Date Received: January 10, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Pre Angling Report: Every January for more than 20 years, several fishermen and I have made it down to Hite for a few days (and nights) of winter fishing. We will be going this year to Bullfrog. Thought I would share a few things that may benefit anyone else thinking of doing some winter fishing there also.
The first few years we slept in tents and fished out of little aluminum boats. We managed to get cold and wet enough to determine that it is worth it to rent a housekeeping unit there. Kitchen, showers, furnace, and electricity. But more than just the comfort of home they provide a refuge to relax and recuperate when the day or night gets rough or someone doesn't feel well. So one thing we have found is have some place good to get out of the weather when it turns bad. Saves having to leave early. Because sometimes it takes a few days to find the fish that are willing to be caught.
We will be bringing a variety of fishing gear for trolling, jigging, spooning, and anchovy fishing. Seems like every year it is a different method that catches most of the fish. We will also have a lantern, headlights and underwater lights. Sometimes the fish are feeding best at night. But start out easy at night in the winter. Days are short and it is easy to get off the water at dark, go and eat and get refreshed, dress warm, and head back to the lake for some evening fishing. Without a little break sometimes it is hard to keep the concentration level that night fishing takes because usually the bite is particularly soft at night.
We will have radios to be able to communicate with each other. Each boat gives the others an idea where we will be going and what the day's plan is. That way if trouble develops, no one is alone too long. The worst we have ever had happen is a broken prop. Except maybe the time I was a little bored one nice afternoon with no bites and decided to jump out of the boat onto the shore where the falling water level had exposed a snag that had numerous lures attached to it. The exposed mud looked firm but when I hit found that it was not. I was up to my armpits. The soggy mud was ice cold. I could hardly move and after he quit laughing we determined that the other guy in the boat really could not immediately do anything for me. I was able to kind of crawl out but lost a boot. Could hardly continue to fish without two boots so I stuck my arm down as far as it would go with my head above ground but face resting in the mud, and pulled up the boot. But now instead of just being cold I am almost totally covered with stinky mud. Some of the people back at the ramp said they would not have let me back in their boat, but I was lucky and did not have to walk back. Someone with a motor home had semi warm water to wash me off and the restrooms are heated for changing clothes. Another thing the radios allow is instant reports if someone finds fish that are biting
Some sort of fish finder helps a lot too. We catch a lot more fish now that this technology is available. A boat cover for at night is needed. This will keep down the condensation, keep out the occasional snowstorm, and keep the ever present ravens out. Something to keep the fish in. Often we overfill the livewell. Electric fillet knives speed up the cleaning process. Especially after a long day or night of catching.
We don't always catch fish. I have gone from only watching others the first year to winning the Striper Derby (back then) another. It took a little while to adapt to Bass fishing from Trout fishing. But the solitude, fun and unique fishing make it well worth the trip. Marty Peterson
Date Received: January 15, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Angling Report 1/11, 1/12, 1/13/04
Arrived Lake Powell late afternoon on the 11th. Launched 4 boats with no problems, except, with one boat. That one boat is a 30 foot with inboard/outboard engine and apparently had enough moisture left in the impeller to freeze up on the drive down which was as cold as 9 degrees. This caused the drive belt and the impeller needing to be replaced. They had the parts there at the repair shop. The best launch is still on the left side of the dock when facing the lake. Only room for one vehicle at a time. As we left, the dock was being extended out. And area improved.
Tried some night fishing off one of the docks the first night. Set up underwater lights and brought in no shad. Caught an accidental 20 pound Carp on an anchovy. JT caught two small LMB and one nice Striper, fishing out away from the lights. No other fish caught that I know of that night. Earlier Brad caught 2 Stripers in Moki and two in Forgotten. So that was where we planned to go in the morning.
Heard that Wayne Gustaveson was coming in to do a little fishing with Doug Miller, the host of our local Outdoors Show. So we started out a little later than usual because everyone wanted say hello. Great weather for January, water smooth as glass. Moki Canyon up near the end, branches three ways. I went right. No bites. Those in the boats that went up the middle fork caught fish. Mostly right off. Using anchovies on fluorocarbon leader with jig heads. Later about all of us tried the left fork with little success. Two boats also tried Forgotten Canyon with no success. It was too bad that Wayne had to leave before having a chance to night fish Halls Buoy Field first though.
Around sunset we tied up near the channel side of the Field. First Striper was around 6pm and we caught at least one every twenty minutes until the moon came up and we left. Every Striper caught this trip was of good healthy size. The fight was nearly as good as out of boils.
This second night, only one boat tried the night fishing. We set up with both an underwater white light and small green light. Also we used a lantern in the boat. Our poles were rigged with 1/8 ounce jig heads and about a third of an anchovy, or with two circle hooks, one on a swivel at the end of the main line, the other on around eighteen inches of light leader. Half the time the fish just smashed the bait and the pole would instantly be bent over. The other half of the time, the bite was so faint that it was nearly undetected.
Tuesday morning we all headed back up Moki. A few more fish were caught. Nothing exceptional. Later, in my boat, we searched for the schools of fish that we had found at night. We searched around Halls and Stanton. None found. Several of us went up to the back of Bullfrog Bay in the afternoon. Lots of Carp around. And it appeared that Stripers were being marked at times. But no bites. We did not try the slow troll method discussed earlier. But the fish we marked did remind me a little of those we saw in May when we saw fish being caught that way. We just did not seem to have the frame of mind Tuesday. Now sitting here at the computer I wonder why we did not at least give it a try.
Tuesday at sunset I wanted to experiment and try night fishing in the Bullfrog Buoy Field. We set up early but panic set in when we had no bites by dark so we cruised over to Halls. My white light had malfunctioned late the night before so we only had our small green light. None of the shad from the night before came in. The Stripers seemed to be hitting differently. Much more lightly. After an hour or so we got a radio call from Ray. He was going to join us. He had been smart enough to go in and have dinner which Richard and I missed for the second night in a row. Good dinners. And a chance to talk with the other 12 anglers there with us. As he pulled in we boated only our third Striper of the night. Ray set up his boat about 50 or 75 yards away and set out his big green underwater light. He brought in shad that darted quickly up and down the light. Soon after Stripers started biting over there too. They explained to me that they dropped in a jig head with anchovy and paid close attention to the slightest tap and then set the hook. They boated eight or ten. But missed many other hits. In our boat we also were missing hits. But also catching a few. Both on jig heads and circle hooks. We lost several Stripers that dragged our lines past the prop, tangled with a cable or fought harder than we could handle. Ended up with only eight in the boat this night, but had a great time with all.
As I write this around ten pm on Wednesday night, I believe that Ray and Brad have their boats over in the Halls Buoy Field catching Stripers right now. At least that was their plan this morning. Will update if better info from them. Marty Peterson
Date Received: January 16, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Angling Addendum 1/14/04
Scott in forground, Doug Miller's boat, with Doug Leaning over working while Jason and Wayne talk "fishin" I'm sure.
Ray and Clair fishing out of Ray’s boat, Brad and Will in Brad’s boat gave me this summary of the fishing on January 14th. Brad cruised down to Iceberg area in the morning. They boated one fish. Ray didn’t know that I had already looked around Halls trying to locate a school related to the night fishing. He did not find any either.
The night fishing was great. Warning: night fishing Powell in the winter is not a casual activity. We found that our hand held GPS did not work right when the outboard was on. Two trips now. Also, the lake is really darker than some may expect. Planning to be out after dark? Bring more than one spotlight. If one goes out you are going to need the other or risk travel at too slow of speeds in the cold. But the fishing is worth the work.
They used ¼ oz white jigs and other color 1/8 oz and tried glow in the dark. All worked about the same. Technique was to cast out the anchovy tipped jig and let fall towards boat. Depth not critical. Likely between 30 and 70 feet. This worked to put 25 Stripers in the boats. Plus those that they missed. Sometimes it is a good idea to retie after a couple of fights. These guys found out why.
The fish seemed to be coming up from the deeps. The graphs showed fish as deep as 125 feet. Some had the air bladder come up after being boated. Half the fish nailed the bait hard and again about half hit so lightly the tip of the rod did not even move. Only the “feel”. All dived deep stripping line out the drag after being hooked.
They fished from dark till the fishing slowed around 11:30 pm. Then back to the docks for some “pleasant” fillet work. Something I need to add here and should have put in my last report is that the Stripers are not always going to bite just because I want them to or because the method I am fishing worked before. Need to adapt. Also as the temperature goes down there is condensation on the boats and docks which soon freezes. And things break easier when cold. Marty Peterson.
Date Received: January 26, 2004 - Kent Jorgensen
Bullfrog striper fishing map
This is a rough map for Bullfrog showing where we fish for stripers. Here are the associated gps coordinates as well.
GPS WP #111 37 32 328 N 110 45.806 W
WP #112 37 32.131 N 110 45.996 W
WP #114 31 31.071 N 110 44.706 W
WP #115 31 31.293 N 110 44.706 W
WP #116 31 31.939 N 110 45.494 W
Date Received: March 15, 2004 - Dave Huffaker
My son and I spent the weekend of March 12-14 in the Bullfrog area.
The launching is easy, much better than last fall. There is good asphalt and the slope is good. All sizes of boats launching with no problems.
They are pouring new concrete about 8 lanes wide down to the waters edge so when the lake comes up a couple feet it will be even better.
Water temps from 49 to 60 degrees. Great weather with highs in the low 70's and very little wind. Very few people. Fishing was as good as I have ever seen it in March.
My son hates to troll but I told him we had to try it for a while so I could try out my new electric downrigger. We caught 7 nice stripers in an hour and a half all between 5 and 7 pounds in Bullfrog Bay on the west side, north of the bouy fields in 40-60 feet of water trolling shad imitating crankbaits at 1.8 to 2.2 mph by GPS. We put out three lines, 2 on planer boards 50 feet off each side and one on the downrigger.
Later in the year when the water is warmer the planer boards usually out-fish the downrigger 4 to 1 because the fish suspend and the boat pushes them out to the side but this time 5 of the 7 fish came on the downrigger with the ball at 30 feet and a lure back 50 feet that dives to 10-12 feet. I'm sure we could have caught those stripers all weekend but the bass fishing was so good that we stayed with it.
Like Wayne's been saying the big LMB and SMB are up shallow in the warmer water, especially in the afternoons. Water temp is critical this time of year. Spend some time looking around for the warmest water and fish there. The big open bays that get sun all day are much warmer than the deep canyons for now, until we get a big wind that mixes up the water again. We found 49 degree water in Moki canyon and 60 degree water in Halls bay within 30 min. time. If the wind is blowing, fish the windy side of the bay. A light wind blows the warmer surface water in to the shallow coves and they really warm up. Clear blue water was not the best. Green colored water with deeper water nearby was better than brown shallow water for the bigger fish, especially in the morning. We did catch fish in the very shallow dirty water later in the day but most were smaller 12 inch largemouth.
We didn’t catch a smallmouth smaller than 15 inches. Most were 15 to 18 inches and 2 to 3 lbs. Largemouth were from 12 inches to 20 inches, with most around 14-16 inches.
White and/or chartreuse spinnerbaits were our best lure. We also caught some on jerkbaits fished with a slow stop and go retrieve. Like Wayne said in his report the fish were grouped up. We would go along with the electric motor and not catch anything for a while and then catch several in an area. We had a lot of fish following hooked fish so we started throwing a wacky rigged senko in near a hooked fish and got a bunch of doubles that way.
I can’t wait for fishing to get really good in April and May. This is going to be a great year.
Date Received: March 16, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Just now, 1:30 pm Tuesday the 16th, talked by cell phone to two gentlemen fishing Bullfrog bay in a little aluminum boat. In the few minutes we talked they caught one Striper and lost another. The excuse was "that it is hard to talk on the phone and reel in a Striper at the same time." I can not say that I have ever tried that.
They launched yesterday evening intending to night fish. They caught two Stripers using anchovies about 30 minutes after dark and that was it. This morning they tried casting the shore between Halls and Moki. Looking for Smallies. Not a bite.
Around noon they started trolling upper Bullfrog with the 3 ounce weight and anchovy on two hooks. Even found a good school and chummed it. No hits. Then threw out a second line with quarter ounce jighead and piece of anchovy. Bingo. Had caught five so far. They were guessing about twenty feet deep. All around three pounds. They plan to come home Wed. night. Hopefully more to follow.
After I talked to them on Tuesday, the fishermen in Bullfrog Bay missed another dozen hits or so each. The Striper school moved around. So they tried downrigging with no further success. That night they set up for night fishing 80 feet deep. Caught a five pound and six pound Striper on Anchovy. Missed a few more hits. Actually saw a few shad and could see Stripers cruising around the edges of the light. Tried to entice the shallow fish with no luck.
Wed. morning cast the shores between Bullfrog bouy field and upper bay, on the Bullfrog side with not a single hit by 9 am. Then left for home. Total of nine Stripers for the trip. 4 at night. 5 during the noon hour Tuesday.
Date Received: March 22, 2004 - Randy Brudnicki
I had to try out the bass fishing on Powell in preparation for tournaments the next 2 weekends.
My partner and I fished all day Fri & Sat and Sun til 2:00 p.m., Mar. 19-21. It was the best 3 days in a row I've seen in many years. I estimate the 2 of us caught about 100 fish in 2 ½ days. Nothing under 14 inches! We didn't catch anything over 4 pounds but we caught lots of green (largemouth) and brown fish (smallmouth) from 1 ½ to 3 plus pounds. Fri and Sat the fish were on fire and pounced on crank baits and spinner baits (½ to 3/4 ounce sizes, no trailer hook needed!) or ½ ounce jigs. In fact, we only caught 5 bass on small plastics both days. We fished some areas with plastics and not catch anything and then go right back through the area with reaction baits and catch 5 or more bass. However, we fished about 50 cuts, canyons, points to only catch bass in about 10 of them. But once you caught one, you could catch many more in the vicinity.
Fri we concentrated on shallow sloping rocky/clay/ledgy banks for smallmouth. Smallmouth wanted to chase lures. We got some really nice 3 pounders burning in lipless crank baits. We caught a few 2-2 ½ pound largemouth on the smallmouth structure too. Later in the day we caught 5 largemouth flipping ½ ounce jigs, using 20 pound line, in trees in stained but not muddy water.
Using what we learned from Fri afternoon, Sat we went looking for green fish and of the 40 or more fish we caught, only 5 or so were smallmouth. Three largemouth were over 3 pounds. All came on ½ ounce jigs or spinner baits/crank baits. We caught one pair of smallmouth that might have been on beds. Both fish came from the exact same 2' gravel spot on back to back casts. They looked like they were fanning nests as they were a little beat up. But the water was pretty stained near the back of the canyon with water running in, so we couldn't see a bed.
Sun. we only caught one spinner bait fish and the rest came on tubes. Only two were largemouth. It was just the opposite of Fri & Sat. The bait had to be practically motionless for them to pick it up.
We fished as far north as 7-mile and as far south as Cottonwood and almost all of the canyons in the Escalante. Water temperature was 57 (main channel) to 68 degrees, depending upon where you went. The backs of Halls and Bullfrog warmed up to the upper 60s by mid day. Sunday, the backs of both bays started at 62 degrees in the morning, but we didn't catch anything consistent till about 10:00 in the morning. Once the surface temperature hit about 65, the fish turned on. The same area where we caught tons of smallmouth on Fri worked again on Sun. Plus, other people in our party and others in general pounded that area for two days, but we still caught 10 more bass off it on Sun.
We accidently caught 2 stripers about 5-6 pounds each from trees in stained water 3 to 4 feet deep on spinner baits. (good thing for 20 pound line). Lots of shad in the back of Halls and Bullfrog as shallow as 3 to 6 feet of water. We saw one boil in Halls first thing Fri morning. We went to catch some stripers but the boil was made from small smallmouth busting shad.
Date Received: March 29, 2004 - Rob Solomon
3/24 through 3/28
It was a good first trip. Got the boat wet and some good fishing and sightseeing in. Started out Wednesday afternoon by heading down to the Rincon and Hole in the rock area to check out a new part of the lake. It's beautiful as expected. No fishing.
Thursday got up and cruised around the Rincon looking for some Stripers, none found. Started pitching some baits for Smallmouth and did pretty well. My wife caught a 2-3 pounder right out from under the pumpout in the Rincon. She even was using the daughters Scooby Doo pole. I would like to echo the praise for the shape of the smallies. They are fat and healthy. Worked out way back up to Iceberg canyon and graphed all the way to the back looking for Stripers, none. Headed back up to Halls Marina for Ice and Ice cream. Marina is getting SMALL. It will be very crowded over there this summer. I would estimate they only have maybe ten slips for service to the store etc. It's basically one way in or out if a boat of any size is in the path. Pumpout wasn't working by the Halls ramp yet. Halls ramp looks good with room enough for two to launch side by side.
Date Received: April 15, 2004 - Mark Ballew
April 8-11, 2004
Fished the Escalante River and had a excellent time. Caught dozen of SMB on rock piles using finesse worms and SR5 shad rap. Worm: Robo - best color on worms was ox blood. Crank: Shad Rap SR5 silver back. Best bite was during cloudy/stormy situations. Also the wind helped with an active bite. SMB seem to be picking up the worm and moving it and other times they would slam it. Back of coves worked as well as secondary points... but rock piles were key. Water temp was 57-61
Date Received: March 27, 2004 - LakeDancer
Saturday we launched at about 10:00am and the launch was a little tricky but not too bad. There was a bit of a breeze but it didn't bother us much. Gary seemed to know just exactly where to go and so we headed straight past the bouy field at Bullfrog and down at what I 've always called Haystack we put our Wally Divers (black and silver) on the lines and trolled down the right side as long as we had 16 feet of water. Then took the boat " The Uriel" (soon to be renamed Lakedancer) in to a wide easy turn and got a bite. This lil fishy must have been on the way to market 'cause he needed to put on a few pounds. We headed back up to Haystack and just before the turn caught another lil striper. This lil fishy must have had none cause he was real little. We just kept the same routine up one side down the other. It didn't take long for KILLER to remember what he went to the lake for.( It had been some 8 years since he'd caught striper.) I'm not sure how many Dianne caught and how many Gary caught but by the time the sunset we had 10 good sized striper and one lil guy and one pretty decent walleye. It was windy I guess as I remember but the fishing we so good I only remember it being a problem while trying to reel in one of the biggest striper and the boat was blowing away from it and just as I was ready to swallow my pride and ask for Gary's help I got it in.
We headed toward Stanton Creek and around the corner on that side of the lake to find a decent place to beach it for the night. Lakedancer (Dianne) held the light while Gary did an impressive job of filleting the fish.
Gary had brought some batter mix which we added beer to in the bag and then add the fish chunks. We fried some pre-baked potatoes, deep fried the striper and some walleye, had some baby carrots and stuffed celery and devoured the dinner. We put up the camper covers again and had a good night.
Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day and we headed back the "spot" with KILLER and Garys two rods which currently are not named, and our Wally Divers. We repeated the routine of the previous day and this day we noticed that we were catching the striper in the middle of the turns so we then began to troll up and down the middle. This day we caught 5 more striper and they were all bigger that the previous days fish. If Dianne wasn't expecting company from out of town we would have stayed the week and lived on striper. When we went back to Bullfrog to pull the boat out, the arrangement at the ramp was much better. We had no problem backing the trailer in and loading the Uriel after the improvements.
Date Received: April 29, 2004 -Dennis Jarvis
Arrived at Bull Frog Sunday AM 4-25, thru Tues 4 27. Ramp: 8 new lanes go to the waters edge, all concrete blocked off. To launch you must jog to the left, one lane in the dirt. 5 lanes on an old asphault base, the 3 on the right (as you face ramp) are the deepest. the other 2 are very shallow. Most vehicles turn into U boats. You must go up a short hill before backing, I launched a 20' Lund with a 30 motorhome (by myself) with little trouble. note I was the only one on the ramp most of the time. On a busy weekend with any wind, this could get real ugly!!
Fishing report: Went to the back of Lake Canyon, Hansen Creek, Moki, Bullfrog and Halls. All void of fish except Halls, I caught one 5lb striper and two small ones in the middle of the bay trolling silver walleye divers. Lots of fish on the graph, wouldn't bite! Smallies everywhere. I caught 7 smallies in 8 casts from the dock at Bullfrog!! (brown senko with a green jig hooked thru the nose) Water temp on Tues 65 to 70 (PM) in main channel!!
I finally found the stripers along the Moki Wall Tues AM. You go up lake across the mouth of the canyon, start trolling silver walleye divers at 3mph about 100 ft back (no weight). The wall turns left goes about 1/4 mile, then the wall ends and turns into rock humps. Some BONEHEAD left a 3' tall trash can on the rock. I found a large school of stripers 100 yards either side of that trash can!! I could actually see them in the shallow water!! One guy from Utah caught 3 nice walleye near bullfrog marine. I had 3 days with out one breath of wind!! The fishing got better when the water warmed at the end of each day. I left Tues PM because of the approaching cold front.
Date Received: May 12, 2004 - Kent Jorgensen
Saturday (the day of the Rally) did not fish much problems with second boat - Sunday fished Bullfrog bay hard with a JP rig caught 4 stripers 1 walleye and for the first time started picking up CATFISH (in fact could not keep them off) on a JP rig - after 12 cats I tired of that and came off the bottom searched for Spawning striper schools.
- Monday ran into Gary F. and Lake Dancer in BullFrog bay - Later I found a large school of stripers on the southeast side of Bullfrog Bay at about 4:00PM from 4- 6PM caught 9 large stripers all 4-5 lb class all on the JP rig fished slow I had many bites and missed hits - a school of yearlings had moved in ran out of bait at 6:00pm - this was a fun afternoon I fished alone running 2 poles - at times I would have two fish on at once in a strong wind missed and lost a lot of fish it was a blast.
- Wednesday fished late in the afternoon with "Dan" one of staff at the rental slips - we fished from about 3:30pm until 5PM (Dan had a party to go to) hooked up 4 stripers the first pass and landed one wind came up and blew us off the trolling speed -
- Thursday fished from 10:00am until 4:00pm caught 18 nice stripers fishing in about 40 feet of water at depth of 25-30 feet once again John Pauly rigs slow trolled anchovy.
- Friday fished with my fishing partner LJ - we started at about 9:30pm ran into Kurt Jensen from Logan, he came by and got a quick JP rig course and he quickly caught 2 4lb stripers - on this day we all where dealing with a lot of yearlings - I think Curt caugth a lot of smaller stripers and 4 large ones. RJ and Ed showed up I am not sure how they did that day. We finished again with 18 stripers - great fun - mostly big fish and one Walleye all in Bullfrog Bay.
Saturday Kurt left to meet Top Cat to go north(found out later TC did not make it) - we did a repeat on the stripers catching 22 this time only we caugth and keep a lot of the smaller Stripers using the the three hook JP rig - On the previous days we had been using up a supply of older tied JP rigs with just two hooks swithced to the three hooks and began to pick up the missed hits - 10 of the stripers this day where of good size the largest was 5.12 lbs, 12 of them where small we kept all of them even though they where small they still had a nice little fillet because the fish where fat - we caught one Walleye - I think that RJ nd Ed picked up some stripers on this day not sure of the count for them.
- Sunday we fished the same area about the same time frame we caught 22 stripers mostly late in the day, several times we had doubles and at one point we had all three poles hooked up - I pressed a large fish and broke it off and we lost the center pole fish so we only landed one nice 5 pounder of the three but what BLAST.
Monday we fished only a few hours in the morning caught three and the wind came up - we could not fish slow enough to be effective so we went to the dock for the afternoon - Kurt joined us and we had a John Pauly tying seminar - LJ and I watched Kurt master the rig and he watched us sip on margretta's - Kurt is a great guy and said he would show those of you in the south how to tie/rig the JP if you are interested - Kurt Jensen has the JohnPauly down and he said he would be happy to show any that have an interest.
Date Received: May 19, 2004 - Marty Peterson.
Made it down to Bullfrog on Monday afternoon to meet up with guys already there. They had some mixed success already. They had night fished Sunday near Halls buoy field in 240 foot deep water and caught only 5 or 6 Stripers in two hours. Monday morning fishing where the wind was causing waves to wash up on gravel bars, they caught a fair assortment of fish in the Bullfrog area. The wind slowed and so did the fishing they said.
There was quite a crowd of fishing boats in the Bullfrog area and so while our group rested, I thought I would try something else and walked the shore and tried casting a 1/16th oz. jig with bright body tipped with nightcrawler. Cast to a tumbleweed and had a strike that I missed. Cast again and landed a 3 lb LMB. Moved down shore a little and caught 4 SMB with four casts. 2 lb., 1 lb. And 2 small ones. Moved again and caught 4 more fish in 4 casts. 3 SMB and a 5 lb Carp. Lost my last bit of crawler and caught no more. So walked back over to the boats.
Evening was coming on and soon we went up Bullfrog Bay looking for Striper schools. The day before, one boat had tried 2 hook JP rigs and not hooked but one catfish. Missed several hits and lost the anchovy each time. I had some 3 hook to try but we never found a school. We were also trying to find a new spot to night fish. We decided to night fish a spot 32 feet deep in cloudy water. The other boat decided to try a spot in 90 feet of water. And we agreed to contact each other via radio of any success.
We set up and caught a 2.5 lb Striper around dark. Soon after we were contacted on the radio. 5 Stripers already they reported. We pulled up anchor and off we went. The other spot may be easy to locate still. There is a tire breakwater just out from the rental slips at Bullfrog. Kind of towards the Westerly opening to the covered slips. At this water level it is in about 90 foot deep water. And the old dock from Hite is attached to it. There are 3 or so old light poles still on it. The condition of the dock is not up to the high standard of all other docks and so is most likely not meant for use. My guess is that it is just being stored there out of the way. There are splinters and loose nails and parts around. So my recommendation is to not use the dock for anything but reference.
The fish are definitely using it for reference. The four of us landed 70 Stripers by midnight when we tired enough to stop. Most of the fish were very hard to catch. The little 12 or so inch long ones. But lots of fun. Everyone but me was using fluorocarbon line, ¼ oz. jig heads and small ½ inch or so pieces of anchovy. I was using 6 lb test Stren. I would be sorry the next night.
Tuesday morning we fished Bullfrog around the marina. Caught a few fish. Not much wave action. Tipped jigs and Rattletraps worked best it seemed. Then over to Halls Creek. Mainly with crawler tipped jigs we landed several Crappie, SMB, Walleye. No Striper. Tried to nap a few hours during the afternoon. Then had a great dinner and went out to the spot. Anchored up and got everything ready. Used no chum or anything yet. Threw in an anchovy tipped jig and bam! This was before dark. We all baited up and dropped our jigs in. Everyone hooked up. The fun was on. With the dark we put out lights. The night before we caught no fish away from the lights. Did not want to lose the bite we had though, this night. Every single cast we had hits. The night before most about 30 feet deep or so. This night anywhere from 10 to 40 feet. Many hits were as the jig was falling. The smaller Stripers seem to just do a quick hit and could often steal the anchovy piece before we could set the hook. Upon inspection later, several had many pieces of anchovy and we had done no chumming. The smallest pieces of bait worked best. Heads were just about too big.
I used smaller jigs initially. Did not work any better than ¼ oz. In fact I seemed to have a little more trouble than everyone else at hooking each bite. So I switched. To the bigger sized hook. Soon after I hooked something large that eventually broke my 6 lb test line as it could not come out of the reel fast enough. Disappointed because most of the Stripers the second night were the smaller 12 to 14 inch size. All have great fillets.
A note about fillets. After two hours or so we broke out an electric knife and I got to work. Soon after the others started to complain that they were no longer getting a strike on every cast. Sometimes the jig had to set a few minutes. Did dropping the filleted out fish into the water have a negative impact on the fishing? Or was the school being thinned? Something else that may have made a difference, our anchovies were thawing out and would not hold as well on the hook. Perhaps some dry ice on top of the bags inside of a cooler that can safely ventilate would help. We had to share the filleting work later as 140 Stripers is more than one person can comfortable handle in a night. We did try nightcrawlers on a jig later as the anchovies thawed. It worked. Both the Walleyes and several Catfish were hooked this way. But overall anchovies worked best. And I think only smaller Stripers took the crawlers. The Catfish fillets are great on these fish. Better than most we have landed in the past.
As we pulled out our boats in the morning we were able to use the newly opened concrete ramp at Bullfrog. Boats over 30 feet are still directed to the sand though.
Date Received: May 24, 2004 - Ken Trujillo
Fishing Dates 5/19 - 5/23
Wed - We fished smallies starting at about noon slightly down lake of Halls crossing. Within 10 minutes I had 3 smallies. Two of us boated about 25-30 smallies. All were on 1/4 oz jigs with finesse worms (green pumpkin). Just before sunset we went to the moki wall and canyon to look for stripers. No luck.
Thurs - Windy!!! Started out by Halls crossing and fished the main channel down to about marker 87. Again, we caught smallies, but boated only about 15 between the 2 of us. About 1/2 the fish came on the jigs mentioned above. The rest came on a lucky craft Pointer 78DD jerkbait in ghost shad. No other crankbait or jerkbait would work. That night, we trolled for stripers using shad raps and cordel deep divers in front(lake side) of the breakwater in Bullfrog. Fish were caught between the covered slips and the bouy field in 70-90 feet of water. All stripers were about 12 inches long. The fish were neither plentyful nor big, so we decided to get some sleep after about an hour.
Friday - Super windy!! It was so bad that it was nearly impossible to fish anything close to the main channel. We tried several creeks up lake from bull frog (moki, forgotten canyon, and some on the left side going up). The fish were few and far between so we toughed it out and went out to the main channel. Again, we caught several smallies on finesse worms and the jerkbait. Friday night we trolled for stripers on a wind blown point by Halls. We landed a couple and had several bites. Then they just shut off. The fish were bigger at around 2-3 pounds.
Saturday - Super windy!! We tried out usual spots on the main lake channel with no luck and fished bullfrog bay. We caught a couple of smallies in the rocks (cliffs) on the west side of bullfrog. They hit on jigs. But did not seem to be holding to any structure...pure slick walls as far as we could see. We then went out to the main channel and fished cracks in the cliff walls while the wind blew us up the lake. We picked up several smallies and one walleye. I also got a catfish on a jerkbait. Saturday night we trolled for stripers by Halls. After catching one and getting bit a couple of times, they shut off. We trolled smith rattling rogues and cordel deep divers. Color didn't matter.
Date Received: May 27, 2004 - Larry Millhouse
I fished the Bullfrog area all day Monday with little success in the daylight hours. Picked up two stripers around Moki early in the day. Had a huge carp roll on my Sassy Shad in Crystal Springs Canyon and the battle was on. Wore me out! It was 8 or 9 pounds on 8lb test line. Got 2 catfish on shrimp curly tail tipped with a worm. Lost one that was much, much bigger. I think they were spawning. Nothing in the wind in the later afternoon until I picked up one walleye near the haystack rocks. At 7pm I stopped at the breakwater, near the old Hite docks, and starting dunking anchovies for stripers (per the BB report). In the first hour I pulled in 5 small stripers, and it shut off. Dennis Jarvis showed up, then Lakedancer and Gary Foell. Dennis took off before dark, but Lakedancer was there for the duration. Wind picked up really hard from behind the marina about 9:30 for a half hour.
I moved to the outside of the tires and about 10pm the fish started in earnest. I caught 33 stripers of all sizes, and one walleye before I ran out of anchovies at 3:30am. Gary was still going strong then, so I’m not sure how he did. I left the Lake at 10am for home and work problems. Fish count for 21 hours: 35 stripers (6 over 2 pounds), two nice walleye, two 2-lb catfish, one very tired and happy fisherman.
Date Received: May 28, 2004 - Dennis Jarvis
Arrived at Bullfrog Mon 5-24-04. Fished Moki, forgotten, bullfrog bay and halls. No stripers just a few small bass. everyone had same sad story. I met up with Larry Millhouse, Gary Foell and Diane Newsome at the Hite docks and tires, moored just off the bullfrog ramp. Night fishing is not my thing so I left. Big mistake, they just killed the stripers that night!! I met them at the docks at 6:00PM Tues night. Fish turned on about 7:30PM or just as the sun went down and went strong untill 12:30AM when we left. We caught 53 stripers!! 12 to 14" no big ones! We used 3/8 colored jig heads with a white or yellow twister tails and a real small piece of anchovie. Water 94' deep there, fish caught 15 to 25'deep. Fishing was AWESOME!! The ride back to camp at Stanton was a ride I don't care to repeat anytime soon! it never slowed down!
Came back Wed night with 3 gentlemen from Battlement Mesa (met them on the lake that day) and a couple from Oregon (they had a guide at Page for $275 and caught 3 fish) Fish turned on at sun down and went strong till 8:30PM, then slowed, then picked up steady untill 2:30AM when we left with 39 stripers. We had a blast, Gary said it was just like the shad rally. We loaded the boat onto the trailer at bullfrog at 3:30AM in the dark!! Not fun.
Please note: the NPS knew we were using the docks for fishing. If you fish there, clean up your mess!! Leave it cleaner than you find it. Otherwise they won't let us fish there. They may destroy the docks in August, unless the mighty Wayne with all his influence and pull can save the docks for fishing!!
Date Received:June 1, 2004 - Lakedancer
Gary Foell and I (Lakedancer aka Dianne) arrived at the Lake on Monday p.m. We had a good launch on the dirt to the right of the main ramp. We headed immediately to our favorite spot beyond the houseboats in Bullfrog Bay. I caught a good-sized walleye and Gary caught a big striper. The action didn’t last long and evening was coming on so we headed for the Hite docks tied to the lake side of the tires at Bullfrog Marina.
There we met up with Larry Millhouse and we fished well into the night. I of course didn’t stay up as late as the guys did. But the fishing was good there. A bunch of striper were caught that night, the bigger ones coming up the later it got. It was windy off and on as was the day, but the fish seemed to bite better in the wind. (Call me crazy). The days catch totaled 32.
I never had so much fun…..until Tuesday night. We didn’t have much luck at the mouth of Moki nor at the proverbial "trash can" during the day. We did however pull in a boat with a frightened employee on it in the middle of Bullfrog Bay. She had been at Lake Powell for two weeks, just learned how to drive a boat and was sent out on a mission in a rental boat that ran out of fuel. She had no whistle, no flag, no marine radio, no experience on a windy lake and NO FUEL. So we towed the lovely young lady (Gary’s idea) into the fuel dock and she was grateful. She was the biggest catch of the trip (somewhat larger that the PWC I caught trolling the next day.
Tuesday night was again profitable on the Hite docks. We caught a total that night of 53. A light in the water was the hot trick. This night Dennis Jarvis and his friend Dwayne joined us and we had beer battered fish for dinner. We all caught fish and it was a lot of fun.
Wednesday morning we again went to back of Bullfrog Bay, no wind today. This day I caught a respectable striper and Gary caught a huge walleye which is his favorite and a smaller one. I did hook a really big PWC. The kid didn’t have a clue what he’d done until we started yelling at him but we didn’t cuss the paint off of his machine.
Wednesday night it was back to the Hite docks this time with several folks we’d picked up during the day. All in all including Dennis, Dwayne, Gary and I and the others, there were 10 of us. Another fish fry was in order. Dennis and Dwayne left at 2:30. The others straggled off at different times, all with coolers full of fish and a smile on their faces. Gary fished until 4:30am. It seems like for the second night in a row as Dennis pulled away from the docks, the bigger (mo better) striper appeared and Gary just couldn’t quit. Gary filleted 145 fish by hand the old fashioned way. What a guy!!!!
The fish caught trolling were on green Wally Divers and the fish at the dock were caught on Jig heads with curly tails and a small piece if anchovy. We returned home on Thursday. The weather day and night had been great.
Date Received: June 1, 2004 - The Solomon's
Report for May 26 - 30
Water temp 66-72
Arrived at Bullfrog Tuesday night around 11:00 pm. There didn't seem to be as many cows on the road between I-70 and Bullfrog this time, but go slow and take your time any ways. Launched at Bullfrog main ramp at 5:30 am Wednesday. Ramp is fine. First went to check out 99A for the Stripers reported earlier. They must have moved. I graphed a few, but nothing to target. Spent the rest of the time cruising around looking for Stripers and casting to Smallies.
Did find some Stripers in Bullfrog bay in the usual spot past the buoy field. Marked the spot on the GPS with plans to return Sunday. No luck finding them Sunday. On Sunday I talked to Hotwheels and chatted with Mike Bevelhimer (Nice boat). They both reported similar results as I found. Stripers were hard to find and very hard to catch. They both headed up lake to see how it was up there. As I reported to them after being up the day before. Good Hope is stained water, but not muddy. There were a lot of folks car camping along the shore in Good Hope/Blue Notch area. I have GPS coordinates for some great camping spots from Bullfrog Bay and North if anyone needs some. Hailed several times each day for Fishing Fool (Richard S.). He must have been far away from BF. Kent Jorgensen ran us down in Bullfrog Bay on Sunday to give some info on Stripers (appreciate it Kent). He showed us where they caught them the day before on the JP rigs so we headed over to locate the fish. I couldn't find them. Kent, Let me know if you found them on Sunday. I graphed the whole area for over an hour with no luck. Was going to try night fishing on the infamous Hite docks, but the wind situation at night scared me.
Fishing for Smallmouth was good overall. Most being caught on single or double tailed grubs in pumpkin color in small cracks and coves. Catfish were hooked on pieces of anchovy. It seemed to slow a bit after the wind on Saturday. Stripers were very elusive. We did pick up a couple. Catfish would bite readily if you were in a nice sandy area. I also caught a bat in my line one night. I guess it had flown into my line some time during the night. He woke me up about 5:00 one morning thrashing around in the water with my line wrapped around his wing. I cut him loose undamaged and he headed back to wherever they go.
The Bullfrog area was crowded as expected. I ran through some of the roughest water I have ever seen at Powell between Bullfrog and Halls. The guy in the 36' cruiser pulling a tuber on plane didn't help much. I can't imagine how much gas he used. Mike Bevelhimer reported that he thought everyone had gone south because when he was down there it was BUSY. When I ran north the crowds thinned out shortly after Forgotten. Saw a couple of fish cops patrolling in the Good Hope area which was a welcome surprise. Other than your typical crazy jet skier, gunshots and broken leg nothing startling ever came over the radio. One thing you do notice on a busy weekend is the ignorance on radio usage. Retrieved Monday morning at 5:30 am and headed home. Overall a good trip as usual. Planning of returning around the 4th of July for some boil action.
Date Received: June 4, 2004- The Big Canoe
Arrived late Monday 5/31 afternoon. This is one of those trips where I wanted to be heading to the lake while everyone else was going home. What a way to go! Solid traffic heading back to SLC and nothing but open road in front of me. The ramp at Bullfrog had two rigs on it. I was worried we would get caught in long lines at the close of the holiday weekend. Camped in Bullfrog Bay north of houseboat fields. Heard splashing all night long during street-light bright full moon. I determined the carp must be spawning.
Tues. morning trolled points to breakwater without so much as a carp on the graph. Headed to Moki wall and putted by while watching graph -no fish. Headed up lake to favorite spots. Seven Mile Canyon is now seven-tenths of a mile, again no fish spotted. Headed to Good Hope Bay, mud line down to where bay narrows and enters main channel. Let the kids and the dog out to play in the mud on shore and had breakfast. Water temp was 76' at 10am. Towed the kids and wife on the tube down to Knowles Canyon. Graphed fish in canyon channel while searching for camping spot, all three spots were taken. Didn't fish as it was time for tying up and dinner.
Camped in the very back of Crystal Springs Canyon. Spooked school of larval fish (shad?) from shoreline. My 10yr old daughter was playing around with a PopR at sunset and caught a 1.5 lb SMB right at her feet. Pictures later when developed. Fileted it, still full of eggs and crawdads. Nice filets about 1/2" thick.
Wed. morning trolled main channel points and canyon mouths from Crystal Springs to Good Hope. Not a fish on the graph or a hit on deep divers. Put the fishing tools away and gave in to the toys for the rest of the afternoon. Went back to Halls Crossing for ice cream and flushies then camped in Halls Creek Bay. Water temp before sundown in small cove reached 80'. Pulled out Thurs. morning as the graduation crowd began to arrive for the weekend. Again, a steady stream of traffic heading to the lake while open road in front of me for the ride home. I feel like I stole this trip as it was too nice. All I missed was some striper action. This morning I read the fish report to see what I did wrong. It appears I did everything right, the rest was up to fate. Hope to be back down for boils in Sept.
-My 10yr old just reminded me she outfished her dad! ...I don't have a problem with that.
Date Received: June 7, 2004- Tom Brown
My fishing partner and I made a quick trip from Bayfield Co.to Halls Xing after reading the reports posted on June 1st. We arrived at Halls about 10:00 p.m. Cruised out to the houseboat about 11:00 and crashed. Had to dawn dark glasses when the moon came up. Unfortunately we didn't get on the water until about 7:00 am the next a.m. The water was smooth and water temp about 72 degrees.
We fished the coves near bullfrog with shad raps and top water. Caught and released two 2.5 small mouth right off the bat which was a pleasant change from years past. Caught several little smallies and kept the ones that were big enough to make a fillet out of for the sake of improving smb sizes.
Success dropped off as the sun began to beat down and the wind came up. Returned to the shade of the houseboat for a beer or 2 and a Siesta. At 6:30 p.m. managed to hook up with Lakedancer and Gary Foell on the dock that came from Hite (near Bullfrog Marina- Its the dock with three steel light poles on it.) Even though we didn't know them from anyplace but the Anglers Corner June 1st Lake dancer), Gary and Dianne welcomed us as if we were old friends. Dianne offered us (wonderful) fresh beer-battered catfish (which she prepared right on the dock on a Coleman stove) and striper from Gary's Friday night action. Gary caught 28 of the small stripers along with some from Lake Dancer and her fishing pole dubbed "killer". He said "I could have caught more but I ran out of gas for the generator at 4:30 this morning". (Gary hangs about 4 lights in the retired boat slips). Small stripers started hitting about 10:00 pm and bit sparingly. Gary lent us small chunks (1/2") anchovies which we hung on 1/8 oz white crappie type jig heads. Some other displaced Coloradoans (actually a real nice couple with their son and his gal friend) joined us about 10:30 p.m. and we all stood around the illuminated-vacant boat slips watching the carp slurp the plankton under the lights. About 2:00 a.m. Steve and I had combined for about 14 foot long stripers and a couple of 3#ers. Unfortunately our eyes were about to glaze over so we headed back to the houseboat.
Were on the water again about 7:00 Sunday morning and it was already getting hot. We fished coves on the Halls side. We each caught 2.5# Walleyes, sunfish and some smb. By 1:00 am my foot had given out trying to keep the boat on track while battling the wind so we called it a trip.
We stopped on the way out at the store just inside the toll gates for in ice cream and the air temp was 101. The good news was that the unleaded gas was still reasonable at $2.14. Attached are three photos showing Steve with a lmb, a Walleye and myself cleaning the catch from the transported Hite Dock. If you see a Bayliner at the above described dock, overflowing with rods, reels, and enough camping equipment to sail round the world, a red Honda generator, a guy and a gal, stop by, you might luck out and eat some of the best fish you have ever eaten and meet two of the nicest persons on the lake.
Date Received: June 7, 2004- Great Auk
After reading the reports of the incredible fishing on the points, we fished about 60 of them without so much as a strike and hardly a blip on the sonar. Then, out of desperation, we started looking along the walls south of Halls. Just like the old days, there the stripers were, piled up at 10 to 40 feet, eager to attack Rattletraps and ready to grab anchovy chunks on weighted hooks. All healthy. All males. All fun.
Well, who knows what the real ticket is, but for us last weekend, the points were a complete bust, we found nothing in the canyons but smallies, and a few big long high walls were all we needed to catch plenty of stripers. They weren't near the ends of the walls but pretty much toward the centers. I don't have a clue why. It was like 150' deep or more, apparently almost straight down. We found them both right next to the walls and perhaps up to 20 yards out. The schools seemed to be pretty much hanging in one place. Once we found them, they remained under us. There didn't seem to be shad around, and they hadn't been feeding on shad, or anything else that we could discern. But they hit like gangbusters. No nibbling. They were all males, seemingly prepared for the spawn. All totally healthy, mostly 3-5 pounds. If we moved 50 yards in any direction, they'd be mostly gone. They were initially scoped at about 20 feet, with some ranging up to 6 feet or so and some down to 40' when we first scoped them. After we started catching them, there would be lots more in the 10' range. We just fished the mornings in the shade, but fishing remained good until the sun hit, up to around 11. Then the fish would flat disappear. We were as successful casting Rattletraps and Renowskys as we were with anchovies on leadheads. Great Auk Durango, CO
Waynes Note: Seems we have a difference in translation between lower and mid lake. Lower lake has lots of main channel rocks and points (Padre to Rock Creek). From Annies Cyn to Bullfrog its all walls. Stripers are on walls south of Bullfrog and will also eat ANCHOVIES. Thanks for finding them Auk!
Date Received: June 18, 2004- Marty Mace
My wife, two girls and I went to Bullfrog Sunday June, 13/04. Started fishing around 4 pm using John Pauly rigs. We caught a huge Walleye south of the bay. The girls were excited to play in the water so we pulled off to let them swim. I got out the bait caster with some black senkos and caught a smally. Went back to the bay just before dark and dropped an anchor. caught small striper with the lanterns on using cut anchovies. Worked pretty well but was difficult to make it back to the dock. The next day we went out to Moki Canyon cliffs and trolled. Caught 6 Stripers. Very nice size using John Paulys. They're awsome. Tuesday we went back and caught 7 more (Lotsa breaks in between for the girls to swim). Wednesday we caught 10 more but had to leave early due to the storm. The Stripers were stacked up in Moki Canyon right at the mouth of the canyon.
We stayed in the Bullfrog RV Park and were treated great. Met lots of friends. Did a lot of braggin'. Thanks a bunch,
Date Received: June 18, 2004- Rich Sutterfield
Weekend of 6/11 - 6/13.
After hearing of The Great Auk's success fishing the walls with anchovies, we just had to go check it out for ourselves. Sounded like fun, relaxing fishing, I used to do a lot of that a few years ago and always enjoyed it. We didn't have much time so we just took the weekend and went for it.
Arrived late at Bullfrog Friday night, launched at 1:30 am when it is cool and quiet, and headed out to the Hite dock. No one there to our surprise. Night fished for just a bit, brought in a lot of tiny shad but were too tired to wait up for the stripers. Woke early to boat wakes rolling into the dock, if you sleep there you need to bug out early before the traffic gets too busy. Headed straight over to the wall north of Moki Canyon, on a hunch if the stripers were down south of Halls, they would be here too. They were. Chummed a few anchovies, hooked up the first striper about 5 minutes later, and had a ball until around 11:00 am when they slowed down. Kerry had the hot hand, she was catching stripers right and left. She even caught some on bare jigheads after the striper had cleaned her hook. Kept me very busy chumming, netting fish, and catching one myself now and then. These pics show some of the action, and also where we were in relation to Moki.
Spent the rest of the day running around the lake, looking at what camping spots are available, cooling off in the water, usual stuff. Ran into Mike Nester at the Bullfrog store, good to see you again Mike! Night fished for a while Saturday night back in Halls buoy field, drew a few shad but mostly carp sucking in the plankton. Enjoyed a brilliant Powell sunset, and a free fireworks show courtesy of someone at Stanton, and called it a day.
Repeated the same on Sunday morning, we ran into Howard Oatman on our way to the wall, told him of our success and to join us. We had a great morning of striper fishing, kept a dozen or so to filet. Howard invited us to his houseboat to clean fish and have lunch. But I didn't realize, he would clean our fish for us! He cleaned them so fast I didn't even get a chance to take any pics. Then they made us lunch..what a great bunch of guys. Thanks Howard and crew! Then it was time to head home Sunday afternoon, a short trip but very much worth it. I hadn't fished the walls in a long time and it was really fun. Thanks to Great Auk for finding this and telling us about it.
The smile says it all.. We used 1/4 oz. Chartreuse glow jigheads with red painted hooks. Chummed against the wall, caught fish anywhere from 15 - 40 feet deep from sunup until 11:00 am.
Date Received: June 28, 2004 - Rich Sutterfield
Weekend of 6/25 - 6/27
Another great trip..no problems and plenty of good fishing. Everything was as previously reported. Met up with Rich & Sharon Bailey and girls Saturday a.m. at the Poco Loco, found a campsite, then ran over to the wall uplake from Moki. Although not as hot as 2 weeks ago, still enough striper and catfish action to make it worthwhile and fun. Chum with anchovies a lot and the action is better. I am sorry to say both mornings we saw no slurps in the stretch from Halls bouy field to mile 103, which was a hot zone last year. Still a lot of fish on the walls in that area but they are not slurping, so bring along the anchovies. I would think a John Pauly rig would work too if someone used one.
A big wind came along Saturday at 3:00 pm from the thunderstorms in the area. No rain or lightning on the lake, just wind. It happened Friday also. It died down in a couple of hours though so we had a nice evening with cool temps for this time of year at Powell. And, calm water to hunt slurps on.
Rich, Kerry and I ran into Halls creek bay Saturday evening and found the slurps. Had some good action but the stripers could pick a better place to do this. They were right in a narrow spot just before the bay opens up, so there is a lot of boat traffic going in and out to deal with. We threw the walleye assassin plastic shad jig (yes that again!) and were getting hookups every time we got a good shot at them. Here are some pics of the Halls slurp action:
We left those slurps in Halls in the name of research, to go look for more in other areas of the lake, up to mile 100 or so and saw one brief slurp just before twilight. Puzzling, but that's the way it is sometimes. Headed back to the Poco Loco for a great dinner and happy hour.
Sunday morning we went back up lake looking, had prime conditions weatherwise but still no slurps. Went back to the wall and bait fished, caught stripers to bring home, and got off the lake before 3:00 so we didn't have to deal with the wind again. Fun trip. Many thanks to the Baileys for their hospitality and friendship, it was fun to fish with my buddy Rich again. Well, go find those mid-lake slurps! There has to be some more coming on soon in the mid-lake area somewhere.
Date Received: July 7, 2004 - David George
Fished Moki Canyon wall on North side of canyon at mouth of canyon.
Caught 4 stripers, 3-4 lb, on 7/3/04 in two hours of fishing approximately 10 am to 12 pm.
Caught 5 stripers, 3-4 lb, on 7/4/04 in three hours of fishing approximately 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm.
Catches were at at edge of where shadow met sunshine. Expect we would have caught more if we had realized that issue of the shadow line sooner. Saw other boats leave without success. Now know that the sunshine line is a good place to try.
Fished with anchovies rigged on both anchovie hooks and in John Pauly rig. The John Pauly rig did best but both caught fish. Drop shot rig also worked well with whole anchove hooked through nose on Yamamoto split-shot hook.
Suggest that tip to try the sunshine line is a good clue, not that it will work again. But another angler I talked to knew it also. I had not seen this tip on your site prior to this trip.
P.S. Waves were tough with the constant barrage of the July 4th Armada. But fish were still biting…...
Date Received: July 13, 2004 - Rich Sutterfield
Bullfrog Report from 7/9 - 7/12
Family trip planned for tubing, swimming, and fishing with my daughter, her Mom, and friend Megan. Arrived at Bullfrog late on Thursday 7/8, launched the next morning on the concrete ramp at Bullfrog without any problem, then they closed it a couple of hours later. Went and got a slip, then took the girls out tubing. Rich Bailey hailed me on VHF, and tipped me off on boils in Bullfrog Bay. Thanks Rich! We were tubing back in the bay, so I meandered around and sure enough, there's a big boil!
Now these girls had never seen a striper boil, and were real excited about it.
I hooked them up with walleye assassins on 1/4 oz. chartreuse jigheads, gave them a refresher on casting, and they started catching big stripers. Once they had a taste, they wanted to go boil fishing every evening, and did real well at it. It was great fun for everyone, especially me. The girls had on doubles quite a few times. I lost a few pounds!
My daughter not only casts and catches, she even lipped this striper for a photo. Proud Dad? You Bet!
One evening's boil tally. Now 14 fish might not sound like that many, but for two little girls, and one net man who also has to get the boat in position, watch for traffic, take pictures, fix jigs, well it was all we could do, non-stop mayhem!
Slurping stripers with Halls Marina in the background, these went on every morning and evening.
And, of course, what boil fishing trip would be complete without the multitasking pic, I was out by myself, catching a striper with the left hand, taking the boil pic with my right. Entrance to Annie's in the background.
The preferred striper boil weapon in my boat, the lowly walleye assassin which works well, not every day, not every boil, but day in day out catches a lot of fish. I use either a silver or chartreuse 1/4 oz jighead, cast over the boil, and experiment with different retrieves. Usually burn it in as fast as you can crank, but since the shad are still small, a slower retrieve caught more fish this trip.
Now and then I got together with Rich Bailey and Tony Inman, good to see my old friends on the lake again, we teamed up in two boats to help each other find the boils. All in all, a great trip, in this case a picture tells more than I can say. Lake Powell is still a wonderful lake, and continues to give me, my loved ones, friends, and family so many priceless memories - Thank you old girl, keep your chin up, we still love you!
Date Received: July 21, 2004 - Tom Brown
My wife and I arrived at Halls around 10:00 pm Friday night. We promptly launched our Viper Coral in search for our friends houseboat where we were to stay through Monday. We promptly got dumped on with a sudden cloudburst and couldn't see 10 feet in front of us, so we made a dash for the marina and found shelter in a houseboat slip. Some folks from Denver were nice enough to invite us "soaked rats" into their beautiful 72 footer for dry towels and a movie. The rain quit and we made it to our friends houseboat.
We were on the water by 6:30 am Saturday morning. The air temp rose quickly and must have been up to about 90 degrees by 9:30 am. The water temp was 80 degrees. We chased about 5 striper boils that morning, catching only one 3 pounder on a Kastinger. No more boils all day or night.
We caught about 20 crappie (on squirmin squirts) in a shaded cove with old cottonwoods about 2:00 pm. We hung out between Moki and the houseboat waiting for boils the rest of the evening and there were no boils to be found.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday. We chased a few boils again. Although we got up on the boils, the bass didn't seem to like our offerings of Kastingers, Curly-Tails, Shad Raps, Popars, mini-Rattletraps, etc. We waited inside Moki Sunday evening until dark without a trace of any Stripers. Other boats we talked to reported the same with some talking of some success in Bullfrog and Knowles in the evenings.
Monday morning seemed like it was going to be a repeat of Sat and Sunday. No boils between Bullfrog or Moki. At 10:00 am, things turned around. First a few boils near the houseboats, then up the bay towards Moki, soon boats were running and gunning for striper boils in all directions. The boils seemed to increase in duration and in the number of fish boiling. Some boils lasted what seemed like ten minutes. By 1:00 pm Fran and I had landed 23 stripers. We were literally having to stuff them into our livewells. They ranged in size from 2 to 4 lbs, probably averaging 3lbs. We were also out of the best bait which turned out to be Berkley PowerBait 5" Power Jerk Shad so we ended our trip with stripers still boiling all over the area. I don't have a guess why the Stripers "went off" on what seemed like identical days but the three hours of Striper Madness made the whole trip worth the waiting.
Date Received: July 28, 2004 -Kurt Jensen
We fished out of Bullfrog, July 21-25, with GoldCup. arrived Wednesday night ~8:00pm.
launched and headed towards Halls houseboat field. tied up on the outside, north, edge near a friend’s houseboat. set out a crappie light. chummed a few ‘chovies, let baited hooks down to 30-40’,and waited. lots of shad came in, pretty soon we had thousands swimming counter-clockwise (how do they know?) around the light. fish finder was black with shad to 50’. maybe a half hour to the first bite. then bam, Bam, BaM, BAM, BAM… we couldn’t even drop the bait back to depth without a hit. finally quit fishing (yeah, it’s sacrilege…) because we were exhausted. caught 35 stripers in 2 ½ hours.
originally planned to head south based on earlier reports of boils. after the first night, decided to stay at Bullfrog. went to fillet the night’s fish. met a fellow at the dock who saw the flag and asked if I was Wayne…no, he‘s cuter than me…:) he had a stack of 30 pages printed for his trip from Wayne’s Words. showed him the cooler, told him about our night fishing adventure and about the top water – hope he caught a lot of fish!
found a spot in Stanton – a good ways up a slope from the water so that GoldCup could get his exercise. after GoldCup finished setting up camp, headed out to find some shade. fished Moki wall for an hour or so – one catfish. took a nap then headed out to find a boil. drove all the way to Seven Mile seeing nothing but wakeboards, jet skis, and camp spots. headed back to Bullfrog then over to Halls Creek. stumbled onto our first boil just at the second turn. but, they went down and we got no hits. ran into Grant who told us about fishing from Farley to the Escalante. said the best boils were from Stanton to Halls Creek. thank you, Grant! you made our trip successful. we focused on the mouth of Stanton with occasional trips to Halls Creek. oh, and GoldCup managed to sneek in another nice largemouth while waiting for a boil in Halls Creek Bay. ran into Chet on our way back to Stanton – hey Chet! – couldn’t figure out what that boat was doing following on our tail…it’s the flag, silly…
night fished again.. tried starting earlier, but did not get a hit until after full dark, ~10:00 pm. success was poor compared to the night before. just as many hits but we couldn’t hook up. they bumped the bait – dink, dink – and were gone. got less than a dozen in the same amount of time. drove the boat back to camp in the dark for the first time! using some shore reference, a spotlight, and the GPS, drove slowly and directly to camp – going at idle you get there safely.
boils, Boils, BoilS, BOILS everywhere! Friday afternoon, we chased a school of stripers all over the mouth of Stanton. up, down, through boat and ski wake, near the shore, almost to the channel – it was a zoo! but we caught fish – sometimes we guessed right and they came up around us, other times we raced over just as they went down, many times they were too far. got to use my new boil rig – Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5601 w/17lb Trilene XL, 8 ½ foot Ugly Stick Lite Steelhead pole – man, does that thing cast!!! caught a lot of fish because of the added range of the new rig. tried top water (jumpin minnow, sammy, zara spook, zara puppy), rat’l trap, walleye assassin, even spinner bait. the only consistent hit was top water – big top water - so I threw a Rebel Jumpin Minnow (silver/blue) most of the time, GoldCup threw a big Sammy size 115 most of the time.
we made a new convert! that’s our new friend Gary, from Albuquerque - Hi Gary! – in the kayak. he just happened to be at Stanton, camped next to us (poor guy), and stumbled onto the boils. we gave him a Jumpin Minnow so he could join in the fray. as you can see in the picture, boil fever is now ravaging his mind! after half a dozen fish he was hooked. and, as we all know, it’s permanent - the only known relief from symptoms is another trip to Powell!
as I said, boils were everywhere. these are not slurps like we saw last year. these are wild, heart thumpin, shad jumpin, striper splashin BOILS! problem was, they don’t stay up long. am sure a good part was all the holiday traffic, and all the boats that showed up at the first splash – maybe a quiet mid-week and they will stay up longer. never had a chance to follow them with the electric because when they went down, they stayed down for a long time – then we had to race to the next boil. caught fish in boils going into Halls Creek, all the way in Halls Creek, saw & heard of boils from Halls Crossing ramp down along the wall, caught fish all over Stanton, and got into a monster boil north-west of Stanton along the bank halfway to Bullfrog – went zooming over into the middle of stripers splashing 100 yards across! – somehow we ended up in the middle of it. at the end we looked up to find all the boats circled around us.
and best of all - we hit a number of smallmouth boils! the biggest started on a point that sticks out from the northern part of the edge of Stanton – we saw it while waiting for the stripers inside Stanton. there’s a whole series of reefs along the shore towards Bullfrog. we followed one boil after another along this shore, some smallies, some stripers.
all in all, a very fine trip - ~120 stripers (12 gallon ziplocs of fillets), 20 smallies, 3 catfish, 1 largemouth. this is two years in a row for summer slurps/boils – expect it to be an annual thing! and GoldCup is a fine fishing companion – expect that to be a regular thing too!
Date Received: July 30, 2004 -Lake Dancer
Gary and I left for the Lake on Fathers Day after the birth of my grandson. A cute little guy who looks like his grandpa Jimmy. We arrived to launch at 10pm. It spooked me but AMAZING GARY said "no worries" and he was right. We went looking for the proverbial "DOCKS" and found in the dark that they's been moved. We discovered this just after I said "wouldn't it be funny if they moved them?" Not funny! We did find them but only caught one striper all night. We got some sleep and found a nice spot on the wall to the left of Moki and spent the day there. We had a great time. We caught striper and catfish all day. It didn't seem to matter what time of the day it was or whether it was sunny or cloudy. It really was a beautiful mild day for fishing until storm rolled in at about three o'clock, at which time we ducked back into Moki to get out of the rain and wind.
At 6:30 we headed for Halls Mall and on the way came onto a full striper boil. I didn't really know what to do but I figured the best thing was to duck as Gary threw lures, caught fish, and jumped up and down. He caught three and was really excited at his first boil of the year. After getting supplies we went back to the wall and continued to fish it. We found a great tie off and Gary filleted 18 striper and 6 catfish, the old fashioned way by hand. "He da Man".
Tuesday morning we rise and shine...Well Gary rises, I shine! We found our way back to the wall and repeated the fun of the previous day. This day no storms and it was hot. So was the catching. The action didn't really start until 1:00pm but once it started it just got better and better. There were obviously some very large fish down there (about 40 ft) lost several, hook, line and sinker. 24 striper went into the cooler that day as well as 15 catfish. Stripers measured from 15" to 27". Most were between 20' and 27'. Gary filleted fish with spotlights on the beach from 8:30 to midnight with time out between the striper and catfish for a beer battered striper dinner. Yes we have an electric knife in fact we have two. They were in Gary's truck and once again he filleted them by hand.
We left the lake Wednesday morning and headed down the road. Somewhere we decided to take a short trip off the beaten path to see some Pictographs. The short trip took a strange twist when we were finished admiring the handy work of the Native American artists and Gary's truck wouldn't start. I had just commented and so did Gary that we wished we could stay longer (be careful what you wish for), and now we were staying longer 31/2 hours longer, while I SOSed all airplanes that went overhead and Gary worked on the beer, I mean truck. Then we decided to Macgyver it and access what we had in the truck that would be helpful. We had a Jump Start battery and a gasoline powered generator. We had lots of fish and water and other food and could have stayed a week but I was glad we didn't have to. Gary's truck suffered from a dead battery but the back ups we had worked and Amazing Gary saved the day.
Date Received: August 3, 2004 -pigo (Bob)
We arrived Fri. night about midnight. Stayed at Stanton down the 4wd road facing right out at the Poco Loco. Sat was SLOW! Not one keeper. THEN came Sun!
I didn't see any full blown "boils" all weekend, but did encounter a few "sloils". 75% slurping mixed with 25% boil type activity (tail slapping and aggressive jumping). The aggressive activity only consisted of one fish in a particular spot but could happen simultaneously with 10 others (for example) over hundreds of sq. yards.
Awoke about 6 to a "sloil" right off of the beach! Caught some nice SMB and 18" striper for about 30 min. Out fishing we didn't have much luck for awhile when we happened onto HotWheels and his crew. We left them after a chat and headed to the opposite wall to try some deeper trolling along the wall. Immediately hooked a Walleye that went about 18". That was about it (except for SMB) until about 5pm while trolling out in front of camp between the 3 rock buoys and the shore. There was a school of 3# stripers hangin'. We trolled back and forth for awhile and landed quite a few.
Monday produced "sloils" on and off all day. Most of the action we saw was right there in that section of Stanton Creek camping area that makes the bend into Bullfrog Bay. If things got slow we trolled back through those 3 rock buoys for some nice SMB. Late afternoon brought a pretty big blow in for about an hour. We saw it coming and were approaching our beach as it hit. Afterwards we went back out and hit an area between the rock buoys and the green channel marker at Bullfrog Bay. SLOIL CITY!!!!! There was a bit of a slick and row of tumbleweeds about a 200 yards long. Lots of fish in the 3#(?) 18" range.
We wanted to try the night fishing and talked to Hotwheels and his cadre about technique when we saw them. Mon. night we got around to heading over to the houseboat field about midnight to attach to an unoccupied buoy. But when a wind came up we changed our minds and came back without tying up. My little aluminum boat is a little too small and unreliable to push it considering the amount of fish we already had in the cooler.
Tue. I got out about 6 and trolled off the beach close enough to refill the coffee and wait for Brad to wake up. Somewhere about 7-7:30 we got out and ended up in that last car camping bay in Bullfrog Bay, with the gravel bars, just around the corner from Stanton. MORE SLOILS!!! We fished there most of the rest of the morning. Another 10-15 fish in the 14 to 18" range in a couple of hours. When the action near the surface stopped I got one jigging and one on anchovy using the information from the BB about the fish needing to return to colder water after warming up on top for awhile.
My workhorse lure this trip was a Kastmaster about 1 1/4" long. Brad used a Krockodile about 2" long with a little less success. I think that was mostly a result of less experience on his part and gear that was a little light, more than the shape of the chrome we presented. And he still caught allot of nice fish and had a good time. I thing we totaled about 50 fish for the weekend. We mostly fished in the top couple of feet of water, trolling and casting, and sometimes attached a small splitshot to get down a little especially while trolling and looking for visible action.
Once again it was a pleasure to meet those of you we ran into. Thanks for the tips! Very valuable and helpful for those of us without the benefit of electronics.
Date Received: August 4, Cracker
We arrived Mid morning Friday and found boils each morning at the launch area of Halls which is a great energy treat when you average four hours of sleep. Most Halls /Bullfrog boils lasted 3 to 12 min. Rains moved in and the sun did not show on Monday so we opted to return home.
We found the best boiling action in the Good Hope Bay area where we had one Boil stay up for 50min. That was as far up as I ventured. Boils were not massive but the fish did have the shad holed up in very tight quarters which made for some lasting action and with three in the boat numbers added quickly. The simple truth is the fast accurate cast on the sporadic boils accounted for very consistent action. All fish came on the surface with Spooks in clear finish and blue heads being the best.
Sore hands : yes but not as bad as they have been in the past this trip I bought a Rapala Electric knife kit for $40 let me tell you for a combo knife package it is worth every penny a fish only take 30 seconds to get him in the bag. I cleaned over 175 so for three days of just Boil fishing.
Next I forgot to mention the sheer numbers of SMB/LMB's that we brought to boat with my son catching the two largest with a 4.6 SMB a very nice one and a LMB at 4.1. No action at night but we really were very tired from the drive and the daytime fun.
I hope to return in a couple of weeks as it can only get better. Cracker
Date Received: August 5, Tim Kelley
Days fished: July 30th to Aug 2nd
Chris and I arrived at Halls, and met Hotwheels on Friday, and headed out on the lake about 2:00 p.m. We scouted mainly the Halls Creek, BullFrog, and Moki most of the afternoon. Weather was hot, and no boils seen through evening hours.
Saturday morning we fished the Halls Creek, and Bullfrog area, and saw a few slurps, and Chris picked up a nice one out of them. Hotwheels took a look at his graph, and saw shad with stripers below them, so we got out the spoons and started jigging, and picked up five in that area. That was a rocky point off the west side of Bullfrog across from the Halls houseboat slips. Picture of Hotwheels, and I with a couple of jigged up stripers! I picked up another one out of topwater slurps on the way over to Moki.
With the absence of boils during the day we decided to nap the late afternoon, and night fish the houseboat field! We pulled in there 30 minutes before dark, and tied to a buoy a houseboat away from Richard Sutterfield and got ready for the evening! We were running a 4 foot hydroglow off the front, and Jack(Hotwheels) had a two footer from Cabela’s off the back. The action got good about thirty minutes after dark, and Mike Bevelhimer, and his family showed up, and tied off the side of Jack’s boat. Everybody was catching stripers consistently for three hours before we stopped for the night! I snapped a quick pic of the huge cooler that Hotwheels had on his boat with 30 plus stripers in it.
I know Mike, and his daughter caught quite a few also.
BTW Chris the master caster, was using the cast net to get 10 to 12 shad with every cast. The stripers were hitting the real thing like candy, but Hotwheels was using them up faster than we could bring them in…LOL! We took a cooler full of stripers from Rich Sutterfield, so we could send some back with Brice Wilson’s brother and Dad who only came for two days! Lots of filleting the next morning early.
Sunday we headed down to the Rincon, and saw boils that were up, and down to fast to get to! These were the 1st real boils that we saw, but we could not get to them fast enough before they would sound and not come up again for ten minutes! Went in early evening for a fish fry! Monday had us heading for Striper city hoping to get into some boils that Bryce, and Eric Wilson, and Mike and family got into the previous afternoon! The boil gods were not on our side this trip, but we did manage to jig up a couple more stripers by Two Mile. Came back and tried Moki for awhile, and I jigged up a walleye before we left with the wind kicking up big time. We went back out Monday night to fish the houseboat field again, and caught about twenty stripers with the Wilson brothers tied up to our side this time. Ended it early though as Chris and I had to come back Tuesday morning! It was great seeing Hotwheels, and The Wilson brothers again, and enjoyed getting together with Mike Bevelhimer, and family, and chasing stripers around with them! I think we have another young hooked on Powell fisher lady joining the ranks---right Mike? Thanks for the invite Jack, Chris and I had fun fishing off that awesome Tri-toon of yours!
Date Received: August 10, Marty Peterson
Arrived Bullfrog Thursday evening 8/5. Ramp conditions good except I forgot about the road base tar and got some in the boat. Looked for boils in the Bay then up Halls Creek. Found a good boil right where the channel opens up again. About 6 PM. Had plenty of pleasure boaters to keep us rocking. One Striper nearly jumped in the boat trying to get a topwater lure as it was lifted out of the water for the next cast. After that ended we headed towards Stanton and saw several boats together fishing. We joined them for a boil around 7:30.
Friday morning we followed intermittent boils and slurps around the Stanton area for several hours. Before noon we thought we would fillet the mornings catch and go nap to return in the evening. By evening a storm was moving in but that did not stop us from going out. We ended up sorry. Just after the south wind and rain slowed down we decided to set up for some night fishing in the Halls Buoy Field. As we found no boils that evening. The wind shifted to out of the north. We were anchored in around 150' of water where we had been told that the night fishing had been good the night before. The waves started to get big. Within minutes the waves were breaking over the front of the boat and filling it up with water. Anchored we were not riding the waves well. Had to cut the rope and head to the shore. And now it is just about fully dark. Going to shore was a mistake too. The waves were so huge that we could not hold the boat away from the rocks well and damaged the fiberglass.
Saturday morning we slept in. Had already decided we were still water worthy if the weather was improved. It was. Saturday evening we lucked into the big boil near Stanton. It lasted until completely surrounded by boats and was about half the channel wide. Before that we fished a few small slurps and did OK. Our best topwater lure for the trip seemed to be a smaller silver and blue with red mouth and the one with a rattle was best. At dark we decided to set up for night fishing in the Bullfrog Buoy field. We had called and received permission to stay aboard a boat there in case the weather turned rough again as we were still a little worried about the misadventure of the night before. We set up lights and after two hours still had not had a bite. We were in about 100' of water. So we moved to the tires over near the Bullfrog Covered slips. 83' deep. After an hour and a half, still nothing. So off to bed for a few hours.
Up at the crack of dawn, we headed over to Stanton. No boils all the way to Moki. But as we watched the area we could see carp jump and some small possible slurps. We caught several Stripers out of some slurps with topwater. But after a bit and noticing fish on the finders we were able to get into the Stripers big time on spoons and anchovies as we were the boat next to the one in a previous report.
In summary: Anchovies were working. Smaller topwater worked better than large for us this trip. Spoons are fun, but only worked this time when jigged not cast. No Stripers came in at night where we fished up Bullfrog Bay. And use better judgment than us when deciding to night fish. Powell can make you earn your fish.
Date Received: August 10, Scott Stelmach
Started from Bullfrog Aug 2 and did well on smallmouth in the bay close to the marina(nothing very big though). Was awakened to a boil in a bay near to the Rincon and the stripers were forcing the shad out of the water up against a wall...had a ball catching them but now understand why it is imperative to have more than one rod ready. I spent most of the time unhooking the stipers as they splashed around me!! As the week progressed and we headed further south toward Dangling Rope the fishing really died off. Occasionally I would spot a small boil while I spent time looking for smallmouth but the boil would subside quite quickly than come up again somewhere else.
Have to say that the price I paid for the Lucy Craft Ghost Minnow was worth it but I still haven't told my wife how much one lure costs!! Even jumped in one time to retrieve it after it snapped off during a cast. Thanks for all the great info...see you again in Sept.
Date Received: August 11, The Solomon's
Fishing Report for August 5th - 7th.
Water Temp: 80-83
Launched at Bullfrog around 7:00 pm Thursday night without incident. Ramp is not very steep, but usable. No tire spinning or anything. Oh, that black tar stuff is a pain. Especially with a white boat. Make sure you have a change of shoes with you! There were two park employees monitoring the ramp and checking people for life jackets etc late into the night. One fellow was lucky enough to be taking the sobriety test and not doing well by the way. The parking lot was extremely full with some folks using the overflow. One thing that irks me is when people park their cars in the trailer parking areas. Oh well, guess that will never change.
We motored over to a small cove across from the ramp to bed down for the night. Did some catfishing off the back of the boat and caught 3 or 4 that night. Used circle hooks slip sinker and lunch meat. Woke up the next morning before dawn and started putting over to Stanton where the boils were reported earlier (Kurt & GC). Watch out for the reefs jutting out from the Stanton area!! I found myself in the dawn cutting between them and shore! Eeek! They have 3 marker buoys that stick way out into what used to be the channel.
We went up into Stanton and waited for boils that never happened. I got impatient and decided to cruise up around the corner past Moqui. Didn't see anything on the way up. On the way back I started noticed sporadic splashes on the shore across from Moqui wall just up from Stanton. I stopped to investigate one of them, and it was scattered Stripers chasing shad on top. I wouldn't classify this as a boil, but rather individual fish chasing shad and breaking the surface once in a while. These fish are catchable! We caught quite a few casting to these splashes on Zara Spooks. This time I noticed a lot more Stripers missed the bait than before. I probably counted 10 times that a Striper would hit the spook more than once and not get hooked. One Striper hit it right at the boat and almost knocked it clear over the motor!
Boils seemed to die down about 9:30 am so we found a beach for some play time. Saturday night we camped right across from where the boils were earlier that morning with the hopes of eating an early dinner and fishing the evening bite. A storm had different plans for us. It rained and blew pretty hard causing us to take shelter until after dark. We started Catfishing once again and my daughter (4) caught her first solo catfish. From bait to cast to hook set she brought it clear to the boat. It scared her at first, but she was soon well into the fight. After catching 10 or 12 more Cats we retired for the evening. There were some awesome moon rises through the clouds that night.
Got up the next morning and headed across to wait for the splashes again. They didn't appear as they did the morning before. We picked up a few. Mike Bevelhimer stopped by for a chat and said he was doing well jigging and his daughter was catching them sightfishing the splashes. By the way Mike. I can't wait for the day my boat is set up as well as yours!! Very nice fishing rig. We followed Mike to out in front of Stanton to the area right by the channel marker where he indicated the Shad were thick. They were! Lots of "clouds" of Shad. We picked up a few of the smaller fish jigging Kastmasters in that area. The fish and game did stop by and check our licenses BTW.
Sunday night caught more Catfish and went to bed early across from the Bullfrog ramp. While fishing at dusk it was good to see the rangers still out patrolling giving tickets/warnings to PWC riders without lights. Woke up before light Sunday morning and was loaded by 6:00 am.
Side notes: The Halls store and slips have been moved out to the channel, but as of Saturday they still had no water or ICE CREAM! The gas docks at Halls are still located in the old spot.
One caution. Unless they change the breakwaters at the Halls store, it is a very rough docking situation. They really don't have slips set up yet and there is a break in the tires right where you tie up so be prepared to have good bumpers and lines or go around back. Bullfrog store and pumpout are operating and busy. Make sure you have your own pumpout fitting or buy one at the store. There are a lot of people having to be pulled off of beaches and rocks with the dropping water levels to be careful and reset every day if you are staying for awhile. Overall it was another great trip. The boat traffic was terrible around Bullfrog/Halls. If I were doing it again I would take my chances and head up to Good Hope (as many are this weekend) or way down to escape the crowds. Until next time! Rip some lips!
Date Received: August 12, 2004 - Lakedancer
Gary and I(lakedancer) arrived at the lake and launched at about 9:00pm on August 3. We headed straight for the Halls Bouy Field and fished all night. Had some company with Larry Millhouse and Jim P. I caught one striper and retired for the night and Gary caught 19. He was not yet ready for retirement.
Next day, we cruised the Halls, Moki, areas and up to mm105 looking for boils with not luck. We tried the Moki wall for a while but to no avail. Then we headed into Halls Creek, still no boils.
As a fierce storm began to brew, we ducked into a canyon and as the story goes, we fried up some mushrooms and chicken and began to look for ways to pass the time when striper fishing wasn't available. Gary was scanning the water for buried trees before beginning to fish for cats, when he discovered little creatures about the size of a dime with a figure in the middle. It was all membrane and looked like it had arms and legs (2 each) with some kind of dangle in the middle. We watched them for hours and none of the blue gill in the water even went near them. There were many. We also saw some other marine activity we'd never noticed before. That's odd as we have spent many hours over a span of many years at Lake Powell and not seen any of this.
August 5, we left Lost Eden around 6:30pm and found the main channel still white-capping. We noticed Hotwheels boat and Mike Bevelheimer's in the waters in front of Stanton Creek, so we joined them hoping they's spotted a boil.
No boil but a lot of striper and shad on the depth finder. And they were catching fish so we stayed. After a while a boil appeared in the middle of us (silly striper). We were all prepared to "get'em". Marty Petersens boat and several others had joined us by now and I don't remember ever seeing such craziness....maybe it was just me that was crazy.
There I was stand in the seat in the bow of my boat (with a broken toe that made it difficult to even stand), with the lake white-capping and lures flying everywhere, Gary jumping up and down and helling "get a lure in the water". All of the sudden my blood sugar decided to take a dive soooooo I sat down to eat a sandwich to which Gary replied "WHAT ARE YOU DOING??*!!!>><++**%#!#~~?????>+%##!!!# ETC."
I hooked two got one to the boat but didn't get it in the boat. I am learning....I can't recall how many Gary got into the boat. We chased around for a while longer and then went to the Bouy field. We fished until 4:00am and crashed.
Total striper for the trip 60, total cats 8. It was a great time......It was in fact a priceless experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Date Received: August 15, 2004 - Kevin
Got to Bullfrog thursday the 12th, and started looking for boils, did'nt see anything quick so went to plan B, go to the walls around Moqui and try jigging up the stripers. It failed to, but I got here in the middle of the day. So I was'nt expecting much. The plan was to do a little night fishing and heading up to farley's. ' 'PLANS CHANGED'
Went over to Stanton and did some smallmouth fishing just waiting for the night fishing to start. And a man and woman pulled up in a nice bass boat to say hello, and it was Topcat, and I think his wife. We had a nice talk about boats, motors, and fishing. And it was time to go set up for night fishing. Nice meeting you guys Topcat.
Got into Halls bouy field, and got every thing set up and in place, I figured then I would look out and see boils all over. But it never happened. So I got my lights out, two green in the front and two mining lights out the back, a lanturn and the boats running lights. I was well lit up. As Richard Sutterfied had reported earlier, it took the shad about 45 minutes to an hour to start coming in. The small ones came first, and then the bigger ones came and they were all arround my boat, It was a feeling of Im going to catch fish' And then the bite was on. There was others, night fishing, and then it started blowing pretty good and people left. But when the little wind storm blew by, all hell broke loose. I caught fish, and a lot of doubles the rest of the night until the sun came up. And then they shut off just as they had started.
I went to the cleaning station and layed out 91 stripers for a picture, and cleaned my fish. Then I headed back out on the lake, and not even 100 yards theres my first boil of the trip. I hooked up and got the fish in, and when I went to put it in the live well, It was packed clear full of night fish, in which I had forgotten were there, I was sick of cleaning fish and there were 21 more That had to be cleaned or they would ruin. But the good part was the total for that great night of fishing was 112. I chased that boil for about 5 or 6 more times and got three more. I had forgotten all about boils, until I saw the first one of the trip. And then it was a whole new energy, all over again. But it was short lived, and did'nt see any for the rest of the day. Went back and set up to night fish agan, talked to some new share owners of the Poco Loco, and they did'nt have any chovies, So I gave them some chovies and chartreuse leadheads, in hopes there kids getting into the stripers. I dont know how they ened up. I told my wife, when I started falling to sleep behind the rod, it was time to go to sleep. I caught 29 more stripers for friday the 13th and sat.
BUT I WILL NEVER KEEP 143 STRIPERS AGAIN.
Date Received: August 16, 2004 - George Banker, Durango,CO
Two of us got to the lake late Sunday, launched the boat and fished Bullfrog in the evening for smallies. Found one good chunk rock/dirt point next to deep water and caught a 2 1/2 lb black, several smallies 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Best lure was a Yum Wooly Hogtail 4 1/2 " in watermelonseed, baitcasting 12lb line with 1/4 oz weight. That spot continued to produce during our entire stay. Tried to duplicate this pattern for the next several days with limited success. Split shoting and jigheading with 8lb spinning gear and similar color grubs also produced. Averaged 30+/- smallies a day with 4 to 6 each day in the 1 1/2 to 2+ lb range. Caught one 2 1/2 lb(+/-) largemouth each day.
When we saw striper boils we threw chug bugs and caught 'em. Best boils were early about half way back in Halls. Also fished a smallie boil in the same area. We fished the mornings, got off the lake during the hottest part of the day, and went back at "em in the evening.
Date Received: August 16, 2004 - Billy Lewis Salt Lake City, Utah
We fished August 13th. and 14th. The fishing was tough, to say the least, this past weekend. We located 1 boil, where 60 ft. water meets 15 ft. We mapped fish along the vertical cliffs where 120 ft. meets 30 ft. with no takers. This was the toughest fishing I have ever experienced at Lake Powell. We put in at Bullfrog and traveled most of that end of the lake. Smallmouth was even a challenge for the first time as well. We did catch numerous stripers in one boil, but the smallmouth where spaced about a hour between each catch. All together, it's almost funny that we burned about $100.00 in gas and caught 95% of the fish about half a mile from the dock.
Date Received: August 16, 2004 - Tom Brown
A small group of us spent four days on a friend’s house boat moored at Halls Xing Three fisherman, Steve’s daughter and her girlfriend. The bad news is that we didn’t see a striper boil from Tuesday to Saturday. So, we didn’t get to use any of the imitation plastic shad that I had just blown $50.00 on at Wal-Mart and also missed out on the fun of running and gunning at the churning stripers. The good news is that we went home with about 260 striper fillets on Saturday morning and we still had gas in our spare gas cans.
I had a @## business meeting and didn’t leave Durango until 11 p.m. Tuesday night. That put me and my boat at Halls at 4:00 am Wednesday. When I got to Steve’s moored houseboat all was quiet. Steve crawled out of his rack long enough to get to his cooler. He cracked the lid and flash lighted me a view of about 25 stripers. He and Terry had done the light thing off of the houseboat. He said they lowered the light into the water just after dark. The baited their ¼ oz jig heads with 1/3 of an anchovy and watched the shooting stars reflect off of their beer cans. He said the action started about 10:00 pm and was slow and steady. They went through an entire bag of anchovies. Steve said they called it quits about 3:30 am, even though the stripers were still hitting.
At 10:00 Wednesday morning the three of us boated down to Moki hoping to see boils with no luck. We tried drop-shotting along the walls for a couple of hours without success. My suggestion for a nap was well received to that’s what we did for the rest of the day. We kept an eye on the bass boats from Bullfrog to Moki while we were skiing and making ice runs to the Marina, but never saw any of the boats making runs at striper boils. About dark we repeated the drop light procedure and about 9:30 pm the stripers started hitting the anchovies. We stopped about 2:00 am Thursday with about 45 stripers ranging from one to four pounds.
Friday was a repeat of Thursday with the exception that a couple of friends joined us on the houseboat and three others had to leave for home. After a short lesson on how to catch stripers, us “vets” hit the sack and let the newcomers do the fishing. They landed stripers until two coolers were full at about 1:30 am.
We will anxiously be watching Wayne’s column for some of the fall boil reports. Good fishing!
Date Received: August 23, 2004 - MTFields
Arrived at Halls Crossing mid day on Thursday the 12th. We headed South to find a good camping spot. Good beaches were taken and we ended up staying in the main channel @ mile marker 75. After setting up camp we fished for cats the rest of the evening. Fishing was slow and only a few small ones were caught. Up early Friday morning, we started searching for boils. We worked our way back North to Halls, no boils! Friday morning was shot. Returned to base camp to find our partner ( Butch) from Rio Rancho, NM with boat problems. Back to Halls we headed to work on the boat. Gave up and returned to camp without Butch. Saw a few fish surfacing about 8:00 PM in the Rincon. Fished from mile marker 75 North to the Rincon Saturday Morning. We netted 15 good sized Stripers 6 to 10 pounds using Shad Raps and Rattle Traps. No Boils, but great action and the best quality of fish we have taken.
Date Received: August 23, 2004 - Kevin
Put on at Bullfrog 10:00 p.m 21st of August. Went over to Halls bouy field and night fished for acouple of hours and caught 10 stripers, then Brian my son in law, was falling to sleep, and fishing was slow so we went and slept just down from Stanton, To be woken up by a Coyote.
We headed up lake for a trip to Farleys and White canyon, must have been around 6:00 a.m. We did'nt see any boils, until we came around the corner at mile marker 117, and there they were spread out over 200 to 300 ft. but it was'nt an all out fish flopping type of a boil, there were just individual fish surfacing 10 to 20 ft apart, and all the way in to the bank. We fished the bank mainly, and Brian's first boil was a good one. This boil lasted for 40 minutes or more, with only two boats fishing it. When it stopped, we started looking on the other side of the lake, and did'nt see anything for 20 to 30 minutes, and started to cruise and there they were again with a house boat, and one more boat fishing it, we got a couple out of it, and I looked up lake and there was another going on, so we let the two boats alone, and ran up to the other boil. I don't know exactly how long we fished these boils, but it was a while. When it ended we had caught 35 more to make us 45 stripers. So we figured we had better clean some fish, and take some pictures. As we were doing this Dreamweaver and his wife,who had also been fishing these boils came over and introduced himself. Then when they left Jack Herrin (Hot Wheels} and his friend came up and talked for a while, and they had just missed those boils.
Then we took off back on the way to Farleys. We never saw another boil all the way up. We ran back into Hot Wheels at the mouth of White canyon, and had a great visit with those guys. They had'nt seen a boil either. So we started back to 117. We never saw the first sign of a boil all the way back. We watched for them the rest of the day between 117 and 119 marker, and then it blew up a heck of a sand blasting storm. It was late when it calmed down enough to fish. We finally found a few more boiling on the bank, and caught four more. We also were watching the crows as they ate shad that were jumping out on a rock. Then here comes a fox trotting along the bank, and we thought he was after the shad also, but he ran down to the water and grabbed himself a nice size striper, and off he ran with it flopping in his mouth. It was neater then heck watching that. Brian and I will talk about that forever. It was too windy to night fish so we turned in, and got up early saturday, and looked for a repeat of the boils, but it was'nt to be, on this day. After waiting them out till 11:00 or 12:00 a.m we headed back to Bullfrog. We never saw another boil all day, but when we went back to Stanton, we ran into Lakedancer, and Gary Foell. We talked for a good while, and Gary told us they had been boiling just around the corner. Sure enough, late that evening they were on Que. There we were all jigging and baiting when they started boiling in the area Gary had mentioned. Hot Wheels, and all of us had a great time with those boils. We caught 10 out of it, and a treble hook in the arm.
Then it was off to night fish, And it was hot action until we stopped at about 1:30 a.m sunday the 22nd. We caught 30 nice stripers between Brian and I. The total for the trip was 90 stripers, And 50 of them were out of boils, and Brian's hooked on Powell, to say the least.
It was great meeting HotWheels,Gary, lakedancer, Dreamweaver, and Lynn Wiggens and family.
Date Received: August 24, 2004 - Skeeter, Captain of the Who Cares.
Those how love to fish and love fish stories read the whole thing, those who just want info jump to the bottom for the facts.
My report is quite contrary to yours. My buddy and I arrived at Bullfrog on Thursday night and set up ship while pumping each others anticipation for the few days ahead. Friday morning 5:30 we began our trek across the lake while scanning as much water as possible for any sign of “striper flopage”. None was seen but the fish computer showed that there was defiantly a very large abundance of shad at the 20-30 foot mark all the way from the south buoy field at Bullfrog all the way to the drop of into the main channel just south of the channel marker in Bullfrog bay. We drift fished the large shallow flat near the middle of the south end of the bay by the channel marker in 30-15 feet of water jigging the bottom while maintaining vision for flopage. We picked up one striper and a hand full of small mouth until about 9:00. We headed lake and fished the Stanton area all the way up to Moki canyon on the north side. Picked up some nicer sized small mouth and a decent walleye jigging at around 20 feet with tube jigs. We ran up into Moki and tried to fish for some small mouth but instead we just wasted gas on the adventure. We headed back to Bullfrog and jigged the flat for a while, should be an interesting sight next year at this time there is going to be one long point from the shallow water markers at Stanton all the way to the center of the south end of Bullfrog if the lakes decline continues at the rate. We jigged and hauled off a few small mouths but not enough to keep us around. We slowly drove around in circles making lunch and watching for boils.
Three bites into my potato salad burrito, simple accommodations for simple fisherman for the weekend, there they are 50 yards in front of us. We dropped our chow and grabbed our which our rods, which are always rigged with 1oz Castmasters, and winged them past the boil. We both drug through the center of the boil and had no luck at pulling a single fish. One cast is all they would allow us and they were back down. So we keeped an eye out for them and fished them here and there as they popped up around us. We could not get any thing to hit!! What are we doing wrong!!! This was around 2:00 on Friday.
Eventually we got bored and went over to the south west point where the bay meets the channel and fished for small mouth. The weather came and gave an entertaining blow from the north while we hid around the corner and watched. We got of the boat and walked around while jigging small 3/16 -1/4 oz tube jigs. It was almost a Smallie every cast. The technique was simple cast wait until the jig hit the bottom and then slowly reel in while twitching the rod endlessly.
Just when we figured that striper fishing was a waste we looked over the point and saw single fish flopping here and there right at the mud line 150 yards off the shore. So we jumped in the boat and head round the corner the give it a try 7:30. Luckily the wind slowed down and we each hauled out about 10 fish each over a 30 minute period until several extremely ignorant jack asses in 3 boats screaming and hollering cut directly over the top of the boil with not even a clue. Boating etiquette people, think about it. After that the fish dispersed and it was over. We stuck around and kept an eye out but nothing happened.
So we waited until sun down and began the night light assault. After reading the success many people have had in the area with lights I was very confident that this would be the way to send us home with fisherman’s elbow. The wind changed direction from the north to the south and we set up an anchor right on the end of the point and positioned the boat so we would be in about 50-70 feet of water. We sat and we observed some huge shad come to the lights. We saw shad and netted a few to check them out, many were in the 3-6 inch range. We continued while drowning anchovies at about 30-50 feet. We sat and we sat and we sat. Wow this sucks nothing for 3 hours. We moved closer into the shore to see what we could do in shallow water. We set up in 30 feet of water and sat some more. We noticed that the shad in shallower water were significantly smaller than the ones in 70-50 feet of water. As we moved in closer the shad got smaller and smaller. Interesting. We eventually got tired of our heads falling into our chests and set off to camp for the night 00:30.
Early morning Saturday saw the same as Friday, tons of shad on the fishometer but no stripers to be seen anywhere. We fished the flat again with no luck and proceeded back over to the channel on the north side of the south west point at the entrance of Bullfrog bay to check things out but saw nothing. We went over to the south side of the halls buoy field and fished the rocks for smallies. We were so tired from Fridays midday basting and the nights excess in boredom that we really dint care much about fishing so we tied up to a empty buoy and stuffed our face with more potato salad burritos and PBJ sandwiches. Living on a 20 foot pontoon boat for the weekend limits what you can bring for grub, could be worse. We decided that the sun would be hotter and make our lives more miserable if we head down lake to jig for bass during the midday. So that’s what we did and it sucked just like Friday did. We eventually went back to the south end point in BF and parked the boat to shore fish for small mouth again while watching for flopage.
About 7:30 bam there they were out in the middle, I preformed the Olympic sprint across rocks and sand to get back to the boat trying not to auger in and break my buddies loomis stick while yelling to get the boat ready to launch. Off we went and we cast into the boil with no luck again with cast masters. DAMN what is going on here? Watching the fish TV I saw that there was a lot of big metering down around 30-50 feet in 170+ of water so I dropped straight down with my castmaster. 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., 21, bump and a miss, 22, bump hook up!!!! Fish on for 30 minutes. It is always fun to haul fish out while other boats around you sit watching the surface with nothing. It was upside down u’s for the both of us the whole time while the others just sat and waited for boils. Yea I think we figured it out. They are deep!!!
We continued this until about 30 minutes after the sun fell below the rocks and then it was over. We could find no more solid activity on the fish computer. We noticed a congregation of boats at west Stanton so we headed over to check it out. People were catching a few fish but we performed the same technique but while casting and we both caught fish every cast. We fished until it was dark and there were no more hits. We jumped back to BF to meter for fish with no readings and then jumped back to the channel north of south west point and saw nothing. The days sun torture delusion set in and we decided to head over and anchor off of the shallow water markers at west Stanton to set up the lights. We set up in about 40 feet of water and turned on the lights. 3 hours and infinite electrons later we shut off the lights asking why we preformed this stupid method two nights in a row and began our night time voyage back to the BF buoy field to sleep for the night. My thoughts on night fishing right now is that with this much food in the water you are basically making sand castles at the beach and the fish really don’t care about the nice congregation of shad you have created, they can get food by just opening there mouths and swimming forward. I think that during times where shad are fewer in numbers or locations where shad are fewer lights have a higher chance of working to pull in fish.
Sunday morning we sat to apply our previous days education and watched the fish computer for good readings. 7:30 bam there they were in 30-40 feet of water right at the channel between the two points on the west side of BFB where the ferry passes through to get to the shore. We both hauled out 15 fish each over a one hour period while chasing good meterings on the fish finder. Not a single boil was ever seen the whole time we caught fish that morning. We caught fish until about 9:00 at what I now call the ferry channels. We ran around and checked the previous days GPS marks on the fish computer to see if we could meter any fish and then set out for the days sun torture. We found refuge on the Miss Adventure for the day while working on the boat and waited until around 4:30 to go meter for fish. My plan was to find shad pockets early and locate areas of interest to watch through out the later afternoon for boils or meterings. We could see small pockets but noting to go get reel excited about until we showed back up at the channel north of south west point, the same place we caught fish on Friday afternoon. We waited and we metered a few single larger readings but could not pull any thing out of them.
We saw a few boats over at west Stanton so we decided to blast across and see what was up, it was two boats from the day before and it looked like they had pretty high hopes but that was about it so we ran back over to the point to check for meterings once more. Sure enough 7:00 they had condensed and it was fish on for an hour. We caught fish right on the bottom every time we dropped. The fish TV looked like it was malfunctioning there was so much activity. Lines back and forth across the screen from the bottom all the way to 30 feet deep in 40-50 feet of water. We attempted to quickly anchor to the shore and let the annoying west wind push us over the fish, I need to remount the minkota, repositioning for fish sucks. Bam like that they were gone. We tried to meter for another 30 minutes but could not see anything of interest. Three sun and fish filled days later we decided it was time to go home but not until we checked the GPS marks one more time. With nothing to see we headed home.
Moral of the story. I have been fishing lake Powell for 20+ years and every trip I learn something new. This is the first time ever that I have caught fish vertical jigging on Powell. To catch fish you cant just limit yourself to what the herd is doing you have to use your tools and stay alert all the time watching birds boaters and surface activity. Following the herd can also be the sure fire way to catch fish as well so make sure to watch other boaters but PLEASE USE COMMON SENSE AND ACT AS IF YOU ARE FISHING FOR DEER, BE COURTEOUS TO OTHERS AT ALL TIMES. Wish more jet skiers read this stuff.
Two people on a 20 foot pontoon boat for three days. We fished A LOT. Of the 30+ hours we fished probably 4 hours of that were highly productive for stripers, pretty typical. During the basting hours of the midday we fished for small mouth. We caught 60+ Stripers, 20+ Small Mouth, 1 Walleye, and one Catfish on the troll to our surprise.
Bullfrog bay only, (don’t have the fuel capacity to get to the fish unfortunately or maybe fortunately). The small channel just off the north side of the furthest south west point where Bullfrog bay meets the main channel. The channel is about 80 feet deep just before it drops into the bullfrog creek channel. We caught fish here twice and metered large populations of shad every morning and night.
Next area is what I call the ferry channels, there are two points on the east side of bullfrog bay where the ferry goes to drop off and pick up people. You can see the ferry ramp from this channel. If you watch the fish TV you will see that there are three defined channels between the two points upon which the water can get as shallow as 10 feet. We caught fish between these two points in 30-50 feet of water and further out in about 70 feet of water towards the center of BFB. Watch for diving birds early in the morning before boat traffic disturbs them and watch the fish computer for readings beneath them. West Stanton creek area just watch for the hordes of boats grouped up. Following the herd is often a good way to catch a few fish but please be sure to use some etiquette and don’t just blast up at 50 mph and start getting in every ones way and do not plow though the boil - approach as if they are deer.
Small Mouth: ½ - 1/8 ounce tube jigs. Best luck with smaller sized 3/16-1/4 oz 5-20 feet from shore on the bottom the whole way. Best jig color red, white, and chartreuse. Any time of the day was found to produce fish. Caught several fish over the 1-lb mark and a few pushing over 2 its nice to see some better fish closer to the marinas.
Stripers: ¾ - 1 oz castmasters and hopkins jigging spoons dropped deep and reeled up 10-20 cranks each time before dropping again. Some times jigging full rod length right on the bottom. Don’t bother if you can’t find definite schools on a fish finder and don’t be confused by shad schools. Best schools were found generally in 30 feet of water. Early morning we metered underneath groups diving birds before the boat traffic broke them up with good readings about 50% of the time. Best fishing was around 7:00 both morning and evening. Watch for boils but don’t limit your self only to boils often the fishing is better beneath the boils, be prepared to fish deep after the boil has dropped. Heavy jigs and spoons were the best way to fish and give you the option to head to the bottom unlike top water baits. Fish as heavy as possible so you can drop fast to the bottom without waiting. Lighter spoons like dare devils tend to flutter too much and waste time when trying to get to the fish same goes for swimming jigs. Bottom line fish finder, not sure on the model number. Magellan GPS interfaced to the fish finder. Was a definite aid in marking metered fish and helped us relocate the school during windy conditions. I wish I had the trolling motor this trip would have been of big assistance to fight the wind while jigging deep schools.
Things to watch for.
Diving birds in the morning. Don’t bother with large groups of birds you are looking for the spread out packs of 10-15 birds that are diving. The large groups that are sitting in coves are just hanging out and we noticed no activity around these groups. In the evenings watch for these same diving birds but keep and eye on where they are flying to. They will start to mobilize around 6:00-6:30 and you will see them flying low to the lake. Keep and eye on where these birds are going and go check out with a fish finder what they are landing on. We found two schools doing this Sunday evening. Use a depth finder in the early evenings and try to find shad schools so you know where to look for boils or deeper schools later in the evening. We stared around 4:30 and pinpointed 4 areas of interest one of which paid off later.
Date Received: August 26, 2004 - Leonard Wiggins and Family Paonia Colorado
Fished from late Friday the 21 until Tuesday morning - Friday till early Sunday morning there were four of us - my two sons Nathan and Lukas, and our Nieghbor Jesse.
Friday night - Fished sporadic boils in Stanton - 6 stripers - two smallies. Lots of boats
Saturday - Early fished Sporadic boils in Stanton - 4 more strippers - and a smallie - lots of boats, most did not have electric motors. Hard to take - headed up lake. Found a few active fish in an alcove between MM 107 and 108 - east side. 2 more stripers - 4 more smallies - one was 14.5 inches. Should have stayed there. Went out in search of boils - none found. went back to Halls house boat bouys for some night fishing. Ran into Kevin. We had meet in the mid 80's at Pelican Lake fishing for big bluegills. When I introduced myself he recognized my me. We both originate from the same area in Kentucky and both of us came out west to work in the mines. He gave us some pointers on the how-to's of night fishing. We sat and watched him and the house boat on the other side of us catch several fish. We ended up with 6 for the night. If we could have figured out how to hook them we could have had many more. We missed lots of bites and had lots of snags on cables below us. Around midnight the wind came up pretty bad, and we got out of there first chance we got. I think that I am going to try circle hooks on a 2' leader and a casting sinking next time. They did not hit the bait like they do in the daylight for us? I wish that I had asked Kevin where he had tried fishing while I was by him because the next day we went all the up past Farley, and he had just made the trip that day.
Sunday fished for boils in Stanton and around toward Bullfrog bay. Had motor problems with the big motor - would not start. Managed to catch 4 more stripers. Went back and cleaned fish and sent the to older boys back to school. Lukas and I headed for White and Farley. Stopped at 107 again and caught a few more smallies and 2 stripers. Should have stayed there. Went up two miles above Farley hitting every canyon on the way. Nothing boiling anywhere. Saw one other boat, he was trolling. He had caught one in white canyon. Tried night fishing in the mouth of white. 6 cats - 2 small stripers.
Monday - Up at the crack of dawn looking. Down to the horn and back looking in every canyon three times - Nothing. Fish were as thick on the screen as I have ever seen, As long as you had at least 50 feet of water, especially in White. Water clearity was 1.5 to 2.5 feet in most areas up lake. The back of White was really muddy. You can not circle Battleship rock anymore - have to go around and can't go much past that. There is a hugh mud flat that runs way out from the south side of Trychate. Water is only 8 feet deep almost halfway to the other side.
Headed back down into Good Hope. Looked around till around noon - Nothing. Played on the beach - picked up some trash - cooked lunch. Saw 6 chuckars drinking out of spring. Tried to catch shad in a cove with a dip net. Noticed I said tried. Would have made for some interesting watching. Lots of gravel bars way out into the lake in and around Good Hope. water clearity 3 feet upper end - 5 feet lower end of good hope. Headed back down lake stopped at MM 107 2:30 stripers boiling against the bank in a small cut. Caught 15 in about 1.5 hours. Could have caught more had I not had to take a hook out of a finger. Happens about every time. I am getting better about getting them out. Spent two minutes and found gaff. Decide to stay there for the night. Did not find another boil that night. Talked to some houseboaters who said that the fish would "go crazy everywhere" about three times a day. Wish I had talked to them the first day I saw them there. Tried night fishing. Could not find a good place to tie off that had water over 28 feet. Caught lots of catfish, no stripers.
Tuesday - Got up early - looked for fish. Ran back and forth between Cedar and Knowles. Found fish right at camp at 8:00 - caught 12. Went looking again. Lukas spotted some ravens back in a small cut that you could not see from the main channel. - Stripers everywhere and backed into a cove. They would circle out see the boat and go back in. Caught 22 more. Left when we had agreed, 9:30, so that we could get Lukas back to school on Wednesday.
The nice thing about where we ended up fishing was that we were the only ones fishing these boils. There are many nice beach spots to camp between Knowles and Cedar canyons. The big alcove straight across from the lower end of Tapestry wall has lots of shade, fish could be caught there most any time of day.
fish totals - 73 stripers most where like footballs and pulled like Fords. Caught one skinny one? - 7 small mouth - 1 large mouth - 15 cats. Biggest fish where 25.5 inches. I am guessing they would have weighed close to 6 pounds. Most where 22 inches and would weigh around 4 pounds. Caught two small ones, 16 inches. They where really fat also.
Baits. Best bait was a 3" skitter pop in a shad color. Dark gray back and a white belly. They would hit this with out moving it. A 4" of the same color worked well also. They would go down for a while they would come back up and hit it. I was fishing a spook junior in the same color as the skitter pop. When they where boiling hard they would hit this, or anything else. When Lukas started kicking my but, I swithed to the skitter pop. A white speckled 4 or 5 inch jig/grub worked well when they would go down also. Other deep baits that we had caught fish under boils with in the past, like rattle traps did not seem to work well this trip?
When night fishing we fould that they would hit the anchovies, but a real shad would get more bites, was hit harder, and catch more fish. Where lucky enough to have Lukas catch us several around the light with our net.
Some things that I learned - stop and ask people - especially skiers and jet skiers about boils. They cover a lot of water, and are not concerned about you catching their fish. A striper will come half way out of the water to suck shad out of the rocks. Wish I had taken a picture. Saw this 5 - 6 times. Reminded me of the shark on Jaws biting at the old fishing captain as the boat was sinking. If you plan to night fish, get a lantern and a way to hang it over the side of you boat. Preferably 3 to 4 feet away from the boat. A cover/reflector to keep it out of you eyes is nice too. A paddle, some elecetrical tape, a rod holder, some bungie straps, and a peice of heavy duty aluminum foil will work, but you may need your paddle, and it take a whiel to assemble in the dark. For those of you the cook over a camp fire, a dry tumble weed makes great fire tender. Watch for the briars.
One thing that bothers me. We picked up a small bag worth of trash about every beach we stopped on. I have a small boat and can't haul a lot. We also picked up trash all the way out of Stanton Creek along the road. What is with these people.
I enjoy reading all of your stories, and have gained many valuable bits of information from this sight. I hope some of you get something out of our experiences.
Date Received: August 31, 2004 - Justin Kimball
Shane Johnson and I caught these Stripers between 0600 and 1000 hours the morning of July 26th, 2004 at Halls. The boils were amazing. We released near 50 Stripers and Small Mouth.
Date Received: September 13, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Arrived Bullfrog late afternoon on Sept. 10th. Richard Snow and I boated around Bullfrog Bay and Stanton looking for Striper boils and for likely looking schools on the graph. Found Stripers along the channel edge in the Stanton area. Spooned up a few in water 24 to 70 feet deep. Also caught Catfish but none were very large. Saw a fisherman troll up some Stripers in the same area. He said he was using, if I remember right, a Stump Jumper, fast, on Mono line.
At dark we tied up for night fishing, in between several other groups in the Halls Bouy field. Within a half hour with only 2 Stripers in the boat, we were invited over to fish next to a houseboat where lots of Stripers were being caught. We found the Stripers to be hitting very softly and I could not develop the touch to hook them. But Richard and our host caught 20 or so each, over the next 4 hours. The biggest 4.6 pounds I think. They were using jigs with anchovy. Frustrated with feeling a hit each time I lowered my bait and doing little more than reeling the line back up to put on a new piece of bait, I decided to put on a circle hook with no weight. I managed about 5.
In the morning we looked for boils again. None found. We were able to catch a few more Stripers near the island out from Stanton. Again I used circle hooks. We watched more Stripers get trolled up also. Then we went in for a nap.
Five P.M. found us again looking again. Nothing to speak of. Then a windstorm came up and pushed us off the water. We were glad we took shelter. Late we set up in fifty feet of water and night fished. Caught a few.
Morning of the 12th we fished with no success except Catfish, none with very good fillets. But the fisherman trolling, he was doing well. Also saw a few fish caught on the channel side of the "Stanton Island". We tried trolling with no success. Used Rapalas, Rattletraps etc. Several people told us that the Smallmouth fishing was good. We never tried it. Not enough time, as usual.
Date Received: September 17, 2004 - Cal Rowe
Subject: Bullfrog Trip 9/6 - 9/12 04
What a week, virtually no wind for a change. We caught these stripers tied up in the Hall buoy field close to the covered boat slips I believe. Buoy 202 to be exact.
We were fishing with a green submersible light which was down to a depth of approx. 20'. Lots of bait fish. We were fishing with a half of a anchovy at a depth of between 35 and and 60 feet and fish were being caught in that range. I was using 20lb Fire line and a 2 - 3 ft leader which was also Fire line with a barrel swivel above and a 1 ounce weight. I am not a night person but I convinced myself that if I was going to catch stripers I would have to change my habits. For 2 nights of fishing and we were out for a total of 12 hours, the 3 of use caught a total of 48 stripers. Not bad for 3 rookies wouldn't you say? Saturday night we couldn't get out because of the blow and didn't want to take the chance of another coming up after we got out there. Stayed in camp and ate salami and cheese with crackers, salsa and chips and a few good cocktails and reminisced about the great week we had just had.
We also did quite a bit of jigging on Moki Wall but to no avail. Lots of fish deep and we were hanging between 5 - 15 feet off the wall. Someone told us that we needed to be right on the wall. I will have to try that on the next trip but only if the weather cooperates.
We caught 21 smallmouth over the first couple of days along with a few catfish. We still used melon colored jigs with 1/4 to 3/8 ounce jig heads. All of our bass fishing was in the back of the canyons in the shade as much as possible.
We wasted an awful lot of gas chasing boils from Bullfrog to Good Hope Bay and then the following day from Bullfrog to Rincon and beyond, and did not see one boil. We were out before daylight just to clarify.
I am so pumped after this last trip that I need to get back before the cold sets in.
Date Received: September 17, 2004 -Mike Bevelhimer
We just returned from a week at Halls/Bullfrog (Hotwheels is probably pulling into his driveway about now). We didn't keep a real accurate count but here's the numbers (reported on the low side): Two fishermen; Seven days; 150+ stripers; 500+ pounds, live weight; 180+ pounds of fillets (You can add these to the North rally totals, if you wish).
We fished Moki Wall to Rincon and found stripers wherever we went but most were within one mile of the launch-ramp. The largest stripers (many six pounders) were in the mouth of Halls Creek Bay at the bay-end of the narrows. These fish were there every evening but moving fast and hard to stay on top of. The most fish were in the mouth of Bullfrog Bay. Directly north of the Halls houseboat field is a green buoy that is, actually, in shallow water. This buoy is on a very large flat that extends out from near the mouth of Stanton Creek, past the rock markers, then circles back toward the old ferry launch ramp. All along the drop-off of this flat the stripers are holding. Depending on the time of day and their mood they will be from 40 - 110 feet. Find the schools and drop jigging spoons through them, then reel up as fast a you can turn the crank. And HOLD ON!!!! We had the most consistent catch rate with 2 ounce "Wally Lures" but 1 1/2 oz. were working well too. Another fellow was having fair luck using Hopkins spoons. Not the "Shorty's, but the long thin ones. When they are HOT they will hit on the way down as well as on the retrieve. These fish are running 4 - 5 pounds but there are smaller fish as well, and up on the shallows are many yearlings. Mostly it seems, the deeper the school, the larger the stripers.
We found boils of very short duration on the points at the mouth of Stanton at first light (long before dawn) and these fish could be jigged up after the boils ended.
In the other areas of the lake we caught stripers but the fishing was slower and fewer fish. However, everywhere we went the pattern was the same: Find a drop-off, follow it's edge until you graph stipers and/or shad, start spooning.
Have a great SHAD rally and good luck to you all. If you have half as much fun as Hotwheels & I you won't be able to stop grinning.
Date Received: September 20, 2004 -Jim Morrill
Jim shows off the walleye he caught just before starting his duties at the Rincon as apprentice electrofishing helper of the best kind. He was working the rocky points near buoy 77 with a crank bait just at dusk.
We jigged up stripers at Slick Rock Canyon mouth the next morning and then he spent the remainder of the week jigging stripers in Padre Bay. He was worn out by catching fish when he went home last Friday.
Date Received: September 20, 2004 -Lake Dancer
Gary and I launched on Friday Sept 17, at Bullfrog. I did unfortunately find the unmarked rock that was mentioned by one of the wordlings who warned of it and others wrote back stating that there were no problems at the Bullfrog launch. I have an out-drive that doesn't trim and that was the problem. The wind was blowing and I didn't see the rock. Damage wasn't major and was able to do ok with a chipped scag. We went immediately over to Stanton Creek where the boils allegedly had stopped and saw 5 boils before night fall. They were small and didn't last long, but.....they WERE. No fish made it into the boat but the adrenalin was pumping.
We then found our way to the "bouy field" and spend the night catching striper and cats. I retired at 2:00am on Saturday and Gary ( who is not yet ready to retire when fish are biting) did not sleep a wink. He had them hitting doubles most of the time and when I was awake we had 'em hitting triples at times. It was a hoot, two in the net at a time. I had never seen such calisthenics as one foot on a pole, each of a reeling ours, line twisted between all three....I am sure many of you have experienced this but I have led such a sheltered life before I met Gary, it was new to me. When the sun came up (notice the pic of Gary with the sun rising in the back ground)
there were striper every where.
Every time I woke up in the night Gary said "don't look down". The carnage was everywhere. Two big coolers were full and fish were on the seats and floor. My boat looked like the wreck of the Hesperus.
We had such a good time it didn't matter. The boat got cleaned out good when the rain fell all night Saturday night and Sunday which curtailed our fishing hopes. We spent Saturday tied off at Stanton Creek, the sight of the much celebrated "North Rally"....(with emphasis on celebrated") Gary cleaned fish and then crashed. The rest of the Wordlings enjoyed visiting and meeting new friends. We had a great time even though the winds were merciless. My boat blew off its tie off with the rocks it was tied two pulling loose. Many thanks to the guys who helped us rescue it.
Speaking of winds and blowing sand our fish fry experienced a new spice ......sand! The Wordlings are sure good cookers as we all enjoyed the side dishes and the great fish. Gary's and my count for the day we fished was 51 striper ranging up to 5lbs and most were between 20 and 24 inches long. Gary (who will from hence be referred to as Gary the Great) did real good to get them all filleted and wasn't going to measure and weight ALL of them. Thanks TC for the fish fry. We enjoyed it all. This trip my boat became officially re-named "The Lakedancer"
Date Received: September 27, 2004 - Cranky Granny
Senior citizens, my husband and I, have been reading everything on your Powell pages. Got real excited and arrived at Bullfrog Wednesday afternoon. Talked to everyone in the campground and they reported no fish. Finally at dark some people came in and they had fished hard all day, caught 6 stripers. We went out early Thursday and had no luck. The 6-striper group fished hard all that day and only one striper. No one on the dock and no one in the campground had any luck that day. Had health problem and had to head back to civilization. That was a long trip from Vernal! Beautiful red walls, coyote chorus, but fishing seemed to be very poor. You probably won't post this on the web, perhaps the only e-mails posted are from the very few who have some success.
Date Received: October 10, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Arrived at Bullfrog 5:30 pm Thursday 10/7. Headed to Halls Creek after seeing no action in Bullfrog Bay. No boils seen there either. At dark we tied up to an empty buoy in the Halls Buoy Field. We only had a small 2 foot green underwater light, small white light and a lantern. Shad came in by 7:45 pm.
At 8:00 almost exactly, two Stripers caught on two tries. Using a 1/4 oz jig head with small piece of anchovy. By 2:00 am the two of us had boated 38 Stripers and nearly half as many catfish. But the wind was variable and we had trouble with the underwater cables. So we lost many other fish. The 3-4 lbs Stripers can pull enough drag to cause trouble with the cables in addition to the wind drifting the boat over one. The majority of the fish were caught around 40 feet deep. And were not fussy about line or type of hook. Tried Fireline because the cables were messing with our mono, and still the fish would bite.
About 20 of our Stripers were smaller, but fat, 14"-16". The rest 3-4 lb. I seemed to have no trouble this trip setting the hook properly after feeling a strike. We chummed moderately with anchovies initially.
We slept in a nearby cove and after waking about eight in the morning cast out a line with old anchovy. Catfish within moments. Then again and again. So caught catfish for a couple hours in the morning then off to the fish cleaning station and a nap.
On the water again about 5pm on Friday with no wait to launch and no one having any trouble with the facility as far as we could see, we headed out to the channel near the first green buoy towards Halls from Bullfrog. Met up with Howard Oatman, started talking and asked him to join us for nightfishing. Then a small boil erupted nearby. I had an anchovy on a jig in the water while we talked and Howard's boat did too. As we cast topwaters toward the boil, it dived under us, because we both hooked Stripers on the dangling anchovies. But that was it.
We set up early in the Buoy Field excited for more good nightfishing. Again by 7:45 we had Shad and by 8 pm had a Striper on. In the meantime the wind was calm and variable and so we could not set up with two boats. So Howard went 2 or 3 buoys in toward shore. We could see at least 4 big green underwater lights at work in the area and several other boats with lights, maybe fishing. We ended up with only 10 Stripers by the time we quit at midnight after an hour without a strike. Howard's boat 14 they told us and they complained that the strikes were very light. We ended up working a lot harder for fewer fish the second night. But only landed two small Striper, the rest larger. And only a couple of Catfish. We definitely had fewer Shad. The weather was nicer also.
Back at our camp we set out our light out the back of the boat. Shad came in but we landed only one Striper, it was over 4 lbs and 1 Catfish, over 5 lbs. That was it. And in the morning, thinking we could duplicate our success of the morning before, we fished again for Catfish and did not catch even one. Before heading home Saturday morning we trolled around Stanton a little but were unable to find any schools before we had to leave.
Date Received: October 19, 2004 - Ralph Johnston
This was a very interesting trip. I was there for 10 days and didn't catch one fish during the day time. I trolled, fast jigged, dunked chovies, nothing. BUT the night time was a different story. THe bite started at 8PM and lasted until 10 or 11PM and sometimes midnight. I personally caught 90 nice stripers. There was no moon. We used a crappie light, anchovies at 50 feet all week. I want to thank Howard "Hooligan" for inviting me to fish with him one night. I had only night fished, for the first time, the night before. I'm sold.. Night fishing is for me. It was great to meet Howard, David, Jerry, Terry and George. Thanks guys. I have no idea how many the whole group caught, probably 250.
Date Received: November 1, 2004 - Dave Huffaker, Bountiful, UT
I decided to take my chances with the weather and go to Powell over UEA while the kids were out of school. The weather was both good and bad.
FYI - gas was $2.16 in Hanksville for regular, $2.14 at Ticaboo Conoco. It pays to take some gas with you. We took several gas cans from the Salt Lake area at $1.90 for both the truck and the boat. We arrived at Bullfrog at 1:00 am Wednesday morning, camped in Stanton. Loaded up and launched at 9:00 am. Only 5 other trucks parked on the ramp and 3 up in the parking lot. No problem launching, plenty of slope if you back off the main pavement to the right looking out at the lake. Water temp at the ramp was 63. Headed down lake to the Rincon and set up camp.
We fished all day with only one 15 inch SMB landed on a sammy. We tried jigging on numerous schools of stripers with only one on briefly. Lots of shad schools in deeper water both in the main lake and in the coves, especially in the cove where the floating restroom is. We didn't see any shad in shallow water all trip except under our light while night fishing.
We went back to camp by 5:00 pm for dinner so we could be ready to night fish with the new hydro glow light. We wanted to tie up to the floating restroom but the wind was blowing hard and my spotlight somehow broke since the last trip so we tried to anchor in the cove we were camped in. We put out the light but could not get the anchor to hold in the wind so we quit after a half hour or so with no sign of shad or stripers.
It started raining at about 8:00 Wednesday night and didn't stop all night and it rained off and on all day Thursday. Again we fished all day with out much success. We tried almost every cove in the area with spoons and tried trolling crankbaits both on the downriggers and off the planer boards without a bite. We ended up fishing topwater for LMB & SMB in the coves and caught a few SMB in the 10-15 inch range, and 1 LMB about 14". Again we headed back to camp for dinner so we could try to night fish again even though the skies were clearing and there was a full moon.
This time the wind wasn't bad so we went down and tied up to the floating restroom and put out the light. Then I realized I had left the anchovies in the other cooler back at camp so we had no bait. I thought we would wait a few minutes to see if any shad came in and try to snag some for bait. We had a few shad start coming in within about 15 minutes so I put on a treble hook and soon snagged up a few and put them in the cooler on ice. We rigged up two rods and dropped them down to about 40 feet. We tried for two hours or so with only one missed bite even though we had some shad in the area. Maybe it was the full moon but the stripers (or the shad) never seemed to come in very well so we gave up and went back to camp.
Friday morning dawned clear and cool. A typical post frontal blue bird day with very little wind. It warmed up into the 60's by afternoon and t-shirts were comfortable. I thought fishing would be tough but we did better than I thought we would. We finally caught a few stripers jigging wallylure spoons in about 60 feet in several of the small coves. They were all in the 3-5 pound range, nice and healthy and great fighters. They were hitting very softly on the drop. You really had to watch your line or you would miss them. We didn't feel any of them hit. We either had the line go slack before it should have on the drop and we set or they were just there when you went to jig back up.
We decided to head back up towards Bullfrog and fish for SMB & LMB in Halls bay. We did quite well on spinnerbaits and rattletraps in the murkier water in the backs of the coves. We landed a dozen or so SMB up to 15 inches and one very nice LMB that was 19" that's in the attached picture.
Even on a Friday of UEA weekend there were only maybe two dozen trucks total on the ramp at Bullfrog. The place seemed deserted. I've seen more people than that in January before. Water temp was 61-62 in Bullfrog bay on Friday the 29th.
Anyway we had a great time once again despite the bad weather the first two days. Catching could have been better but given the full moon and the weather we did alright.
Date Received: November 8, 2004 - G D Beckett
Thanks again for the advice Wayne. As promised, here is our bleak fishing report, but a great outing! We fished around the coves of Rincon, Iceberg, & Slick Rock. There were lots of fish on the scope, mostly hanging around 60 - 80 ft where the water was deep enough. There were no surface signs of activity short of the rare surface splash; no shad, no boils, no birds. I was able to trick up a good striper & smallmouth (iron & hologram plastic), but the others were not as lucky. We threw just about everything & the kitchen sink at them. Iron, plastics, powerbait, diving rattlers, surface stuff, trolling, slow trolling bait, chum chovies, you name it. What we weren't able to do was the thing most desired: run the lake looking for active fish signs. We had steering problems associated with the early deep freeze up here in the mountains. So by the time we went back to Bullfrog for help, couldn't find any, duct-tape rigged a backup solution, etc., we didn't have a much fishing & running time as we would have liked. Always next time.
So, there you have it. An outstanding time at the Lake, but not too many fish. Don't know how other boaters did, but the few around us were just as skunked, so maybe is wasn't soley our defective fishing techniques. Take care, & we'll be back soon!
|December 13, 2004 - Dennis Garmann, Junction Utah
We night fished at Halls house boat field and caught 12 stripers from 2 to 7 lbs. Also one walleye. Next morning we trolled along the island West of house boats with no luck. So went to Halls creek. I like to troll in less than 50 feet of water. I was using a Cordell Spot and stump jumper with lead line which gets down 30 ft.
There were more stripers just up from the trees than I have seen all year. Cant figure that out. Had double hook ups several times. Caught 12 more huge stripers they are sure in good shape. Had two grocery sacks full of fillets. O Happy DAY.
I have been seeing real small shad at night but at Halls they were nice big shad. I thought that was my last trip for the winter but not sure now. I never seen striper fishing this good so late in the season.
This has been an unusual year for stripers. I have enjoyed 5 trips this fall.
|December 14, 2004 - Marty Peterson
Summary: night fished Halls Buoy Field Friday night 12/10/04. Three of us caught 40 Stripers. Largest, 28” 8.3 pounds. Two at 26” 5.9 pounds. Several more over 5 pounds. Second night, 12/11, two of us landed 20 Stripers. Several in the 5+ range. All on anchovies and jig heads or circle hooks.
|Arrived in Bullfrog Friday evening. Launched with no problems. Found that the newest Lake level has made the ride to Halls a little longer. Need to stay in the main channel. Basically straight line from Bullfrog Ramp to Halls Ramp. Cannot shortcut towards Moki anymore. So be careful if traveling at night without prior day scout.|
|We set up in the Buoy Field as near the main channel across from Stanton Creek as possible. This was right at dark. We set out our new killer fish light (new product similar to the other 4 foot green lights but extra durable). By 6pm we started catching fish. Had a couple break our lines. Combination of aggressive fish and poor line and drags. After getting rid of any line previously touched by cable and back-reeling, we never lost another. Used quarter ounce and lighter jig heads with piece of anchovy.|
|Tried some frozen shad. Shad did not work as well for anyone as the
anchovies the first night. About 6:30 Richard Snow caught his new
personal best Striper of 8.3 pounds. Had to break out the scale for this
one. He had on a green jig head, and 10 lb P-line.
The Shad had started to gather around the light by this time. They did not get thick enough to darken the graph for another hour or so. By 7 or so we started to enjoy condensation on everything. But with the fish biting and being dressed right this did not bother us too much till morning. The fish generally were biting rather gently. Several just took the bait and self hooked. But most needed the hook set and only barely made the rod tip move. Cary Hill who had wrapped up nice and comfy in a sleeping bag never hooked any after falling asleep but landed 4 or 5 the first hours while awake. The fishing slowed around 11. And our smallest fish were after that. We quit around midnight. Saturday we talked with someone who started fishing around 4 am that morning and caught some.
We camped on shore nearby to avoid traveling far in the dark. The condensation made for a damp night. In the morning we semi dried out in the sun while filleting fish. Also caught two 3 pound catfish there.
After putting 84 fillets on ice we spent the day searching for Striper schools. Looked in Moki and around Stanton. None found. Did catch a couple of SMB on anchovies.
Set up early in the Buoy Field on Saturday night. Cary caught one and missed several other Stripers before dark even. After that no more bites until 7 or so. By this time we had maybe twice as many shad circling as the night before. The catching was slower this second night. I tried shad again and had about the same success as with anchovy. The fish seemed less aggressive. The rod tip needed more attention. I tried several line and hook combinations. For me, 8 pound Vanish and 10 pound Stren line seemed to work fine. Some green 8 pound XT did not entice as well this time. Had equal success with a circle hook or jig head.
Enjoyed the meteors a little better the second night, as a passing boats wake, right at dark sent Cary’s lantern overboard. We were also better prepared for the condensation. The bites slowed again around 11 and only landed one between then and midnight. So headed to camp. Had even learned that putting a plastic bag over the porta potti back at camp can increase comfort levels later.
In the morning we semi dried our stuff, filleted fish and went home. Left the boat. Going back down in January.
Had fish for dinner at work tonight. Wonderful stuff.
|December 21, 2004 - Dennis Garmann
My son and family came up from San Diego and wanted to go striper fishing so just had to go back one more time. Arrived at lake monday night dec 20 just as the sun was going behind hills. Headed for Halls house boat field but didn't graph many fish so we rigged up at the same spot I did so well last time.
About 2 hours later we had 0 stripers and no shad came into our light so at 7 PM we untied and I said lets go back to Bullfrog Marina and see if we can catch some crappie. When we arrived at covered slips we tied up under an over head light and right away started graphing large amounts of fish. My grand daughter caught the first striper a few minutes later and it was one hook up after another. We caught 16 stripers and no crappie. What a great time. We had lost more fish then we caught on those dreaded cables that run everywhere so might have to go to heavier line. Water was 60 feet and fish were from 30 to bottom and no shad came in at all I guess they all went to the happy hunting ground in deep water. Stopped fishing at 12 midnight and went back to dock and bedded down for the night.
|December 17, 2004 - Dennis Garmann
Went down to bull frog again this week and back to halls creek, there were fish there but couldn't get them to take anything. Some guy said he had been fishing for 4 days and only caught 10 fish. real slow. So went night fishing at halls boat field And caught 15 real nice big stripers, up to 7 lb. O HAPPY day Shad came in to my lights and i caught some with treble hook, just snagging them. They were nice big shad 4 - 4.5 inches long. Big fat stripers, can't wait to go back. Yes it was a little cold but i hardly notice.
December 31, 2004 - Ron Hepner
Fishing Report for Dec 27 Thru Dec 30. First off I want to wish Happy New Year to everyone. Bill and I just returned from Bullfrog where we had a wonderful three days of fishing. The 8 hours of driving was well worth it. We arrived Monday and after getting settled down in the Stanton Creek area we ventured out to try some night fishing. We did not know the area very good so we stayed close to camp. We tried it for an hour and caught one fish each - one nice five pound and a 2 ½ pound fish. Bill was not feeling the best so we called it a night.
With the full moon we expected things to be slow so and Bill was not feeling the best so we figured we would check out the area around Bullfrog in case he started to feel worse. We decided to experiment with the JP rigs Kent taught me how to make and use. We didn’t start until 8:30 but I used a 3 oz weight on one pole and a 4 oz on another pole one at about 30 feet down and the other at 40 feet down. Bill decided to use the down rigger and set it at 30 feet. He took the small weight off and attached the JP rig directly to the cannon ball.
I was going to shoot for 70 foot of water to troll in but the bottom changed so much and so fast we had to work really hard to keep from hitting the bottom a lot. We started catching fish right away and they were all in the 5 to 6 lb range. It was great. We spent a lot of time figuring out how to position everything so that we had a routine. Simple things like where to put the hooks that needed to be baited, how to place everything in the boat so we could keep up with the fishing. It took quit a while to tire the fish down. It was a blast. By the time we made it to the marina our cooler was full. It only took 7 fish to fill the sucker up. They were longer than the cooler. We had to head back to camp to take care of the fish and change to the 55 gallon cooler.
We made a place in the rocks to put the fish carcasses until we could haul them out with us. After soaking up the sun and beautiful weather we went out again and did not get 10 feet from shore and the crows were into the fish carcasses. A minute later a coyote grabbed one and was heading back into the tumble weeds. We fished until dark and had a great time. I quit using the second pole because we could not keep up with the action of two poles and rebaiting all the time. The only thing that could have made the day better would have been if Bill would have been feeling better.
It got dark really fast so we had a trick finding our way back to camp. The clouds moved in and boy was it dark. With a spot light everything looked the same. A friend lent me his GPS so it helped us find our way. It rained all night and Bill was miserable but fishing was at our doorstep so he got up despite the way he felt. By the time we got the fish taken care of and set for a wet day it was late getting out on the water. We had 20 crows and 3 coyotes watching us taking care of the fish this day. Everything was muddy and we were 20 pounds heavier by the time we tried to head out because of mud on the boots. With it being so dark all night I though it would be a great day of fishing especially after being spoiled the day before.
I had high expectations for nonstop action. We decided to stick with what was working so we worked on refining our approach. I decided that I was not catching any more or less than Bill so I started using the down rigger. Things were a little slower and the fish were smaller than the day before. They were hitting differently. We were missing a few fish and had established some areas were we were always getting fish or hits. I could not figure out how a fish could get the bait off of the hook and not get a hook in him. I was busy all day but we only landed 10 fish. I could not get my hands dry. It rained all day and when the wind picked up out of the west Bill wanted to get warm so we quit at 2:00.
We had found a favorite area around the south west end of the house boats. I learned the hard way that when the rigs get roughed up that it was time to retire them or loose them. Despite our efforts to keep the boat clean, the floor was red. Bill wanted to hit the sleeping bag to see if he could shake the cold a little, so we were in bed by 7:00.
By 5:00 AM I had bed sores and talked him into going out early. I learned that you have to be set up better than we were to troll in the dark It was really tough. It seemed that every time we caught a fish near the main channel it was a small fish and that was the case for the first half hour in the dark. We drug one around and could not see the rod move and of course he managed to tangle up with the other line. We were used to having the line ripping out for 50 feet after the first hit. Trying to take care of that in the dark and keep track of where we were proved to be quite a chore. The wind started to blow from the North then from the east then the north again finally settling on a constant south wind. By 8 AM we had 10 fish. It was a beautiful day except for the wind. It was tough trying to keep things slow enough to catch fish.
We found fish just about everywhere. Some areas proved to be more productive than others but the fish were more abundant in the deep water. We caught more and bigger fish at 40 feet down than at 30 feet on Thursday. I saw fish come from 90 feet down and slam into our rigs at 40 feet down. The JP rig was dynamite in our book. We caught 21 fish on Thursday all but three over 4 pounds the biggest being 6.5 lbs. And 26 inches long. I know I need an electric fillet knife for the next trip. If Bill would have been feeling better and we could have fished like we normally do I think we could have easily doubled the number of fish we caught.
We had to chain up to get out of the mud in Stanton Creek. If it is going to rain stay back on the hard packed path. It had a day to dry out so most of it was just fine but as you get closer to the water it turns to muck with a little rain.
Oh one more thing that we learned about the marina is that the crow at the dock is very good at living out of boats. Before I made it to the end of the dock he was in the boat. I put a hat on my bread and he found that in about 10 seconds and was having his way with it before I got back to the boat. I put everything under coats and stuff and was going to head up the rest rooms and after going about 100 yard decided to take a turn and wait for Bill in the boat, by the time I got back to the boat that crow had pulled the coat off of Bills grocery sack tore open the side and was feasting on his sandwich rolls. I hope to try some of the other methods you all have shared with me on my next trip down. Thanks for all the help. Sorry about no pictures Bill and I are real mad about that oversight on our part.