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Scattered rain showers through the end of the week followed by the possibility of high pressure moving into the state on the weekend make good conditions to go fishing, but fish activity levels may slacken a little.
Typically fish will feed more heavily when storms are visiting the state, and can become less active on those blue-bird stays following such climatic events. However, since the days are getting shorter and the nights are typically getting cooler, this also means fish will be transitioning to fall feeding activities.
So even if the bite slows down temporarily, expect it to pick right back up again. Also on the positive side, the expected warmer clear weather should make being outdoors even more pleasant, especially in the high mountains.
Plus, with Labor Day weekend behind us, fishing pressure and even recreational boating activities should slacken considerably.
My top choices for right now are the lakes with striped bass. Stripers can feed very aggressively at the surface this time of year, making them a ball to fish. But even then, sometimes they can be picky about the lures they will chase. Be prepared to try topwater first, then switch to shad-imitating crankbaits, spoons, jerkbaits or whatever. A good rule of thumb is to try and mimic the size of shad the stripers are chasing.
The lakes to try for stripers include Havasu, Pleasant, Mead, Mohave and Powell. If the weather patterns follow as predicted this weekend, fishing conditions on the giant reservoirs might be terrific. Storms, wind and waves can make the huge reservoirs a challenge, to say the least.
Roosevelt holds lots of potential action right now, but be versatile and keep moving until you find the action. Some anglers are doing well at times with buzzbaits, which can be an absolute ball. Be sure to have a second pole rigged with a flutter-down bait for those bass that strike short of the buzzer.
With the moon in its last quarter in Sept. 11 and a new moon on Sept. 18, fishing at night should still be pretty viable under lights.
Also, with less moisture in the air this weekend (according to weather predictions), the night sky over our desert and mountain lakes should provide a star-studded spectacular for nighttime anglers. Binoculars on a boat at night can get you up close and personal with the heavenly bodies, in between catching fish that is.
With autumn just around the corner, we are entering one of the best times to fish, and certainly one of the most scenic times of year, especially in the high country.
This past weekend, we heard bull elk just starting to bugle in the mountains at last light – this is the leading edge of the rut. So get away from the sound pollution and listen to the twilight forest sounds.