September 29, 2021
Lake Elevation 3545
Water temperature 74 F
The good news is that a new ramp will be open this week. The Stateline Auxiliary Ramp has been under construction for a long time and was recently opened to those launching large vessels. October 1st this ramp will become Wahweap’s main launching area for all private boats and will serve all boaters. Access to the ramp will be from the old Stateline ramp. Get off the Stateline parking lot, then turn right at the signs for the new ramp. There is a large complex built to park trucks and trailers between the new ramp and the Stateline ramp. We will receive instructions on parking when the new ramp opens this weekend.
After launching, you are invited to go fishing. On my weekly fishing trip we hung out with a rigger on my new boat and found that I was really inexperienced with this method of fishing. I have never used a downrigger before. It took a while, but eventually I had some deep water trolling under my belt. This experience will give me more confidence and will result in some great catches in the coming days. The water cools (74F) but is still too hot for adult tracers to remain on the surface for long periods of time. A down rigger allows you to fish at mid-depth (30-70 feet) where adult stripers hang out.
The trolling ended quickly as I noticed that many creeks were emerging from the water as the lake continued to decline. Some of the shallow coves had piles of green brush that was visible from a great distance. It made sense that these scrubby coves were home to both large and smallmouth bass. Plastic baits were deployed and soon many smallmouth bass grabbed the shiny and colorful plastic baits. We have used many different colors of plastic baits and caught fish on most of them. The secret was to lay the deep water side of the brush pile and work the plastic bait slowly along the bottom in 5 to 25 feet of water. Some coves had vast green plants growing on the bottom and others were just sand and rocks. In shallow coves, brush was essential for catching fish.
We finally worked the shaded shore of the main channel with high cliffs and rock slides by the water’s edge. The bass were at the bottom in 15 to 30 feet of water and were eager to grab the plastic baits as they bounced off the rocks under the boat. Those deep basses were a bit bigger than those in the scrubby coves, but all of them were fun to catch. The highlight of the day was a huge largemouth bass which grabbed a green plastic double tailed worm and bolted to the surface and jumped several times before it got within range of the boat. Just as I hit the net, the big bass jumped out once more and broke the line, then disappeared. I give big bass credit for about 5 pounds of weight. My biggest disappointment is that I didn’t get a picture of the big fish to use in this report.
The success of the North Lake fishery continues to be strong. Striper’s boils continue. If you are looking for some good striper fishing, go north! Bait fishing still operates in the South Lake. If I have a choice between catching stripers on surface lures or using baits, I will choose surface water every time. If you are stuck in the lower lake (like me) you can use bait to catch the stripers. Have a good fishing trip, which you will enjoy as the daily warm air temperature continues to cool to normal.
The new Wahweap auxiliary launch pad will open in October 2021.
The barges are now launched on the new ramp.