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July 27, 2011 - Bullfrog Boils!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 27, 2011

Lake Elevation: 3660

Water Temperature 79-83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

                                                                                          Austin Kimber

austinkLake Powell has leveled off at 3660 marking an increase of 50 vertical feet in the 160 mile long lake. Fish will enjoy the extra water for a long time to come.  The lake surface has warmed to 80 degrees. Lake level stabilization will help fishing next month but this week fish are deep trying to avoid the warm water.

The best fishing location on the lake this week is in the mid section near Bullfrog.  Stripers are boiling morning and evening and staying up long enough for anglers to catch 30 to 50 fish.  Fish range in size from 14 to 24 inches.  The larger fish are adults that are recovering from a tough winter when few shad were available.  These fish are regaining their strength and health.  All of these boil caught fish now provide good fillets.  The younger fish are fast growing yearlings in excellent condition.  They have the advantage of enjoying the warm water where shad are found.  Larger fish have to dive down to cooler water causing a temporary separation between predator and prey.  Young stripers can stay right with their prey and relentlessly pursue shad.  If given the opportunity it is wise to harvest as many stripers as possible to save some shad for later in the year.

Boil fishing at Hite is just starting. It is still hit-or-miss but possible to see some great boils when they do come to the top. Colorado River current is now much smaller making Hite a worthwhile fishing destination again.

pharro2Fishing on the southern end of the lake is challenging.  The run from Wahweap to West Canyon usually provides the opportunity to fish many different boils, but this morning there were none to be seen.  That was disappointing so we moved in towards shore hoping to catch a bass. Later in the day we talked with other anglers near West Canyon that saw many different striper schools coming to the surface between 8 and 9 AM.  We were fishing for bass at the time so cannot corroborate the report.  My report says we saw no boils but we could have easily missed them on the new bigger bays and channels in the filling lake.

The day was not a total loss as we did find a pattern that worked for smallmouth bass.  Let me preference this with a disclaimer that bass fishing along the shoreline is TOUGH!  The pattern that works involves finding a steep, narrow “cut” (small canyon).  Do not go into the cut but search in front of the cut for a submerged creek channel. Usually a narrow meandering depression can be seen on the graph.  Find the edge in the 10 foot range and then follow the drop off down to a depth of 25-30 feet.  Smallmouth are holding on the bottom of the old channel and will respond to single and double tail grubs. We were using smoke-sparkle color which works very well when bass are finicky. We found a number of different cut channel and caught a few bass in each one.

catboyCatfishing is good both day and night.  If only able to use one bait right now my choice would be the lowly night crawler. Get the wiggly worm down 25 feet in a submerged creek channel, crawl it along the bottom and let the fish decide who will eat the worm.  It could be any bass, striper, walleye, catfish or sunfish.  Even in tough conditions there are fish to be caught. 


July 20, 2011 - Improving!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - July 20, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3660            
Water Temperature 78-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

dalejones2Fishing is improving - slowly and steadily. We survived the full moon period where catching was slow to nonexistent. Now we are heading into much better conditions with lake level stabilizing, water temperature leveling off and shad growing larger.  The variables combine to make it easy to predict good fishing times ahead.  Here is what to expect.

Slurping boil video:  



mgusmallThe headline news in summer is surface feeding by striped bass.  If not the only game in town it is certainly the biggest draw. In the southern lake the first surface dimples appear at approximately 6 AM (MST) as about 5 stripers chase slow swimming shad. The little slurping boil is noticeable but not often repeated.  The boat can be positioned near the fading surface rings but no fish pop up to take the lures.  But with time, striper group size increases to more than 10, slurps get a bit bigger, and the school resurfaces allowing a good cast over the feeding fish.  The key is to cast just as stripers resurface for the second time.  Then a lure placed in front of the first fish will be eaten perhaps a third of the time. If this sounds a bit picky - it is.  Our best lure in these conditions was a Kastmaster spoon with a chartreuse stripe.


The best time to fish boils this week is between 7-8 AM.  Fish are more likely to hit the lure during this magic hour.  Later in the day slurps are seen more often but fish are entirely focused on small shad and not as likely to hit a variety of lures.  These are "ghost boils" meaning you can see the boil but not often catch fish.  While this sounds like very tough fishing it is very encouraging to me, in that, fishing is improving every day. Perhaps as early as next week slurping fish will be very catchable.
Better news is that the first boils have been seen at White Canyon in the Hite area.  Water is clearing some allowing shad and stripers to see each other.  When the boils at Hite start up the rest of the lake will pale in comparison.  That may be the end of July but more likely sometime in August.   


Stripers are eating very well even though the surface slurps are small. Their guts are stuffed with small shad . 





This week the hot spot remains the channel from the mouth of San Juan to Escalante.  There are still lots of boils seen in this remote section of canyon. These are not "ghosts" but aggressive stripers chasing larger shad in reasonably clear water.
Bass fishing is decent with smallmouth hovering around main channel structure including rock piles and terraces.  Small fish are in shallow water now but larger bass are still down 15-30 feet. There is a decent bite going for largemouth in the deeper cuts leading to the tree lined end of the cove. Surface lures and white Zoom flukes are productive as bass are in the tree tops waiting for shad or sunfish to swim by.  






Fillets are prime again now that stripers and shad are back on the same wavelength.

Catfish are being caught in big numbers now as they are in their most active period following spawning.  Sunfish are very active in the brush near shore. They are best caught on live worms and small hooks.  The best bait for shallow water right now is a live worm. Many different species of fish can be caught on worms. 

Anchovies work at times but most stripers are now looking up to see shad and ignoring bait.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 20:01

July 13, 2011 - Slurping boils?

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Lake Powell Fish Report - July 13, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3656            
Water Temperature 76-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

austintravisThe big news is all about stripers feeding on top - or not.  Slurping boils are fragile.  While visible everyday there are many factors that may prevent anglers from actually connecting with ever present surfacing stripers.  This week it may be clouds.  Here is how it works.

Shad are tiny and inhabit the warm surface layers.  Lake Powell has taken on more water color than usual with the huge muddy runoff coming in.  Surface water is mud-colored uplake from Bullfrog and stained all the way down to Dangling Rope. Stripers are visual feeders. They look up to find shad.  In these murky visibility conditions, cloudy weather reduces the number of opportunities for shad and stripers to come together on the surface.

On a normal summer morning slurping boils start as soon as there is sufficient sunlight to allow good vision.  That is usually just after 6 AM (MST).  On an overcast morning the first boil may be delayed until the clouds burn off and sunlight allows good hunting.  

clairtjjtSlurping boils are subtle.  It takes a trained eye and concentration to see boils at a distance. A windy morning really reduces the number of boils that happen and the boils seen by anglers. These are the challenges faced this week.

The good news is that boils will be seen every day and with some luck fish will be caught.  The very best location to catch surfacing stripers is from the Rincon to the mouth of the San Juan (Buoy 57-77). Here boils are large enough to see even in some wind and intense enough to persist with cloud conditions. Schools are large and fish work together to feed making it easier to see the boil location.  

cory6In the southern lake stripers are feeding in smaller groups with only a few fish involved in small slurps.  Still there are some consistent areas where fish can be caught each day.  There are larger groups of stripers working together in the Antelope to Navajo Canyon portion of the main channel.  A good strategy is to make a run around Antelope Island looking for boils at 6-8 AM or from 5-8 PM.

At Bullfrog the best boiling action has been in Halls Creek. These boils are impacted by the same vagaries of wind and clouds. From Bullfrog to Hite water is cloudy but the backs of canyons are clearer.  It will be possible to find boil action upstream in canyons but the better choice is to head down lake to the Rincon and beyond.  

Water is still coming up 6 inches per day. Bass fishing will improve with lake stabilization.  Right now bass are catchable but only 10-15 fish larger than 10 inches are caught per trip.  At most lakes in America that would be acceptable but at Powell bass fishing has a much higher standard.  The best chance for larger bass is to fish the shoreline after a boil subsides or go flipping in the brush to find shallow largemouth in the trees. A bonus walleye will respond in the submerged green forest.  Just be careful as the green brush is less forgiving when it comes to retrieving a lure.  Go weedless for best results.  

catboyCatfishing is excellent and bait fishing for stripers is still very effective along steep canyon walls after boils go dormant for the day.

July 6, 2011 - Summer time

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 6, 2011

Lake Elevation: 3652

Water Temperature 75-80 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson


cooperw1Lake Powell has risen over 42 feet since the yearly low point was reached in April.  The monthly increase during June was 26 feet in 30 days. The shoreline of the lake has a brand new face.  The Independence Day Holiday was very busy with full parking lots and busy boat travel lanes from Bullfrog to Wahweap.  Muddy water prevails upstream from Bullfrog.  Somewhere amid all this change are displaced fish looking for a place to be.

Bass built nests in the spring that are now over 40 feet deep. Spawning is complete and the nests are abandoned. A new green tree line is under water beckoning largemouth to frequent the shallow brush that they love so well.  Smallmouth bass are deeper preferring the rocky structure where crayfish hide or the tree tops where they may ambush shad that swim by in open water.

boilslong 014My point is that there is twice as much water and shoreline with completely different habitat making bass fishing spotty at best.  At this great lake the opportunity to find that repeatable pattern that works exists every day.  The fishing strategy is to try many locations and techniques at the beginning of the day.  Then utilize the most effective bait and location to maximize catch. The standard summer time approach is to use a drop-shot or Carolina rig plastic bait in watermelon or black color.  Drift this rig in 20-25 feet of water looking for the deep concentrations of bass.  Periodically switch to surface walking baits in morning or evening. When an inviting stand of green trees is found run a buzz bait over the top hoping the noisy sputter will attract a fish from the tree top.  Casting a crank bait in the alleys around the trees may also be effective.   The best strategy is to keep moving and keep casting until a hot spot is located.

Striped bass have just as many options as black bass.  But stripers are focused on shad.  The new shad crop is now appearing all over the lakes warm surface layer.  Slurps are seen each day.  Boat traffic was intense this past week so slurps were very fast. Not many fish were caught.  But with each day shad get bigger, slurps happen more often and last longer.  Top water catch of stripers will increase and peak during dark moon at the end of July.  There will be many fish caught during the full moon period coming next week but expect afternoon/evening fishing to be better than morning.

connerLarger adults are still running deep and making circuits from one feeding spot to the next.  All of the spots that were good in the spring will produce striper catches now.  But a spot will be good one day and not the next.  If using bait it will be necessary to try 3-5 places before a school is found.  Once a school lights up then the normal 30 fish catch can be had.

rosetNight fishing may be the best technique during the bright moon in July.  Use a light to attract plankton and shad. Fish bait on the periphery of the lighted area to entice the large adult stripers hanging at the edge of the light field.   Night fishing will also work for bass and walleye that may be more active after dark than during the bright sunlit daytime period.

Its summer!  Fish in the shade.  Cast on the shady side of rock structure.  Fish at twilight for best results.  The only exception to that is a persistent mid day surface feeding event by slurping stripers.


June 29, 2011-

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 29, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3647            
Water Temperature 74-78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

slurptightFrom this point forward many of the reports will be about surface feeding by striped bass.   Here are some terms that will make it easier for you to understand my reports. "Slurps" are defined as surface feeding by stripers of all sizes on very small larval shad. Tiny shad are poor swimmers. There is not much chance of them eluding stripers that line up with open mouths and skim the surface sucking in shad as they go. The scrimmage line moves along at high speed (3-5 mph). Slurpers go down when the boat gets in range but then resurface in random directions. If they come up near the boat stripers are easier to catch. If they surface well out of range the boat must be quickly repositioned to get in casting range again.

slurpsplashSlurping stripers can be fussy eaters because their prey is so small. The feeding school can move in just about any direction as larval shad are commonly found in most open water areas. Fishing success in slurps requires precision casting. A lure tossed into the scrimmage line will spook the whole school or be ignored by fish looking straight ahead. But a lure cast well in front of the first fish and worked back into the scrimmage line will be seen and sometimes eaten.  

slurpdirectionSlurps have begun lakewide but colder water temperatures have delayed catching success.  Slurps are seen each day from Wahweap to Bullfrog.  Wind erases the trail making it difficult to find slurpers but in calm periods keep an eye out for the small surface disturbance that marks a feeding school.  

peterfullertonLarger stripers may slurp but it is more likely to find them very deep (60-90 feet) in the same areas they have occupied all spring.  Look along the main channel walls from the dam to Bullfrog.  Fish much deeper then was necessary in May and June using copious chum to get the school going.

Bass fishing is getting better.  Largemouth are in the green brush just being flooded by increasing lake levels.  Go flippin' for best results . That entails nosing the boat into a brush thicket and working the bait vertically instead of horizontally to keep the lure from grabbing a limb instead of a fish.  Big bass are in the brush from the shoreline to 25 feet.

Smallmouth are on the rocky terraces and ledges also at 20-25 feet.  Tubes, grubs and senkos are working well now when the bait gets in the correct depth zone.  Try to keep the bait at last 20 feet deep for best results.  Black and watermelon green colors are working well for bass.

gauneyeWalleye are the surprise fish for this time of year.  Slow warming has kept walleye active longer than normal.  The best way to find walleye is to work the shoreline where brush is evident.  Look for the deep slot leading to the cove.  Fish plastic grubs or live night crawlers slowly along the deep slot where walleye are stationed scanning for food moving from one side of the brush canyon to the other.

Catfish have taken off and will be caught each evening on the sandy beach near your camp.  Bluegills are in the brush along the shoreline.   The lake level continues to increase in dramatic fashion.  The big inflow and flooded brush means there will be good survival of small fish which leads to good fishing for the coming years.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:16

June 22, 2011 - Summer Changes

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 22, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3642            
Water Temperature 70-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

gofish2It's now summer and big changes are happening. The lake level is increasing about one foot per day. Water temperature is climbing with an early morning base of 70 degrees which is the warmest water of the year. Not surprisingly fishing is changing right along with the other elements.

The biggest news is about striped bass. Bait fishing has taken a nose dive this past week. The fish cleaning station at Wahweap which used to resemble a stadium crowd during a big game is now lonely and quiet.  Really this great change is more about fishermen leaving and water skiers arriving, but the end result is not many fish being processed.  Bait fishing in the morning is very slow.  It is not until mid day that striper schools return to the cliff walls that have produced some many great catches in previous weeks.

kobyhubbs2Stripers have found a food source in the backs of canyons and are exploiting the little shad that are now large enough to attract a major following. Slurps and small boils are seen each morning and evening.  Bait fishing during midday still works because stripers return to favored holding spots after the morning foray into shallow shad water.  But the savvy angler is going to chase the surface action now to reap the biggest reward.

Look for surface feeding events near locations that have produced well all spring.  Good catches of stripers at Bullfrog, Halls and Lake Canyon are still correct but the location has changed.  Lake Canyon mouth was previously hot for bait fishing. Now those same fish are being caught in the back of the canyon feeding on larval shad.

matthewlmbAt Wahweap slurping action is found in Navajo, Rock Creek, Last Chance and in the main channel bertween Buoys 28-32. In reality the shad - striper confrontation is happening in almost every canyon.  It's subtle and may not be recognized by those that have not seen a slurping event.  The easiest explanation is to watch for a small boat wake where no boat is present. Look closely and see if fish are pushing the wall of water. If so, cast shad imitating crankbaits over and to the front of the leading fish to make contact with stripers from 12 inches to 4 pounds.

Watch this video for an idea of what to look for.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsvLbKClvfM&feature=youtu.be

Bass, walleye and crappie fishing is less productive for the same reasons listed above. Topwater fishing early in the morning may be the best bet as bass are aware of the new shad crop just like stripers.   Bass will drop back to the bottom (22-35 feet) after chasing shad in the early morning. Use crayfish imitating (green and black) plastic lures during the day.

flat_rapSince all fish are looking up and boils are often hard to approach, trolling rattletraps and flat raps may be a good way to catch a few fish while waiting for the next surface event.  After the boil, drop spoons or shad imitating Gulp minnows down to 20-30 feet to pick up a few more fish.

Fishing patterns have changed dramatically with warming and filling but success is still excellent when tuned into current events.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 09:27

June 15, 2011 - First Boils!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 15, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3635           
Water Temperature 67-73 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

682011groupMy weekly fishing report trip was extremely informative.  It began by trying to duplicate some great fishing reports for striper schools from the Rock Creek area.  The dawn trip from Wahweap to Rock Creek was magical with ultra calm water, clear warm water and glowing red rocks basking in the sun's first light.  Turned out that was the only redeeming factor as we found no willing fish of any species in main Rock Creek.  The first fish was caught about 9:30 AM when a walleye took a dropshot senko at 30 feet.  Shortly there after a nice striper was caught trolling in the back of Dry Rock Creek.  This morning lull was a mystery to me until last night when the huge full moon came up, reminding me that fish prowl at night during the full moon and take the next morning off. Fishing success increases throughout the day and peaks in the evening. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that fishing expertise is trumped by more important events (like full moon or weather fronts) happening in the fish world. There was some great fishing that occurred in predawn hours but I only learned about that after the fact.

andrewAt first light yesterday the first striper boils of the year were seen in Navajo Canyon. The big event occurred at the back of the canyon in muddy water where bottom depth was 15-20 feet.  A second boil event was later seen about noon near the big sand dune in clear water. Stripers were caught on surface lures, spoons and rattletraps in both surface feeding events. Boil season is now open for business and will happen sporadically lakewide for the rest of the summer.  For now look in the backs of canyons at dusk, middday and dawn where most shad spawning occurs and small shad are present in large numbers. Both boils and slurps were seen with large fish caught in both events on spoons and rattletraps fished under the surface action.

connerOn my return from the non event in Rock Creek we found fishing success gradually improved as we got closer to Wahweap. As moon effect lessened fish were more eager to respond. Smallmouth bass yearlings were holding on deep water edges on open water reefs.  Bass were consistently found on the main channel side of the reef and absent from the side closer to shore.

dtribbleboysOur fishing prowess improved dramatically as we arrived at the power plant intake.  A bit of chum ignited a school and many stripers were caught in short order in shallow water.  My best technique in this situation was to use a circle hook with no weight allowing the bait to sink to 12-15 feet before the next fish hit.




Moved on to Buoy 3 and found stripers catchable but at a much slower rate than at the intake. Fish were deeper here and the short shanked jig head with a small grub tipped with anchovy bait was very effective. The big difference between the two spots was the condition of fish. Many fish caught at the intake were thin with only an occasional fat fish. It seemed that the last month of constant catching has removed most of the thin fish from Buoy 3 while many remain in spots less popular.  Boat traffic made holding position near the intake difficult while Buoy 3 was a calm experience except for one tour boat wake. We finished up at Buoy 1 by chumming a few chunks of bait and catching another 6 fish in short order.

Our trip was typical. We went out expecting a certain outcome and came back with a report much different than expected.  There are always fish to catch on this beautiful lake. On some days it just takes longer to find them.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 July 2011 19:07

June 8, 2011 - Transiiton Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 8, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3628            
Water Temperature 64-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

bryanbecksteadLake Powell has risen 6 feet since last weeks report.  Water temperature has gone up 5 degrees.  These massive changes really impact fishing success. Its not that fish quit biting but rather the changing lake makes fish more difficult to locate each day. They change position daily to find the right combination of temperature, light and depth. The good news is that once found, fish are very cooperative.  It just takes some effort and understanding to get on the same wavelength with the fish.

danowellStriped bass are still hanging out along main channel canyon walls from Wahweap to Bullfrog and beyond. They are a bit more hesitant to bite so it takes much more chumming with anchovies to get a school going and to keep them under the boat. Catch has diminished to 20-30 fish per trip instead of the 100 fish trips reported earlier in the year. Trolling success has declined as fish are deeper than they were making it necessary to troll in deeper water.

Cooler spring temperatures have kept stripers in the main channel and the 30-60 foot strata at the backs of canyons where they will remain until shad schools entice them to come to the surface later in the month. There has been a noticeable change in school structure as school size is increasing with fewer scattered fish seen. That makes finding striper schools on the graph easier but it makes it more important to find the school before investing large amounts of chum.  Continue to fish at the dam, Buoy 3, Navajo Canyon, shallow rocky ledges jutting into the main channel, Lake Canyon, and Red Canyon.

braydenBass fishing is still about finding the right habitat and depth. My best advice is to search the shoreline for bassy looking structure such as chunk rock, trees or points.  The key difference is to get near the habitat but instead of casting to shore drop the bait directly under the boat to a depth of 25-30 feet. Let the bait rest on bottom or drift slowly with the boat.  Bass will pause while looking at the stationary bait and then hit after thorough investigation.  It's hard to fish slowly enough. The best rigging techniques are drop-shot and Carolina rigs which feature a free floating bait suspended just above the bottom.

shellywaeOne of the best ways to catch fish now is to use a large night crawler or plastic bait on a drop shot rig at 30-40 feet. Walleye are deeper but still being caught in good numbers.  Work the worm slowly along the bottom early in the morning or late in the evening to capture these tasty but elusive fish. Slow trolling with a bottom bouncing weight and worm harness with night crawler attached is working very well lakewide.  

Live worms on small hooks used along steep rocky shorelines are a good way to catch the underutilized bluegill and green sunfish that are abundant but seldom caught.  Sunfish are fun to catch for kids of all ages and provide a tasty meal. They will often use a houseboat for shade. Sunfish get excited about eating when the prop wash from a boat maneuvering to park stirs up the bottom. Give sunfish a try near your camp. Catfish are there too just waiting to come to dinner.

June 1, 2011 - Bullfrog Stripers Start!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 1, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3622            
Water Temperature 60-65 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  


kobybigThe big news this week is that stripers are now being caught in big numbers at the mouth of Lake Canyon.  Stripers have been slow to start this spring in the mid lake area but now it appears that has changed.  It is likely that the mouth of other canyons including Annies, Slick Rock and Iceberg would have similar concentrations of large stripers willing to hit bait. In other late developing years stripers have been found along the walls downstream from Halls Creek all the way to Lake Canyon.  Catch rate is increasing just inside the mouth of Moki where the canyon intersects with the main channel.  Smaller stripers are being caught in Halls Creek using crappie jigs near the surface in open water.

kobyposeAnglers are catching hundreds of fish using standard bait fishing techniques that have worked so well at Wahweap this spring. It has just taken longer for stripers near Bullfrog to move to the main channel and then be located by anglers.  But the wait is now over and striper fishing midlake is heating up fast. We expected striper fishing to begin later uplake but had no idea it would be June before it exploded.  

Striper fishing in the southern lake continues to amaze us with the volume of fish that are being caught on a daily basis - weather permitting.  High winds over Memorial Day weekend made fishing success marginal because calm spots were hard to find. But the seas have now calmed and fishing is picking up right where it left off. Striper fishing is excellent from Wahweap to Bullfrog.

kobylmbBass fishing continues to be good but not along the shoreline. The rapid increase in lake level floods new shoreline each day.   Smallmouth bass are now 20 feet deep making it necessary to fish deeper water. Old standard plastic grubs fished along the bottom are still very effective for catching good numbers of bass.  Largemouth are shallower. When trees are available largemouth will not leave the cover.  Each day more brush is covered allowing bass to move back into the thickets that they occupied when water was higher.

Walleye fishing continues to be exceptional.  Slow-trolled bottom bouncers weights with attached worm harness are very effective while fast trolling with diving crankbaits is working as well. Casting into murky water often produces walleye along with bass and stripers. Walleye are being caught from Good Hope Bay to Wahweap. This may be the yearly peak for walleye fishing so give it a try before success rate declines.  

perezbcCrappie fishing is winding down as spawning is now complete.  Some crappie can still be caught on small jigs trolled slowly with an electric motor or wind drift. Target the deep water side of brush thickets to find a suspended school of elusive panfish.  

Catfish are now starting to bite on a beach near your camp. Share your dinner with them and they will provide great fun for kids of all ages.  Fishing is not as fast as it was in May but the variety and chance of catching a large number of fish still exists.

May 25, 2011

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 25, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3619            
Water Temperature 60-68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

jenninixRunoff is now adding a foot of water every two days.  If camping overnight be sure to retie the boat each morning. Do not leave camp unattended for any extended amount of time. Rapidly rising water makes it harder to fish the shoreline as bass are now at least 10-15 feet deep in the vicinity of the nests they built when spawning started a month ago.  It is better strategy to fish where the shoreline is steep rather than flat. Fish at least 10 feet deep to start and ignore the shallow flats.

kristinFishing success for stripers is overdue at Bullfrog. Only a few stripers are being caught by bait fishermen uplake. Fortunately bass, crappie and walleye fishing is good. Water is murky from Bullfrog upstream.  It is not recommended that anyone fish the Hite area due to high runoff, muddy water and floating debris. The backs of the canyons in the northern lake are fishable but no reports are coming from that area.  

perezbcAnglers in the southern lake have big smiles as they congregate at the fish cleaning station each afternoon to process their 20-50 fish catch for the day. Hungry stripers are caught on cut anchovy bait in the main channel from the dam to many locations upstream. Some of the most consistent spots are Dam, Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon (points protruding into channel), Gunsight, Last Chance Rock Creek.

There was one group of anglers that were not smiling as they caught only one striper after two days of fishing. They showed me their fishing rigs including braided line without any leader and snelled hooks on 20 pound test monofilament. Stripers are sight feeders. They can see braided line and heavy monofilament. Finesse fishing (bait) success increases dramatically when using fluorocarbon line or light test monofilament leader above the baited hook. Reaction fishing with straight braid works but bait fishing with this handicap brings poor results.

raynopattyWe found it interesting this week that our anchovy bait on a ¼ ounce jig head was being hammered unmercifully near the surface on a trip to Navajo Canyon but only a few small fish were caught. Most of the time the bait was knocked off the hook and no fish were caught. We changed our technique to accommodate the smaller fish and went crappie fishing….for stripers. We downsized to 1/8 ounce crappie jigs with a 2" chartreuse grub tipped with a tiny piece of bait. Little stripers (10-18 inches) were then caught every cast for 2 hours.  If the bait came off, stripers ate the swimming grub almost as well.   This was a neat change of pace that targeted stripers in the best condition. Of the 70 fish caught 10 were adults and 60 juveniles.  Larger stripers are not as prime and the little fish are easier to fillet and better to eat. Remember to put harvested fish on ice now. Don't leave them on a stringer in the warm water as condition deteriorates in a hurry in warm weather.  

Walleye and crappie are still being caught.  Pick your spot. Striper fishing is better at Wahweap while bass and walleye success rate is higher at Bullfrog/Halls.

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