Striper attitude is changing a bit. In the southern lake, striper boils occur every morning and evening. Open water boils in the bays seem to be quicker with fewer fish in each group.
If quick boils are prevalent but hard to approach, the best strategy is to troll through the boil zone with a rattletrap or pointer to catch fish at a steady pace.
Another option is to follow the descending school with a spoon or small weighted swimbait. Stop the spoon at about 15 feet and then work it back erratically to catch stripers as they regroup for the next surface assault.
Boiling action is picking up in the backs of canyons. Striper boils in Navajo Canyon are now more numerous during the last hour of daylight. Look for more boils toward the backs of canyons in the southern lake.
When trolling we have found that striper catch rate increases five-fold when using lighter line. My normal trolling outfit has 12-pound test fluorocarbon line. When I put the same lure on six-pound fluorocarbon line (leader) catch rate increases dramatically. It is believed that lighter line increases lure action and running depth, and reduces line visibility. While the actual cause is unknown the results are dramatic. Try it and see if lighter line increases trolling success.
A welcome change is that more adult stripers are now being caught in the south. Trolling is still the most effective technique. The best location is irregular brushy terrain where bottom depth is 25 to 40 feet. An area with lots of drop-offs seems to hold more adult stripers than one with a flat sandy bottom.
In the north, both adult and juvenile stripers are boiling in the same early morning and late evening time slot. It is believed that shad size is larger in the north resulting in more interest from the bigger fish.
Walleye continue to be caught in surprising numbers. One interesting technique that seems to work well is to locate walleye by looking for striper boils. Small slurping stripers chasing shad in the brush seem to excite walleye. Find a slurp and approach the stripers but donít cast to surface feeding fish. Instead drop a spoon or tube or swimbait to the bottom under the boil for a quick walleye hook up.
Walleye are still being caught trolling the tree tops or fishing on bottom in the brush line with tube baits or plastic grubs. Trolling open water with bottom bouncers and live worm harnesses is always effective for walleye.
Smallmouth bass are caught more often than any other species. Drop shot or Carolina rigged plastic baits fished from 15 to 35 feet are very effective.
Bass are willing to hit top water baits during twilight hours. The old standard single tail Yamamoto plastic grubs still work very well. New plastic bass baits that are mentioned more often are brush hogs and beavers.
Big largemouth bass are not done. There have been at least two five-pounders caught recently.
Largemouth are tight to the trees in the backs of the canyons and coves. Like most other game fish the best time to catch them is early and late each day.
One of the recent captures was taken on a lipless vibrator lure in the back of Wahweap at dusk.
Wayne Gustaveson is the Lake Powell project leader with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources. Check out his website at http://www.wayneswords.com.
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