Lake Powell Fish Report – September 30, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3610.97
Water Temperature: 70 – 74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Our fishing adventure up the San Juan was successful thanks to the information provided in the last report. We went to the Great Bend and fished near the mouth of Alcove Canyon. We trolled a variety of lures and let the stripers choose which ones they wanted. Bottom depth was 17 feet and fish marks were everywhere. It was not easy to decide which marks were stripers or other fish.
We began to catch very healthy 3-4 pound stripers at the rate of one fish every 7 minutes. Each time we stopped to reel in a fish the other anglers would cast looking for followers. That worked half the time. We found less fish upstream from Alcove. We found the largest school of stripers near the mouth of the next cove downstream from Alcove Canyon where bottom depth was 18 feet. Once we got on this school we no longer trolled but just cast lures randomly in all directions to land many fish in a hurry. On Wednesday morning we landed 27 stripers and a few smallmouth in 2 hours.
Lures that worked well were Shad Raps (SR7) with black back and grey sides, Rat-L-Trap with black back, silver sides and RED EYES, and Live Target gizzard shad traps.
Further downstream in Neskahi Bay the smallmouth bass were on fire. Anglers caught all the 10-12 inch bass they wanted but larger bass were harder to find. We did not locate a striper school for spooning fun but we were short on time and caught plenty of fish trolling and casting.
We found the typical September oxygen depletion zone in Neskahi Bay. The upper area of the water column held ample oxygen but the depletion began near 60 feet. Oxygen decreased from a robust 6-7 ppm down to 4 ppm or less. Fish cannot stay in the low oxygen zone so do not target fish deeper than 60 feet in Neskahi Bay on the San Juan. The same oxygen problems are normally found in the main channel from Bullfrog to Hite. Oxygen increases at greater depth so stripers at Bullfrog are caught at 80 feet and deeper. We will be sampling from Rincon to Good Hope Bay next week and will have more to report when we return on Thursday. For now expect to find striper schools at 40 feet and above or deep schools at 80 feet and deeper.