Several readers contacted me last week asking about conditions on Lake Powell.
Here is an example from Mike, who didn’t share his last name. “I am so ready to fish Lake Powell this spring, what do you think the fish will eat?”
Since I just returned from our B.A.S.S. spring qualifying tournament held last week in Bullfrog, I can tell you that grubs of all shapes and sizes are the baits of choice for great anglers.
In the spring on Lake Powell, several species of fish become quite active at the same time. Stripers are getting ready for their annual spawn and are actively seeking and sometimes finding shad in the backs of small and large coves in clear, stained and muddy water. Stripers (as I’ve written before) oft times overstay their welcome in canyons and bays and become very hungry after the schools of shad they chased into their “traps” are either eaten or somehow escape after a time.
Stripers that are left behind begin to forage just like bass, but in my opinion don’t have the same skillset for rummaging on the bottom for crayfish, blue gills or sunfish. They become fascinated by any moving bait and will attack almost anything reeled passed them.
Just last week I caught 20 stripers while practicing for our tournament and did so on four lures: a 6-inch jerkbait, a 3-inch crankbait, and a 3.5-inch single- or double-tailed grub. And the more aggressive bites came on grubs.
Walleyes are just concluding their spawn and crappies are schooling near the backs of spawning coves. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are just now making nests and will begin to spawn in earnest over the next week or two. When you include blue gills in the discussion, six species of fish will choose to eat grubs rather than almost any other baits or lures that anglers choose.
Grub fishing is one of the oldest methods of catching fish. A soft plastic body is threaded on a ball head jig hook and the lure is then thrown out and reeled in so that the grub “swims its way back to the shore or boat.”
The beautiful part of fishing a grub is that almost anyone can learn how to do it with minimum teaching and training. While other methods, including but not limited to jerkbaits, drop shots, crankbaits or spinnerbaits, require significant time on the water to refine one’s skills, casting grubs is done by simply tossing them out and reeling them back fast or slow or in a yo-yo manner. Period.
In last week’s tournament I drew a co-angler each day from among the participants to fish from the back deck of my boat. All three of my co-anglers caught fish and two of the three caught their five-fish limit each day and used grubs almost exclusively, a testament to their value as viable lures.
Some used white or pearl while others stayed with green pumpkin or brown as base colors and coupled them with 1/8- to 1/2-ounce ball- or football-head jigs. In fact, on two consecutive days, while I threw crankbaits, my co-anglers were catching more fish than I by “dragging” their grubs behind the boat. One angler caught three keepers before I caught a single fish.
If I were to make a trip to Lake Powell in the next month, I would start and finish my fishing adventure with a couple of rods and reels and two different colors of grubs ready for action. Then, I would travel to the backs of any and all small or large coves or bays and cast grubs to any structure such as rocks, brush or grass and carefully reel them in, varying the retrieve until the fish tell me which way they want the presentation: slow, fast, or somewhere in between.
Lake Powell will rise at least 30 feet this year and it will begin rising in the next 30 days. Now is a great time to visit one of my personal 10 wonders of the world. And do it with grub.