• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Fishing Report
Fishing Report

March 21, 2012- Warming Begins Again

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 21, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3635      
Water Temperature 50-57 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

waestingerImagine my surprise when checking the water level to find out that Lake Powell has risen since the last report.  Normally lake level does not climb until April.  The recent wet storm front has already had an impact on the lake.  Now lake level will likely continue the normal slow decline expected in March but that was really fun to see the little bump in elevation.

The big storm also slowed down lake warming.  Base temperature did not change remaining at 50 F. There were no shallow coves warming into the 60s this week. But the front has passed and now warm weather is here again.  Fish will respond and resume feeding as they have the past few weeks.

Fish haven’t yet moved.  Here is a reminder of the general pattern for success.   First look for murky green water in the backs of canyons and coves.  Cloudy water will be slightly warmer and more productive than clear.  Second, most fish are associated with brush thickets with submerged brush hidden 5-10 feet under the surface being the most productive.


Lee Mason AKA "Walleye Stinger"



Bass anglers fishing in early season tournaments have found bass to be willing and larger than normal.  In two tournaments held at Wahweap this past weekend winning weights for 5 bass have exceeded 21 pounds.  Largest tournament bass have consistently been heavier than 5 pounds.  It looks like a very good year for largemouth bass fishing with many more trophy bass yet to be caught. Largemouth are now found in 15-25 feet of water near brush.  As the water warms again they will go much shallower.

hammondbtroutWarming water will energize smallmouth bass that prefer water warmer than 57 degrees before they really get active.  All bass will move shallower as water warms. They can feel that warmer water in the shallows at the back of a cove and want to swim in warmer water.  I can’t blame them a bit. I would seek out warmer water as well.

Brian Hammond with Brown Trout



Stripers are in the brush but usually toward the middle of the cove instead of along the edge.  We found last week as water warmed that stripers moved shallower.  The shift was subtle with fish moving from 25-foot bottom depth to 18 feet. That causes a few problems as the tree tops are closer to the surface making it necessary to use a shallower running plug.  The best striper lures, trolled or cast, last week were those that ran near 4 feet.

rattletrapsmThe tip for this week is to use small rattletraps that will swim in that narrow zone above tree top levels but depth enough to interest bass and stripers residing in the trees.

It seems much easier to head to the main channel and put on an anchovy instead of using a micrometer to determine how deep the lure will run.  The problem with that strategy is stripers have not left the canyons and are not in the main channel.  Fishing success will only come to those that fish where the fish are. I wish you success.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 08:57

March 14, 2012 - Spring Time Conditions

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 14, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3634      
Water Temperature 50-57 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

kipplaySpring weather has arrived with air temps in the 70s and water warming to almost 60 degrees in the shallow muddy floodplains. But as always happens in the spring, cold fronts erase the warming as water returns to the base temperature after windy conditions or a cold night.  Base temperature is now near 50 degrees and will remain there during the coming cold weather front expected next week.

The general pattern for success remains the same.  First look for murky green water in the backs of canyons and coves.  Cloudy water will be slightly warmer than clear and instantly attract cold-blooded fish.  Clear water is not as productive when water is cold.  Second, most fish are associated with brush thickets. Brush can be seen along most of the shoreline but the key to fishing success is to find submerged brush hidden 5-10 feet under the surface.  Third,when in the right spot find a way to successfully fish brush.

Bass anglers have long known about lures that can be cast into the tangle of limbs and then successfully retrieved.  However, this concept is not ingrained in open water striper fisherman.  Here are some new things to try.  Spinner baits are made for brush and are proven tools. Plastic baits can be rigged with the hook buried in the plastic so the lure can be pulled gently through limbs with frequent pauses.  The most effective method this week has been retrieving crankbaits over and around treetops by trolling or casting.

kip10In most tributary flood plains each grove of trees grew to similar heights.  Now most trees within a particular grove are at uniform depths under the water surface.  Graph the forest. Determine treetop depth and then choose a lure that will run through the trees tops. That depth varies from 5 feet to 15 feet depending on the grove.  Small rattletraps, shallow jerk baits and shallow runners will run at 5 feet or less.  Most lures run at 8-12 feet. These will snag occasionally so bring a spare. Of course there will be an occasional tall tree in every forest so all trolled lures will snag in the limbs close to the surface.  Some snags just cannot be avoided.  

TIP FOR SNAG REMOVAL: The most effective way to retrieve a lure snagged in shallow water is to reel down to the lure with the rod tip and sometimes the reel under water. When the lure touches the rod tip, push the lure off the snag with the rod. This is 90 percent effective if the rod tip can touch the lure without any free line between lure and rod tip.   

Why not just troll away from the trees?  That works great for not losing lures but not so great for catching fish.  Most feeding fish live in the trees.  The groves are the most productive spots.  

richcromwellsmThere are exceptions of course.  A bass angler was bouncing tube jigs on the bottom at 40 feet near the Halls boat ramp when a 28-pound striper inhaled the bait.  He landed the trophy and now leads the parade with the largest striper caught this year.  This fish is larger than the 5-10 pound fish that are being caught in the southern lake.  There will be many more “big fish,”  5 pounds and better, caught as spring progresses.  

This will be the year of the Big Fish at Lake Powell.




Rich Cromwell - Halls Creek - 28 pounds

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 10:02

March 7, 2012 - Warm Afternoons are Best

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 7, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3635      
Water Temperature 49-54 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson

Afternoon warming leads to fishing success. 

markgbigoneLake Powell water temperature still hovers between 49 and 54. Not much change will occur in fishing conditions until significant warming of air and water comes toward the end of March. The good news is that stripers, walleye, largemouth and crappie can be caught now with specific effort directed in the small areas of vulnerability these species exhibit.


Here is the pattern for success. Look for water that is murky green instead of blue and clear.  Most fish are holding in the back of canyons near brush where water depth is 25 feet.  Stripers are loosely associated with brush as they have become accustomed to chasing food in and around the tree branches.  Roving schools suspend near the edge of brush usually along a drop off where water depth changes quickly from 20 to 40 feet. Stripers will now respond to lures trolled over and through the trees.  For best results, troll in a circular or zigzag pattern where bottom depth is 25 feet.  Try to bring lures close to big trees without dragging them into unforgiving snags.  Lures that dive to 8-12 feet may be the best while trolling the brush line.  






briangusBest fishing success is found at the warmest part of the day.  If water temperature exceeds 54 degrees fishing will improve dramatically on warm afternoons.







Stripers are curious and respond to feeding actions of their school mates.  A hooked fish is often trailed by interested onlookers.  Take advantage of this behavior by jigging spoons or casting lures to the general area of the hooked fish.  Let the lucky angler net his own fish while others in the boat try to duplicate that success and keep the flighty school under the boat for maximum hookups.


mcrowtherBass and walleye are in the same general vicinity. Park the boat in 25 feet of water and cast to the brushy shoreline where water depth is 8 feet. Shallow flats do not hold as many fish as the trough between two points.  Run a swimbait slowly along the bottom from 8 to 25 feet.  Bump bottom occasionally and fish slowly.  Sometimes bass will be hugging bottom while at other times they will be suspended in the trees. Best fishing is found during the warmest part of the afternoon.


Walleye will begin spawning next week with reduced fishing success. This will be the best week to catch a prespawn trophy walleye.  

Crappie are best caught in the thickest trees where bottom depth is 12 feet. They often suspend in open water making them hard to locate. Fish small (1/16th ounce) plastic or marabou jigs straight up and down in brush to attract fish and prevent snags. Crappie like slow steady moving lures better than fast moving lures.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 09:14

February 29, 2012 - Spring Fishing Begins

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report – February 29, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3635      
Water Temperature 48-53 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson

Spring Fishing Begins

hbakerwaeThe water is cold and fish are fussy but some really nice stripers, walleye and bass are being caught. The first fish of spring are fat and healthy.  It looks like game fish have wintered well and show signs of producing a bumper crop of trophy individuals in March and April.    














rcstb2If you can’t wait for warmer weather and need a trip to Lake Powell, here is the pattern for success. Most fish are holding in the back of canyons where water depth is 25 feet.  The forest of trees submerged by the huge spring flood from last year is still under water.  Bait fish and predators are all in the same location.  Most are slow moving and happy to stay wrapped in the tree limbs they have occupied all winter.  But all will eat for a short time each day when a tiny bluegill, shad, or lure invades their brushy living room.





rcstb1Stripers are loosely associated with brush as they have become accustomed to chasing food in and around the tree branches.  Stripers will now respond to lures trolled over and through the trees.  For best results, troll in a circular or zigzag pattern where bottom depth is 25 feet.  Try to bring lures close to big trees without dragging them into unforgiving snags.  Lures that dive to 8-12 feet may be the best while trolling the brush line.  Resting stripers will seek deeper water and may respond to deep diving lures, but shallower fish seem easier to catch, particularly in the afternoon as water warms slightly. When spooning along the bottom in obvious schools seen on the graph it may be necessary to hold the bait still for a minute or two before stripers will respond.    Mark the resting school and try a variety of lures and techniques to get a feeding reaction going. Usually slow and slower dead-sticking are the best techniques.

Stripers are curious and respond to feeding actions of their school mates.  A hooked fish is often trailed by interested onlookers.  Take advantage of this behavior by jigging spoons or casting lures to the general area of the hooked fish.  Let the lucky angler net his own fish while others in the boat try to duplicate that success and keep the flighty school under the boat for maximum hookups.
Bass and walleye are in the same general vicinity. If trolling is not working, park the boat in 25 feet of water and cast to the brushy shoreline where water depth is 8 feet. Shallow flats do not hold as many fish as the trough between two points.  Run a swimbait slowly along the bottom from 8 to 25 feet.  Bump bottom occasionally and fish slowly.  Sometimes bass will be hugging bottom while at other times they will be suspended in the trees. Suspending jerkbaits, like Lucky Craft Pointers, can be retrieved very slowly with long pauses to interest bass and walleye suspended in the trees. In this cold water try slowing down until dormant fish begin to react.


DD Lucky Craft Pointer (Trolling)

Crappie are holding in the thickest trees where bottom depth is 12 feet. Fish small (1/16th ounce) plastic or marabou jigs straight up and down to attract fish and prevent snags. Again, crappie like slow steady moving lures better than fast moving objects.
All of these fish have been caught well at times during February.  March will be even better on good weather days.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2012 10:30

November 21, 2011 - Endless Summer

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report - November 21, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3647      
Water Temperature  59-62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

Endless Summer


Water temperature this morning at the Wahweap Main ramp was 59.9F.  That rounds up to 60 degrees for me.  The average temperature on this date is 58.6F.  What’s the big deal about a few degrees?  Shad remain in shallow water when temperature is close to 60 and retreat into deep water when temperature is near 55. Knowing that makes it an easy decision when launching at Hite where fishing is best now.  In warm water, head up stream where water is shallow and murky.  Fish in the brush for bass and stripers.   When water cools into the low 50s then head downstream and fish deeper water for striper schools resting on the bottom.  

raquelstb22Great success has been found recently fishing with plastic baits like walleye assassins in salt and pepper color. An offset worm hook can be turned into the plastic, instead of exposed, to allow it to fish weedless in the treetops.  The assassin is heavy enough to cast without adding extra weight.  Move steadily along the shoreline until a striper is caught and then concentrate on that spot to catch more striped school mates as they feed in the brush on shad and sunfish.  When a striper is hooked and brought to the boat, school mates often follow, hoping for a feeding opportunity.  As your buddy is reeling in a fish, don’t grab the net.  Instead drop a spoon under the boat to catch another striper.

This same pattern works lakewide with some modifications. Fishing is hot for bass and stripers in the tree line surrounding the lake during the last hour of daylight.  Again work steadily along the brushy shoreline in water less than 20 feet deep until a striper is caught. Then concentrate on that location casting rattletraps, flat-raps and/or walleye assassins.  The lure is not as important as the timing. As the suns sets, fish feed voraciously for the last hour of the day.   

pinkstbDuring the day trolling along the edge of the brush line in water 15-20 feet deep results in a steady (not fast) catch of stripers along with a few bass.  Rattletraps, X-raps, Bomber flat raps, and other medium divers that hit tree tops without snagging result in an average of 2 fish per hour in the main lake.  Fishing is much faster at Hite upstream from the ramp.  

Crappie can be caught very well now in the San Juan arm and from Good Hope to Hite. Walleye fishing is prime for those slow trolling a night crawler harness behind a bottom bouncer. The trick is to find a brush free bottom near the brush zone where the walleye rig can be used without hanging up.  Look mid channel where water depth is 20 to 40. Check the graph to look for a flat bottom without brush for best results.

jeffblmbEnjoy the late season fishing and wonderful warm days when storm fronts are not forecast.  Air and water temperatures near 60 make a delightful time for fishing at Lake Powell.


November 4, 2011 - Good Hope to Rincon Netting

E-mail Print PDF


mmilburnetWe spent last week checking adult fish abundance and condition with gill nets at Good Hope Bay and Rincon.  We had some really good volunteer help with Maureen and Dave Brinton, Gary Foell, Richard Hepworth and Mike Hadley assisting at Good Hope.  Mike Milburn and Will saved the day at Rincon.  Thanks to all for the great help.


There are more stations to do next week but we found a consistent pattern.  All fish are numerous, healthy and in prime physical condition. We saw an abundance of bass, stripers, walleye, and gizzard shad in the northern lake.  Also well represented were crappie, catfish, and yellow bullheads.  We have seen a single species dominate the survey in the past but this year I was impressed with the wide variety of many different species represented in equal number. I would characterize the fish population as balanced and numerous.  Really fish populations in Good Hope Bay are as good as I have ever seen them.


We expected an easier time in Rincon where less fish were found in the clearer, less productive water. The species mix was less diverse and stripers were only there in token numbers. But smallmouth bass made up for it in a big way.   There are tons of fat little bass in the rocks around Rincon.  We caught them in record numbers.


reflectagnWe do the San Juan and Wahweap stations next week.


A quick fishing trip at Red Canyon produced good catches of stripers on top water lures on Monday evening.  They did not boil but were guarding the brush line where the canyon depth first reached 25 feet.  This pattern is common over the length of the lake.  We tossed Jumpin’ minnows and Pop-Rs to the tree line to find 3 pound stripers anxiously awaiting their arrival. It was great fun.


Fishing for bass at Rincon was slower but productive with top water lures in the evening. Did not have any stripers blow up on top from Bowns to Iceberg.  The bigger bass were caught on top with plastic grubs fished deep being more productive on smaller bass.



Last Updated on Friday, 04 November 2011 20:38

October 26, 2011 - Fall Fishing Full Swing

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report - October 26, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3650      
Water Temperature  65-69 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson

Fall Fishing in Full Swing

dillon1The bad times are over.  The whole lake from Wahweap to Hite is now producing an amazing array of fish to those willing to come during the “off season”.  The key ingredients to the change in fishing fortune are cooling temperatures and dark skies at night.  The key players are largemouth and smallmouth bass with late, but significant contributions from stripers, walleye and crappie.  The better news is that this surge in fishing success will now continue through the month of November.

Bass are the main players.  Each spring the best bass fishing activity occurs at water temperatures near 65 degrees.  The same thing happens in the fall. It looks like the water temperature will be in that range for the next 2 weeks. Bass can be found in and along the brush line in the main lake and in the coves and canyons.  While fishing the brush may be challenging there are many ways to catch fish instead of limbs.

dillon2The best method t his past week was to use a drop shot rig with a Yamamoto shad shaped worm hooked about 8-10 inches above the weight.  Use a wide gap 3/0 hook and rig it so the hook is mostly in the plastic with only a slight hook point on the outside of the bait (Tex-posed). Fish almost vertically by lowering the rig below the boat in between bushes seen just under the surface. Fish in 15-25 feet of water.  Let the bait tremble in one location for a time while waiting for hungry bass to go beyond inspection to tasting.  The hook set with drop shot is a long sweep instead of a quick jerk or just start reeling when the sensation of a hooked fish occurs.  Now the wait for a bite is not long with many bass 2-pounds or less waiting in line to get fed.

Always keep a top water bait and a rattletrap close at hand.  Throw these baits near any surface disturbance to entice bass or stripers feeding near the surface on shad.  These little blowups will be seen often and many fish can be caught throughout the day on top.

dillon4Striped bass are still fussy but trolling and casting rattletraps and top water baits to the brush line has started to work with much better regularity since the cold front blew in.  Stripers are strong, healthy and fearless. They will provide shocking hook sets as they grab your bait and head for the nearest tree.  It’s still a good idea to use heavier line in the brush when fishing for these super strong stripers.

Crappie are now biting in the very thickest brush thickets.   Catching will improve as the water temperature drops to near 60 degrees. Use tiny hair and plastic jigs fished vertically in the thick brush to prevent snagging as long as possible. But bring along a good supply of crappie jigs as terminal tackle will invariably be lost.

wgatworkWalleye, bluegill and catfish will occasionally be caught while fishing for other species.  It is probably best to fish for bass and stripers and be grateful for a bonus walleye if one happens to drop by.

If feels great to be able to report good fishing again.  That makes it easier for me to conclude my regular reports as we begin our fall sampling.  There will be sporadic reports posted on wayneswords.com throughout the coming months but regular fish reports will not happen again until next March.   Enjoy the great fall and winter fishing. I will see you again in the spring.

Wayne Gustaveson

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 10:28

October 20, 2011 - Recommended Techniques

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report - October 20, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3651      
Water Temperature  67-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

debThe armor plating worn by most game fish this fall is finally starting to tarnish.  There are a few chinks now apparent that can be exploited by anglers willing to meet bass and stripers on their own terms.  Subtle changes in techniques and timing can turn a fishing trip into a success when resorting to normally fishing logic may result in failure.  Here are some suggestions.

Stripers in the main lake have ONLY been active in the evening.  Chasing stripers all morning into the afternoon is not a good choice right now.  This will likely change as the moon darkens completely but since full moon the only noticeable striper activity is found at dusk.

deb3Stripers currently hold somewhere near the brush line that rings the lake during the day.  I have not been able to locate the holding spot. If they could be found at depth then this report may be different.  My guess is they lay on the bottom at the edge of the deep brush where it is difficult to distinguish fish on the graph.  Then as the afternoon light fades, stripers move into the shallow brush to attack shad for the evening meal.  

They may feed individually or as a group. We did see a nice 10 minute boil this week right at sunset.  The surface action started right on shore in 2 feet of water and then proceeded out through the brush ring to perhaps 15 feet before dissipating.   No boil was seen the next night at the same location but individual and small groups of stripers fed at the same location and could be caught sporadically on deep diving cranks (Norman Deep Little N), and rattletraps (blue and chrome). Surface lures drew a swirl and then the fish could be caught by following up with a rattletrap in the same spot.  Be prepared to snag up often as all the action is right in the shallow brush.

greflectionIn the upper San Juan and at Hite action is different as stripers can be caught trolling throughout the day.  Look upstream toward the bridge for best action. Boils are not really happening but quick striper surface flashes are often seen.  These stripers are more likely caught trolling or spooning but their splash gives reference to their location making fish easier to find.

Bass fishing is really quite good when the bait is presented properly.  Standard reaction techniques such as dropping a single tail grub to the bottom does not work as well as placing the same grub on a Carolina or drop shot rig.  Most effective baits have been smoke sparkle, green pumpkin or watermelon colored single tail grubs behind the Carolina rig. The best drop shot bait by far is the Yamamoto shad shaped worm.  Bass seem to want the bait to be suspended just off the bottom and it should remain motionless for as long as possible. It is hard for me to fish slowly enough to be an effective bass angler right now. I hope others have more patience.  Fishing the bait directly below the boat in 15 feet of water and only moving it when necessary catches more fish and keeps the bait from climbing into a tree.

The best location is half way back in the canyon where a short deep water cut offers fish a little more depth but still provides the brush forest they favor.  Small bass can be caught throughout the day.  Larger bass enjoy the same schedule as stripers.  As evening approaches big large and smallmouth bass begin feeding in the brush where they have spent the day. Big bass hold tight in really thick cover. They come out of their closet to feed and then retreat into the woodwork once more.  The last hour of daylight is prime time for both quality bass and stripers this week.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:58

October 12, 2011 - Poised

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report - October 12, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3652       
Water Temperature  68-71 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

lpmoonThis is my final report about challenging fishing at Lake Powell.  All fish are poised and ready to explode in a feeding frenzy.  Really the only thing holding them back is the big, bright, beautiful “anglers moon” hanging perfectly over the calm water.  It’s a sight to behold. But when the moon wanes fishing will improve.

The water temperature has now dropped into the high 60s. The lake elevation has stabilized having been at 3652 for three weeks.  Beginning this weekend and continuing through mid November fishing will be better than it has been since April and May.

There are some really good fishing patterns happening now and they will improve with darker nights and lower temperatures.  Bass fishing is quite good in two different patterns.  The first is the”drive by zone”. There is a band of brush around the perimeter of Lake Powell where tamarisk trees and other brush is reemerging as the lake level declines.  Brushy areas generally have a bottom depth of 5-25 feet where some brush sticks up and other bushes are still submerged.  Further out the lake bottom falls away as the lake deepens quickly.  Forage fish are in the brush and bass cruise along the outer band of brush waiting for a shad school to venture out of the brush shelter.  Bass surround shad and feed quickly just under the surface. There will be a telltale swirl, a leaping shad, or splash marking the feeding zone.  Watch for a single splash at the deep water edge of the brush. Get there quickly and cast a rattletrap (or surface lure) between the stickups to catch school size bass.  This is the most productive fishing strategy right now lakewide.

bassman9The second bass pattern is similar to that used so successfully last spring.  Bass are also behind the band of exposed trees in 1-5 feet of water.  Find a fairly weedless plastic rig and toss it on the sandy shore. Then gently pull it into the water so shallow fish are not spooked. Work the bait over the twigs and limbs and let it fall to the bottom. The key is to fish very slowly giving bass lots of time to inspect the bait before pulling it over the next limb. This technique catches more and bigger fish for those that get the feel for pulling the bait though the brush without snagging.  

Stripers are ghosts in the main lake.  They show up at a random spot and boil or feed subsurface in the band of trees previously described.  Anglers finding them in the act of feeding score quickly on fat fish up to 6-pounds. The problem is that stripers then go to a new location, leaving anglers at the site of the last massacre wondering what they did wrong.  Again look for that one splash at the front edge of the trees to mark a feeding spot.

connerSome of the best reports last week came from Halls Creek where small largemouth were caught in big numbers in the old tree stumps in the back of the canyon.  Iceberg Canyon had a huge school of stripers holding there willing to bite for more than one day.  Stripers continued to “flash boil” at Hite where angling competition for each short-lived boil was intense.  A quick boil of large stripers was reported from Piute Canyon on the San Juan.

In summary, fishing is really good when the right pattern and right spot are found.  The best strategy now is to fish very slowly and methodically for bass at the edge of brush band.  But while waiting for a slow bass to bite keep scanning to see one splash that could mark a sub surface feeding spree and a quick reward from a variety of species.


October 5, 2011 - Respect

E-mail Print PDF

Lake Powell Fish Report - October 5, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3652        
Water Temperature 74-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson

wgsize2Water temperature is poised to fall now that cool weather is here.  But as this report was written it remains at 75 degrees where it has been for the past few weeks.  The warm weather through the end of September has not allowed much change in fishing conditions or results so for one more week fishing remains tough, more so in the southern lake than the north.

It is evident now that more than warm weather is responsible for current fishing conditions. The greater cause is abundant forage and a wide band of brushy habitat. Conditions for fish are perfect.  They have plenty to eat, lots of places to hang out, and little need to chase down plastic lures when real  food fish are close at hand. Perfect conditions for fish translate to poor conditions for anglers to catch fish.

This pause in fishing success should give us time to contemplate the future of angling at Lake Powell. We have become accustomed to catching stripers as fast as fish can tkellybe caught on rod and reel.  We are really spoiled with past results and our expectations are not met when only a few stripers are caught on a fishing trip.  We need an attitude adjustment concerning striped bass.  

When was the last time you caught a 4-pound bass, walleye, or trout?  That event is well remembered and documented.  Yet 4-pound stripers are caught often and not held in the same regard with other fish.  The reason is stripers are plentiful in Powell and often declining in physical condition when forage is getting low.  But all of those conditions are now reversed.  Stripers are getting large and packing on the weight.  The few fish being caught now are strong fighters and perfect specimens. The next striper you catch may be a trophy.  Each fish now will provide a strong fight and is worthy to be a wall-hanging trophy.  Savor the fish caught this fall and next spring as they will be trophy fish and should be viewed with that respect.

When you do catch the trophy 5 pound striper please weigh it and enter it in the big striper contest. There are monthly winners - one of which could be you. Take a picture with the striper hanging from a scale to get bragging rights and a nice prize from the crew here at Wayneswords running the contest.  More details at this link


Right now there are quick boils occurring near Hite.  There is lots of fishing pressure making it tough to catch boiling stripers. Trolling works lake wide anywhere a few stripers are seen feeding on top.   Lucky craft deep diving pointers are the best flat line trolling baits but shad raps and other shad imitating baits that run at 10-15 feet are running a close second.  Leaded line (Stump jumpers) and downriggers are a better bet as they can deliver all lures to the exact depth where stripers are seen on the graph.

markcoopStripers are still missing-in-action on the southern lake.  A few stripers are caught but most of them are caught while fishing for other species. The best fishing pattern is to target long points extending into the main channel or bay.  Brushy flats in the backs of canyons are often good. In both cases cast rattletraps (lipless vibrating lures) across the point or flat and speed reel it back. Fat fish are reacting to something swimming right past their nose instead of searching for food.  There is plenty to eat now so try to make the fish react to your bait to get a quick hookup.  Bass fishing is heating up in the south now.  Most surface feeding action seen now involves smallmouth boiling off points and flats.  Occasionally stripers are caught while buzzing baits across the brush tops.

More stripers are being caught fishing at night under lights than during the day.  Suspend a light at dusk which will draw plankton and shad.  Stripers will gather later under the shad school. Fish with bait in deep water (50+ feet) under the light to catch nocturnal feeding stripers.  

The next report will talk about lower water temperature and higher catch rates. 

Can’t Wait!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 October 2011 14:12

Page 25 of 30