Lake Powell Fish Report – August 31, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3613.71
Water Temperature: 76 – 78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Best Trip of the Year! “Lake Powell is Boiling”.
I have waited a long time for this. I hear about boils up north lasting all day long and it makes my mouth water. Last week we caught single fish on the surface. Today we caught 52 stripers on large, white top water lures in boils that lasted for two hours.
The south lake “boils” were not the standard large groups of stripers rounding up shad and corralling them on the surface as we are used to. Instead, 5 fish would blow up in one spot with single fish hitting the surface nearby. Anytime we were close enough to cast to any rising fish our surface lures were chased down and hit 2,4,6, even 8 times before a striper hooked up. After each fish was landed we immediately cast to the same area and had “blow ups” on our lures even when no fish were actively hitting the surface. When the first five fish left the area we scanned the surface to find another group of 5-10 fish on top. A quick ride put us in range and we cast again. On each stop we put 5-10 fish in the boat before moving on. When the surface was quiet for a moment we looked at the graph and dropped spoons to schooling fish sneaking under the boat.
At the fish cleaning station we found the stomachs to be full of 3 inch adult threadfin shad. I suspect that cooler water temperatures and dropping lake levels allowed the shad and stripers to come together after being separated during the hot summer. From the observed behavior of the feeding stripers it seemed that the shad school had broken down into small shad pods that were fleeing in all directions. Stripers also broke down into small groups and chased after the shad pods. The end result was small groups (less than 50) of stripers appearing regularly on top in one large general area. The boils we observed were small but consistent, and the feeding fish were very cooperative. It was a great morning of fishing.
These boils began over the weekend and were seen in Kane Creek, at Gooseneck Point (Buoy 23) and the bay near the floating restroom at Dominguez Rock, the main channel on both sides of the lake near Gregory Butte, mouth of West Canyon, Friendship Cove, and Dry Rock Creek. Boils start shortly after dawn and continue until 8 AM (MST). There may be a few random boils at mid day but the next serious boils started at 5 PM and continued to dark.
In the north lake, boils are occurring morning, mid day, and evening as well, but the duration is longer and there are more locations where surface action can be found. The general report is that “ Lake Powell is Boiling”.
The other sport fish species are benefitting as well from the striper smorgasbord. As shad schools flee from chasing stripers they run into large and smallmouth bass waiting near shore. Adult bass will feed right with the stripers and be caught regularly on surface lures or shallow running crankbaits during boils. Juvenile bass are on the fringe of the adult fish activity and are often caught after the boil subsides. I noticed that bass were in much shallower water yesterday than seen in the previous month.
During mid day, stripers lounge in shallow water waiting for shad to swim by. Casting or trolling rattletraps across 25 foot deep flats at the edge of deep water prolongs the bass and striper catch.
September is going to be an exciting month for fishing in beautiful Lake Powell.