The exciting news is that a new ramp will be opened this week. Stateline Auxiliary Ramp has been under construction for a long time and was recently opened to those launching large vessels. On Oct. 1, that ramp will become the main Wahweap launch area for all private boats and will serve all boaters. Access to the ramp will be from the old Stateline Ramp. Drive down from the Stateline parking lot and then take a right turn at the signs leading toward the new ramp. There is a large complex built to park trucks and trailers between the new ramp and Stateline Ramp. We will receive directions on parking when the new ramp opens this weekend.
After launching, you are invited to go fishing. On my weekly fishing trip, we trolled with a down rigger on my new boat and found out that I was really inexperienced with this method of fishing. I have never used a down rigger before. It took awhile, but I eventually got some deep-water trolling under my belt. That experience will give me more confidence and result in some great catches in the coming days. The water is cooling (74 F) but is still too warm for adult stripers to stay on the surface for long periods of time. A down rigger allows you to fish at mid depth (30-70 feet) where adult stripers are hanging out.
Trolling ended quickly as I noticed many coves coming out of the water as the lake continues to decline. Some of the shallow coves had green brush piles that were visible from a long way off. It made sense that these brushy coves would harbor largemouth and smallmouth bass. Plastic baits were deployed, and soon many smallmouth bass were grabbing the bright and colorful plastic baits. We used many different colors of plastic baits and caught fish on most of them. The secret was to cast to the deep-water side of brush pile and work the plastic baits slowly along the bottom in 5 to 25 feet of water. Some coves had extensive green plants growing on the bottom and others were just sand and rocks. In shallow coves, brush was critical for catching fish.
We eventually worked the shady main channel shoreline with tall cliffs and rock slides at the water’s edge. Bass were on the bottom in 15-30 feet of water and eager to grab the plastic baits as they bounced off the rocks below the boat. These deep bass were a bit larger than those in the brushy coves, but all were fun to catch. The highlight of the day was a huge largemouth bass that grabbed a green plastic double-tailed grub and bolted to the surface and jumped several times before coming in range of the boat. Just as I reached for the net, the big bass jumped one more time and broke the line, then disappeared. I am giving the big bass credit for about 5 pounds of weight. My biggest disappointment is that I did not get a picture of the big fish to use in this report.
Fishing success in the northern lake continues to be strong. Striper boils continue. If looking for great striper fishing, go north! Bait fishing still works in the southern lake. If I have a choice between catching stripers on surface lures or using bait, I am going to choose top water every time. If you are stuck in the lower lake (like me), then it is fine to use bait to catch stripers. Have a great fishing trip, which you will enjoy as the daily hot air temperature continues to cool down to normal.