Fall has arrived with cool nights stealing the heat from the water surface. Surface temperature has dropped 5 degrees this week to a delightful 72 degrees. That is a perfect temperature for bass and stripers. The current water level is identical to last year. Fish that have been deep in the main channel will now have the opportunity to move to shallow flats along the edges of the main channel and closer to the backs of canyons. Expect to find game fish near rooted aquatic weeds. Look for “fish grass” as the declining lake exposes weed beds that house sunfish and shad. Predators will key on these green grass pastures as they search for feeding opportunities this fall.
Look for sandy coves lined with aquatic weeds or slick rock coves with some tumbleweed piles scattered around. Motor to the backs of the canyon and visibly search the shallows for tall aquatic weeds. Look in water less than 10 feet deep so weeds can easily be seen from the surface. Bass are in the weeds now but expect stripers to be working into shallower water with each passing day.
Grass beds are found in Padre Bay, Friendship Cove, Rock Creek, Dungeon Canyon and many canyons up lake to the Rincon, including the San Juan. I suspect that this pattern will work up lake from Bullfrog to Good Hope but it won’t be as important in the northern lake where more shad are available. In the southern lake, plastic tube jigs fished along the weed tops will be the most productive technique. In the northern lake, vertically jigging slab spoons along the bottom will provide the most action. As water temperature declines, the success of suspending crankbaits will increase dramatically as bass and stripers move shallow.
Info supplied by the UT Division of Wildlife