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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.

 

russkid1pg

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
 

May 2, 2018 - All species now available

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  59 - 64 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
It’s typically springtime weather with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect.
Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a fish trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.
The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.
Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.
Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away.
Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.
Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught recently.  Larger bluegill feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.
Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  59 - 64 F

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

It’s typically springtime weather now with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect. 

Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a small school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a striper trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.

stb2hungry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.

Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.

 

rscrappie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away. 

waemouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.

walleyelureworm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught recently.  Larger bluegill, feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.

bgcolor

 

Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:45
 

April 25, 2018 - Surface feeding stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 25, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  58 - 64 F

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

 

Lake level is still declining with 16,000 acre feet of water flowing into the lake while 24,000 acre feet flows out.  Water temperature is climbing with early morning temperature now at 59 F. Hopefully the warming air temperature will allow the runoff to increase and allow the lake to rise. Water clarity is still crystal clear in the southern lake. It is possible to see the bottom in 30 feet of water in some locations.

These warming conditions have ushered in the expected behavioral change in adult striped bass that are waiting to spawn. Each spring adult stripers migrate back to where they were spawned, similar to salmon running upstream to their nursery location.  Stripers spawn at night so they are not that easy to find during the day.   Stripers spawn on the surface so there are no nests to mark the location of the spawning event. The evidence of the spawning location is the early morning presence of large schools of stripers swimming on the surface as they wait for the 10 degree temperature spike which is the trigger that allows spawning to occur. That trigger would be an early morning water temperature of 62-64 degrees which increases to 74 or above in the afternoon.  While waiting for the temperature increase, the striper schools pass the time by swimming aimlessly near the surface, slurping up tiny microscopic plankton in the early morning hours. When the morning sun hits the water the school drops down to 40 feet or more and waits for that spawning trigger.  Usually spawning occurs between May 10 and June 10.

sluppb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plankton Slurping Stripers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years we have found some of those spawning locations.  Some pre-spawn holding locations are marked by high canyon walls on the east side of the lake which offer extended shady periods. The sun now comes up about 6:30 AM (MDT).  The eastern sky begins to lighten about 30-45 minutes earlier.  The events described here occur between 5:45 to 8 AM or when the sunlight hits the water in different locations.

As we checked out a spawning location in Padre Bay yesterday, my heart skipped a beat as a school of stripers was seen slurping plankton on the surface.  A number of fishing techniques were deployed to see what would be most effective. We trolled over the school with small crank baits trailed way behind the boat. The school sounded and then returned to the surface about the time our lures were in range and a few 3 pound stripers were caught.   We fast trolled Clouser Minnow flies just under the surface and caught a few fish.  We stopped in casting range of the feeding school and cast jigs, small crankbaits and flies and caught a few fish. When the school left the surface, we dropped spoons down to the fish seen on the graph at 40-80 feet and caught a few fish. It was intense, breath taking and very satisfying to be back interacting with spawning stripers again.  The sun hit the water way too soon and the morning action was over.   A few more spots were checked by trolling in the backs of canyons at a water depth of 25 feet in murky water. We ended up with 34 stripers back at the fish cleaning station.

stbvisual

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many were seen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those fishing bait in the main channel came in about the same time and most had 10-20 stripers for the morning trip. Fishing has picked and will continue to be good to great for all of the month of May.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass were seen guarding many nests in the southern lake.  Those anglers seeking spunky bass were smiling as well.  Fish size and health is great right now. Walleye fishing is heating up in the northern lake.

Spring spawning season is here with the daily air temperatures in the 70-80 range.  There will be some afternoon winds so the best fishing will be in the early morning over the next 10 days.

 

425graph

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:04
 

April 18, 2018 - Spawning Begins

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 18, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  53 -60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Spawning Season
The bass spawn has been postponed due to cool windy weather.  It seems this happens every spring with bass moving shallow in early April only to be chased back into deep water as the water surface temperature cools back down with the next cold front. The forecast now is for warm weather to arrive this weekend and persist for the entire week. Therefore bass spawning will occur over the entire lake from April 20-27.  Crystal clear water is found over most of the main lake which will make sight fishing for bedding bass an amazing event. Expect to see male bass protecting a light colored fanned spot, 3 feet under the surface, on the green or brown lake bottom.  Once eggs are laid on the small rocks the male bass will protect those eggs from all predators including plastic baits.  On the first day or two after the spawn the guarding bass is overly aggressive, challenging everything that swims within sight. He will pick up plastic baits that settle on the rocks within the nest boundary and move it off the nest and drop it.  He can be caught many times and becomes less aggressive with time. The eggs hatch in about 5 days and the bass body guard stays with the bass fry that hatch and swim above the rocky nest site.
The bass protector leaves the swimming fry and lets then swim away after a few days and goes back to the nest.  He then finds another ripe female, spawns again and starts the process over once more.  A male bass may bring off 4 or 5 successful spawns with 2-3,000 young bass per nest.
It is a good idea to release all bass caught off nests until spawning season is over (June) so the next generation of bass can be propagated for the future.  The lake has not yet started to rise and remains amazingly clear.  It will be interesting to watch the natural spawning cycle even if you are not a fisherman.  Look for bass on primary and secondary points and in coves near the backs of canyons.
Walleye have now completed their early spring spawning season making them more available to be caught by anglers.  With such clear water it is best to target walleye during low light periods, morning and evening.  Standard walleye baits include bottom bouncers and worm harnesses and a live night crawler.  It is also possible to use a regular double or single tail bass plastic grub. The secret for success is to make sure that lure maintains bottom contact. Gently lift it off the bottom and then make sure it touches bottom again after each jigging motion. Walleye are found in increasingly higher numbers with distance traveled uplake starting at Padre Bay.  Good Hope Bay is the best spot as long as there is some visibility in the muddy runoff water coming downstream.
Stripers are being caught on bait in the main channel starting at Buoy 3 and proceeding further uplake.  Pre-spawn stripers can be found in the backs of canyons where there is some color in the water. These fish can be caught on bait or by trolling, spooning and casting.  As spawning time gets closer, expect stripers to move from the backs of canyons out to main canyon walls where they will spawn on the surface after dark.  Over most of the lake, stripers can still be caught trolling. Locate a school on the graph and make repeated passes over the school holding at 30-40 feet deep.  Smaller lures (3-4 inches) work better in the south where few shad are found while 4-5 inch lures work where shad are more abundant. It is best to troll lures that run 10-15 feet deep or use down riggers at the same depth the school is seen on the graph.
Expect fishing to improve significantly as the weather warms and the wind quits this weekend.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 18, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  53-60 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com

 

poolpano

 

 

 

 

Spawning Season

The bass spawn has been postponed due to cool windy weather.  It seems this happens every spring with bass moving shallow in early April only to be chased back into deep water as the water surface temperature cools back down with the next cold front. The forecast now is for warm weather to arrive this weekend and persist for the entire week. Therefore bass spawning will occur over the entire lake from April 20-27.  Crystal clear water is found over most of the main lake which will make sight fishing for bedding bass an amazing event. Expect to see male bass protecting a light colored fanned spot, 3 feet under the surface, on the green or brown lake bottom.  Once eggs are laid on the small rocks the male bass will protect those eggs from all predators including plastic baits.  On the first day or two after the spawn the guarding bass is overly aggressive, challenging everything that swims within sight. He will pick up plastic baits that settle on the rocks within the nest boundary and move it off the nest and drop it.  He can be caught many times and becomes less aggressive with time. The eggs hatch in about 5 days and the bass body guard stays with the bass fry that hatch and swim above the rocky nest site.

bassonbed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bass protector leaves the swimming fry and lets then swim away after a few days and goes back to the nest.  He then finds another ripe female, spawns again and starts the process over once more.  A male bass may bring off 4 or 5 successful spawns with 2-3,000 young bass per nest. 

It is a good idea to release all bass caught off nests until spawning season is over (June) so the next generation of bass can be propagated for the future.  The lake has not yet started to rise and remains amazingly clear.  It will be interesting to watch the natural spawning cycle even if you are not a fisherman.  Look for bass on primary and secondary points and in coves near the backs of canyons.

Walleye have now completed their early spring spawning season making them more available to be caught by anglers.  With such clear water it is best to target walleye during low light periods, morning and evening.  Standard walleye baits include bottom bouncers and worm harnesses and a live night crawler.  It is also possible to use a regular double or single tail bass plastic grub. The secret for success is to make sure that lure maintains bottom contact. Gently lift it off the bottom and then make sure it touches bottom again after each jigging motion. Walleye are found in increasingly higher numbers with distance traveled uplake starting at Padre Bay.  Good Hope Bay is the best spot as long as there is some visibility in the muddy runoff water coming downstream. 

Stripers are being caught on bait in the main channel starting at Buoy 3 and proceeding further uplake.  Pre-spawn stripers can be found in the backs of canyons where there is some color in the water. These fish can be caught on bait or by trolling, spooning and casting.  As spawning time gets closer, expect stripers to move from the backs of canyons out to main canyon walls where they will spawn on the surface after dark.  Over most of the lake, stripers can still be caught trolling. Locate a school on the graph and make repeated passes over the school holding at 30-40 feet deep.  Smaller lures (3-4 inches) work better in the south where few shad are found while 4-5 inch lures work where shad are more abundant. It is best to troll lures that run 10-15 feet deep or use down riggers at the same depth the school is seen on the graph. 

Expect fishing to improve significantly as the weather warms and the wind quits this weekend.

 

April 11, 2018 - Special Request BG and GSF

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Attention Lake Powell Anglers
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Brigham Young University are in the process of conducting a research project to better understand the relationships and/or threats invasive mussels may have on the fishery at Lake Powell and WE NEED YOUR HELP.
In order to better understand what the future holds and what we can do to maintain the great fishing at Lake Powell we need anglers to help us catch Bluegill and Green Sunfish from locations around the lake.
All you need to do is go fishing and catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd.
YOU CAN ALSO WIN PRIZES!  For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing.
When:  May 28th through June 2nd. (10:00 am – Dark)
Where: Lake Powell (Bullfrog and Wahweap)
MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE POSTED PRIOR TO MAY 28TH

Attention Lake Powell Anglers

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Brigham Young University are in the process of conducting a research project to better understand the relationships and/or threats invasive mussels may have on the fishery at Lake Powell and WE NEED YOUR HELP.

To better understand what the future holds and what we can do to maintain the great fishing at Lake Powell we need anglers to help us catch Bluegill and Green Sunfish from locations around the lake.  All you need to do is go fishing and catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd.  

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

When:  May 28th through June 2nd. (10:00 am – Dark)

Where: Lake Powell (Bullfrog and Wahweap) 

MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE POSTED PRIOR TO MAY 28TH

 

April 11, 2018 - Bass spawn imminent

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 11, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  56 -62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Based on the extreme water clarity found in Lake Powell last week we went further uplake to see what conditions prevailed.  Crystal clear water was found in Llewellyn Gulch and Cottonwood Canyon with 25 feet of visibility at the mouth of both canyons.  As we went further back in the canyon, water clarity declined to about 15 feet.  We then went up the San Juan and found clear water as well but not as extreme as found in main channel canyons.  In Piute and Neskahi water clarity was about 15 feet. It is likely that water clarity will decrease as water temperature warms and runoff begins.  Right now, fish are more likely to be caught in canyons and location where water clarity is less than 15 feet or if the bait is fished at depths greater than 30 feet. More fish can be caught during early morning and late evening when direct sunlight is blocked by high canyon walls.
Fishing results showed that smallmouth bass were active and healthy in all canyons sampled.  Water temperature on our trip ranged from 56-62 F, which is ideal for prespawn bass activity.  Only one fresh bass nest was seen on our trip and it appeared to be very recently fanned.  Bass spawning is imminent and can be expected to begin within the next week at a water temperature between 60 and 66. Sight fishing for bedding bass will peak from April 18 to 25th.  Expect to locate bass spawning beds in 3 feet of water in small-sized rocky areas rather than on sandy substrate. Largemouth beds will be in the same locations but will be near a bush, overhang or stickup.
A wide range of bass baits that worked well for us included, Senkos, Ned rigs, double tailed grubs, Chatterbaits, and Shad Shaped Worms.   Long casts were more effective than dropping the bait near fish seen swimming near the boat.  It was fun to watch bass, look at and interact with, the bait before turning away.  It was possible to watch how bass respond to our lures and learn from that moment.
Stripers were not often seen as they seem to be moving from locations occupied over the winter.  Those fishing with anchovies in the main channel saw their catch increase slightly as a few more fish were caught by each group than during the previous week.  Healthy, robust stripers that are going to spawn this year are heading to their prespawn locations where they hangout waiting for the rapid warming that triggers spawning.  That usually begins near May 10th and may continue until the first week of June.  Spawning fish are not feeding on shad but will eat plankton to keep them alive. This is an ideal time to catch big stripers on small lures or flies.  Fly fishing for stripers peaks in May at Lake Powell.
Walleye were not caught on this trip because we did not deploy bottom bouncers or tip our bass baits with a piece of night crawler.  Walleye catch will increase each week from now until the end of May. Slow down and maintain bottom contact with you favorite walleye lure.  I find that tipping a bass jig with a one inch chunk of bait makes me fish slower and target walleye instead of bass. Walleye are numerous now and willing to hit baits that enter their holding zone on main channel points and ledges. Fish for them in low light for best results. The ideal spot is a wind or wave induced mud line that covers the clear water and gives walleye a sense of security while they wait for food to swim by.
Spring is here. It is time to go fishing for warm water fish.

Lake Powell Fish Report –April 11, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  56 - 62 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com

Bass Grand Slam - Sam Sherwood

sslmbsj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the extreme water clarity found in Lake Powell last week we went further uplake to see what conditions prevailed.  Crystal clear water was found in Llewellyn Gulch and Cottonwood Canyon with 25 feet of visibility at the mouth of both canyons.  As we went further back in the canyon, water clarity declined to about 15 feet.  We then went up the San Juan and found clear water as well but not as extreme as found in main channel canyons.  In Piute and Neskahi water clarity was about 15 feet. It is likely that water clarity will decrease as water temperature warms and runoff begins.  Right now, fish are more likely to be caught in canyons and location where water clarity is less than 15 feet or if the bait is fished at depths greater than 30 feet. More fish can be caught during early morning and late evening when direct sunlight is blocked by high canyon walls.  

sssmbsj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing results showed that smallmouth bass were active and healthy in all canyons sampled.  Water temperature on our trip ranged from 56-62 F, which is ideal for prespawn bass activity.  Only one fresh bass nest was seen on our trip and it appeared to be very recently fanned.  Bass spawning is imminent and can be expected to begin within the next week at a water temperature between 60 and 66. Sight fishing for bedding bass will peak from April 18 to 25th.  Expect to locate bass spawning beds in 3 feet of water in small-sized rocky areas rather than on sandy substrate. Largemouth beds will be in the same locations but will be near a bush, overhang or stickup.  

 

ssbcrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wide range of bass baits that worked well for us included, Senkos, Ned rigs, double tailed grubs, Chatterbaits, and Shad Shaped Worms.   Long casts were more effective than dropping the bait near fish seen swimming near the boat.  It was fun to watch bass, look at and interact with, the bait before turning away.  It was possible to watch how bass respond to our lures and learn from that moment.

ssbassbed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stripers were not often seen as they seem to be moving from locations occupied over the winter.  Those fishing with anchovies in the main channel saw their catch increase slightly as a few more fish were caught by each group than during the previous week.  Healthy, robust stripers that are going to spawn this year are heading to their prespawn locations where they hangout waiting for the rapid warming that triggers spawning.  That usually begins near May 10th and may continue until the first week of June.  Spawning fish are not feeding on shad but will eat plankton to keep them alive. This is an ideal time to catch big stripers on small lures or flies.  Fly fishing for stripers peaks in May at Lake Powell. 

Walleye were not caught on this trip because we did not deploy bottom bouncers or tip our bass baits with a piece of night crawler.  Walleye catch will increase each week from now until the end of May. Slow down and maintain bottom contact with you favorite walleye lure.  I find that tipping a bass jig with a one inch chunk of bait makes me fish slower and target walleye instead of bass. Walleye are numerous now and willing to hit baits that enter their holding zone on main channel points and ledges. Fish for them in low light for best results. The ideal spot is a wind or wave induced mud line that covers the clear water and gives walleye a sense of security while they wait for food to swim by. Spring is here.

It is time to go fishing for warm water fish.

 

Bass habitat:

habsjbass

 

April 4, 2018 - Clear water in South

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  52 -58 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.
It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows.
Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May.
Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.
Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.
Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.
I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.
In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.   More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel.
Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  52 -58 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com

The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.

cromerojrChris Romero Jr

 

 

 

It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows. 

Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May. 

 

 

ccrosbyChris Crosby

 

 


Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.     

Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.       

Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.

I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.

graph4Striper School

 

 

 


In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.  More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel. 

Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

 

March 28, 2018 - Clear water fishing improves

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612.74
Water temperature:  50 -56
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek.
There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.
If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw fish on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days.
While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.
Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more.
Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.
Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April.
Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.
Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612.74

Water temperature:  50-56

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com

jishsmith

 

 

 

Josh Smith with Warm Creek striper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek. 

 

 

buoy25




Buoy 25 Cove

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.  

If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw stripers on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days. 

While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.  

 

graphshad

 

 

 

Suspended shad schools 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more. 

Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.  

Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April. 

Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.    

Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:06
 
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