San Juan - Labor Day Weekend - 24/7 Top Water!

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Fished Lake Powell Saturday 9/2 thru 10am Labor Day 9/4. Left Mesa AZ at 1:40am and launched from stateline at 6:40am. We headed up lake towards padre looking for boils. We had read the reports of lots of boils in the southern end of the lake and decided to we should join in on the fun! We only saw one fleeting boil in the main channel just before labyrinth and caught 1 striper. After that nothing... We drove around for a while all the time heading up lake looking for more boils, but none were to be found. After trying a few spots for smallies we decided to go for broke and just head up to the San Juan and hopefully get away from all of the weekend trafic. Our plan was to just sleep on the boat anyhow so it didn't matter where we went, and my boy really wanted to see more of the lake, so we decided why not. After a quick stop at dangling rope we got into the Juan to find it empty of weekenders and water like glass!!! The whole weekend we only saw a handful of ski boats up there and not one other fishing boat which amazed me with all of the amazing reports.

We got back to the wide open portion of the San Juan around 10:30 and started fishing. We quickly got into a frenzy of smallies with a few stripers pushing shad up on the shore and started catching on whopper ploppers. Fish after fish! Then it settled down and the wife and boy decided to take a nap. I kept fishing and went to throwing my normal lake powell lures (tube jigs, crank baits, spinner baits or drop shot). Nothing... It was a very clear sunny day and there wasn't any more surface activity so I figured that top water lures would be useless at that moment. Boy I was wrong. Finally after seeing another fish on top which I threw my whopper plopper at and caught immediately, I just kept throwing it because I had it in my hand. Well that was the KEY! Smallie after smallie mixed in with largemouth when back in the weeds were coming up and nailing it! After that everything that I had been taught, experienced or learned about when to use top water went out the window. It was the lure of choice for the trip, and exactly what the fish wanted! From then fishing was on! We even had many double hook ups (two fish 1 lure) which was a first for me.

I noticed that these fish (smallies included) were mainly chasing shad and moving along with them, not holding in one place. So where we had great fishing one day could be completely fishless the next if the shad were not there. It was all about being in the right place at the right time. That being said, I did figure out that in the afternoons there were more fish congregated on western shorelines and in the mornings they were on the opposite facing shorelines. These shorelines were not actually in the shade at the time, but they did seem to move from one side to the other depending on the time of day. That, and if you could get your topwater lure back into coves full of weeds you were almost guaranteed to hook into a decent sized largemouth! Good luck getting them out of those weeds though once they took your lure and ran! Haha! It was a blast watching two or more largemouth fighting each other for our lures as they tried to haul them back into the protection of their brush!

All in all the fishing was AWESOME! 370+ fish for the trip! 142 Saturday, 145 Sunday and 92 by 10:00am Monday morning when we had to leave! Of those fish, only around 30 were stripers that came in from boils. The rest were smallmouth and largemouth, and almost all were very good sized fish for Lake Powell! All were extremely aggressive and fought like mad! Many leaping in the air while taking our lures or tossing our lures many feet away only to land and have another fish take them down! My wife even counted 4 casts of hers in a row with a fish on each cast! And MANY more where the fish just missed or tossed our lure!

I have had Many amazing bass fishing trips in my life going down to Mexico and other places, and this one is going down in the record books with some of those best trips ever!!! Never in my life have I been able to catch Top Water fish all day long! It was AMAZING!!! Even better than amazing because I was able to share this one with my wife and our 11 year old boy.


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