Lake Powell Fish Report – September 13, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3612.28
Water Temperature: 74 – 77 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Water temperatures have declined to 74 F in the morning rising to 78 in the afternoon. These temperatures coincide with mid June which is a transition month for warm water fish. In the spring bass get ready to spawn while waiting for the preferred temperature (mid 60s). Shad get active in the low 70’s. Stripers spawn when the water temperature rises quickly to the mid 70s. After all the spring time excitement based on water temperature, most fish experience a lull in activity during the 75-80 F temperature range. That is right where our fish are right now. Fish are waiting for the magic mid 60s, when energy and excitement are at a peak.
For now, there is a gradual movement of bass from deep water to shallow. Bass are still holding at 25 feet or deeper but feeding forays occur more often in shallow water. Stripers are holding at 40 feet but they are constantly searching the surface for any sign of shad. When shad are seen, they attack. With no shad, they go back to cool water and wait. Walleye are a cool water fish and a night prowler. It is easier to catch them as the light fades at night or before the sun gets bright in the morning.
Fish reports indicate scattered fish randomly working the surface or being caught in deep water. The most consistent fishing pattern is to do what you like best. If you like to use plastic baits on the bottom, try it and work at it persistently. At the end of the day you will have caught a large number of smallmouth bass and a number of other species. If you choose to throw surface lures toward shore, your catch will include mostly stripers and bass.
My suggestion is to use your favorite technique and concentrate on conditions and signs around you for best results. Obviously, when surface action is seen, throw topwater baits to catch stripers and a surprising number of bass. When fish are seen on the graph, get a bait or spoon down to them quickly for good results. If 15 ravens and two coyotes are seen waiting patiently on shore, it would be wise to throw surface lures toward that group of predators to see if the striper school that drove shad onto the shore is still in the vicinity. Pay attention to subtle events that surround you, which may lead to a discovery leading to fishing success.
Basically all Lake Powell sport fish are in transition. Shad continue to run and hide. When bass or stripers find them, fishing results are quick. Keep 3 rods ready with a surface lure, a spoon, and a medium running crank or swim bait. The best location to fish is on outside points rather than the backs of coves. Shad live in open water and bass wait near rock or brush cover close to open water waiting for a shad sighting. Stripers are in deep water looking up to see a random shad school that can be attacked.
Water has cooled enough now so that thin adult stripers that have been trapped under the warm water layer are now able to come to the surface to feed with their smaller, faster offspring. Many more thin adult stripers are being caught on the surface in the northern lake. They feed right next to the schools of 14-18 inch juvenile stripers that are the prime fish in the lake right now.
There is not one best spot to be fishing. That will change as water cools a bit more. The best advice right now is chose the fishing technique and location that gives you the most confidence. Use the lure that you have had the best luck on recently. Go out and do your thing. At the end of the day you will have had a great fishing trip.