June 17, 2020 - Striper Slurps and Smallmouth Bass

wayne gustaveson

Staff member
June 17, 2020
Lake Elevation 3610
Water Temperature 70-76 F

Catching fish on surface lures is just about the most fun possible while fishing. “Striper slurps” are getting bigger and lasting longer. Slurps began last week with fast action by 10 fish rising quickly to the surface and then dropping back down in less than a minute. This week expect shad pods to be bigger, allowing stripers to stay on top longer. A few full-fledged boils erupted recently. That was the exception, with most surface action coming from 2-pound stripers feeding on small shad.

Location: Expect to find slurps from Dangling Rope all the way to the northern end of Lake Powell. Hotspots from last week included, San Juan arm, mouth of Escalante (Buoy 64-68), Lake Canyon to Iceberg, Rincon to Annie’s Canyon, and Halls Creek.

Technique: When slurps are up for a very short time, it may be best to fish with a small plastic grub, small surface lure, or small crank bait. Drive the boat quickly to the slurp. Stop just out of casting range to prevent spooking the school. As the boat drifts into range, cast in front of the leading fish. DO NOT throw into the middle of a slurp. A large lure splashing causes the school to spook and dive to deep water. A good cast in front of the lead fish is the best possibility of hooking a fish.

When the school dives, look for them on the graph. As soon as the school appears, drop a spoon down to their holding depth. Stripers tend to drop down to 30-40 feet right after leaving the surface. If you react quickly, it is possible to catch more fish on spoons than surface lures. The school will only be visible on the graph for two minutes or less. When fishing slurps everything has be done quickly with precision and accuracy to catch stripers.

Larger stripers are starting to reappear now that spawning is over. We caught some on bait, others on deep trolling lures. Fishing for adult stripers is not fast, but it is improving. Look for big stripers in deeper water. They will be reforming into larger schools as they prepare to boil on large shad schools beginning next month.

Smallmouth bass are still dependable. Numbers caught now are less than in the spring. Ned rigs, plastic worms and grubs fished slowly on the bottom in 10-30 feet of water are still working well. Rocky habitat is the key to finding bass.

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Largemouth Bass - Caught last week.

Sunfish schools are in shallow ravines with ample brush where water depth is less than 10 feet. A small hook with a piece of worm is the best technique.

Walleye are still lurking along the edges of brushy coves searching for forage. They like to attack fish that swim by their hiding place instead of chasing after fast moving forage fish. Use a slow moving plastic bait with a piece of worm attached to entice them into feeding. They will attack a slow moving bottom-bouncer when the night crawler moves past their hiding place.

Fishing is fair to good now, but it will get a lot better when stripers start to boil.