LP Fishing Forecast 2011 - What to expect this Year
Fishing success is greatly influenced by forage conditions. No fish stocking occurs in the lake as predator and prey populations naturally perpetuate and fluctuate with changing environmental conditions. Last fall shad forage became scarce after a long run of high shad numbers that allowed game fish to eat at their whim. Lower prey abundance will influence fishing success and techniques in 2011. Normally, hungry fish are easier to catch making 2011 the Year of the Angler.
Historically, low shad abundance equates to fast action for hungry striped bass. This spring, expect stripers to be congregated in large schools that will readily respond to bait and chumming. Hot spots will become apparent as schools move toward the main channel from their present locations in the backs of canyons. In the past, main channel areas near the dam, power plant intake and
Recent establishment of a lakewide gizzard shad population complicates these predictions as abundant large shad will produce more young shad as water warms in the spring. There will be some areas of the lake where good shad numbers are found and other spots where shad will be scarce. A good shad population will hold some striper schools near the back of the canyon preventing wholesale movement toward the main channel. Less shad will mean good bait fishing along canyon walls.
Fishing strategy then will be to troll in the backs of the canyons for shad-eating stripers and fish anchovy bait for hungry schools where each canyon intersects with the main channel. That presents a choice to those who like to fish with lures and to others who prefer to fish with bait. Adult stripers are disadvantaged when forage is scarce. Younger, faster, stronger juvenile stripers are better at seeking out limited shad resources. We will see young stripers grow quickly this summer while old adults will be widely harvested in the spring and then fade out of the picture.
Lake level has fluctuated within a narrow zone where good brushy habitat has been instrumental in allowing largemouth bass and crappie populations to increase to good-old-day levels. It appears lake level in 2011 will again allow bass and crappie to share submerged brush habitat zones with shad, and sunfish forage. Anglers will be pleased to find both species in brush-ringed shallows at the back and along shallow edges of many canyons. Largemouth bass will have one more banner year before the brush decays due to age. This may be the last great year for largemouth so take advantage of the opportunity.
Rocky areas devoid of brush are populated with smallmouth bass and perhaps walleye. Smallmouth will be found along most of the rocky shoreline but average size will be smaller as most forage is hiding in the brush zone where other species are more adept at foraging.
In 2011, fishing success will be determined by using effective techniques which target certain fish at a specific location. Crappie are still present in good numbers in thick brush at remote locations near Hite, upper
There will be a variety of fish available along most of the shoreline. Brushy water requires weedless baits that can bounce off tree limbs without snagging. On open rocky structure without brush, use bottom bouncing plastic jigs and spoons for best results. Trolling works when the lure runs just deep enough to tick submerged tree tops where walleye, bass and stripers are searching for forage. Deeper trolling techniques, like down riggers and leaded line, allow lures to be presented down deep where stripers hold and rest in our very deep lake. When shad grow large enough to excite adult game fish in early summer topwater lures are best.
Walleye are larger and more numerous in the lake upstream from Bullfrog to Hite. They are easiest to catch during May after they have completed their spawn and warming water increases their metabolism making them active all day long. Channel catfish are abundant and readily caught all summer long.
It seems that 2011 will be remembered for the wide variety of fish caught in a myriad of places using a broad array of tackle and techniques. It may be hard to keep up with the latest hotspots and techniques. It is made easier by checking the Lake Powell Fishing website found at www.wayneswords.com. Here weekly fishing reports and daily angler reports are posted so newly arriving anglers can catch fish in the same spots just vacated by successful anglers.
It will be a great year to fish at