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July 11, 2018 - Boils in Far North Lake

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 11, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3608
Water temperature:  80 - 84 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Water temperature is now in the 80s all day and night.  That is great for swimming, wake-boarding and scuba diving but it makes fishing a bit more challenging.  Here are some ways to beat the heat and catch some fish.
Fishing success lakewide is best for smallmouth bass.  Bass are caught morning and evening on plastic baits fished near shore or around submerged islands that are now coming out of the water as the lake goes down.  Target rocky structure at a depth of 10-25 feet, for best results.  Use plastic single or double tails grubs, swimbaits, Yamamoto D-Shad, and topwater lures.  If you hit the lake just before dawn, the top water fishing for bass is incredible.  Once the sun comes up bass fishing slows down as fish go deep looking for crayfish. It lights up again near sunset as the light diminishes and fish get more aggressive.
Walleye are still being caught occasionally trolling in the morning near rocky structure but the catch rate is declining.  Walleye are more active at night now and can be caught on rocky habitat at 15-30 feet right as the sun comes up and goes down and the daylight fades.
Each year in July we are challenged to catch 60 stripers for a disease certification check up.  The common result is that stripers are disease free of viruses. This year the results are still undecided, not because some diseases have appeared, but for the first time we failed to collect our required numbers of fish.  A slight breeze this morning, kept the slurping stripers away from view.  Our fallback position was to use bait along the walls in Navajo Canyon but that was not up to par.  In fact, we only caught 5 stripers with 3 boats and 9 anglers fishing from Navajo Canyon to the San Juan.  No boils or slurps were seen in the main channel from Wahweap to Cha Canyon because of the slight breeze that kept the fish down. Some days fishing is not as good. We chose one of those days.  That really makes me want to go out tomorrow because I know it will be better then.
The best striper fishing is in the far northern lake where full blown striper boils are wide open from North Wash to Good Hope Bay.  Launching at Hite is no longer possible due to dropping lake level, but it is worth the long run uplake from Bullfrog to the Horn to chase boiling stripers.
If you go, pick a day with calm water and no wind in the forecast to make sure the fish will come to the top to feed.
Many are now camping on the shore of the lake in houseboats or tents.  There are more fishing opportunities than those mentioned above.  Catfish are really aggressive now and are easy to catch on the sandy beaches where boats can park.   Both Bluegill and Green Sunfish are in the shallows and can be seen in shallow water where brush resides.  Many of the brushy sites are drying out as the lake declines but sunfish are still near those areas.  Look for blocky rocks, that fish can use as shade, near the dried brush to find sunfish. Use small hooks and small worms to catch some very impressive sized bluegill that are now just finishing up their spawning ritual.  After spawning fish get hungry and are easier to catch.   Fishing is always great at the lake if you pick the right species, at the right time, and the right spot.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 11, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3608

Water temperature:  80 - 84 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Water temperature is now in the 80s all day and night.  That is great for swimming, wake-boarding and scuba diving but it makes fishing a bit more challenging.  Here are some ways to beat the heat and catch some fish.

Fishing success lakewide is best for smallmouth bass.  Bass are caught morning and evening on plastic baits fished near shore or around submerged islands that are now coming out of the water as the lake goes down.  Target rocky structure at a depth of 10-25 feet, for best results.  Use plastic single or double tails grubs, swimbaits, Yamamoto D-Shad, and topwater lures.  If you hit the lake just before dawn, the top water fishing for bass is incredible.  Once the sun comes up bass fishing slows down as fish go deep looking for crayfish. It lights up again near sunset as the light diminishes and fish get more aggressive. 

Walleye are still being caught occasionally trolling in the morning near rocky structure but the catch rate is declining.  Walleye are more active at night now and can be caught on rocky habitat at 15-30 feet right as the sun comes up and goes down and the daylight fades.

Each year in July we are challenged to catch 60 stripers for a disease certification check up.  The common result is that stripers are disease free of viruses. This year the results are still undecided, not because some diseases have appeared, but for the first time we failed to collect our required numbers of fish.  A slight breeze this morning, kept the slurping stripers away from view.  Our fallback position was to use bait along the walls in Navajo Canyon but that was not up to par.  In fact, we only caught 5 stripers with 3 boats and 9 anglers fishing from Navajo Canyon to the San Juan.  No boils or slurps were seen in the main channel from Wahweap to Cha Canyon because of the slight breeze that kept the fish down. Some days fishing is not as good. We chose one of those days.  That really makes me want to go out tomorrow because I know it will be better then. 

The best striper fishing is in the far northern lake where full blown striper boils are wide open from North Wash to Good Hope Bay.  Launching at Hite is no longer possible due to dropping lake level, but it is worth the long run uplake from Bullfrog to the Horn to chase boiling stripers.   If you go, pick a day with calm water and no wind in the forecast to make sure the fish will come to the top to feed. 

Many are now camping on the shore of the lake in houseboats or tents.  There are more fishing opportunities than those mentioned above.  Catfish are really aggressive now and are easy to catch on the sandy beaches where boats can park.   Both Bluegill and Green Sunfish are in the shallows and can be seen in shallow water where brush resides.  Many of the brushy sites are drying out as the lake declines but sunfish are still near those areas.  Look for blocky rocks, that fish can use as shade, near the dried brush to find sunfish. Use small hooks and small worms to catch some very impressive sized bluegill that are now just finishing up their spawning ritual.  After spawning fish get hungry and are easier to catch.   Fishing is always great at the lake if you pick the right species, at the right time, and the right spot.

 

July 4, 2018 - Come Join the Crowd

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 4,  2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  75 - 83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell is BUSY on the 4th of July week.  There are lots of visitors lakewide enjoying the sun and warm water. Houseboats, fast running boats, kayaks, wake boats, and all other watercraft are on the lake now. When heading to Lake Powell for vacation it is wise to bring along a fishing rod to broaden the whole lake experience.  Fisherman need to get up early and then stay up late to catch fish.
Early morning is the best time to catch fish.  Rig up with a surface lure and toss that lure toward shore to attract smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and stripers.  Bass will be near stickups or rocky cover. Stripers will be slurping anywhere from the mid channel in most long canyons to open water in the main channel.  All these fish are very cooperative from the time the sky lightens in the east until the sun hits the water.  The best lures for slurpers are small narrow topwater lures, small white jigs or swim baits, and Kastmaster type spoons.
As the sun comes up, so do the skiers, wake boarders and surfers.  The lake gets busy and rough so be selective in choosing your fishing location.   Run to the end of the long canyons like the Escalante, San Juan, Navajo, or near Hite. Or join in with those that are celebrating their time on the water with swimming or water toys.
In busy areas it is still possible to find a deep canyon or cove and fish with bait for stripers. Schools are moving along the canyon walls and can be found with a little effort.  There were recent reports of striper schools at the mouth of the San Juan, the main channel in the Escalante Arm and at the mouth of Moki Canyon.
Big walleye have been caught recently while trolling with deep diving Fat Free shad lures.  Down rigger trolling is another way to get the lure down to the cooler temperature zone where most fish hangout while waiting to head back to the warm surface water to chase some more small shad.  During the day, fish move quickly from cooler, deeper water to the surface and then they go deep again in short order.  This up and down activity really makes fish fight well during the hot days of summer.
Catfish are actively spawning in the backs of many canyons.  When in spawning mode catfish are very active and catchable.  Head to the back of the canyon where water is less than 25 feet deep.  Use hot dog rounds, shrimp, worms or 3 inch artificial Gulp minnows.  Begin fishing for catfish at dusk and continue into the night.  Circle hooks are great hooks for catching catfish.  It is possible to catch catfish with just a rod propped up in a rod holder with a bell on the tip to announce when a catfish come calling. But I prefer to hold the rod in my hand to feel the first bite and then set the hook when the cat comes back for the second look. You will catch more catfish if you hold the rod instead of propping it up.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 4,  2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  75 - 83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell is BUSY during the 4th of July week.  There are lots of visitors lakewide enjoying the sun and warm water. Houseboats, fast running boats, kayaks, wake boats, and all other watercraft are on the lake now. When heading to Lake Powell for vacation it is wise to bring along a fishing rod to broaden the whole lake experience.  Fisherman need to get up early and then stay up late to catch fish. 

Early morning is the best time to catch fish.  Rig up with a surface lure and toss that lure toward shore to attract smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and stripers.  Bass will be near stickups or rocky cover. Stripers will be slurping anywhere from the mid channel in most long canyons to open water in the main channel.  All these fish are very cooperative from the time the sky lightens in the east until the sun hits the water.  The best lures for slurpers are small narrow topwater lures, small white jigs or swim baits, and Kastmaster type spoons.  

As the sun comes up, so do the skiers, wake boarders and surfers.  The lake gets busy and rough so be selective in choosing your fishing location.   Run to the end of the long canyons like the Escalante, San Juan, Navajo, or near Hite. Or join in with those that are celebrating their time on the water with swimming or water toys.

In busy areas it is still possible to find a deep canyon or cove and fish with bait for stripers. Schools are moving along the canyon walls and can be found with a little effort.  There were recent reports of striper schools at the mouth of the San Juan, the main channel in the Escalante Arm and at the mouth of Moki Canyon.

Big walleye have been caught recently while trolling with deep diving Fat Free shad lures.  Down rigger trolling is another way to get the lure down to the cooler temperature zone where most fish hangout while waiting to head back to the warm surface water to chase some more small shad.  During the day, fish move quickly from cooler, deeper water to the surface and then they go deep again in short order.  This up and down activity really makes fish fight well during the hotamymcbeth days of summer.

Catfish are actively spawning in the backs of many canyons.  When in spawning mode catfish are very active and catchable.  Head to the back of the canyon where water is less than 25 feet deep.  Use hot dog rounds, shrimp, worms or 3 inch artificial Gulp minnows.  Begin fishing for catfish at dusk and continue into the night.  Circle hooks are great hooks for catching catfish.  It is possible to catch catfish with just a rod propped up in a rod holder with a bell on the tip to announce when a catfish comes calling. But I prefer to hold the rod in my hand to feel the first bite and then set the hook when the cat comes back for the second look. You will catch more catfish if you hold the rod instead of propping it up.

 

Amy McBeth with Walleye from Navajo Canyon

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 10:45
 

June 27, 2018 - Chasing Slurps

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 27, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  75 - 80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Slurping stripers were visible all over the lake on our weekly trip.  Average size of slurping stripers was 14 inches but they range from 8 to 18 inches.  Water was warm (78-80 F) on top which means that adult stripers cannot come to the top and spend much time without suffering severe stress due to warm water. Young stripers see a larval shad school near the surface, form a scavenging line and attack the small shad.  Since these shad cannot swim fast, stripers eat as many shad as possible in 15 seconds and then go back down to 30 feet.  That makes it hard to see the striper school and then get in range to make a cast while they are still on the surface.  Normally the striper school goes down and then quickly pops back up on the next shad school.  If they surface near your boat then a quick cast will possibly catch a fish. If stripers are out of casting range then the boat has to be moved quickly to get in range.  The action is exciting but catch rate is low.
Lures that worked well included a small white clouser minnow fly attached behind a bubble filled with water and a small skinny surface lure (Ima Skimmer) and a Kastmaster spoon.  It is necessary to throw long casts to the quickly moving striper school. That is not easy with a small lightweight lure with limited casting range.
The cast must land in front of the lead striper. If it lands in the middle of the school they often spook, jump and then go deep.  It is better to throw well in front of the school and let it rest until the school gets in range.  Then start working the lure, bringing it right in front of the slurping fish.  When all this happens a fish is caught.  When any of the other possibilities occur; casting too short; casting behind the school; or not casting soon enough, the school will sound and you will have to wait for the next school to surface.  When one school goes down, just look around to see more schools surfacing in the vicinity.  Also look at the graph to see if the fleeing school goes under the boat.  If so, deploy a spoon to the depth indicated on the graph to catch more fish.
Slurps were recently seen from Warm Creek to Rock Creek in the main channel and midway back in many canyons; from Bullfrog to Trachyte; and in the Escalante and San Juan Arms.  Slurps are lakewide but the intensity and catch rate is greater further north.
Bait fishing for larger stripers is still working particularly along the main channel and in many canyons.  It takes a few tries to find fish and it is more likely to find fish in spots that are not reported that often.  Recent reports have come from the mouth of San Juan and Lake Canyon where big catches of stripers were found.
Trolling for walleye in the shade of the canyon walls early in the morning is working. Lures that have been effective include; Live Target threadfin shad (Copper color), Lucky Craft 78 or 100 XD pointers in chartreuse shad.  The shady walls between Piute and Deep Canyon in the San Juan are a good place to try but any similar landscape may work lakewide.
Smallmouth bass are hitting surface lures at first light in the morning.  Then they go deeper so fish at 20-40 feet to catch bass during the daytime.
Bluegill are still spawning and the circular nests can be seen in 3 feet of water near the shoreline or any large rocky area.  Use a tiny jig head with a piece of live worm attached to catch these brightly colored fish.
Catfish are active from sundown and into the night. Use table scraps, worms or anchovies on the sandy beach behind the houseboat. It’s a great activity to keep the kids interested as it cools down after a hot day at the lake.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 27, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  75 - 80 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Slurping stripers were visible all over the lake on our weekly trip.  Average size of slurping stripers was 14 inches but they range from 8 to 18 inches.  Water was warm (78-80 F) on top which means that adult stripers cannot come to the top and spend much time without suffering severe stress due to warm water. Young stripers see a larval shad school near the surface, form a scavenging line and attack the small shad.  Since these shad cannot swim fast, stripers eat as many shad as possible in 15 seconds and then go back down to 30 feet.  That makes it hard to see the striper school and then get in range to make a cast while they are still on the surface.  Normally the striper school goes down and then quickly pops back up on the next shad school.  If they surface near your boat then a quick cast will possibly catch a fish. If stripers are out of casting range then the boat has to be moved quickly to get in range.  The action is exciting but catch rate is low. 

Lures that worked well included a small white clouser minnow fly attached behind a bubble filled with water and a small skinny surface lure (Ima Skimmer) and a Kastmaster spoon.  It is necessary to throw long casts to the quickly moving striper school. That is not easy with a small lightweight lure with limited casting range. 

The cast must land in front of the lead striper. If it lands in the middle of the school they often spook, jump and then go deep.  It is better to throw well in front of the school and let the lure rest until the school gets in range.  Then start working the lure, bringing it right in front of the slurping fish.  When all this happens a fish is caught.  When any of the other possibilities occur; casting too short; casting behind the school; or not casting soon enough, the school will sound and you will have to wait for the next school to surface.  When one school goes down, just look around to see more schools surfacing in the vicinity.  Also look at the graph to see if the fleeing school goes under the boat.  If so, deploy a spoon to the depth indicated on the graph to catch more fish.  

Slurps were recently seen from Warm Creek to Rock Creek in the main channel and midway back in many canyons; from Bullfrog to Trachyte; and in the Escalante and San Juan Arms.  Slurps are lakewide but the intensity and catch rate is greater further north.

Bait fishing for larger stripers is still working, particularly along the main channel and in many canyons.  It takes a few tries to find fish and it is more likely to find fish in spots that are not reported that often.  Recent reports have come from the mouth of San Juan and Lake Canyon where big catches of stripers were found.

Trolling for walleye in the shade of the canyon walls early in the morning is working. Lures that have been effective include; Live Target threadfin shad (Copper color), Lucky Craft 78 or 100 XD pointers in chartreuse shad.  The shady walls between Piute and Deep Canyon in the San Juan are a good place to try but any similar landscape may work lakewide. 

Smallmouth bass are hitting surface lures at first light in the morning.  Then they go deeper so fish at 20-40 feet to catch bass during the daytime.  

Bluegill are still spawning and the circular nests can be seen in 3 feet of water near the shoreline or any large rocky area.  Use a tiny jig head with a piece of live worm attached to catch these brightly colored fish.

Catfish are active from sundown and into the night. Use table scraps, worms or anchovies on the sandy beach behind the houseboat. It’s a great activity to keep the kids interested as it cools down after a hot day at the lake.

 

June 20, 2013 - Beware of Buzzards when fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 20, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  73 - 76 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
My weekly fishing trip began in perfect fashion.  We stopped at Padre Butte and trolled with great hope of catching a walleye.  The lures were deployed and we trolled for 50 yards before both rods jerked and loaded hungry fish.  My partner caught a smallmouth bass but my fish was a 14-inch walleye. This seemed like the perfect start to a perfect day.  However, within a few minutes the wind picked up and conditions changed.
Our plan was to chase slurping stripers from Padre Bay to Rock Creek.  We saw lots of stripers slurping shad near the surface but they were up quickly and usually gone before we could get in range to make a decent cast.  Surprisingly, the slurp that stayed up the longest was in the main channel on the return trip where boat wakes were stirring up the water into 2 foot waves.  This school of stripers stayed up long enough to make a decent cast and catch some fish.  Reports from Bullfrog were identical with quick slurps and no fish caught.  Striper slurps are still going strong but in calm water it is much easier to see the surface disturbance, approach quickly and make a good cast. This will continue until the rapidly growing larval shad are big enough to swim fast which causes the stripers to boil as they round up the shad school and then attack.  That will happen in July and August.
As we gathered fish reports at the end of the day it was obvious that anglers using bait for stripers along the canyon walls all caught more and larger stripers than we did. Average catch for anglers using bait was 10 - 20 stripers. Good bait fishing was found in Antelope, Navajo, Labyrinth Wall, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake Moki Wall and the cove just upstream from the mouth of Moki were good bait spots. Night fishing under green lights in Bullfrog Bay is the best way to catch large numbers of stripers.
Another hot ticket in the northern lake is to chase slurps in Red Canyon and the Good Hope Bay area. There are more stripers, more shad and more fish caught there. If I had a day to fish up north, I would go to Good Hope Bay.
The best is saved for last.  Smallmouth bass are the best fish to target and catch right now.  They really like topwater lures at first light in the morning (lakewide). After the sun comes up, switch to plastic shad-shaped worms on a drop shot rig. Fish those rigs from 10-15 feet early and switch to 17-22 feet later in the day.  The best habitat is submerged ledges, scattered boulder-sized rocks and even muddy points where crayfish gather. Smallmouth bass will hit plastic baits all day long. Bass caught this week ranged from small to 3.5 pounds. Kids fishing for this first time will be able to catch both bass and stripers by following the directions given here.
Walleye are still caught trolling and casting early and late and under muddy colored water durng the day.  Bluegill and green sunfish are still holding at nest sites where a few stick ups or tumbleweeds are submerged. Channel catfish are spawning and active both day and night in the backs of the canyons from 10-29 feet on a sandy bottom.
In conclusion, I suggest to those exploring the lake that canyons that have buzzards in them are not a good place to fish. In fact, I am quite sure that the two buzzards we saw in the back of Rock Creek spoiled our fishing trip.  It seemed fine when they were perched on the rocks just looking at us, but when they turned their backs and spread their wings and maintained that posture the whole time that we fished in the canyon that our fishing trip was spoiled for the rest of the day.  Just a word of caution: DO NOT fish near buzzards with outstretched wings.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 20, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  73 - 76 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

My weekly fishing trip began in perfect fashion.  We stopped at Padre Butte and trolled with great hope of catching a walleye.  The lures were deployed and we trolled for 50 yards before both rods jerked and loaded hungry fish.  My partner caught a smallmouth bass but my fish was a 14-inch walleye. This seemed like the perfect start to a perfect day.  However, within a few minutes the wind picked up and conditions changed.

Our plan was to chase slurping stripers from Padre Bay to Rock Creek.  We saw lots of stripers slurping shad near the surface but they were up quickly and usually gone before we could get in range to make a decent cast.  Surprisingly, the slurp that stayed up the longest was in the main channel on the return trip where boat wakes were stirring up the water into 2 foot waves.  This school of stripers stayed up long enough to make a decent cast and catch some fish.  Reports from Bullfrog were identical with quick slurps and no fish caught.  Striper slurps are still going strong but in calm water it is much easier to see the surface disturbance, approach quickly and make a good cast. This will continue until the rapidly growing larval shad are big enough to swim fast which causes the stripers to boil as they round up the shad school and then attack.  That will happen in July and August.

As we gathered fish reports at the end of the day it was obvious that anglers using bait for stripers along the canyon walls all caught more and larger stripers than we did. Average catch for anglers using bait was 10 - 20 stripers. Good bait fishing was found in Antelope, Navajo, Labyrinth Wall, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake Moki Wall and the cove just upstream from the mouth of Moki were good bait spots. Night fishing under green lights in Bullfrog Bay is the best way to catch large numbers of stripers. 

egsmbnet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another hot ticket in the northern lake is to chase slurps in Red Canyon and the Good Hope Bay area. There are more stripers, more shad and more fish caught there. If I had a day to fish up north, I would go to Good Hope Bay.  

The best is saved for last.  Smallmouth bass are the best fish to target and catch right now.  They really like topwater lures at first light in the morning (lakewide). After the sun comes up, switch to plastic shad-shaped worms on a drop shot rig. Fish those rigs from 10-15 feet early and switch to 17-22 feet later in the day.  The best habitat is submerged ledges, scattered boulder-sized rocks and even muddy points where crayfish gather. Smallmouth bass will hit plastic baits all day long. Bass caught this week ranged from small to 3.5 pounds. Kids fishing for this first time will be able to catch both bass and stripers by following the directions given here.

Walleye are still caught trolling and casting early and late and under muddy colored water during the day.  Bluegill and green sunfish are still holding at nest sites where a few stick ups or tumbleweeds are submerged. Channel catfish are spawning and active both day and night in the backs of the canyons from 10-20 feet on a sandy bottom. 

In conclusion, I suggest to those exploring the lake that canyons that have buzzards in them are not a good place to fish. In fact, I am quite sure that the two buzzards we saw in the back of Rock Creek spoiled our fishing trip.  It seemed fine when they were perched on the rocks just looking at us, but when they turned their backs and spread their wings and maintained that posture the whole time that we fished in the canyon that our fishing trip was spoiled for the rest of the day.  Just a word of caution: DO NOT fish near buzzards with outstretched wings.

badbuzzards

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 09:35
 

June 13, 2018 - Slurps Continue

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 13, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  72  - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striper slurps continue over the length of the lake.  Typically slurping stripers begin feeding when the sun hits the water.  If in a shaded canyon just randomly throw surface lures toward the shore in areas where bottom depth is about 25 feet.  Stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass respond well in low light to a surface lure hitting near shore, or the edge of a drop off, or even in open water in the middle of the bay.  Watch for splashes in the back of the canyon and cast in that direction.  Those splashes could be bass or stripers or gizzard shad.  Any of these are worth targeting. It is fun to catch bass and stripers while gizzard shad tend to attract sport fish so they are worth targeting with surface lures.
On my fishing trip this week, the first random cast with an Ima Skimmer surface lure resulted in a 2-pound striper, followed by 4 smallmouth bass over 2 pounds and one largemouth bass.  As the sun started to break over the high cliff wall we noticed a small surface disturbance in the middle of the bay in deeper water. After seeing one fish jump we confirmed that these were slurping stripers and we headed toward the school.
The trick is to get the boat close enough to cast but not close enough to spook the school. On this day we had more schools spook and go down before we could make a good cast that landed just beyond the school so we could work our surface lures back over the feeding fish. It is definitely best to come up behind the school so the fish are swimming away from the boat.  We had way too many schools that were coming toward us and spooked before we could get a good cast off. It is worth it to take an extra turn or two and approach the school from the side or from the rear.
Surface lures work well with a perfect cast and a great retrieve.  Watching fish hit the topwater is almost as fun as catching them. You can probably catch more fish on a white jig or grub that is closer to the size of the tiny shad stripers are eating. These slurps only stay up for a few minutes at best. Once they go down, the school often goes right under the boat and can be caught on spoons or other fast falling lures like a heavy rattletrap. The school is in range for less than a minute so react quickly when the graph lights up with 30 or more fish.
In the southern lake striper slurps were found in Padre Bay near Dominguez Rock, Gregory Butte, Dove Canyon, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake slurps were seen in Bullfrog Bay, Halls Creek, Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay and Red Canyon.  This is a lakewide event but with more shad in the northern lake the best place to try is from Bullfrog to Trachyte Canyon.
Smallmouth bass fishing is great in the early morning on surface lures lakewide and later in the day on plastic grubs and senkos near isolated rock slides and along rocky shorelines where water depth is 10-20 feet.  Larger bass are deeper at 20-35 feet.
Walleye are being caught trolling, and casting in cloudy water.  Wind is forecast to blow in the afternoon this week. When the wind comes up try trolling along windy points and flat ledges with a bottom depth of 10-30 feet.  Catch one walleye and return to that spot to catch more. You can cast for walleye using a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm attached and a slow retrieve while maintaining bottom contact.  Walleye group together. Catch one and more are likely to be found in the same spot.
Blue gill and green sunfish are quite visible now as they are nesting in shallow water. Look for a 12-inch circular nest on the bottom and drop a tiny plastic jig on to the nest and watch the bluegill come over to remove it. Set the hook when he picks it up. Male, nest guarding,  bluegill are the most colorful fish in the lake.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 13, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  72  - 75 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Striper slurps continue over the length of the lake.  Typically slurping stripers begin feeding when the sun hits the water.  If in a shaded canyon just randomly throw surface lures toward the shore in areas where bottom depth is about 25 feet.  Stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass respond well in low light to a surface lure hitting near shore, or the edge of a drop off, or even in open water in the middle of the bay.  Watch for splashes in the back of the canyon and cast in that direction.  Those splashes could be bass or stripers or gizzard shad.  Any of these are worth targeting. It is fun to catch bass and stripers while gizzard shad tend to attract sport fish so they are worth targeting with surface lures.

On my fishing trip this week, the first random cast with an Ima Skimmer surface lure resulted in a 2-pound striper, followed by 4 smallmouth bass over 2 pounds and one largemouth bass.  As the sun started to break over the high cliff wall we noticed a small surface disturbance in the middle of the bay in deeper water. After seeing one fish jump we confirmed that these were slurping stripers and we headed toward the school.  

The trick is to get the boat close enough to cast but not close enough to spook the school. On this day we had more schools spook and go down before we could make a good cast that landed just beyond the school so we could work our surface lures back over the feeding fish. It is definitely best to come up behind the school so the fish are swimming away from the boat.  We had way too many schools that were coming toward us and spooked before we could get a good cast off. It is worth it to take an extra turn or two and approach the school from the side or from the rear. 

Surface lures work well with a perfect cast and a great retrieve.  Watching fish hit the topwater is almost as fun as catching them. You can probably catch more fish on a white jig or grub that is closer to the size of the tiny shad stripers are eating. These slurps only stay up for a few minutes at best. Once they go down, the school often goes right under the boat and can be caught on spoons or other fast falling lures like a heavy rattletrap. The school is in range for less than a minute so react quickly when the graph lights up with 30 or more fish. 

In the southern lake striper slurps were found in Padre Bay near Dominguez Rock, Gregory Butte, Dove Canyon, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake slurps were seen in Bullfrog Bay, Halls Creek, Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay and Red Canyon.  This is a lakewide event but with more shad in the northern lake the best place to try is from Bullfrog to Trachyte Canyon.

Smallmouth bass fishing is great in the early morning on surface lures lakewide and later in the day on plastic grubs and senkos near isolated rock slides and along rocky shorelines where water depth is 10-20 feet.  Larger bass are deeper at 20-35 feet.

Walleye are being caught trolling, and casting in cloudy water.  Wind is forecast to blow in the afternoon this week. When the wind comes up try trolling along windy points and flat ledges with a bottom depth of 10-30 feet.  Catch one walleye and return to that spot to catch more. You can cast for walleye using a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm attached and a slow retrieve while maintaining bottom contact.  Walleye group together. Catch one and more are likely to be found in the same spot.  

Blue gill and green sunfish are quite visible now as they are nesting in shallow water. Look for a 12-inch circular nest on the bottom and drop a tiny plastic jig on to the nest and watch the bluegill come over to remove it. Set the hook when he picks it up. Male, nest guarding,  bluegill are the most colorful fish in the lake.

 

June 6, 2018 - Slurps Begin

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 6, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  72  - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Stripers Slurps Begin:
Stripers have now completed spawning and they are really hungry! Shad have started to spawn and tiny larval shad are found near the lake’s surface. Stripers are now looking up in search of a school of larval shad. Once located stripers feed carefully on these tiny fish.  It takes intense concentration to slurp in these tender morsels that are only a quarter to a half inch long.  Stripers line up and feed shoulder to shoulder through the tiny shad gathering.  Occasionally a striper gets frustrated and jumps out of the water while the rest of the fish swim just below the surface as they try to find some food.
From the boat this feeding action looks like a mild surface disturbance. Look for the 2 or 3 fish that jump and then join back into the small wave created by the slurping fish.  Get in casting range and then throw surface lures well beyond the striper school and work it back through the surface feeding stripers; or use a small white jig or grub and reel it right under the surface; or use a small spoon and reel it through the surfacing stripers.
Of course, as soon as any cast is made the striper school tends to dive for safety. The usually pop back up within a minute but just out of casting range. When they reappear cast again as described above or watch the graph when they dive down again. They usually descend to 25-40 feet and glide right under the boat.
If this sounds confusing that’s because it is. The end result is that a few stripers will be hooked on topwater, and some on shallow grubs and spoons.  A few more fish will be caught on spoons fishing in deep water under the boat. There is no one right way to do this. The best method is to be prepared for all circumstances.  You will catch fish but not on the same scale as fishing summer striper boils. That comes later. For now chasing slurps is fun and some fish are caught. Perhaps the best slurp lure is a white crappie jig.
Slurps have been found in the main channel at the mouth of Rock Creek and Last Chance and in Dove Canyon.  Uplake they were found in Bullfrog Bay, Moki Canyon, the back of Halls Creek and in open water at Buoy 102.  The biggest and most consistent slurps are found in the morning.
Back at the fish cleaning station we found one striper with quagga mussels and crayfish in his stomach.  The other fish had the grey ooze of decomposing tiny shad.
Smallmouth bass are still the most commonly caught fish and found on various rocky structures over the length of the lake.  Best bets include: Plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, and shad shaped worms. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.
Bluegill and green sunfish are actively spawning now. They can be seen near blocky rocks or where woody stickups or tumbleweeds are congregated. The water is not as clear as it has been but these sunfish nests can be seen very well in 5-10 feet of water.   The nest is a small depression about a foot in diameter with the male bluegill guarding.  A small jig with a piece of worm attached can be dropped on the nest.  Wait for the male bluegill to pick it up to move it off the nest and then set the hook.  These bluegill are some of the brightest colored fish that swim in Lake Powell.
The added bonus while fishing for bluegill is that largemouth bass share the same habitat and can be caught right alongside the bluegill school.
Walleye are still being caught in good numbers over the length of the lake with the northern lake from Escalante, to Bullfrog, to Good Hope Bay being the best spots to try.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 6, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  72  - 75 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Striper Slurps Begin:

Stripers have now completed spawning and they are really hungry! Shad have started to spawn and tiny larval shad are found near the lake’s surface. Stripers are now looking up in search of a school of larval shad. Once located stripers feed carefully on these tiny fish.  It takes intense concentration to slurp in these tender morsels that are only a quarter to a half inch long.  Stripers line up and feed shoulder to shoulder through the tiny shad gathering.  Occasionally a striper gets frustrated and jumps out of the water while the rest of the fish swim just below the surface as they try to find some food.  

From the boat this feeding action looks like a mild surface disturbance. Look for the 2 or 3 fish that jump and then join back into the small wave created by the slurping fish.  Get in casting range and then throw surface lures well beyond the striper school and work it back through the surface feeding stripers; or use a small white jig or grub and reel it right under the surface; or use a small spoon and reel it through the surfacing stripers. 

Of course, as soon as any cast is made the striper school tends to dive for safety. They usually pop back up within a minute but just out of casting range. When they reappear cast again as described above or watch the graph when they dive down again. They usually descend to 25-40 feet and glide right under the boat.

If this sounds confusing that’s because it is. The end result is that a few stripers will be hooked on topwater, and some on shallow grubs and spoons.  A few more fish will be caught on spoons fishing in deep water under the boat. There is no one right way to do this. The best method is to be prepared for all circumstances.  You will catch fish but not on the same scale as fishing summer striper boils. That comes later. For now chasing slurps is fun and some fish are caught. Perhaps the best slurp lure is a white crappie jig. 

Slurps have been found in the main channel at the mouth of Rock Creek and Last Chance and in Dove Canyon.  Uplake they were found in Bullfrog Bay, Moki Canyon, the back of Halls Creek and in open water at Buoy 102.  The biggest and most consistent slurps are found in the morning. 

Back at the fish cleaning station we found one striper with quagga mussels and crayfish in his stomach.  The other fish had the grey ooze of decomposing tiny shad. 

Smallmouth bass are still the most commonly caught fish and found on various rocky structures over the length of the lake.  Best bets include: Plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, and shad shaped worms. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening. 

Bluegill and green sunfish are actively spawning now. They can be seen near blocky rocks or where woody stickups or tumbleweeds are congregated. The water is not as clear as it has been but these sunfish nests can be seen very well in 5-10 feet of water.   The nest is a small depression about a foot in diameter with the male bluegill guarding.  A small jig with a piece of worm attached can be dropped on the nest.  Wait for the male bluegill to pick it up to move it off the nest and then set the hook.  These bluegill are some of the brightest colored fish that swim in Lake Powell.  

The added bonus while fishing for bluegill is that largemouth bass share the same habitat and can be caught right alongside the bluegill school. 

Walleye are still being caught in good numbers over the length of the lake with the northern lake from Escalante, to Bullfrog, to Good Hope Bay being the best spots to try.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2018 14:58
 

May 30, 2018 - Bluegill Prizes Awarded this Week.

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 30, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  67-74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell continues to rise with inflow doubling outflow right now. Rising water is having a positive effect on fishing success.  Bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish all search for brushy structure.  We hope the lake level continues to rise and reaches the next plateau where a significant amount of submerged cover is created.
The most commonly caught fish right now are smallmouth bass.  They love rocks!  Look for them on shallow rocky points stretching out perpendicularly from the shoreline or on a rocky point where a ridge enters the water.  Bass have recently occupied another habitat which is a small isolated rock slide in the main channel or main canyon.   Look for a rock slide less than 100 yards in width with steep cliffs on either side.  Bass congregate in the rocky cover with the small fish anywhere from 5-15 feet deep.  Larger bass are deeper in the 20-30 foot strata. Bass are eating crayfish and small sunfish.  The best bottom bouncing baits are plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, shad shaped worms and chatterbaits.  Square bill crankbaits are working as well. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.
Bluegill and sunfish are biting well and are found in the same rocky habitat shared with smallmouth bass.   The slight difference is bluegill will be on a quick drop off near shore where boulders are piled up to provide the habitat needed.  If tumbleweeds have floated in and sunk near the boulders that structure is even better. Water clarity is only 15 feet this week but that is enough to allow visual sightings of sunfish schools hanging out near shore. Once sighted these tasty fish are easy to catch if you are prepared with a live worm. Green sunfish have a large mouth for their size and really like worms. Bluegill have a small mouth so it is important to downsize the hook to a trout size of number 8 or smaller.   We caught lots of sunfish on a worm under a bobber, and on a small plastic bluegill jig on a 1/16th ounce jig head.  Then we tried a tiny ice jig with a ¼ inch worm attached and caught sunfish like crazy.
Remember that Utah Wildlife and BYU are collecting sunfish this week at the fish cleaning stations at Wahweap and Bullfrog.  If you catch a sunfish, please keep it and bring it to the cleaning station where it will be used to understand sunfish food habits and how important quagga mussels are in their diet.  Please remember where the sunfish were caught and let us know that detail when the fish is turned in. You can fillet bluegill and keep the meet. The carcass and stomach is enough for the study.   If you bring in a sunfish you will be entered in a fishing contest where tackle is awarded to the lucky winner in a prize drawing.    The Prize Drawing will take place after June 2, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.
Walleye are caught on bottom bouncers with worms, on plastic baits retrieved close to the bottom, and on lures trolled across rocky points.  The number of walleye caught per hour increases as you head north.  Walleye are caught randomly in the southern lake but can be caught in large numbers in the north.  Walleye fishing will remain good over the next 3 weeks.
Striped bass are in the final stages of spawning. They are randomly caught along main channel walls and in side canyons by bait fishermen, but the hotspots tend to move around each day.   Random stripers are caught while trolling he shoreline particularly where water is murky toward the back of the canyon. Yearling fish that eat plankton near the surface can be caught while trolling and casting. Stripers will come back to the surface in mid June when spawning is done and as larval shad are found near the surface. Stripers that are missing in action now will be back in large numbers as they slurp the tiny shad near the surface. Look for striper slurps to start mid June.
On the fish report trip this week we caught 36 bluegill and sunfish, 1 striper, 1 walleye, and 40 smallmouth bass. The Lake Powell Slam is a great goal to shoot for this week!

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 30, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  67-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Lake Powell continues to rise with inflow doubling outflow right now. Rising water is having a positive effect on fishing success.  Bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish all search for brushy structure.  We hope the lake level continues to rise and reaches the next plateau where a significant amount of submerged cover is created.

The most commonly caught fish right now are smallmouth bass.  They love rocks!  Look for them on shallow rocky points stretching out perpendicularly from the shoreline or on a rocky point where a ridge enters the water.  Bass have recently occupied another habitat which is a small isolated rock slide in the main channel or main canyon.   Look for a rock slide less than 100 yards in width with steep cliffs on either side.  Bass congregate in the rocky cover with the small fish anywhere from 5-15 feet deep.  Larger bass are deeper in the 20-30 foot strata. Bass are eating crayfish and small sunfish.  The best bottom contact baits are plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, shad shaped worms and chatterbaits.  Square bill crankbaits are working as well. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening. 

Bluegill and sunfish are biting well and are found in the same rocky habitat shared with smallmouth bass.   The slight difference is bluegill will be on a quick drop off near shore where boulders are piled up to provide the habitat needed.  If tumbleweeds have floated in and sunk near the boulders that structure is even better. Water clarity is only 15 feet this week but that is enough to allow visual sightings of sunfish schools hanging out near shore. Once sighted these tasty fish are easy to catch if you are prepared with a live worm. Green sunfish have a large mouth for their size and really like worms. Bluegill have a small mouth so it is important to downsize the hook to a trout size of number 8 or smaller.   We caught lots of sunfish on a worm under a bobber, and on a small plastic bluegill jig on a 1/16th ounce jig head.  Then we tried a tiny ice jig with a ¼ inch worm attached and caught sunfish like crazy.

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Remember that Utah Wildlife and BYU are collecting sunfish this week at the fish cleaning stations at Wahweap and Bullfrog.  If you catch a sunfish, please keep it and bring it to the cleaning station where it will be used to understand sunfish food habits and how important quagga mussels are in their diet.  Please remember where the sunfish were caught and let us know that detail when the fish is turned in. You can fillet bluegill and keep the meat. The carcass and stomach is enough for the study.   If you bring in a sunfish you will be entered in a fishing contest where fishing tackle is awarded to the lucky winner in a prize drawing.    The Prize Drawing will take place after June 2, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

Walleye are caught on bottom bouncers with worms, on plastic baits retrieved close to the bottom, and on lures trolled across rocky points.  The number of walleye caught per hour increases as you head north.  Walleye are caught randomly in the southern lake but can be caught in large numbers in the north.  Walleye fishing will remain good over the next 3 weeks. 

Striped bass are in the final stages of spawning. They are randomly caught along main channel walls and in side canyons by bait fishermen, but the hotspots tend to move around each day.   Random stripers are caught while trolling the shoreline particularly where water is murky toward the back of the canyon. Yearling fish that eat plankton near the surface can be caught while trolling and casting. Stripers will come back to the surface in mid June when spawning is done and as larval shad are found near the surface. Stripers that are missing in action now will be back in large numbers as they slurp the tiny shad near the surface. Look for striper slurps to start mid June. 

On the fish report trip this week we caught 36 bluegill and sunfish, 1 striper, 1 walleye, and 40 smallmouth bass. The Lake Powell Slam is a great goal to shoot for this week!

 

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May 23, 2018 - Great Fishing and Prizes!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  65-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.
Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now.
Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June.
Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake.
Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.   Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.
We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery.
Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark.
YOU CAN WIN PRIZES! For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing for fishing tackle.
Details:
Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient.
You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement.
Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.
All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  65-72 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.

Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now. 

Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June. 

Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake. 

Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.  Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.

We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery. 

Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark. 

YOU CAN WIN PRIZES! For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing for fishing tackle. 

Details: Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient. You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement. Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

 

Note:  Pictures for this report are found on Wayneswords.net> Fish Report.  It is much easier to post picutres on the new website. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:19
 

May 16, 2018 - Striped bass are Spawning

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable.
My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.
Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.
Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.
Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch.
Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

stbvisualStriped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable. 

 

 

 

 

My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.

Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.

Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.

 

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Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:49
 

May 9, 2018 - Grand Slam fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate brown color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.
This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion.
The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.
Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.
Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids.
Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel fishing spots. These fish eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success.
We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch.
Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch a walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake.
Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.

This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion. 

The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of structure and habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.

Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.

Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids. 

Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel bait fishing spots. These stripers eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success. 

bgfemale


















        Bluegill = Newcomer to the front stage at Lake Powell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch. 

Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake. 

blemonsis        Bob Lemons 

 

 

 

 

Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 18:18
 
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