Lake Powell Fish Report – August 17, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3616
Water Temperature: 79 – 83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
My flat bottomed boat sprung a leak last week and prevented me from getting out on the lake. Thankfully that was quickly repaired and we went fishing on August 16th. Missing that personal weekly lake trip left me wondering where to start and where to go on this huge lake. That reminded me how a summer visitor feels when coming to Lake Powell for an infrequent trip. So I went to Wayneswords.com and asked for information. Fishing reports are scarce in the heat of summer when recreation is the main reason to be on the lake. However, I know that many lake visitors fish early and late and then do water sports during the day. So I asked the website members where to go and how to fish. Not surprisingly, fish reports came rolling in.
Here is the summary:
Quick striper boils were common over the length of the lake. Striper schools come up fast, go down quickly and then return to the surface. The key is to make a good guess where the next surface blast will be and move to that spot. If in casting range when the school resurfaces, catching is easy with surface lures, spoons or midrange crankbaits. August is the most consistent month to find surface feeding fish. That is the case in 2016.
The best boil spots were from Good Hope Bay to Hite. Northern fish stay up longer and boil more often. Stripers boiled long and hard at Buoy 134. The main channel islands at the mouth of Scorup Canyon created a calm spot which consistently attracted surface feeding stripers. Wind was a key factor from Red Canyon to the Horn. When windy, boils were quiet. When calm the surface blew up with hungry stripers. One day the wind was calm at the mouth of Red Canyon and the entire bay was dotted with individual stripers feeding on top. An accurate long cast to a splash ring caught a fish every time. It was a great experience for those that like the challenge of casting to a single surfacing fish.
At mid lake, surface action was reported at the mouth of the Escalante and at Hole in the Rock. The best time was again early morning and late evening in calm spots. Iceberg Canyon continues to be a go-to spot for surfacing feeding stripers. From dawn until 9 AM boils were common in the main canyon.
Evening boils were reported in the main channel upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.
Fortunately for me, boils are also going on from Rainbow Bridge to Antelope Point Marina. I choose to follow up a report of boils in Face Canyon and stretching all the way across the main channel to Gooseneck Point. I may have arrived there too early but did not see any surfacing fish. After years of experience, I have found that waiting for boils is not wise. It is better to search for them because stripers and shad move each night and can be in a much different location each day. Do not wait for boils – Go find them!
I continued traveling upstream and saw the first surface action against the shady east wall at the mouth of Rock Creek. Their behavior was, as expected, quick intense boils that lasted only a short time. But we often got close enough to cast and caught 1-3 fish from each boil. We put over 30 fish in the ice chest from 6:30- 9 AM.
When the surface action ceased we moved over to Wetherill canyon where more boils were reported. We did not see any more fish but did find the reported herd of 35 desert bighorn sheep feeding along the lake shore. This was the biggest herd of sheep I have personably seen on the lake. Isn’t Lake Powell amazing?
Boil reports continue in the main channel from the mouth of Navajo to Antelope Point marina. These boils are early morning and late evening. One group of anglers caught 50 stripers in one 2-hour fishing trip here.
We did find some larger shad in the striper stomachs at the fish cleaning station. That indicates boils will be more aggressive as stripers try to corral a herd of shad. They will stay up longer and be more aggressive which makes them easier for anglers to catch.
It looks like striper boils will continue for the rest of August. Action is occurring lakewide. The best place to go is Good Hope Bay, but the rest of the lake is not bad either.