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July 29, 2020 - Boils Paused

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
July 29, 2020
Lake Elevation 3606
Water Temperature 80-86

It was so exciting to report about striper boils beginning last week. Stripers were hitting topwater lures lake wide from about dawn to 10 AM. Last Friday we found lots of small boils between Friendship Cove and Rock Creek. Then as we headed uplake on Saturday, the excitement drained away when boils did not come up. What happened? My guess is a combination of events beginning with a drop in Barometric Pressure, followed by shad movement to a safer location. Regardless of the cause, the result was a lake wide decline in striper boils. Don't worry. Boils will return soon - maybe today. Until then, here are some fishing techniques that are still working.

The thermocline (boundary between warm and cool water) traps adults stripers in deeper, cooler water. They can race to the surface and chase shad for a minute or two, then they have to dive to deeper water to cool down. Look for striper schools on the graph. They will be holding at 25 feet or deeper. Trolling is an effective means of putting a deep diving lure in range of stripers. You can use a Berkley Dredger that dives to 25 feet, or a down rigger with a regular striper lure attached.

Another option is to drop a spoon down quickly when striper schools light up the the graph. These techniques are effective in catching stripers, walleye and smallmouth bass. The lake is hot with water temperatures in the 80s. Sport fish are more challenging to catch in these conditions.

Adult smallmouth bass are holding beneath the thermocline as well. Bass anglers are better equipped to catch bass in deeper water with plastic baits. Just drop the plastic grub down to 20-40 feet instead of fishing at 5-15 feet. Bigger fish are deeper. Unfortunately, bass fishing slowed down along with striper boils.

There are some shallow sunfish in brushy coves and holding on rocky structure. Use very small jigs and a piece of worm to entice bluegill and green sunfish to bite.

Night fishing is great for catfish. They seem larger in size and more numerous this year. Catfish really like night crawlers and other baits, such as table scraps.

Here is an unusual event that happened this week. Bill Gundlach decided to bank fish from Wahweap Fishing Dock. But, it was slow and he got bored there, so he walked over to the rock cliff wall on the west side and cast out his Whopper Plopper (surface lure) and got hit hard on the first cast. Whatever hit was big so he cast out again and missed it again, but it was visibly a large fish. He tried again and missed. On the 4th cast the fish hit it hard and stuck! He fought this fish for about 5 minutes and then pulled in a 22.5 inch walleye. He could not believe how big the fish was, that he caught a walleye on a surface lure, and all this occurred at 7:30 PM from shore.

Congratulations Bill - You are the only person I know to ever catch a walleye on a surface lure. WG

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