July 26. 2018 - Stripers Boil in the North Lake

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Lake Powell Fish Report – July 26, 2018

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water temperature: 79 - 84 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Boiling stripers are busting loose in the northern lake. Stripers search for larger shad at first light in the morning and drive them to the surface where they surround the shad school and eat as many as possible. These feeding forays can be seen for a long distance. Since striper boils last longer than slurps it is possible to see the school and quickly drive within casting range. In boils, feeding is intense so virtually any surface lure or shallow running crankbait or spoon cast into the boil will be consumed. This is the beginning of the best striper fishing of the year as stripers switch over from slurping small shad to crushing bigger shad.

Boils have been seen in Good Hope Bay along the shoreline. Stripers feed more effectively when they trap shad, not only against the surface, but also against the shoreline which limits the escape routes for fleeing shad. Slurps were previously seen in the backs of the canyons and coves where small shad reside but now the open bays have larger shad so stripers have moved there. Small groups of stripers are in the open bays but they are either single fish on top or a resting school at depth. The single stripers can be caught occasionally but catching is more productive when a feeding school is found closer to shore.

Wind and rain can stop these boils but stripers are patient and will start feeding on the surface again as soon as the water calms and shad become visible once more. Stripers go deep while waiting for shad. If a school is seen on the graph stripers can be caught on spoons deployed directly under the boat.

In the rest of the lake there are still more slurps than boils. These slurps are starting to get a bit “jumpy” as a few larger shad are swimming with the newly hatched shad. Larger shad swim faster and cause chasing stripers to speed up and hit the surface in the process. Over the length of the lake it is wise to keep an eye out for any surface disturbance. If it is big and bold it is worth it to stop and fish. If the disturbance is small and quick then it may be better to wait until a bigger more aggressive striper group is found.

Smallmouth bass fishing is steady along the rocky shorelines and over newly visible rock islands that are appearing as the lake level declines. It has been a really good year for catching larger (2- pound plus) bass on a variety of plastic baits fished along the bottom. Still the best technique is to use topwater baits in the early morning hours along the rocky shoreline and on rocky points sticking out into the main lake.

Largemouth bass can be found in coves with lots of aquatic weed growth. The most common weed is Spiny Niada. Look for coves where the bottom is covered with green plants from the surface to 10 feet deep sometimes covering more than an acre of lake bottom. Largemouth bass love weedy cover. Unfortunately it is difficult to work a lure in the weed zone. The good news is that largemouth will come up to hit a loud surface lure like a Whopper Plopper with early morning or late evening being the best time to fish.


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