there. Saw no boils but found several hot bass holes. These fish wanted small crawfish imitating grubs. Caught 6 bass on 6 casts to the same spot. It's funny, this spot looked no different from any other rock formation structure but it was loaded with bass. Other places that looked fishier had no (feeding) fish at all. This was the basic story of the trip. Had to just fish everything that looked good from shallow to deep and find the hot spots. After catching all the feeding bass in one hot spot, you could come back a couple of hours later (or the next day) and do it again.
More of the same, beautiful weather, no boils but even better bass fishing than the previous days. Throughout this trip, when the water was dead calm fishing was much tougher, then a little breeze would ripple the surface and the bass would quickly respond, head for the shallows and hit jigs readily. During the slow periods, I used side planer boards to target the few aggressive fish left and it worked well. I set out two planer boards on the starboard side of the boat, one out about 75' and the other out 50' from the boat. I trolled with the electric motor, following the contours of the shoreline structure so that one planer board was working the shallow drop-off near the structure, and the other was working the deeper drop-off. I ran the lures about 40' behind the boards. The shallow board I rigged with the usual 1/4 oz. jig and grub, the deeper board I used deep-diving crawdad or shad crankbaits. This combination covers a lot of water in a short amount of time compared to casting. I came up with this idea originally to troll the rip-rap along dams that walleye like so much during spawning without getting my boat up where the fish were in shallow rocks. I use inexpensive planer boards made by Luhr-Jensen, they cost about 7 bucks at Sportsmen's Warehouse and work great. They have a snap release so when a fish hits, it releases the board so the line will slide through and all you feel is the fish. You can spend a lot of money on planer boards if you want to, but these work just fine. If you use your imagination they can be quite useful to troll in places your boat shouldn't go and don't spook fish like a boat in shallow water does. Finished the day in classic LP style, caught a BIG largemouth bass, biggest ever at LP, sat there and took in the moment for a minute, wished I'd brought a camera, then loaded the boat and drove home with a great feeling of peace and content. I did try to keep count of the fish I caught this day so I could report it here like the other guys, but I lost count at 27 about 2:00 pm and never thought about it until later that night while enjoying a cold one. Or two or three, I lost count of that too.
All in all, another great time at Lake Powell. The Bullfrog facilities are fine, boat ramp is OK but the ferry is using half of it now. Boat traffic was minimal except for Saturday morning. No floating debris seen anywhere, water was as clear as I have ever seen it. Only saw 7 PWC's the whole trip. One thing I gotta say, regardless of what we think about the moon and fishing, Lake Powell at night with a full moon is breathtaking, worth seeing at least once.