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Home Anglers Corner October 3, 2016 - San Juan Boils

October 3, 2016 - San Juan Boils

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Hi Wayne, Jason Reden here. I , along with 11 others were on my aunt & uncles houseboat, "Kapa Lua", from Sept 16th - 23rd. My cousin Brent, good friends Steve and Pete and I did most of the fishing through the week. We left Antelope Pt. Saturday morn and traveled all day straight to the San Juan where we always camp way up between the the two big bays. We've always done well there but it was a full moon that week and we all thought that would hinder fishing.  Not so!  It was on Fire !  Brent and I set out early Sunday morning and headed up river toward the last huge bay scouting for striper boils. Water was flat as glass and excellent for spotting crashing fish. We saw our first tell tale sign in the back of big bay as the stripers had shad pinned in a large cove and were crashing like tuna. It was on !  We were throwing 1oz. Krocodiles over the boils and hooking nice 2-4lb. Healthy fish. We stayed on them for a good hour until they left the cove.


We then headed back toward the channel ( right below the big arch hole that people hike to ) where we saw a few boils. We cut the motor and threw on them. Bang! It was on, and like no other time we had ever seen.  We're from San Diego and the only way I can describe it, is Tuna Boil.  This huge school of stripers did not leave, and Brent and I caught 2 -5lb. Fish for two hours straight! We quit keeping count, but we had to have boated 50+ fish.  We shook our heads as we left the feeding school to go get others in on the action.  Steve, Pete and Brent did go back and caught more. I stayed at camp and had fun with the smallmouth on 2lb. Line. Good stuff...  a very small spoon is all you need.  


Monday morning Brent, Pete and I headed back to the same "Arch area" to see if possibly the stripers would show up like they did Sunday.   As we got close we could see sprays of water glimmering through the sun.  Bang! It was on again... fast and furious for an hour or two.  Usually schools will boil fast and leave, not this one.  The shad ball they were feeding on must have been enormous as they were being pushed up to the cliff and skipping onto the rocks trying to evade the onslaught.  Very exciting indeed !  Again, a 1oz. Krocodile or any Hopkins type spoon will work.  They cast a mile and sink quickly if needed. We catch most every fish on them including Walleye and an occasional Catfish.  If stripers aren't boiling, send it down 60-100 ft. And crank up fast. This works great if you don't have a graph and are trying to get something going.  Go from cliff to cliff, or even deep places you wouldn't normally fish, and drop your spoon way down.  The key is to twitch and jerk the spoon as you reel ridiculously fast. Very fun...


A storm came in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It rained but the wind wasn't bad so Brent and Steve went up to big bay and tried graphing fish ( none of us are real savvy with the graph ) anyway, they said a big red ball showed up on graph so they dropped spoons. Bang! They got into nice 2-5lb. Healthy fish down deep.  We've read some of Wayne's reports on gizzard shad, and we think that that's probably what the red ball was.  Good stuff Wayne...


Thursday night the winds from hell blasted the back of our houseboat. 3-4ft. Waves crashed directly over the back rail filling both engine compartments and into the lower bedrooms of the boat. " Kapa Lua" went down...   Luckily we were parked on a fairly shallow beach in Warm Water bay or things could have really gotten ugly.  The boat rested on the props in about 10-12ft. Of water.  Brent's 20' Regal boat was blown onto shore and tipped sideway, and filled with water. It's a loss.  Steves 18' center console boat was also blown ashore but we managed to shove it back upright, and it saved the day by towing both beached wave runners and the Regal back to Antelope Pt. Friday morning.   We've been through some monster storms at Powell in the past but this was the perfect storm... hitting us from directly behind, the bilges couldn't keep up with 4' crashing waves straight over the back rail. It happened in a matter of minutes.  Powell is by far the best fishing, and most beautiful place I've ever been, and the storms are just part of the deal. ( I'm sure my uncle Greg would have something to say about that ).  I'm sure we'll all be just a little more weary of wind direction, and where we park next trip.  One thing is for sure though, the Reden's will be back next year to hammer on the stripers again !


Jason Reden...