Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3617
Water Temperature: 80 – 86 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
I keep hoping for reports of striper boils close enough for me to find them in a one day trip from Wahweap. The last boil reports received were almost in range. The surface in the San Juan has been quiet most of the year, but last week striper boils erupted. Surface action was found in the main channel near the mouth of the San Juan and in the San Juan arm as far uplake as the entrance to the Great Bend. The strong boils in Good Hope Bay the previous week calmed down which seems to be the pattern. As soon as the fish report says they are boiling in Good Hope that changes to a new location. So the last good reports were from the San Juan. Now you have to choose where they might come up next.
I do know that our recent mid water trawl samples found mostly gizzard and a few threadfin shad in the Bullfrog area. Shad numbers in the San Juan (Piute Canyon) and Good Hope Bay were similar while Wahweap Bay came in a distant fourth. This information suggests that searching for boils each morning and evening near Bullfrog would be a rewarding experience.
The warm cap on the lake still impacts adult stripers. They can make a quick trip to the surface and catch a few shad but then have to dive quickly to deep, cool water. Adult fish boils will be quick. Prolonged surface action will likely feature juvenile stripers that can stay in the warm surface water full time. Personally, I am very happy to find, catch and keep small stripers that are easy to fillet and great to eat.
Deep stripers that have had a recent shad meal are always susceptible to spoons. Striper schools hold on the bottom, usually on elevated structure such as the top of a submerged rock pile or on the breaking edge of an underwater cliff where depth increases quickly from 30 feet to 50 feet or deeper. While graphing, I keep a spoon in hand and drop it as soon as a school is seen on the graph. As the spoon descends I stop the boat to try to stay over the school. Recently these school fish are quick to hit the spoon the first time it enters the school.
In the southern lake where shad are not abundant, adult stripers hold at 30 feet. They periodically search shallower water for shad, crayfish or sunfish. These fish are best targeted with bait fished at 30-50 feet. Steep canyons walls (near a shallow rocky area) from Warm Creek to Rainbow Bridge are the summer home for huge numbers of stripers. Try 3 different spots on any shady canyon wall and it is likely that you will find stripers in short order.
Walleye are caught sporadically along with largemouth bass. Fish deep water for walleye and brushy coves for largemouth. Smallmouth bass are found in deep water as well except at dusk and dawn when they are susceptible to surface lures.
Panfish are hiding in shallow weed beds and are very willing to eat small live worms on tiny hooks as they shade up under your fishing boat.
Fishing is still great if you fish deep water during the day or in shallow areas during low light.
Looking for a good bait to "match the shad hatch" Try this-