Information compiled by Wayne Gustaveson, www.wayneswords.com
Attention: Lake Powell is infested with quagga mussels. Protect other Utah waters by cleaning and draining the water from your boat before leaving Lake Powell. Your boat must be dried for 18 days before launching in another water. If you plan to launch soonet, a professional decontamination is required. Locate a decontamination station and learn about quagga mussels.
Lake elevation: 3,629 feet
Water temperatures: 78–81°F
I had the pleasure of fishing with Adam Eakle who hosts hunting and fishing videos for KSL TV (Channel 5 in Salt Lake City). Adam wanted to make a video of striper boil fishing. The video will air on KSL on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. We agreed to fish in the northern lake on Sept. 7 because stripers were not boiling well in the southern lake.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson.
Boils have been consistent in the northern lake from Good Hope Bay to White Canyon. The best time to see them is from 7–9 a.m. and 4–6 p.m. After the boils cease, you can still catch stripers on spoons in the vicinity of the boil.
With this information to guide us, we launched from Bullfrog at dawn and headed uplake scanning for boils as we cruised. We saw a nice sunrise at Buoy 110. A few minutes later, near Buoy 113, we saw our first boil. It was small and widespread, but we caught our first stripers of the day. Around the next corner, Buoy 114, we found the first big boil and caught stripers on top for the next 40 minutes. We cruised uplake, looking for more, and saw them near the left hand wall just past the floating restroom. We caught boiling fish constantly for the next 45 minutes. When the stripers went down, five anglers quickly filleted over 100 stripers with electric knives on our boat. With the fillets cooling in the ice chest, we resumed our trip to White Canyon. We were not disappointed to see a quick boil as we neared Battleship Rock. These fish did not stay on top long, so we used spoons to catch a few more. Then we turned around to head back down lake and ran into another boil at 10:20 a.m. The total count from White Canyon was 30 more stripers, which brought the morning total to 130 fish. Not a bad day. The breeze was increasing, so we headed in.
On June 12, we launched at Wahweap Stateline and passed through the Castle Rock Cut. Anglers had caught stripers on the Warm Creek side of Castle Rock the day before using spoons, with a few fish hitting the surface. We saw a few fish come up behind Castle Rock. We headed for the splash rings, but no more fish surfaced. A quick look at the graph changed our attitude and we switched from surface fishing to deep water spoons. Once we deployed spoons, the stripers jumped into the boat for the next half hour. When the sonar screen went blank, we saw stripers breaking the surface near the shore. We grabbed the surface lures and rushed toward shore, where we caught another 10 fish in widespread boils. With 30 fish in the cooler, we headed toward the back of Warm Creek but were delayed near the floating restroom by a bigger and tighter boil. We caught 20 more stripers from this boil on surface lures. The surface action was over by 9 a.m. At the fish cleaning station, we counted 55 stripers that we had caught in less than three hours.
This week's report is simple. Look for surface action for the first three hours of each morning. Cast surface lures to the boiling fish. After they go into deeper water, find them on the graph and drop spoons to the bottom to catch many more. Striper fishing is hot. Expect this to continue through the rest of September and into October. Boil time is the first three hours after daylight and then the last two hours before dark. They also come up randomly during the day.
Smallmouth bass have been reportedly boiling with stripers on the San Juan. Stripers chase shad, which run toward the shore where they can hide in the brush line. Bass wait in the brush for shad to swim by and ambush them. Near shore this morning, we caught some nice two-pound smallmouth on surface lures while casting to stripers.
Fishing is heading towards a fall peak that has not been seen for a very long time. Don't leave home without a surface lure and a spoon close at hand.