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Fishing Report

September 20
13:02 2014

Fish Fish FishFishing is improving over the length of the lake. More striper boils are seen each day and bass are being caught with more regularity.

Striper boils were confined to a few specific spots last week but now boils are seen almost daily.  The best locations in the southern lake include the main channel near the mouth of Navajo Canyon, Gunsight Canyon main channel, Last Chance coves about half way up the canyon and main channel from West Canyon to Wetherill. These boils follow the lake-wide pattern of being most active during the first 2 hours in the morning and the last hour in the evening.  Stripers come up quickly to feed and then go down to regroup before surfacing once more.   This week the boils moved closer to the walls as stripers try to corral shad and trap them in places where there is no escape and feeding is easier for the predators.

At mid lake the best spots are in the San Juan near the mouth and then again from Cha Canyon bay to Neskahi bay. Here the boils are up a bit longer but still the best time is early morning and late evening.

In the northern lake the best action is from the Horn to Trachyte Canyon.  Again early and late are the best times to find surface feeding fish.

During the rest of the day there are still fish to be caught.  It takes a bit more work than stopping near a boil but in the end more fish can be caught deep than on the surface.  To start, chase a boil and then when they quit start trolling and graphing the bottom structure.  Graphing does not work well in the main channel where bottom depth is greater than 100 feet. But in the backs of canyons and coves look for suspended shad schools surrounded by other fish traces.  Toss out a floating marker and continue to troll hoping for a hookup. If no fish are caught trolling, return to the marker and drop spoons, bucktail jigs or plastic grubs to the bottom.  With the tremendous number of shad now available game fish are schooled near large shad schools.  It is possible to catch both bass and stripers under shad schools. Bass will be in large groups instead of randomly scattered along the shoreline.

On some days trolling mid range lures like Shad Raps or Pointers is the best option. On other days the Kastmaster may be the best bet.   Keep changing lures until the favored pattern for the day is discovered.  Trolling might work well or fishing the bottom in likely spots seen on the graph may be best.  The choice is up to the fish and as anglers we have to respond to what the fish are doing if we want a successful catch.

It is gratifying to see the fisheries respond to improved habitat and forage. Over the last 2 years the lake level declined, brush was eliminated, and the fish populations downsized. But now a new younger generation of bass and stripers are responding to the resurgence in lake conditions.  Brush is in the shallow water, shad are at a 10 year peak in abundance, and young game fish are growing fast while enjoying the luxury.

Fishing is more challenging in these ideal conditions when fish do not have to work to eat, but the satisfaction of catching fish now is very rewarding. Do not just use the same old techniques in the same comfort zone that has been ingrained over the years.  Try a new approach of using a variety of lures and fishing techniques to find what the fish want.  You will be surprised at your reward at the end of the day.

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water Temperature 75-79 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson


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