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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

78-85 F

July 30, 2014



August 20, 2014 - Fish are where you find them

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
August 20, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3607
Water Temperature 78-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Powell fish are getting fatter.  That is a good thing coming off a difficult year with low water and very little brushy habitat. Our studies show that the shad population is nearing a peak not seen in this decade. Lakewide shad numbers from our first shad trawl in July are well above average from Wahweap to Good Hope with Bullfrog showing the most shad of all stations. The August trawl sample next week will determine the strength of this year shad class. The large shad population probably has much to do with the challenging fishing results found over much of the lake.
Fishing is best in the northern lake. Stripers are still boiling from Bullfrog all the way to Horn (Buoy 129).  The boils are much quicker than found two weeks ago but they are consistent.  Stripers are feeding both in the bays and in the backs of canyons.  It takes patience but those that search aggressively are finding boils and catching a respectable number of stripers.  These stripers will hit topwater lures or shallow running crankbaits or medium sized spoons.
In the southern lake finding fish is less certain.  There are few fish reports with lots of recreational boaters still wake boarding and tubing.  An early start is recommended to avoid boat traffic and wakes.  I headed through the Castle Rock Cut at first light and saw a splash on the Warm Creek side.  As the boat slowed to a stop a surface lure was ready to cast but no other splash followed.  However, the graph showed a fish school at 45 feet so a spoon was dropped instead. A fish hit the spoon on the first hop and quickly came to the boat.  To my surprise the expected striper turned out to be a walleye.  The spoon was deployed again and another fish caught. This one was a catfish!  Both fish were eating shad.  It turned out to be one of those crazy days.
Trolling and graphing for stripers turned into a smallmouth catching experience. The best trolling lure this day was the Bomber Flat A in shad color. The habitat bass chose was near a gentle sloping brushy shoreline where bottom depth was 15-20 feet. Smallmouth stomachs were empty except for an occasional crayfish.
Fishing in the southern lake is still a mystery. A solid pattern has not been identified. The most consistent striper spot is Navajo Canyon but stripers are moving up and down the canyon and changing feeding times.  One day small boils will be found at dawn near the canyon mouth while the next day small boils will occur at 11 AM near the big sand dune. This sums up the fishing pattern.  Fish are where you find them.  I will try to make more sense out of this by next week.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

August 20, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3607

Water Temperature 78-83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

gbheron820Lake Powell fish are getting fatter.  That is a good thing coming off a difficult year with low water and very little brushy habitat. Our studies show that the shad population is nearing a peak not seen in this decade. Lakewide shad numbers from our first shad trawl in July are well above average from Wahweap to Good Hope with Bullfrog showing the most shad of all stations. The August trawl sample next week will determine the strength of this shad year class. The large shad population probably has much to do with the challenging fishing results found over much of the lake.

 
Fishing is best in the northern lake. Stripers are still boiling from Bullfrog all the way to Horn (Buoy 129).  The boils are much quicker than found two weeks ago but they are consistent.  Stripers are feeding both in the bays and in the backs of canyons.  It takes patience but those that search aggressively are finding boils and catching a respectable number of stripers.  These stripers will hit topwater lures or shallow running crankbaits or medium sized spoons. 


In the southern lake finding fish is less certain.  There are few fish reports with lots of recreational boaters still wake boarding and tubing.  An early start is recommended to avoid boat traffic and wakes.  I headed through the Castle Rock Cut at first light and saw a splash on the Warm Creek side.  As the boat slowed to a stop a surface lure was ready to cast but no other splash followed.  However, the graph showed a fish school at 45 feet so a spoon was dropped instead. A fish hit the spoon on the first hop and quickly came to the boat.  To my surprise the expected striper turned out to be a walleye.  The spoon was deployed again and another fish caught. This one was a catfish!  Both fish were eating shad.  It turned out to be one of those crazy days.

fraug20wcat 
Trolling and graphing for stripers turned into a smallmouth catching experience. The best trolling lure this day was the Bomber Flat A in shad color. The habitat bass chose was near a gentle sloping brushy shoreline where bottom depth was 15-20 feet. Smallmouth stomachs were empty except for an occasional crayfish.


Fishing in the southern lake is still a mystery. A solid pattern has not been identified. The most consistent striper spot is Navajo Canyon but stripers are moving up and down the canyon and changing feeding times.  One day small boils will be found at dawn near the canyon mouth while the next day small boils will occur at 11 AM near the big sand dune.

This sums up the fishing pattern.  Fish are where you find them.  I will try to make more sense out of this by next week.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:27
 

August 6, 2014 - Boils in GHB

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
August 6, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3607
Water Temperature 77-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Stripers are still boiling from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte and White Canyon. The intensity is not as strong as last week when stripers first found shad as the water cleared up and visibility increased.  Now there is a morning and evening pattern developing with random boils occurring during the day.  In the morning start looking in Good Hope Bay and then run uplake to the Horn and beyond. Feeding activity can be in the main channel or in the backs of canyons depending on the whim of the stripers. When boils are encountered, stop and fish.  Cast to boils as long as the fish stay on top.  Use full size top water lures, lipless vibrators and Kastmasters for best success.
Catching can be prolonged by casting spoons as soon as the stripers leave the surface.  Stripers are lurking just under the water looking for another shad and the falling spoon is just what they are looking for.   Stripers really like the side-to-side motion the spoon makes when free falling. Slab style jigging spoons are best when used in free fall mode but in surface boils the Kastmasters type spoons are better.  It is wise to have both styles rigged and ready to go.
If stripers are seen on the graph schooled up in deep water, a slab spoon will be the best choice and catching at a high rate will continue.
At mid morning the surface activity slacks off.  Take a break by cooling off in the warm water and then repeat the boil search in the evening as the sun gets low in the west.
From Wahweap to Bullfrog it is a different story. Boils are very random and only a few may be seen during a whole week of looking. When a boil does come up, stripers are very cooperative and will hit full size lures as described above.
Smallmouth bass are active lakewide and can be caught on primary and secondary points leading into the main channel or main canyon.  Fish from 12- 25 feet deep with plastic grubs bounced off the bottom and then retrieved back to the boat.  The best lure for me today was the Yamamoto shad shaped worm rigged on a regular eighth ounce lead head jig. Swim the lure to resemble a shad in open water.  We also caught smallmouth along the shoreline while trolling for stripers. Bass hit trolling lures that ran from 12-20 feet deep over a 30 feet bottom.
Fishing was not fast but it was steady.  Bass size is increasing as shad become more available to all fish.
We recently completed our shad trawling survey and found that shad numbers were above average in all locations sampled. At Wahweap the average sample is usually between 10 and 30 shad per tow. July’s shad sample was over 100 shad per tow.  At Good Hope Bay the average shad haul is usually 100 fish but in July 2014 the count was over 1000 shad per tow.  These numbers are very encouraging.  Boils should continue as plenty of shad are available in the northern lake.   Hopefully shad and stripers will get together in the southern lake as well. Right now there are a few boils in Navajo Canyon without much activity from Rock Creek to Rainbow Bridge.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

August 6, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3607

Water Temperature 77-85 F

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

briangsmb_edited-1Stripers are still boiling from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte and White Canyon. The intensity is not as strong as last week when stripers first found shad as the water cleared up and visibility increased.  Now there is a morning and evening pattern developing with random boils occurring during the day.  In the morning start looking in Good Hope Bay and then run uplake to the Horn and beyond. Feeding activity can be in the main channel or in the backs of canyons depending on the whim of the stripers. When boils are encountered, stop and fish.  Cast to boils as long as the fish stay on top.  Use full size top water lures, lipless vibrators and Kastmasters for best success.

    
Catching can be prolonged by casting spoons as soon as the stripers leave the surface.  Stripers are lurking just under the water looking for another shad and the falling spoon is just what they are looking for.   Stripers really like the side-to-side motion the spoon makes when free falling. Slab style jigging spoons are best when used in free fall mode but in surface boils the Kastmasters type spoons are better.  It is wise to have both styles rigged and ready to go.  
If stripers are seen on the graph schooled up in deep water, a slab spoon will be the best choice and catching at a high rate will continue. 


At mid morning the surface activity slacks off.  Take a break by cooling off in the warm water and then repeat the boil search in the evening as the sun gets low in the west. 


From Wahweap to Bullfrog it is a different story. Boils are very random and only a few may be seen during a whole week of looking. When a boil does come up, stripers are very cooperative and will hit full size lures as described above.  
brianshandsmSmallmouth bass are active lakewide and can be caught on primary and secondary points leading into the main channel or main canyon.  Fish from 12- 25 feet deep with plastic grubs bounced off the bottom and then retrieved back to the boat.  The best lure for me today was the Yamamoto shad shaped worm rigged on a regular eighth ounce lead head jig. Swim the lure to resemble a shad in open water.  We also caught smallmouth along the shoreline while trolling for stripers. Bass hit trolling lures that ran from 12-20 feet deep over a 30 feet bottom. 


Fishing was not fast but it was steady.  Bass size is increasing as shad become more available to all fish.
We recently completed our shad trawling survey and found that shad numbers were above average in all locations sampled. At Wahweap the average sample is usually between 10 and 30 shad per tow. July’s shad sample was over 100 shad per tow.  At Good Hope Bay the average shad haul is usually 100 fish but in July 2014 the count was over 1000 shad per tow.  These numbers are very encouraging.  Boils should continue as plenty of shad are available in the northern lake.   Hopefully shad and stripers will get together in the southern lake as well.

Right now there are a few boils in Navajo Canyon without much activity from Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge.

 

July 30, 2014 - Stripers BOILING in GHB

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
July 23, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3608
Water Temperature 77-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
STRIPERS BOILING!
Big news began pouring in on July 25th.  Stripers were boiling in the northern Lake from Good Hope Bay to White Canyon.  As the week progressed more reports followed.  Stripers were seen feeding on the surface all day long from Good Hope Bay upstream.  Even better news confirms that these are “boils” and not “slurps”.  The difference is that slurping fish require an accurate cast and great retrieve before a fish can be caught.  On the other hand boiling fish will hit any respectable lure that lands in the circle of fish. Catching is assured when in the feeding zone.
Water color is now clear enough for striped bass to see their shad forage. When water was murky due to runoff shad were protected for at time as sight feeding stripers were unable to consistently find shad.  Now that is past. The buffet is open and stripers will eat shad early and often as long as the supply lasts. Anglers are now needed to go save some shad!
The most effective baits are top water lures and shallow running crankbaits. These result in a hook up every cast. The downside is that treble hooks and energetic stripers require more time to unhook before the next cast can be thrown while the boil is still in casting range. A helpful hint to speed up the process requires a “fishing towel”.  When the hooked striper hits the deck throw a hand towel over the fishes’ back and quickly pick up the fish. The towel is thick enough to protect your hand from dorsal spines.  With the fish supported in this manner the weight is off the hook and it makes it easier to unhook the fish using a handy pair of pliers.
The second option is to use a single hook on a jig or spoon.  This type hook can be removed more quickly than a treble which allows the next cast to be made more quickly.  The downside to this method is that the hookup occurs underwater where it can be felt but not seen.  It is so exciting to see a school of stripers play “volleyball” with your lure.  A surface lure can be batted back and forth many times before one fish finally gets the hook in its mouth.  That is quite exciting even when the fish misses the lure.
My “go to” method for boils is to remove the belly hook from a big Jumpin’ Minnow surface lure.  When the fish hits the deck (No Net Used) I grab the big lure and use it as a handle since there is no hook on the lure body.  The only hook is in the fish’s mouth. I first shake the lure hoping the fish will come unhooked with a quick jerk. When that happens I can throw the next cast within seconds. After the boil moves out of range the deck is cleared and all deck fish are then put on ice before moving to the next skirmish line.
In the heat of summer it is critical to have a fish cooler with ice. These fish will retain their great eating quality when put directly on ice.  Never put fish on a stringer or in a live well with 85 degree water.  That warm water quickly degrades eating quality.  It is wise to enjoy the catching and retain eating quality by being prepared with the right fishing equipment and a cooler full of ice.
Boil fishing does not require the same light fluorocarbon line that has to be used when bait fishing.  Braided line can be tied directly to the lure.  I still use fluorocarbon leader on my fishing rig but I go to 12-pound test so fish can be flipped into the boat without using a net. It is infuriating to have the second treble hook imbedded in the net when the fish are boiling right next to the boat. I would rather lose the first fish and then cast to the second one than spend my time impatiently unhooking lures from a badly tangled old fashion net.  If a net is used make sure it has rubber mesh.
Sorry – I get a bit invigorated when thinking about fishing striper boils.  It is the ultimate freshwater fishing sport!

Lake Powell Fishing Report

July 30, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3608

Water Temperature 77-85 F

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

 

 

STRIPERS BOILING!

 


dawkinstbBig news began pouring in on July 25th.  Stripers were boiling in the northern Lake from Good Hope Bay to White Canyon.  As the week progressed more reports followed.  Stripers were seen feeding on the surface all day long from Good Hope Bay upstream.  Even better news confirms that these are “boils” and not “slurps”.  The difference is that slurping fish require an accurate cast and great retrieve before a fish can be caught.  On the other hand boiling fish will hit any respectable lure that lands in the circle of fish. Catching is assured when in the feeding zone. 


Water color is now clear enough for striped bass to see their shad forage. When water was murky due to runoff shad were protected for at time as sight feeding stripers were unable to consistently find shad.  Now that is past. The buffet is open and stripers will eat shad early and often as long as the supply lasts. Anglers are now needed to go save some shad!


The most effective baits are top water lures and shallow running crankbaits. These result in a hook up every cast. The downside is that treble hooks and energetic stripers require more time to unhook before the next cast can be thrown while the boil is still in casting range. A helpful hint to speed up the process requires a “fishing towel”.  When the hooked striper hits the deck throw a hand towel over the fishes’ back and quickly pick up the fish. The towel is thick enough to protect your hand from dorsal spines.  With the fish supported in this manner the weight is off the hook and it makes it easier to unhook the fish using a handy pair of pliers.

 
The second option is to use a single hook on a jig or spoon.  This type hook can be removed more quickly than a treble which allows the next cast to be made more quickly.  The downside to this method is that the hookup occurs underwater where it can be felt but not seen.  It is so exciting to see a school of stripers play “volleyball” with your lure.  A surface lure can be batted back and forth many times before one fish finally gets the hook in its mouth.  That is quite exciting even when the fish misses the lure. 


jumpin minnow t-2000My “go to” method for boils is to remove the belly hook from a big Jumpin’ Minnow surface lure.  When the fish hits the deck (No Net Used) I grab the big lure and use it as a handle since there is no hook on the lure body.  The only hook is in the fish’s mouth. I first shake the lure hoping the fish will come unhooked with a quick jerk. When that happens I can throw the next cast within seconds. After the boil moves out of range the deck is cleared and all deck fish are then put on ice before moving to the next skirmish line. 


In the heat of summer it is critical to have a fish cooler with ice. These fish will retain their great eating quality when put directly on ice.  Never put fish on a stringer or in a live well with 85 degree water.  That warm water quickly degrades eating quality.  It is wise to enjoy the catching and retain eating quality by being prepared with the right fishing equipment and a cooler full of ice. 


Boil fishing does not require the same light fluorocarbon line that has to be used when bait fishing.  Braided line can be tied directly to the lure.  I still use fluorocarbon leader on my fishing rig but I go to 12-pound test so fish can be flipped into the boat without using a net. It is infuriating to have the second treble hook imbedded in the net when the fish are boiling right next to the boat. I would rather lose the first fish and then cast to the second one than spend my time impatiently unhooking lures from a badly tangled old fashion net.  If a net is used make sure it has rubber mesh.


strperthumbSorry for getting wound up – I get a bit invigorated when thinking about fishing striper boils.  It is the ultimate freshwater fishing sport!

 

Oh and watch out for striper thumb!  It is that time of year. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 08:36
 

July 23, 2014 - Fishing Observatory

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
July 23, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water Temperature 77-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Fishing is good at Lake Powell but for best results go NORTH.  Water is now clearing in Good
Hope Bay all the way to Trachyte. Surface action continues but boils are seen only sporadically.  Trolling and spooning will put more fish in the boat but it is hard to beat the adrenaline rush provided by a school of stripers thrashing on the surface.  With surface temperatures exceeding 80 degrees it is much more likely to catch juvenile stripers on top. The bigger fish are forced into deep water and can be caught on deep trolling lures.  For the Very Best results fish at night with a green a light near the marinas and houseboats fields to catch copious quantities of stripers.
Fishing out of Wahweap is challenging with warm surface temperatures and lots of boating activity.  These fish have not returned to the surface since full moon. Stripers can be caught trolling in the shade of the main channel cliffs early in the morning.   The area from Buoy 25 upstream to Wetherill is the most productive.  Early morning and late evening are the best times with mid day being a better time for swimming and recreating.
Smallmouth bass fishing is improving but bass are located further off shore and in deeper water than expected.  The best depth to catch larger smallmouth bass is 25 feet.  It is also possible to catch smallmouth trolling along the shoreline at a bottom depth of 15-25 feet.  There are some shad along the edge of the canyons and coves but stripers have slurped up a high percentage of larval shad already.  Smallmouth are more than willing to chase shad along the shore which makes them vulnerable to crankbaits trolled or cast in open water.
Water conditions have opened up a new event in which all can participate.  There are many long, deep-channel coves that have flooded cattails, tumbleweeds and tamarisk trees. Many species of fish have moved into the weedy coves and are easy to see in the clear water.  A boat, paddle board, or floating device puts one in range of the fish picture show.  It is reminiscent of a nature preserve. Bluegill are the most common fish seen with many spread randomly through the weeds.  School of shad swim in tight bunches of 50-100 fish.  Not far away will be a few larger bass trying to ambush the shad school.  Lurking on the perimeter of the weeds will be striped bass waiting for the opportunity to rush into the cove and chase shad.  Spend an hour watching the natural fish exhibit while camped on the lake.
Catfish are perhaps the easiest fish to catch now. They can be caught near camp on the sandy beaches.  But for best results try the backs of long narrow canyons much like Navajo, Last chance, and San Juan.  Most of the shallow water near the end of the canyon will be very murky.  Anchor in 10-15 feet of water in the back of the canyon and use chicken liver or similar smelly bait to catch catfish all day and all night long.
There is always some fishing activity going on at Lake Powell, even in the hottest part of summer.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

July 23, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3609

Water Temperature 77-85 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

July 25 - Big Striper Boils reported all afternoon near the Horn - Buoy 129

austinkFishing is good at Lake Powell but for best results go NORTH.  Water is now clearing in GoodHope Bay all the way to Trachyte. Surface action continues but boils are seen only sporadically.  Trolling and spooning will put more fish in the boat but it is hard to beat the adrenaline rush provided by a school of stripers thrashing on the surface.  With surface temperatures exceeding 80 degrees it is much more likely to catch juvenile stripers on top. The bigger fish are forced into deep water and can be caught on deep trolling lures.  For the Very Best results fish at night with a green a light near the marinas and houseboats fields to catch copious quantities of stripers.

 
Fishing out of Wahweap is challenging with warm surface temperatures and lots of boating activity.  These fish have not returned to the surface since full moon. Stripers can be caught trolling in the shade of the main channel cliffs early in the morning.   The area from Buoy 25 upstream to Wetherill is the most productive.  Early morning and late evening are the best times with mid day being a better time for swimming and recreating. 

Smallmouth bass fishing is improving but bass are located further off shore and in deeper water than expected.  The best depth to catch larger smallmouth bass is 25 feet.  It is also possible to catch smallmouth trolling along the shoreline at a bottom depth of 15-25 feet.  There are some shad along the edge of the canyons and coves but stripers have slurped up a high percentage of larval shad already.  Smallmouth are more than willing to chase shad along the shore which makes them vulnerable to crankbaits trolled or cast in open water. 

shadcattailsWater conditions have opened up a new event in which all can participate.  There are many long, deep-channel coves that have flooded cattails, tumbleweeds and tamarisk trees. Many species of fish have moved into the weedy coves and are easy to see in the clear water.  A boat, paddle board, or floating device puts one in range of the fish picture show.  It is reminiscent of a nature preserve. Bluegill are the most common fish seen with many spread randomly through the weeds.  School of shad swim in tight bunches of 50-100 fish.  Not far away will be a few larger bass trying to ambush the shad school.  Lurking on the perimeter of the weeds will be striped bass waiting for the opportunity to rush into the cove and chase shad.  Spend an hour watching the natural fish exhibit while camped on the lake.  

catboyCatfish are perhaps the easiest fish to catch now. They can be caught near camp on the sandy beaches.  But for best results try the backs of long narrow canyons much like Navajo, Last chance, and San Juan.  Most of the shallow water near the end of the canyon will be very murky.  Anchor in 10-15 feet of water in the back of the canyon and use chicken liver or similar smelly bait to catch catfish all day and all night long.  

There is always some fishing activity going on at Lake Powell, even in the hottest part of summer.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 09:42
 

July 16, 2014 - Summer outlook

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
July 16, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water Temperature 77-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Powell remains at the high water peak of 3609 MSL but has started its annual decline. The bright side of this picture is that brush and drift wood cluttered camping and recreational beaches will become pristine for the rest of the summer as water level declines. The slow decline will stabilize fishing success and set the stage for awesome topwater fishing during the rest of July and August.  There is just enough submerged brush in the water to harbor shad and protect them while they grow larger.  Watch the lake level closely when planning a summer boil trip.  Brush comes out of the water when lake elevation hits 3603.  That will be the peak of the top water fishing season as shad and stripers come together on equal footing when brush is no longer available to protect shad.  Water level from 3603-3605 MSL should be the ideal time to catch bass and stripers on surface lures.
The super moon was great to look at but all fish in the southern lake went on vacation while gazing at the moon.  The best angling occurred at Bullfrog and Halls where night fishermen were catching 2-3 pound stripers under the lights all night long. Daytime fishing success is now recovering lakewide as small stripers are chasing small shad on the surface over the entire lake.
Topwater hotspots for stripers right now include the main channel at the mouth of Lake Canyon, Halls Creek buoy field and the wall on the upstream side of the buoy field, Neskahi Bay on the San Juan, Escalante main channel, and Good Hope Bay.   Slurping boils will be seen lakewide with best success early in the morning before boat traffic stirs up the lake and shortens the time a striper school spends slurping on the surface.  The last hour of daylight will be good as well if the wind does not blow.
Average size of bass caught is still small with most fish weighing less than a pound. Bigger bass can be caught by fishing topwater lures at twilight both morning and evening.  Largemouth will surprise some anglers by feeding in open water with a school of slurping stripers.  The ideal bass fishing experience results when stripers drive shad into a shallow brushy cove.  It is great fun to catch stripers on topwater lures while they are actively engaged.  But stripers usually leave the cove after only a few minutes.  Continue to work topwater lures near brush to target largemouth bass after the boil subsides.
Catfish are perhaps the easiest fish to catch now. Just fish off the back of the boat near camp with table scraps.  My favorite catfish recipe is blackened catfish with Cajun spices cooked in a hot cast iron pan with olive oil. That will make an unforgettable meal for a youngster who caught the catfish and provided the fish for dinner.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

July 16, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3609

Water Temperature 77-85 F

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

coopersparks14_edited-1Lake Powell remains at the high water peak of 3609 MSL but has started its annual decline. The bright side of this picture is that brush and drift wood cluttered camping and recreational beaches will become pristine for the rest of the summer as water level declines. The slow decline will stabilize fishing success and set the stage for awesome topwater fishing during the rest of July and August.  There is just enough submerged brush in the water to harbor shad and protect them while they grow larger.  Watch the lake level closely when planning a summer boil trip.  Brush comes out of the water when lake elevation hits 3603.  That will be the peak of the top water fishing season as shad and stripers come together on equal footing when brush is no longer available to protect shad.  Water level from 3603-3605 MSL should be the ideal time to catch bass and stripers on surface lures. 


The super moon was great to look at but all fish in the southern lake went on vacation while gazing at the moon.  The best angling occurred at Bullfrog and Halls where night fishermen were catching 2-3 pound stripers under the lights all night long. Daytime fishing success is now recovering lakewide as small stripers are chasing small shad on the surface over the entire lake.

Topwater hotspots for stripers right now include the main channel at the mouth of Lake Canyon, Halls Creek buoy field and the wall on the upstream side of the buoy field, Neskahi Bay on the San Juan, Escalante main channel, and Good Hope Bay.   Slurping boils will be seen lakewide with best success early in the morning before boat traffic stirs up the lake and shortens the time a striper school spends slurping on the surface.  The last hour of daylight will be good as well if the wind does not blow. 

coachklmb_edited-1Average size of bass caught is still small with most fish weighing less than a pound. Bigger bass can be caught by fishing topwater lures at twilight both morning and evening.  Largemouth will surprise some anglers by feeding in open water with a school of slurping stripers.  The ideal bass fishing experience results when stripers drive shad into a shallow brushy cove.  It is great fun to catch stripers on topwater lures while they are actively engaged.  But stripers usually leave the cove after only a few minutes.  Continue to work topwater lures near brush to target largemouth bass after the boil subsides. 

Catfish are perhaps the easiest fish to catch now. Just fish off the back of the boat near camp with table scraps.  My favorite catfish recipe is blackened catfish with Cajun spices cooked in a hot cast iron pan with olive oil. That will make an unforgettable meal for a youngster who caught the catfish and provided the fish for dinner.

 
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