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September 5, 2017 - Gearing up for Fall Fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 5, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3630.5
Water Temperature:  81-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell was busy over the Labor Day weekend. Weather was warm and winds were calm. Many enjoyed camping in the warm and beautiful summer conditions.  There will be another week or two of warm weather and then the cooler fall weather will arrive. Right now the lake is capped with 80F+ water temperature which is a bit warm for really good fishing.  In the spring time the best fishing occurs when the water warms into the 60s.  Right now we are waiting for the temperature to drop into the 70s.  When that happens here is what to expect.
Striped Bass: Small stripers are accustomed to feeding in really warm water.  The quick boils seen this weekend featured 8-13 inch stripers. Stripers that have boiled the last 2 months have done very well. They are two inches longer, fat and strong. Few reports about larger stripers feeding on top were received this week which means that the bigger fish were too hot to boil, or the lake was too busy or shad were moving away from main channel spots that were hot fishing a week ago. It really does not matter why there were less boils because there are still huge schools of shad in the backs of the canyons.  Stripers will now move out of the main channel and work toward the backs of the canyon. The next boil period will likely erupt as soon as stripers make the transition to searching the canyons instead of the man channel and find shad in side canyons lakewide.  I predict that fall top water fishing will begin mid September and boils will be large and long lasting. Expect boils to be near shore instead of in the middle of the channel. Look for giant splashes in the backs of canyons.
It has been difficult to see stripers on the graph recently because the schools are wide spread chasing individual shad near the surface.  When the schools become tighter and are found in shallower water it will be easier to identify a striper school.  In the fall always have a top water lure ready to cast but when the school is seen on the fish finder catching fish is easiest when suing a spoon.
Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth are found in deeper water when the surface water is so warm.  Recently the best technique has been to visibly locate a submerged brushy reef near shore.  Move to the breaking edge of the reef and fish on the next drop off where water depth is 15-30 feet deep.  Smallmouth are grouped in schools in the deeper water. It is possible to see these groups of fish holding near the bottom.  Once over the school drop plastic grubs on lead head jigs or dropshot rigged shad shaped worms into the school. Right now bass fishing is a lot like striper fishing where bass can be located on the graph rather than just looking for the right structure and bottom depth.
I have found the best bass schools by trolling a mid depth crankbait along the breaking edge of the reef. When a bass is caught check for curious followers and cast plastic grubs to them as they chase the hooked fish right up to the boat. Bass fishing has been quite good using this method.  Catch bass until they leave the spot or the boat drifts away, and then troll again to find another hungry group.
Bluegill:  Adult bluegill have grown quite large and are found in deepest brushy water available. With the lake going down those brush piles are getting shallower and are visible in the clear water.  Drop meal worms or Gulp minnows down to the tops of the brush to catch some very colorful feisty fish.
Channel catfish:   Catfish are active in the evening near camp. Use some leftovers from dinner right behind the houseboat on a sandy beach about 10-15 feet deep.  Catfish really like the murky water near the end of the canyon where good campsites are found.
Fishing is still really good at the lake but will get even better in the weeks to come

Lake Powell Fish Report – September 5, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3630.5

Water Temperature:  81-85 F

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

Lake Powell was busy over the Labor Day weekend. Weather was warm and winds were calm. Many enjoyed camping in the warm and beautiful summer conditions.  There will be another week or two of warm weather and then the cooler fall weather will arrive. Right now the lake is capped with 80F+ water temperature which is a bit warm for really good fishing.  In the spring time the best fishing occurs when the water warms into the 60s.  Right now we are waiting for the temperature to drop into the 70s.  When that happens here is what to expect.

andrewtiptonStriped Bass: Small stripers are accustomed to feeding in really warm water.  The quick boils seen this weekend featured 8-13 inch stripers. Older stripers that have boiled the last 2 months have done very well. They are two inches longer, fat and strong. Few reports about larger stripers feeding on top were received this week which means that the bigger fish were too hot to boil, or the lake was too busy or shad were moving away from main channel spots that were hot fishing a week ago. It really does not matter why there were less boils because there are still huge schools of shad in the backs of the canyons.  Stripers will now move out of the main channel and work toward the backs of the canyon. The next boil period will likely erupt as soon as stripers make the transition to searching the canyons instead of the man channel and find shad in side canyons lakewide.  I predict that fall top water fishing will begin mid September and boils will be large and long lasting. Expect boils to be near shore instead of in the middle of the channel. Look for giant splashes in the backs of canyons.

It has been difficult to see stripers on the graph recently because the schools are wide spread chasing individual shad near the surface.  When the schools become tighter and are found in shallower water it will be easier to identify a striper school.  In the fall always have a top water lure ready to cast but when the school is seen on the fish finder catching fish is easiest when using a spoon. 

Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth are found in deeper water when the surface water is so warm.  Recently the best technique has been to visibly locate a submerged brushy reef near shore.  Move to the breaking edge of the reef and fish on the next drop off where water depth is 15-30 feet deep.  Smallmouth are grouped in schools in the deeper water. It is possible to see these groups of fish holding near the bottom.  Once over the school drop plastic grubs on lead head jigs or dropshot rigged shad shaped worms into the school. Right now bass fishing is a lot like striper fishing where bass can be located on the graph rather than just looking for the right structure and bottom depth. 

coldren2I have found the best bass schools by trolling a mid depth crankbait along the breaking edge of the reef. When a bass is caught check for curious followers and cast plastic grubs to them as they chase the hooked fish right up to the boat. Bass fishing has been quite good using this method.  Catch bass until they leave the spot or the boat drifts away, and then troll again to find another hungry group. 

Bluegill:  Adult bluegill have grown quite large and are found in deepest brushy water available. With the lake going down those brush piles are getting shallower and are visible in the clear water.  Drop meal worms or Gulp minnows down to the tops of the brush to catch some very colorful, feisty fish.

Channel catfish:   Catfish are active in the evening near camp. Use some leftovers from dinner right behind the houseboat on a sandy beach about 10-15 feet deep.  Catfish really like the murky water near the end of the canyon where good campsites are found.

Fishing is still really good at the lake but will get even better in the weeks to come.

 

August 30, 2017 - Right Place Wrong Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 29, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3631

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

rcboilsma

 

Upon returning from a week’s vacation there were a number of exciting fish reports waiting. Striper boils were reported to be much closer to my home port at Wahweap. Normally large boils require traveling to the San Juan or Good Hope Bay. The reported boils were a short boat ride away at Castle Rock, Warm Creek and Navajo.  With great anticipation we loaded up and headed out this morning before dawn.

The sunrise was absolutely beautiful as we crossed Wahweap Bay on perfectly calm water.  We saw single fish splashing near Castle Rock but headed uplake looking for a larger fish concentration.  As we turned the corner heading to the main channel the wind came up which prevented us from going to the mouth of Navajo.  We fought the wind all the way to Gunsight, then Labyrinth, Face and finally stopped at Gregory Butte. No boils were seen through the white caps. The wind finally quit as we headed back down lake to Labyrinth.

zolsensmIn flat water we finally saw stripers hitting the surface.  These stripers were in wide spread, small pods of 3-6 fish covering a large cove.  A fat, healthy striper was caught each time our topwater lures landed near a surfacing fish but only one fish was caught from each pod with lots of chasing. These were not the large striper boils we were looking for. So we moved on.

Zane Olsen unhooking a Rebel "Jumpin Minnow"

One report indicted a consistent boil in the main channel between bouy 13 and 15. We found that school mid morning but they went down before we could get to them. We caught one fish blind casting a large surface lure to the vacated spot.   We saw a quick boil at Labyrinth wall but they went down before we could cast.

In short, stripers did not welcome me back with open fins.  The wind kept the stripers down during morning prime time and when it quit stripers stayed deep. My striper boil report is a recap of reports received recently from anglers that did catch a lot of stripers in boils in the southern lake.   In the past few days striper boils were seen at Castle Rock (Warm Creek side), mouth of Navajo, main channel between buoys 13 and 15, Gunsight, and Face Canyon.

Some of these reported boils were huge and lasted a long time.  Stripers could be boiling right now at the spots visited this morning.  In fact, when at the fish cleaning station we met anglers who caught boiling stripers at Castle Rock at 7 AM. If we had gone down toward the dam instead of through the Castle Rock Cut this morning we would have witnessed an hour long boil in the cove halfway between Wahweap Marina and Buoy 1. Then more evening boils were reported recently near Buoy 9 just uplake from Antelope Point Marina. In short boils are where you find them but it is best to look morning and evening.

Uplake, strong boils were found in the back of Halls Creek. It seems the spots that were boiling strong last week are quiet right now.  Each time I make this report those old boil spots take off again so don’t be afraid to return to your spot that has recently boiled.

We stopped and trolled in a few spots this morning and found smallmouth bass and an occasional striper willing to hit crankbaits near rocky reefs or long primary points.  The best and biggest bass were caught in the early morning shadows, particularly in the area just vacated by surface feeding stripers.  In the bright midday sunlight, the size of smallmouth caught declined dramatically.  Smallmouth bass anglers were not doing well as we talked with them mid morning. I suggest trolling to find a good bass spot and then using dropshot rigs with shad shaped worms at that spot.

Fishing was tough for us this morning due to the wind. When that happens, stripers often feed mid day or again in the evening.  Wait! I think I will go out again right now.  Catching stripers on top water lures is most exciting fishing that happens in fresh water.

 

 

August 15, 2017 - Stripers and Smallmouth Fishing Good

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 15, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3633
Water Temperature:  79-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is still warm on the surface (79-84F) with active stripers boiling sporadically lakewide and smallmouth fishing improving dramatically.
Here are the details.  Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. Boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. It is common to find many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often.  Sometimes they come up out of range but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time.  Reports continue to come in of one group of anglers catching over 100 stripers in a morning of fishing.
Be aware that stripers often take a day off.  They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don’t show up, spend time looking for another active group.  Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict.  When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to spot where first seen.  It is wise to have a travel pattern between spots where boils were previously seen. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago.
The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake with the exception that boils are less abundant, quicker and fish take more days off.  On my trips uplake I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I catch 10-20 fish instead of 50-100.
The Great News lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and easy to catch.  They were missing in action during the first part of the month.  The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and stay put.  Their prime location now is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush.  It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the tree tops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (Live Target 2.5 inch, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass.
Trolling over tree tops is a great way to find walleye as well.  It is best to fish for walleye at first and last light now that shad are abundant. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions but they are fat and healthy and can be caught trolling and casting.
Catfish are another night prowler that is easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where the houseboat is parked for the night.  Use some table scraps on a (#4) circle hook behind the boat for fun fishing action.
Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade.  Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a Gulp Minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish.  There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 15, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3633

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

sjboilshoreLake Powell is still warm on the surface (79-84F) with active stripers boiling sporadically lakewide and smallmouth fishing improving dramatically. Here are the details.

 Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. Boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. It is common to find many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often.  Sometimes they come up out of range but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time.  Reports continue to come in of one group of anglers catching over 100 stripers in a morning of fishing.  

Be aware that stripers often take a day off.  They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don’t show up, spend time looking for another active group.  Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict.  When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to spot where first seen.  It is wise to have a travel pattern between spots where boils were previously seen. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago. 

The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake with the exception that boils are less abundant, quicker and fish take more days off.  On my trips uplake I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I catch 10-20 fish instead of 50-100.      

jake2bass2The Great News lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and easy to catch.  They were missing in action during the first part of the month.  The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and stay put.  Their prime location now is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush.  It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the tree tops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (Live Target 2.5 inch, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass. 

Trolling over tree tops is a great way to find walleye as well.  It is best to fish for walleye at first and last light now that shad are abundant. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions but they are fat and healthy and can be caught trolling and casting.  

Catfish are another night prowler that is easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where the houseboat is parked for the night.  Use some table scraps on a (#4) circle hook behind the boat for fun fishing action. 

Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade.  Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a Gulp Minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish.  There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.

 

August 9, 2017 - Water level declines, Fishing good

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3633.9
Water Temperature:  79-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake level is declining slowly.  It would be great if the lake stayed at or above the current level forever, but there are some advantages of declining water in the late summer and fall.  First, the flotsam the rushed downstream with the huge runoff will be stranded on shore making boating much safer. Next, clean sandy beaches will be increasingly available for shore camping and daily visits to the lake.
Most important to me with my total focus on fishing success, is that fish habitat is much easier for anglers to find and identify which fish should be in each type of habitat.  Bass anglers are habitat oriented as they search for the best structure that holds the fish they want to catch. Largemouth bass are often in thick brush in relatively shallow water.  Smallmouth bass will be prowling along the edges of a brushy ridge or cove. As the water declines those habitats will be easier to find and then successfully catch fish.
This week the common smallmouth habitat was rocky points that extend out into the bay (Primary points) separated by a cove or indented shoreline.  Smallmouth bass were consistently holding on the points and ignoring the coves. Once this is discovered it is easy to just fish the primary points, ignore the coves and shoreline, and catch lots of bass.  I caught a few nice smallmouth bass while fishing open water reefs looking for striper boils.
Stripers are also starting to follow the rules established over the last many years.  Normally stripers chase shad to the surface at first light in the morning and go quiet after about 9 AM.  We left Stateline ramp at first light, ran uplake, and found boiling stripers in Warm Creek, Face Canyon, Gregory Butte main channel, and mouth of Rock Creek. We did not stay long at any one spot as we tried to see how far uplake the boils persisted.
We found stripers were still feeding quickly and stayed on top less than a minute.  We quickly ran to the feeding spot and hoped to be close enough to catch fish when the school resurfaced. If in range we caught fish, if not we repositioned and hoped for them to come back up in range. Our best success came when the boat was in range for the second uprising and not many stripers were caught when trying for the third boil from the same school. Surface lures worked better than shallow runners and spoons. Remember that as soon as the school leaves the surface it dives for deeper water. If the school appears on the graph, more fish can be caught by dropping a small, heavy spoon to the depth indicated on the graph.  White or speckled Bomber slab spoons (1ounce) have been working well to catch fleeing stripers.
Stripers in the southern lake are still feeding closer to the main channel than the back of the canyon.  There are many more shad schools holding in the backs of the canyons but stripers are gradually working toward the back and seem content to stay in open water until the shad disappear at which time they will head further back in the canyon. For now, stripers are in the bays and can be seen from the main channel and main canyon mouths.
The best boil reports this week came from the main channel between the Escalante Arm and Halls Creek.  The San Juan was great as well.  Very few reports were received from the northern lake so the results were inconclusive.  I would not be afraid to head north to Good Hope to find boiling stripers.
The only other successful fishing technique that works lakewide is down rigger trolling. Stripers quit boiling at 9 AM and can start up again anytime they want. When they are not boiling they are holding at 30-50 feet.  Down riggers can deliver a shad shaped lure to stripers at their holding depth and keep the catching going all day long while waiting for next boil.  Afternoon wind prevents boils but downriggers can overcome that as well.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3633.9

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

ashtonLake level is declining slowly.  It would be great if the lake stayed at or above the current level forever, but there are some advantages of declining water in the late summer and fall.  First, the flotsam the rushed downstream with the huge runoff will be stranded on shore making boating much safer. Next, clean sandy beaches will be increasingly available for shore camping and daily visits to the lake.

Most important to me with my total focus on fishing success, is that fish habitat is much easier for anglers to find and identify which fish should be in each type of habitat.  Bass anglers are habitat oriented as they search for the best structure that holds the fish they want to catch. Largemouth bass are often in thick brush in relatively shallow water.  

Smallmouth bass will be prowling along the edges of a brushy ridge or cove. As the water declines those habitats will be easier to find and then successfully catch fish. This week the common smallmouth habitat was rocky points that extend out into the bay (Primary points) separated by a cove or indented shoreline.  Smallmouth bass were consistently holding on the points and ignoring the coves. Once this is discovered it is easy to just fish the primary points, ignore the coves and shoreline, and catch lots of bass.  I caught a few nice smallmouth bass while fishing open water reefs looking for striper boils. 

Stripers are also starting to follow the rules established over the last many years.  Normally stripers chase shad to the surface at first light in the morning and go quiet after about 9 AM.  We left Stateline ramp at first light, ran uplake, and found boiling stripers in Warm Creek, Face Canyon, Gregory Butte main channel, and mouth of Rock Creek. We did not stay long at any one spot as we tried to see how far uplake the boils persisted. 

We found stripers were still feeding quickly and stayed on top less than a minute.  We quickly ran to the feeding spot and hoped to be close enough to catch fish when the school resurfaced. If in range we caught fish, if not we repositioned and hoped for them to come back up in range. Our best success came when the boat was in range for the second uprising and not many stripers were caught when trying for the third boil from the same school. Surface lures worked better than shallow runners and spoons.

bomberslabRemember that as soon as the school leaves the surface it dives for deeper water. If the school appears on the graph, more fish can be caught by dropping a small, heavy spoon to the depth indicated on the graph.  White or speckled Bomber slab spoons (1.25 ounce) have been working well to catch fleeing stripers.  

Stripers in the southern lake are still feeding closer to the main channel than the back of the canyon.  There are many more shad schools holding in the backs of the canyons but stripers are gradually working toward the back and seem content to stay in open water until the shad disappear at which time they will head further back in the canyon. For now, stripers are in the bays and can be seen from the main channel and main canyon mouths.

The best boil reports this week came from the main channel between the Escalante Arm and Halls Creek.  The San Juan was great as well.  Very few reports were received from the northern lake so the results were inconclusive.  I would not be afraid to head north to Good Hope to find boiling stripers. 

The only other successful fishing technique that works lakewide is down rigger trolling. Stripers quit boiling at 9 AM and can start up again anytime they want. When they are not boiling they are holding at 30-50 feet.  Down riggers can deliver a shad shaped lure to stripers at their holding depth and keep the catching going all day long while waiting for next boil.  Afternoon wind prevents boils but downriggers can overcome that as well.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:21
 

August 2, 2017 - Boils at Site 5

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 2, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3634
Water Temperature:  81-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
If shopping for the best deal on striper boils at Lake Powell, the answer is simple.  The best chance of finding surface feeding action is found in the far north lake. The area from Good Hope Bay (Buoy 118) to Trachyte Canyon (Buoy 125) is the most productive.  There are boils occurring everyday over the length of the lake so it is possible to find them at any place, and at anytime. If asked to make a list of the top 5 boiling spots it would look like this and in this order:
1. Good Hope to Trachyte
2. San Juan – Cha Canyon to Great Bend
3. Escalante River Arm
4. Rincon to Forgotten Canyon
5. Face Canyon to Rainbow Bridge
The factors that influence boiling activity include wind, rain and sunshine. Wind tends to keep stripers from boiling, but when the wind quits, hungry stripers like to make up for lost time and feed very aggressively right after the wind storm. Rain may keep anglers off the lake but stripers can easily ignore a rainy period because they are already wet! When the sun is shining brightly from dawn to dark stripers choose their own best time to feed. They can start chasing shad at first light or sleep in until 8 AM before feeding. My plan when looking for boils is to head out at first light and cover lots of water during the first 3 hours of daylight. If no boils are seen that makes it more likely that surface action will occur in the evening.  Unfortunately there are no guarantees.
I live near the number 5 rated boil spot on the lake so I am reporting for that area.  Other canyons uplake are better for boils seen and fish caught, but similar in how to find fish and catch them.
Today I headed out at first light and found a breeze blowing. According to my rules that is not good for finding surface action. When I got to Padre with choppy water I stopped and trolled along the east wall in the shade. The result was one smallmouth and one striper caught in 15 minutes.  That is too slow for me and the wind let up a bit, so we moved to Face Canyon.
Surface feeding stripers were in the same bay where we found them last week.  The boils were very quick averaging about 25 seconds from beginning to end.  If we moved close enough to the previous boil and they came back up again in casting range we caught a fish. Usually we arrived at the boil site with the water still trembling on top but the fish were gone. We chased 5-6 quick boils, caught 4 fish and then moved on.
At Buoy 25 we saw a quick rise now and then but never did get in casting range. There were no fish seen or caught at the mouth of West and Dove so we went to Friendship Cove.  It was calm and quiet there but no fish were seen.  We got a report from a wave runner Captain that there had been a huge boil there at 7 AM.  We missed it.
We decided to take one look in Rock Creek and then head back.  It was 10 AM and way too late for morning boils.  The mouth of the three Rock Creeks has been a good boil spot over the years so we went there.  We were very surprised to see the biggest boil of the morning against the wall between Main Rock and Middle Rock.  Then the fish came up in the middle of the bay. The next boil was on the east wall of Dry Rock. This bay was the best spot of the day and we quickly caught 20 fish on topwater lures in less than an hour.
Surface feeding stripers can come up at any time or place. The shad in their stomachs were 2-3 inches long which means these fish need to boil to catch fast moving shad. They go down quickly because the surface temperature of the water was 84 degrees which was too warm for these 2-3 pound stripers to stay on top for long. They dive quickly to deep water to cool off and then pop back up again to eat more shad.
We saw many and caught a few smallmouth bass in the rock slide areas of Rock Creek. As the lake level declines bass fishing will get back to normal with bass occupying habitat that is easy to find.
Fishing success at Lake Powell is amazing!  When you stick with it and keep trying the result is a fun day of fishing, a good catch and memorable sites of the red rock walls and blue water.  I love this place!

bbbm2Lake Powell Fish Report – August 2, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3634

Water Temperature:  81-85 F

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

If shopping for the best deal on striper boils at Lake Powell, the answer is simple.  The best chance of finding surface feeding action is found in the far north lake. The area from Good Hope Bay (Buoy 118) to Trachyte Canyon (Buoy 125) is the most productive.  There are boils occurring everyday over the length of the lake so it is possible to find them at any place, and at anytime. If asked to make a list of the top 5 boiling spots it would look like this and in this order:

1. Good Hope to Trachyte

2. San Juan – Cha Canyon to Great Bend

3. Escalante River Arm

4. Rincon to Forgotten Canyon

5. Face Canyon to Rainbow Bridge

scouts12The factors that influence boiling activity include wind, rain and sunshine. Wind tends to keep stripers from boiling, but when the wind quits, hungry stripers like to make up for lost time and feed very aggressively right after the wind storm. Rain may keep anglers off the lake but stripers can easily ignore a rainy period because they are already wet! When the sun is shining brightly from dawn to dark stripers choose their own best time to feed. They can start chasing shad at first light or sleep in until 8 AM before feeding. My plan when looking for boils is to head out at first light and cover lots of water during the first 3 hours of daylight. If no boils are seen that makes it more likely that surface action will occur in the evening.  Unfortunately there are no guarantees.

I live near the number 5 rated boil spot on the lake so I am reporting for that area.  Other canyons uplake are better for boils seen and fish caught, but similar in how to find fish and catch them.   

Today I headed out at first light and found a breeze blowing. According to my rules that is not good for finding surface action. When I got to Padre with choppy water I stopped and trolled along the east wall in the shade. The result was one smallmouth and one striper caught in 15 minutes.  That is too slow for me and the wind let up a bit, so we moved to Face Canyon.  

Surface feeding stripers were in the same bay where we found them last week.  The boils were very quick averaging about 25 seconds from beginning to end.  If we moved close enough to the previous boil and they came back up again in casting range we caught a fish. Usually we arrived at the boil site with the water still trembling on top but the fish were gone. We chased 5-6 quick boils, caught 4 fish and then moved on. 

stbusy_edited-1At Buoy 25 we saw a quick rise now and then but never did get in casting range. There were no fish seen or caught at the mouth of West and Dove so we went to Friendship Cove.  It was calm and quiet there but no fish were seen.  We got a report from a wave runner Captain that there had been a huge boil there at 7 AM.  We missed it. 

We decided to take one look in Rock Creek and then head back.  It was 10 AM and way too late for morning boils.  The mouth of the three Rock Creeks has been a good boil spot over the years so we went there.  We were very surprised to see the biggest boil of the morning against the wall between Main Rock and Middle Rock.  Then the fish came up in the middle of the bay. The next boil was on the east wall of Dry Rock. This bay was the best spot of the day and we quickly caught 20 fish on topwater lures in less than an hour.  

Surface feeding stripers can come up at any time or place. The shad in their stomachs were 2-3 inches long which means these fish need to boil to catch fast moving shad. They go down quickly because the surface temperature of the water was 84 degrees which was too warm for these 2-3 pound stripers to stay on top for long. They dive quickly to deep water to cool off and then pop back up again to eat more shad.  The superb physical condition of stripers caught today has not been seen since 2016. They are fat again. 

We saw many and caught a few smallmouth bass in the rock slide areas of Rock Creek. As the lake level declines bass fishing will get back to normal with bass occupying habitat that is easy to find.

Fishing success at Lake Powell is amazing!  When you stick with it and keep trying the result is a fun day of fishing, a good catch and memorable sightings of the red rock walls and blue water.  I love this place!

 

July 26, 2017 - Boils Begin

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shadsize7Lake Powell Fish Report – July 26, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3635

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

Slurps Done – Boils Begin

Shad removed from striper stomachs after yesterday’s fishing trip were small adults that can swim fast rather than larval fish that cannot swim well at all.  When stripers pursue larval shad they trap shad against the surface and slurp up the small shad. Anglers only see the striper mouth breaking the surface and perhaps a small wake created as stripers compete with one another to eat the most shad.  However, when shad are able to swim fast, stripers still try to trap them at the surface but the speed and activity are much greater.  The surface feeding event is called a “boil” as individual stripers jump out of the water while chasing shad. When 10 to 50 stripers are seen jumping out of the water at the same time in a tight formation the feeding action can be seen from far away. These stripers are aggressive and can be caught by casting a surface lure or shallow running crankbait just beyond the action and retrieving it through the feeding school.

Since boil fishing is the most exciting type of angling experience performed in fresh water, we started out early yesterday to search for boils in the southern lake.  Unfortunately, the sky was overcast and a breeze kept the surface stirred up and prevented stripers from finding shad schools and driving them to the surface. We left the ramp at dawn and 3 hours later had covered much water but had seen no boils.  We caught an occasional striper or smallmouth bass while trolling and watching for surface action.

boiljulywwAt 8 AM the breeze quit and the sun came out. Twenty minutes later we saw the first boil break the surface about half way back in the canyon. From 8:30 to 9:30 fishing was intense and very successful.  The striper count in the cooler went from 3 to 35 in 60 minutes. This is a typical boil fishing experience. It involves lots of looking and the right weather conditions. When it all comes together it is extremely satisfying.

Look for boils in the canyons and bays early and late in the day. These feeding events usually last for about an hour and then the lake calms down again.  Recently we have seen striper surface action in Kane Creek, Labyrinth, Face Canyon, Buoy 25, Dove Canyon, Last Chance and Rock Creek.  These feeding events can occur anywhere shad and stripers come together.  Our (UT DWR) shad sampling shows that shad numbers are higher than normally found in July which means that striper boils will be seen frequently over the length of the lake for the rest of July and August.  There are more shad at Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay so boils will be better and more prolonged in the northern lake.

Stripers move quickly while boiling.  They can be seen against the shoreline and then a few minutes later pop up in the middle of the bay.  Move quickly to get in casting range of the school. Stop the boat before it gets close enough to put the feeding fish down. Use equipment that allows a long cast.  Effective lures include Kastmaster spoons, topwater lures that can be retrieved quickly such as Sammies, Jumpin’ Minnows, Ima Skimmers and shallow running rattletraps, and Lucky Craft lipless crankbaits.

Bass are often on the edge of the boil and respond well to surface lures after the boil has subsided. Top water fishing at dawn and dusk will be great for both Large and Smallmouth bass for the rest of the summer. Walleye get excited as the fleeing shad run past walleye ambush points in the brush line.  The fishing dynamic at Lake Powel has now changed as boiling stripers stir up shad and all the other game fish want to get in on the action.doubletrouble2

 

July 19, 2017 - Slurps Continue and Boils Start

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 19, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3635
Water Temperature:  80-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Striper slurps and boils are now available lakewide. Here is a rundown on what to expect.
Northern lake:
Launching access is decent at Hite.  There are a couple of options for launching including the primitive ramp and below the cement ramp.  The water surface from Hite down to Good Hope is relatively clear of debris. There is some so be careful but launch in at Hite makes for safer travel that coming uplake from Bullfrog where more floating debris exists in isolated spots in the channel.
The best, most consistent striper surface activity is found from Castle Butte to Trachyte/White Canyon.  Slurps start at first light and continue most of the day and into the evening. From Hite to the Horn there are lots of really quick slurps that come up and go down often.  The best spot is between Scorup and Castle Butte. Here the slurps and boils are larger and last longer.  There are enough slurps in sight that it is possible to just stay in a central location and cast lures to many different slurps.  When the fish go down continue to cast to the spot last seen and continue to catch random fish. Surface lures are best as are small plastic grubs on jig heads.
Bullfrog/Halls:
Boils/slurps were found most consistently this week near the mouth of Moki Canyon but boils were seen from Forgotten to Lake Canyon. Stripers were caught on top water lures and chartreuse grubs. Those fish caught in the backs of canyons were thin compared to those caught in the main channel or at the mouths of the canyons. Stripers caught ranged from 16-24 inches.
Southern Lake:
Boils/slurps were seen from Padre Bay to the mouth of Rock Creek.  Stripers came up quickly and went down in a hurry.  Usually it was possible to see a school come up and then get the boat close to the spot in time to make a cast or two when the school resurfaced. Stripers could only be caught when their heads were visibly breaking water. As they started down again they were very hard to catch. They came up 3-5 times in 5-10 minutes and often moved hundreds of yards in the process.   A surface lure placed in front of the lead fish was the most consistent producer. Lures that landed in the middle or behind the slurp were ignored.
Shad found in striper stomachs were double the size (1 inch) of those previously reported 2 weeks ago. As shad continue to grow, boils will get longer, stripers more aggressive and anglers will catch a lot more fish. This is the beginning of Boil Season. The most exciting fishing found in fresh water will continue into September this year.
Bass were found occasionally feeding with stripers on the surface.   More often largemouth bass were found in the brush line near shore. They could sometimes be seen blowing up on the surface and could be caught on topwater lures or a spinner bait.
Smallmouth bass are showing up more often on rock structure now that the lake has stabilized.  Look for isolated rock slides or rocky islands to target smallmouth. As lake level continues to stabilize or begins to decline bass habitat will be more obvious.  Bass have been harder to find than normal but that will now change with consistent lake levels.
Stabilized lake levels will make it easier to catch bluegill along the brushy shorelines as well.
Fishing success is improving as the summer moves on.

jaxsherwoodJax Gibbons

and Sam Sherwood

 

 

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 19, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3635

Water Temperature:  80-83 F

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

Striper slurps and boils are now available lakewide. Here is a rundown on what to expect.  

Northern lake:

hitelaunch3607Launching access is decent at Hite.  There are a couple of options for launching including the primitive ramp and below the cement ramp.  The water surface from Hite down to Good Hope is relatively clear of debris. There is some so be careful but launch in at Hite makes for safer travel that coming uplake from Bullfrog where more floating debris exists in isolated spots in the channel. The best, most consistent striper surface activity is found from Castle Butte to Trachyte/White Canyon.  Slurps start at first light and continue most of the day and into the evening. From Hite to the Horn there are lots of really quick slurps that come up and go down often.  The best spot is between Scorup and Castle Butte. Here the slurps and boils are larger and last longer.  There are enough slurps in sight that it is possible to just stay in a central location and cast lures to many different slurps.  When the fish go down continue to cast to the spot last seen and continue to catch random fish. Surface lures are best as are small plastic grubs on jig heads. 

Bullfrog/Halls:

Boils/slurps were found most consistently this week near the mouth of Moki Canyon but boils were seen from Forgotten to Lake Canyon. Stripers were caught on top water lures and chartreuse grubs. Those fish caught in the backs of canyons were thin compared to those caught in the main channel or at the mouths of the canyons. Stripers caught ranged from 16-24 inches.

Southern Lake: 

bretthepwifeBoils/slurps were seen from Padre Bay to the mouth of Rock Creek.  Stripers came up quickly and went down in a hurry.  Usually it was possible to see a school come up and then get the boat close to the spot in time to make a cast or two when the school resurfaced. Stripers could only be caught when their heads were visibly breaking water. As they started down again they were very hard to catch. They came up 3-5 times in 5-10 minutes and often moved hundreds of yards in the process.   A surface lure placed in front of the lead fish was the most consistent producer. Lures that landed in the middle or behind the slurp were ignored.Shad found in striper stomachs were double the size (1 inch) of those previously reported 2 weeks ago. As shad continue to grow, boils will get longer, stripers more aggressive and anglers will catch a lot more fish. This is the beginning of Boil Season. The most exciting fishing found in fresh water will continue into September this year. 

Largemouth bass were found occasionally feeding with stripers on the surface.   More often largemouth bass were found in the brush line near shore. They could sometimes be seen blowing up on the surface and could be caught on topwater lures or a spinner bait. 

Smallmouth bass are showing up more often on rock structure now that the lake has stabilized.  Look for isolated rock slides or rocky islands to target smallmouth. As lake level continues to stabilize or begins to decline bass habitat will be more obvious.  Bass have been harder to find than normal but that will now change with consistent lake levels.   Stabilized lake levels will make it easier to catch bluegill along the brushy shorelines as well.

waesmithforkWalleye were caught in the southern lake using deep diving crankbaits fished near brush at a bottom depth of 15-25 feet.

Fishing success is improving as the summer moves on.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 14:42
 

July 12, 2017 - Summer report

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 12, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3635
Water Temperature:  79-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell has stabilized.  There is plenty of brush along the shoreline so hopefully the lake will continue to cover that for the rest of July before it begins to decline.
Good News!  Received the first report of a boil today near Antelope Point Marina. Stripers were eating shad larger than the tiny shad found the last month. Stripers were scattered but willing to hit a topwater lure occasionally.  It is not really time to come fish for boils but that event is getting closer.  Surface activity should pick up lakewide by the end of July and continue through the month of August, maybe longer.
We had a requirement to collect 60 stripers today to do a disease certification and confirm that Lake Powell fish are still healthy and strong. If I had known the stripers were boiling near Antelope Point I would have gone there for my fish collection.  Early this morning I only knew that bait fishing is still good along the canyon walls. We took 3 boats and headed for Warm Creek Wall. We chummed along the wall and began to catch fish steadily for the next 3 hours. The school would come up for chum and then descend to the depths.  When near the surface many fish were caught in 10-15 feet of water.  When the action died down we dropped out baits further down to 40-60 feet to find the school and drag it back towards the top. Catching slowed down at 9 AM so we counted the fish and confirmed that we had our 60 fish.  Later at the fish cleaning station we counted 80 stripers from the efforts of 10 anglers in 3 different boats. Those fishing Lake Powell for the first time were in awe of the amount of fish that can be caught on this incredible fishing lake.
Bait fishing success will continue to excel this summer as many fish remain “trapped” in the deeper water by warm temperatures on the surface.  The younger stripers will continue to feed on the top and gain weight dramatically as the boil season progresses.
Bass fishing is now getting more predictable as the lake level has stabilized. That allows bass to find a spot they like and hold there until the lake begins to go down next month.  It seems smallmouth bass are often found on a slick rock wall near the flooded brush line.  By next week that preferred habitat type should become obvious and will be reported.
Walleye fishing is slowing but some are still being caught in the mid to upper lake.  Now that shad are larger and more abundant expect walleye to feed each morning and evening.  They prefer to hold on a flat near a steep cliff wall, or in the brushy weeds along a long sandy beach or point that has been covered with water.   Bottom bouncing, or fishing a bass grub with worm attached is still a very effective technique.
It is summer and still HOT! However, Lake Powell is amazing considering the amount of fish that can be caught in these challenging conditions.  Go fishing early. Then enjoy boating, skiing, sightseeing or whatever peaks your interest.  Then as the sun starts to set go out for another fishing adventure. It is definitely worth it.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 12, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3635

Water Temperature:  79-85 F

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


nancyLake Powell has stabilized.  There is plenty of brush along the shoreline so hopefully the lake will continue to cover that for the rest of July before it begins to decline. 

Good News!  Received the first report of a boil today near Antelope Point Marina. Stripers were eating shad larger than the tiny shad found the last month. Stripers were scattered but willing to hit a topwater lure occasionally.  It is not really time to come fish for boils but that event is getting closer.  Surface activity should pick up lakewide by the end of July and continue through the month of August, maybe longer. 

We had a requirement to collect 60 stripers today to do a disease certification and confirm that Lake Powell fish are still healthy and strong. If I had known the stripers were boiling near Antelope Point I would have gone there for my fish collection.  Early this morning I only knew that bait fishing is still good along the canyon walls. We took 3 boats and headed for Warm Creek Wall. We chummed along the wall and began to catch fish steadily for the next 3 hours. The school would come up for chum and then descend to the depths.  When near the surface many fish were caught in 10-15 feet of water.  When the action died down we dropped out baits further down to 40-60 feet to find the school and drag it back towards the top. Catching slowed down at 9 AM so we counted the fish and confirmed that we had our 60 fish.  Later at the fish cleaning station we counted 80 stripers from the efforts of 10 anglers in 3 different boats. Those fishing Lake Powell for the first time were in awe of the amount of fish that can be caught on this incredible fishing lake.

doepkestbBait fishing success will continue to excel this summer as many fish remain “trapped” in the deeper water by warm temperatures on the surface.  The younger stripers will continue to feed on the top and gain weight dramatically as the boil season progresses. 

Bass fishing is now getting more predictable as the lake level has stabilized. That allows bass to find a spot they like and hold there until the lake begins to go down next month.  It seems smallmouth bass are often found on a slick rock wall near the flooded brush line.  By next week that preferred habitat type should become obvious and will be reported.  

Walleye fishing is slowing but some are still being caught in the mid to upper lake.  Now that shad are larger and more abundant expect walleye to feed each morning and evening.  They prefer to hold on a flat near a steep cliff wall, or in the brushy weeds along a long sandy beach or point that has been covered with water.   Bottom bouncing, or fishing a bass grub with worm attached is still a very effective technique.  

It is summer and still HOT! However, Lake Powell is amazing considering the amount of fish that can be caught in these challenging conditions.  Go fishing early. Then enjoy boating, skiing, sightseeing or whatever peaks your interest.  Then walleyelurewormas the sun starts to set go out for another fishing adventure. It is definitely worth it.

 

July 5, 2017 - Fishing in Shallow Brush

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 5, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3635
Water Temperature:  77-84 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell fish are in awe at the brushy cover inundated along the shoreline. Virtually any place that is not a sheer cliff is now a brushy haven for all of Lake Powell’s fish. Those enjoying cover the most are shad. Normally this time of year, defenseless shad are easy targets for stripers and other fish. Now shad can go hide in the brush making it much tougher for predators to get an easy meal. I am happy as well because this gives me hope that shad will grow to a larger size, in larger numbers which will lead to big striper boils in late July and August.  This will be a story for a future report.  Right now shad are happy in brushy cover and game fish are trying to figure out what is going on!
Stripers were thrilled to have slow moving tiny shad in open water where they could just go get an easy meal any time of the day.  Now shad are able to swim and have high-tailed it to the brush line.  Surface feeding action that was easy to see two weeks ago is now missing in action in the southern lake. Striper slurps still continue in the northern lake where shad numbers are higher and muddy water slowed the progression of shad movement to brush.
Warm surface water and lack of open-water shad have made bait fishing in deep water the most effective fishing technique now for stripers. Adult stripers are hungry and trapped down at 30 feet waiting for food. Main channel and main canyon walls anywhere on the lake can house a hungry, waiting school of stripers.  Chumming and bait fishing may be the best way to approach these waiting fish.  Another option is to troll deep diving lures along slick rock points and steep walls.  Trolling is a good way to find a school of fish. Once found, bait may work better but it really depends on which angling technique is preferred.
Smallmouth bass prefer rocky structure but are not afraid of brush. They have followed shad into the underwater jungle and can be found searching through the limbs and branches for a shad or sunfish.  Small topwater lures, swim baits, D-Shad, and weedless plastic baits fished along brushy main points have been very effective.  Watch for shad schools to pop up in the brush line and then toss a surface lure near the shad school to target any game fish also eyeing that school.
Largemouth bass will be right there rubbing shoulders with smallmouth bass. Largemouth tend to prefer brush thickets in shallow water. They live in the same brushy condo as sunfish. Bass are good neighbors most of the time but occasionally eat one of the sunfish when the time is right.  With a full stomach, largemouth return to being model citizens and continue to live in the brush pocket.
Walleye really like brush.  They are an ambush feeder so they move to a submerged tree top and wait for the right fish to swim by.  Walleye are happy to eat shad, sunfish, bass or any other fish that enters their treetop target zone. One great technique for catching walleye in brushy water is to troll or cast a shad imitating lure just over the treetops where walleye are holding.  We caught a walleye on a surface lure last week in a tree top found in murky water. More commonly a lure trolled just over the tops of a band of submerged trees is the best technique. Find trees that are at a common depth, then use a lure that runs about a foot above the brush for best results.
Catfish are really big and fun to catch this year.  Sunfish are in the trees and like to eat worms on a small hook with a bobber attached.
Lake Powell fishing in the brush is unusual and may be challenging for those of us used to snag-free open water.  The rewards are great when a new successful presentation is discovered. Lake Powell has lots of fish to catch. Sometimes trying new challenging techniques, like fishing in shallow brush, can be very rewarding.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 5, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3635

Water Temperature:  77-84 F

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


buoy25aLake Powell fish are in awe at the brushy cover inundated along the shoreline. Virtually any place that is not a sheer cliff is now a brushy haven for all of Lake Powell’s fish. Those enjoying cover the most are shad. Normally this time of year, defenseless shad are easy targets for stripers and other fish. Now shad can go hide in the brush making it much tougher for predators to get an easy meal. I am happy as well because this gives me hope that shad will grow to a larger size, in larger numbers which will lead to big striper boils in late July and August.  This will be a story for a future report.  Right now shad are happy in brushy cover and game fish are trying to figure out what is going on! 

Stripers were thrilled to have slow moving tiny shad in open water where they could just go get an easy meal any time of the day.  Now shad are able to swim and have high-tailed it to the brush line.  Surface feeding action that was easy to see two weeks ago is now missing in action in the southern lake. Striper slurps still continue in the northern lake where shad numbers are higher and muddy water slowed the progression of shad movement to brush. 

Warm surface water and lack of open-water shad have made bait fishing in deep water the most effective fishing technique now for stripers. Adult stripers are hungry and trapped down at 30 feet waiting for food. Main channel and main canyon walls anywhere on the lake can house a hungry, waiting school of stripers.  Chumming and bait fishing may be the best way to approach these waiting fish.  Another option is to troll deep diving lures along slick rock points and steep walls.  Trolling is a good way to find a school of fish. Once found, bait may work better but it really depends on which angling technique is preferred. 

Smallmouth bass prefer rocky structure but are not afraid of brush. They have followed shad into the underwater jungle and can be found searching through the limbs and branches for a shad or sunfish.  Small topwater lures, swim baits, D-Shad, and weedless plastic baits fished along brushy main points have been very effective.  Watch for shad schools to pop up in the brush line and then toss a surface lure near the shad school to target any game fish also eyeing that school.  Largemouth bass will be right there rubbing shoulders with smallmouth bass.

bbjorksbLargemouth tend to prefer brush thickets in shallow water. They live in the same brushy condo as sunfish. Bass are good neighbors most of the time but occasionally eat one of the sunfish when the time is right.  With a full stomach, largemouth return to being model citizens and continue to live in the brush pocket.

Walleye really like brush.  They are an ambush feeder so they move to a submerged tree top and wait for the right fish to swim by.  Walleye are happy to eat shad, sunfish, bass or any other fish that enters their treetop target zone. One great technique for catching walleye in brushy water is to troll or cast a shad imitating lure just over the treetops where walleye are holding.  We caught a walleye on a surface lure last week in a tree top found in murky water. More commonly a lure trolled just over the tops of a band of submerged trees is the best technique. Find trees that are at a common depth, then use a lure that runs about a foot above the brush for best results.   

Catfish are really big and fun to catch this year.  Sunfish are in the trees and like to eat worms on a small hook with a bobber attached. Lake Powell fishing in the brush is unusual and may be challenging for those of us used to snag-free open water.  The rewards are great when a new successful presentation is discovered.

Lake Powell has lots of fish to catch. Sometimes trying new challenging techniques, like fishing in shallow brush, can be very rewarding.

 

castlebutte

 

June 28, 2017 - Slurps slipping

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 28, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3634
Water Temperature:  77-84 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
My weekly striper slurp evaluation trip yesterday was quite interesting?  We started earlier than usual (first light) and I attributed the lack of slurpers at my first stop at the mouth of Labyrinth to timing.  Maybe we were too early?  Then at the east wall in Padre Bay the lack of slurpers was disconcerting.  Timing was right and the most dependable location at the mouth of Last Chance was also disappointing with no surface schools seen.
The mystery was finally solved as we found slurping stripers close to the brushy shoreline between Dove Canyon and Dungeon Canyon. Here is what I think is happening in the southern lake:
The slurping stripers we caught and then examined at the fish cleaning station contained the same size tiny shad as has been noted for the last month. While fishing in the brush I saw schools of larger shad (1 inch to 1.5 inch) using the brush as a defense against attacking stripers and smallmouth bass. Slurping stripers are still looking for the open water newly hatched shad which are less every day.  Baby shad are consumed quickly by hungry predators but a few grow larger by fleeing into the brush cover. Either way they are less available to slurping stripers waiting in open water.
Slurps will continue to a lesser degree until shad grow larger and are forced to move out of the brush into open water in search of more plankton to eat.   The next progression is striper boils which have begun in mid July over the past few years. Expect slurps to occur randomly over the next few weeks.  Stripers will blow up on shad whenever they get the chance. There will be more slurps in the mid to northern lake because there are more shad there that have been protected by poor visibility from the muddy runoff water.
A recent report indicated that slurps are increasing in the main channel from the mouth of Navajo to Antelope Point Marina.  A new shad spawn could also lead to more slurps from Padre Bay to Rainbow Bridge.  Surface fishing for stripers is just beginning and will get much better over the summer.   Bait fishing for adult stripers is still steady in deeper water in the main channel and the main canyons throughout the lake.
Smallmouth bass have gone deeper. Adult bass are now at 25 feet or deeper. Smaller bass are shallower.  Rapidly rising water has displaced many bass. They are following the rising water into the brush in the backs of canyons that are now getting much longer and covering brush that has not been wet for many years.  Largemouth bass are following the rising water and residing in brush thickets in 3 feet of water at the back of canyons and coves..
Walleye are still being caught in good numbers by anglers using bottom bouncing rigs with night crawlers or trolling over brushy flats with shallow running crankbaits. Walleye really like to perch in flooded treetops while waiting for forage fish to swim by. Rattletraps are a good choice now for walleye. We caught a walleye yesterday on a surface lure fished slowly around flooded trees.  That fish now wears tag number 2901.
Summer fishing is a lot of fun. Get out early while it is still cool and fish are active. Look for surface action.  Target the brushy shoreline to catch a wide variety of species. Surface lures are very effective during the calm morning and evening hours.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 28, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3634

Water Temperature:  77-84 F

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


My weekly striper slurp evaluation trip yesterday was quite interesting?  We started earlier than usual (first light) and I attributed the lack of slurpers at my first stop at the mouth of Labyrinth to timing.  Maybe we were too early?  Then at the east wall in Padre Bay the lack of slurpers was disconcerting.  Timing was right and the most dependable location at the mouth of Last Chance was also disappointing with no surface schools seen. 

The mystery was finally solved as we found slurping stripers close to the brushy shoreline between Dove Canyon and Dungeon Canyon. Here is what I think is happening in the southern lake:

The slurping stripers we caught and then examined at the fish cleaning station contained the same size tiny shad as has been noted for the last month. While fishing in the brush I saw schools of larger shad (1 inch to 1.5 inch) using the brush as a defense against attacking stripers and smallmouth bass. Slurping stripers are still looking for the open water newly hatched shad which are less every day.  Baby shad are consumed quickly by hungry predators but a few grow larger by fleeing into the brush cover. Either way they are less available to slurping stripers waiting in open water.    

smallshadstbSlurps will continue to a lesser degree until shad grow larger and are forced to move out of the brush into open water in search of more plankton to eat.   The next progression is striper boils which have begun in mid July over the past few years. Expect slurps to occur randomly over the next few weeks.  Stripers will blow up on shad whenever they get the chance. There will be more slurps in the mid to northern lake because there are more shad there that have been protected by poor visibility from the muddy runoff water.

A recent report indicated that slurps are increasing in the main channel from the mouth of Navajo to Antelope Point Marina.  A new shad spawn could also lead to more slurps from Padre Bay to Rainbow Bridge.  Surface fishing for stripers is just beginning and will get much better over the summer.   Bait fishing for adult stripers is still steady in deeper water in the main channel and the main canyons throughout the lake. 

Smallmouth bass have gone deeper. Adult bass are now at 25 feet or deeper. Smaller bass are shallower.  Rapidly rising water has displaced many bass. They are following the rising water into the brush in the backs of canyons that are now getting much longer and covering brush that has not been wet for many years.  Largemouth bass are following the rising water and residing in brush thickets in 3 feet of water at the back of canyons and coves.

waemouth

 

Walleye are still being caught in good numbers by anglers using bottom bouncing rigs with night crawlers or trolling over brushy flats with shallow running crankbaits. Walleye really like to perch in flooded treetops while waiting for forage fish to swim by. Rattletraps are a good choice now for walleye. We caught a walleye yesterday on a surface lure fished slowly around flooded trees.  That fish now wears tag number 2901. 

Summer fishing is a lot of fun. Get out early while it is still cool and fish are active. Look for surface action.  Target the brushy shoreline to catch a wide variety of species. Surface lures are very effective during the calm morning and evening hours.

 


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