Lake Powell Fish Report
October 15, 2013
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature 66-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Striper Fishing HOT!
Lake Powell is open – at least for another week thanks to the state Utah who provided the funds to make this happen while the rest of the Federal Government remains shut down. Wahweap, Antelope Point, Bullfrog and Halls launch ramps are all operating with mussel technicians at the top to provide certificates for launching. Lake level remains the same as it has been since the beginning of the new ”federal water year” starting Oct 1st. Striper fishing is HOT with water temperatures in the 60s. Now all you have to do is get here to enjoy the sport.
Last report indicated stripers were guarding narrow canyons where recent flood events had placed brush in the water. We returned to see if this pattern was still holding true after a week off. My small hotspot canyon just upstream from Dove Canyon was still productive with a few really hungry adult stripers hitting spoons bounced on the bottom. But the schools of smaller, fat fish were missing in action. Bait fishing would have been good here but we moved on looking for faster action on artificial lures.
My next choice was Rock Creek where bait fishing along the west wall had been good in September. With the breeze blowing toward the back of the canyon we started fishing where bottom depth was 60 feet and drifted shallower as the wind pushed us right down the middle of the wide canyon. We used home made spoons (1 to 1.5 ounce) in blue and white with a chartreuse Mylar trailer tied to the hook. The best technique allowed the spoon to hit bottom before being worked in quick 6-inch erratic jerks within a foot of the bottom. Stripers on the bottom were quick to investigate the shad-like presence. When one fish was hooked other schoolmates following the hooked fish could be caught speed reeling through the water column.
The boat drifted fairly fast so some schools were left behind but another school was soon in range. Stripers weighing 1-2 pounds were caught from 60 feet depths all the way to 15 feet in the back of the canyon. When shallow water was reached we returned to the 60 foot strata and made another equally successful drift. We ran out of time and left the fish still biting while we felt completely satisfied.
When filleting the fish it was found that almost all of the 1-2 pound stripers had shad in the stomachs. It appears that shad and stripers are now working hard in the backs of the main canyons in the southern lake. My guess is that canyons with long flood plains like Navajo, Warm Creek, Last Chance, West and Rock Creek will produce similar fishing results.
At midlake the spoon action is equally good with the added bonus of occasional small boils added. Expect the same all the way to Good Hope Bay and beyond.
These 1-2 pound stripers are replacing the adult generation who can no longer compete with their faster and stronger progeny. Shad are still limited but are now available to stripers at these lower temperatures. Most thin adults will not survive the winter while the shad eating youngsters will replace them next spring.
We threw a few casts in the backs of the canyons to test the bass fishing and found bass eager to come to the top for surface lures. Fishing was very successful and should remain so during the rest of October.