Two distinct patterns are now in place making it much easier for anglers to find stripers. Striped bass adults are hungry for shad that hide in the backs of coves and canyons. Shad are shallow and stripers are deep, guarding the migration route leading to the shad sanctuary. Stripers are found by graphing the submerged creek channel leading to the back of most short coves. Consistent holding depth for striper schools is 40-60 feet.
My search pattern involves graphing the breaking edge of the submerged channel. I like to look at the bottom from 45-50 feet very near the edge leading to shallower water. Lately most fish traces graphed in this zone have been striped bass. Shad, both gizzard and threadfin, are shallow. Bass are in the brush. So any traces in deeper water are likely stripers.
To confirm fish identity drop a spoon straight down, let it hit bottom and then jig it two feet off bottom and let it fall back a couple of times. If no takers speed reel quickly in 15 foot bursts, then jig the spoon once more art mid depth. This gets the attention of resting stripers who then may show interest as the spoon descends to the bottom once more. A combination of speed reeling and rapidly descending spoons usually gets a striper school going within 5 minutes early in the morning.
Second Pattern: Stripers are more often found on steep canyon walls after 9 AM. Cut bait, first chummed and then hooked on a short shank, lightweight jig head is an unbeatable combination right now. Look for a cliff wall than ends near a rocky flat or rockslide where resting stripers have a close venue to forage on crayfish. Chum excites the resting school. Once started, the school feeds for about an hour before shutting down once more. Catches of 25-50 three-pound fish are common right now.
You will find striper school composition with larger fish resting on the bottom (50-60 feet) with mid-sized fish in the middle and small young of year stripers near the surface. Once the school starts feeding the size classes mix and any size fish can be caught. Often a few fish will hit the surface but we have found surface action includes only the small and mid size stripers. Bigger fish are usually deeper.
Regular boils with adult stripers still happen morning and evening near the inflowing water of the Colorado and San Juan.
By: Wayne Gustaveson September 1, 2010
Lake Elevation: 3634 Water Temperature 75-78 F
Bass fishing is steady for those using drop shot rigs and fishing the ends of rocky points leading into the main channel or the submerged creek channels leading to shad sanctuaries.
Fishing is great! Expect to catch lots of stripers. Lake water is still warm so put fish in a cooler on ice. Don’t put them on a stringer in the warm water where decomposition will be accelerated