Lake Powell Fish Report - June 21, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3616
Water Temperature: 76-82F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake level continues to rise. The result of rapidly changing shoreline is not so good for bass fishing but excellent for stripers.
Young bass that were so eager to hit lures along the shoreline 2 weeks ago and almost made fishing too easy, are now a bit harder to find. Really good bass fishing for the larger size fish is found by dropshotting, or using plastic grubs on a lead head jig. The secret is to get the bait down to the old shoreline where bass were holding before the lake began its rapid ascent. The correct depth is 15-25 feet deep for smallmouth bass while largemouth are loving the brush just covered by rising water. Look for largemouth in the middle of a bush in 5 feet of water. Bass fishing is still good but best early and late in the day.
Slurping stripers have been extremely dependable all week. Tight little slurping pods are seen every morning starting in Warm Creek when heading out of Wahweap or Buoy 9 when leaving Antelope Point. Slurps continue through the narrows into all of Padre Bay, Last Chance and continuing up the main channel. Most slurp activity is seen from 6:30 to 9:30 AM (MST).
Approach the slurp quickly but stop one long cast away from the action. Cast ahead or to the far side of the school and bring the lure back through the feeding fish. Best lures this week include small surface lures, small jerk baits, swim baits, rattletraps, and jigs. The size of slurping fish is increasing as some older fish have joined the young ones. Aggression level is increasing as school numbers climb and encourage more interscholastic competition.
I prefer surface fishing but certainly more and bigger stripers can be caught while hovering over a huge school of adults in deeper water. Bait hotspots this week included: Warm Creek Wall (Buoy 12), Labyrinth Wall (Buoy 18), Navajo Canyon points and the final deep pocket in the muddy water at the back of the canyon. Bait fishing is good at the end of most long canyons like Last Chance and Rock Creek. Expect the same patterns to occur in the mid and northern lake.
Those stripers not quick enough to keep up with the school fish are still found along the shore and will hit topwater lures. When one fish is hooked, play him slowly and cast lures out toward the hooked fish to catch the followers.
Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of stained water in the back of most canyons. There are areas where driftwood and debris are thick, which makes trolling almost impossible. Find small open areas without debris and troll right against the cliff wall to target walleye. Cast grubs tipped with night crawlers to select walleye over bass. Worm harnesses pulled behind a bottom bouncer or just cast and retrieved along the bottom in 15 feet of water work well now in the colored rising water.
Bluegill, green sunfish and catfish round out the fish species that are very active and willing to bite lures and baits for all ages of anglers.
The days are hot, but so is fishing in the right place at the right time. The right place is Lake Powell and the right time is when you can get here.