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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

68-72 F

October 22, 2014



October 22, 2014 - Boils and Spooning

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
October 22, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 68-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Fishing Schedule - Lake Powell
Dawn to 9 AM (MST):
Bass and stripers wake up and go out for breakfast.  Shad are the only option on the menu for stripers but bass add crayfish to the list. Shad schools are no longer free to live in open water due to striper gluttony.  Now shad are moving toward the backs of canyons and coves to hide.  Somewhere along the way stripers and/or bass find the school and breakfast is served.  Surface activity is still visible most mornings but the splashes are becoming less abundant.
10 AM to 3 PM:
A daily truce is declared as stripers and shad back off and quietly coexist. Stripers hold near the bottom at 40-60 feet while threadfin shad form a suspended open water school from 20-50 feet.  Not much feeding or other activities occur unless a random shad happens to drop in on the striper school.  Stripers cannot resist a shad swimming through their peaceful surroundings and must react by eating said shad.  That makes spooning and deep water trolling the only effective mid day fishing techniques.
4 PM to Dark:
Skirmish lines are redrawn and sportfish go back into feeding mode while shad run and hide. A few stripers and bass blow up on top marking the spot where a submerged school is working. The same techniques (top water and spooning) that worked in the morning are effective once more.
Techniques:
Surface boils are the most exciting form of fishing in fresh water. There are just enough boils happening now to make them worthwhile to pursue. Always keep looking for any splash during morning and evening.  Stripers blow water up over a foot in the air.  Gizzard shad jump in open water too, but they make a smooth entry back into the lake. Make sure the splash is made by the target species.  If close enough to cast while the fish are working the surface - top water lures, rattle traps and Kastmaster spoons work very well.
The boil is great fun but the real work is done with jigging spoons. There are few fish on the surface compared to the huge school waiting below. See the splash - then look at the GRAPH.  When the school is visible at depth spoons should be dropped right on the hungry fish.  This is how big numbers of fish are caught.  The school eagerly awaits the next shad imitating spoon as most shad are now eaten at 20-60 feet.  The very best technique now is spooning where bottom depth is between 20 and 60 feet.
Trolling is not very effective but does have its purpose. If surface action is not seen then trolling while watching the graph is a good way to find fish. Troll about half way back in most canyons at  a bottom depth of 40-100 feet with a marker in hand. When the striper school is seen toss the marker and return to that spot if these fish do not respond to trolled lures.  Most stripers are found in water too deep to troll without down riggers or leaded line.
Best recent locations:
Southern Lake :  Dominguez Rock (Face Canyon), Gregory Butte, Last Chance Coves, Rock Creek mouth, Dungeon Canyon.
Northern Lake: Crystal Spring, Moki Canyon, Warm Springs.
Hint:  Do not be surprised to see largemouth and smallmouth bass boiling on shad.  Stripers and bass are often working the same shad schools.  Find any surface action and look deep to find vulnerable fish that can be caught most efficiently on spoons.
Good Luck!  Fishing is challenging but very rewarding due to the quality of fish that can be caught.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 22, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 68-72 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com


Fishing Schedule - Lake Powell 


Dawn to 9 AM (MST): Bass and stripers wake up and go out for breakfast.  Shad are the only option on the menu for stripers but bass add crayfish to the list. Shad schools are no longer free to live in open water due to striper gluttony.  Now shad are moving toward the backs of canyons and coves to hide.  Somewhere along the way stripers and/or bass find the school and breakfast is served.  Surface activity is still visible most mornings but the splashes are becoming less abundant.


bretthepfam_edited-110 AM to 3 PM
: A daily truce is declared as stripers and shad back off and quietly coexist. Stripers hold near the bottom at 40-60 feet while threadfin shad form a suspended open water school from 20-50 feet.  Not much feeding or other activities occur unless a random shad happens to drop in on the striper school.  Stripers cannot resist a shad swimming through their peaceful surroundings and must react by eating said shad.  That makes spooning and deep water trolling the only effective mid day fishing techniques.


4 PM to Dark: Skirmish lines are redrawn and sportfish go back into feeding mode while shad run and hide. A few stripers and bass blow up on top marking the spot where a submerged school is working. The same techniques (top water and spooning) that worked in the morning are effective once more. 


Techniques: Surface boils are the most exciting form of fishing in fresh water. There are just enough boils happening now to make them worthwhile to pursue. Always keep looking for any splash during morning and evening.  Stripers blow water up over a foot in the air.  Gizzard shad jump in open water too, but they make a smooth entry back into the lake. Make sure the splash is made by the target species.  If close enough to cast while the fish are working the surface - top water lures, rattle traps and Kastmaster spoons work very well.  


The boil is great fun but the real work is done with jigging spoons. There are few fish on the surface compared to the huge school waiting below. See the splash - then look at the GRAPH.  When the school is visible at depth spoons should be dropped right on the hungry fish.  This is how big numbers of fish are caught.  The school eagerly awaits the next shad imitating spoon as most shad are now eaten at 20-60 feet.  The very best technique now is spooning where bottom depth is between 20 and 60 feet. 

Trolling is not very effective but does have its purpose. If surface action is not seen then trolling while watching the graph is a good way to find fish. Troll about half way back in most canyons at  a bottom depth of 40-100 feet with a marker in hand. When the striper school is seen toss the marker and return to that spot if these fish do not respond to trolled lures.  Most stripers are found in water too deep to troll without down riggers or leaded line. 

Best recent locations:

Southern Lake:  Dominguez Rock (Face Canyon), Gregory Butte, Last Chance Coves, Rock Creek mouth, Dungeon Canyon.

Northern Lake: Iceberg, Crystal Spring, Moki Canyon, Warm Springs.

Hint:  Do not be surprised to see largemouth and smallmouth bass boiling on shad.  Stripers and bass are often working the same shad schools.  Find any surface action and look deep to find vulnerable fish that can be caught most efficiently on spoons. 

Good Luck!  Fishing is challenging but very rewarding due to the quality of fish that can be caught.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 18:11
 

October 17, 2014 - Select Spots Producing

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Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 17, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 70-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson
My week was spent from the mouth of San Juan to Rincon with a side trip up the Escalante Arm.  Striper fishing was tough with no boils seen and only 3 fish caught all week.  Bass fishing saved the day.  The main channel bass pattern was consistent.  At the corners and edges of the channel there are a few shallow slick rock islands protruding from the water.  These beautiful rock formations harbored good numbers of smallmouth bass that could be consistently caught casting and trolling with shad colored lipless vibrating lures.  It is likely that bass were running shad schools into the shallow bays and trapping them against the rocks where feeding was intense. The rocks guarding the mouth of the San Juan were a good example of the rocky habitat that provides especially good fishing.
Fishing in the backs of canyons was slow for stripers but again smallmouth bass were active in 12-25 feet of water in most canyons.
Upon returning there were many fish reports waiting.  Fishing has been challenging since full moon but is now slowly improving. The key is to find locations where fish are active and avoid the quiet spots.  The best spots this week were the San Juan Arm from Cha to Neskahi, and the mouth of Rock Creek to Gregory Butte.  There were no fresh reports from the northern lake except to say that fishing is improving after full moon. Fishing at Bullfrog was slow with the best spot in Halls Bay. There is more action in the southern lake.
The best plan of attack is to head out early and look for striper splashes as they feed individually and in small groups from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  If the surface action continues then stripers can be caught in quick small boils. The real action comes when the school dives and can be found on the graph.  Spooning over holding schools at 40-60 feet is the very best fishing technique now to catch big numbers of stripers.
Stripers were recently spooned up at the mouth of Rock Creek where small surface disturbances were seen. The school was found where bottom depth was 60 feet. It is really tough to find suspended schools where bottom depth exceeds 100 feet. Look for boils but the best work is done in deep water with spoons.  Bucktail jigs, hyper stripers and similar lures that can fished at various depths in the water column and then retrieved from the bottom to the location favored by suspended fish may be the best technique for catching fish in these challenging high-forage conditions.
Tips for Graph Use:  Those new to using a graph to locate fish commonly turn on the fish ID which shows computer generated fish pictures on the graph. Fishing is not a video game.  Actual fish are best seen by using raw data.  This can best be tested on cliff walls and at the mouth of canyons.  Here the sonar sound bounces of the cliff wall then the bottom before returning to the graph.  The fish ID shows these “bounces” as fish when they are not.
Learn to use the graph in open water where bottom depth is between 40 and 60 feet.  Look for individual fish and schools where the bottom is distinct for best results. Graphing in the main channel only works when the graph is zoomed in to show a selected area. Choose the depth where most fish traces are seen for best results.
Fishing is slower than usual but warm days and cool nights are very comfortable.  The Lake Powell scenery is even better than ever in these late summer days.

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

brmygirlbassMy week was spent from the mouth of San Juan to Rincon with a side trip up the Escalante Arm.  Striper fishing was tough with no boils seen and only 3 fish caught all week.  Bass fishing saved the day.  The main channel bass pattern was consistent.  At the corners and edges of the channel there are a few shallow slick rock islands protruding from the water.  These beautiful rock formations harbored good numbers of smallmouth bass that could be consistently caught casting and trolling with shad colored lipless vibrating lures.  It is likely that bass were running shad schools into the shallow bays and trapping them against the rocks where feeding was intense. The rocks guarding the mouth of the San Juan were a good example of the rocky habitat that provides especially good fishing.

 
Fishing in the backs of canyons was slow for stripers but again smallmouth bass were active in 12-25 feet of water in most canyons.

Upon returning there were many fish reports waiting.  Fishing has been challenging since full moon but is now slowly improving. The key is to find locations where fish are active and avoid the quiet spots.  The best spots this week were the San Juan Arm from Cha to Neskahi, and the mouth of Rock Creek to Gregory Butte.  There were no fresh reports from the northern lake except to say that fishing is improving after full moon. Fishing at Bullfrog was slow with the best spot in Halls Bay. There is more action in the southern lake. 

The best plan of attack is to head out early and look for striper splashes as they feed individually and in small groups from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  If the surface action continues then stripers can be caught in quick small boils. The real action comes when the school dives and can be found on the graph.  Spooning over holding schools at 40-60 feet is the very best fishing technique now to catch big numbers of stripers. 

Stripers were recently spooned up at the mouth of Rock Creek where small surface disturbances were seen. The school was found where bottom depth was 60 feet. It is really tough to find suspended schools where bottom depth exceeds 100 feet. Look for boils but the best work is done in deep water with spoons.  Bucktail jigs, hyper stripers and similar lures that can be fished at various depths in the water column and then retrieved from the bottom to the location favored by suspended fish may be the best technique for catching fish in these challenging high-forage conditions. 

graphgw3Tips for Graph Use:  Those new to using a graph to locate fish commonly turn on the fish ID which shows computer generated fish pictures on the graph. Fishing is not a video game.  Actual fish are best seen by using raw data.  This can best be tested on cliff walls and at the mouth of canyons.  Here the sonar sound bounces of the cliff wall then the bottom before returning to the graph.  The fish ID shows these “bounces” as fish when they are not. 

Learn to use the graph in open water where bottom depth is between 40 and 60 feet.  Look for individual fish and schools where the bottom is distinct for best results. Graphing in the main channel only works when the graph is zoomed in to show a selected area. Choose the depth where most fish traces are seen for best results.

Fishing is slower than usual but warm days and cool nights are very comfortable.  The Lake Powell scenery is even better than ever in these late summer days.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 17 October 2014 07:36
 

October 8, 2014 - Hunting for Stripers

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
October 8, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 72-74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
October is hunting season.  It’s time to put on the blaze orange sweatshirt, load some weapons and get in the boat.  The weapons should be transported fully loaded because the game appears quickly and then runs off even faster.  If fully ready and very observant there is time to get one shot off before the game slips out of range.  This is not a road hunt but rather a very exciting fishing trip.  The critters being pursued are surface feeding striped bass and smallmouth bass. The weapons are fishing reels fine tuned to cast very far with great accuracy and they are loaded with heavy, long-casting lures that resemble shad.   Yes – Fishing striper boils in the fall is more like hunting than fishing.
Our quarry this morning was found in the same range as reported last week but there were some subtle differences.  Early morning fishing during the full moon is not as productive as it is under dark night skies. We headed out at first light but did not see any surface action until we reached Rock Creek.  Even then the action included only a few stripers jumping here and a couple over there. We eased over to the spots where the last splash was seen. If another fish or two came up they were easy to catch when the boat was in casting range. Stripers in pursuit of shad are single minded and will bite just about anything that wiggles.  But once they dive and start looking for another school they are hard to catch.
For two hours we chased single splashes and rolling turbulent waters which were big stripers feeding just under the surface.  These fish were working individually since shad numbers are high enough to allow stripers this luxury.  Usually the striper school has to surround shad and hold them in place before feeding.  Not now!  Shad are numerous making stripers a bit more challenging to capture.
After 8 AM surface boils began holding more fish and the action persisted a little longer.  We caught stripers at the mouth of Rock Creek by running a circle around the big bay looking for splashes.  Big splashes usually mean stripers are feeding but we also caught smallmouth as they boiled in two locations.
Next we headed down lake to look at Last Chance again. It had been calm and quiet early in the morning but this time through there were more aggressive small boils with an exciting climax of one big boil that stayed up for 5 minutes.  The big boil came up at 10 AM.
That’s a good summary of how to catch stripers now.  They are easy to snare when hitting the surface and hard to find when not on top.  The very best way to catch fish now is to find a school on the graph and drop spoons to catch a lot of fish in a short time.  But the schools holding on the bottom are just as hard to find as the fish boiling on the surface.  Trolling is the last resort as both chasing boils and spooning are more productive.
The best time to fish now is the last few hours in the evening.  The best location is in the main channel from Padre Bay to Trachyte. The best recent report came from the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.
All of the stripers caught had threadfin shad in their stomachs.  These shad are open water fish while small gizzard shad are found close to shore. I suspect that stripers are selectively pursuing threadfin shad in open water and will save the gizzard shad in coves and backs of canyons for later in the year.
Fishing in these high forage conditions is more challenging than when stripers are really hungry.  But catching fish now is more rewarding as these fish are in abnormally prime physical condition seldom seen on Lake Powell. Catching 10 stripers now makes a successful trip. Catching 20 or more is like fishing in Shangri-La.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 8, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606  (One foot higher than last 3 weeks)

Water Temperature 72-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

October is hunting season.  It’s time to put on the blaze orange sweatshirt, load some weapons and get in the boat.  The weapons should be transported fully loaded because the game appears quickly and then runs off even faster.  If fully ready and very observant there is time to get one shot off before the game slips out of range.  This is not a road hunt but rather a very exciting fishing trip.  The critters being pursued are surface feeding striped bass and smallmouth bass. The weapons are fishing reels fine tuned to cast very far with great accuracy and they are loaded with heavy, long-casting lures that resemble shad.   Yes – Fishing striper boils in the fall is more like hunting than fishing. 

johnsuzieOur quarry this morning was found in the same range as reported last week but there were some subtle differences.  Early morning fishing during the full moon is not as productive as it is under dark night skies. We headed out at first light but did not see any surface action until we reached Rock Creek.  Even then the action included only a few stripers jumping here and a couple over there. We eased over to the spots where the last splash was seen. If another fish or two came up they were easy to catch when the boat was in casting range. Stripers in pursuit of shad are single minded and will bite just about anything that wiggles.  But once they dive and start looking for another school they are hard to catch. 

                                                                                                                 John and Suzie

 


For two hours we chased single splashes and rolling turbulent waters which were big stripers feeding just under the surface.  These fish were working individually since shad numbers are high enough to allow stripers this luxury.  Usually the striper school has to surround shad and hold them in place before feeding.  Not now!  Shad are numerous making stripers a bit more challenging to capture. 

After 8 AM surface boils began holding more fish and the action persisted a little longer.  We caught stripers at the mouth of Rock Creek by running a circle around the big bay looking for splashes.  Big splashes usually mean stripers are feeding but we also caught smallmouth as they boiled in two locations. 

Next we headed down lake to look at Last Chance again. It had been calm and quiet early in the morning but this time through we saw another boat near Gregory Butte and went over to get a fish report. Lou and Tony told us they just saw their first boil.... and then the fish came up again and we all went back to fishing.  These were the best, most aggressive boils of the morning followed by an exciting climax of one big open-channel boil that stayed up for 8 minutes.  The big boil came up at 10 AM.  

wg10814That’s a good summary of how to catch stripers now.  They are easy to snare when hitting the surface and hard to find when not on top.  The very best way to catch fish now is to find a school on the graph and drop spoons to catch a lot of fish in a short time.  But the schools holding on the bottom are just as hard to find as the fish boiling on the surface. Trolling is the last resort as both chasing boils and spooning are more productive. 

The best time to fish now is the last few hours in the evening.  The best location is in the main channel from Padre Bay to Trachyte. The best recent report came from the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.  All of the stripers caught had threadfin shad in their stomachs.  These shad are open water fish while small gizzard shad are found close to shore. I suspect that stripers are selectively pursuing threadfin shad in open water and will save the gizzard shad in coves and backs of canyons for later in the year.  

Fishing in these high forage conditions is more challenging than when stripers are really hungry.  But catching fish now is more rewarding as these fish are in abnormally prime physical condition seldom seen on Lake Powell. Catching 10 stripers now makes a successful trip. Catching 20 or more is like fishing in Shangri-La.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:33
 

September 30, 2014 - Lid comes off -Stripers Boil!

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
September 30, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temperature 74-78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Stripers just blew the hot water lid off of Lake Powell. The long hot summer kept the surface temperature above 80 degrees until the rainy cold front arrived this past weekend. Now instead of daytime air temperatures reaching 90 degrees the temperature is now a much more comfortable 70 degrees.  Morning air temperature is now in the 50s.
We put on our coats and headed out at first light this morning.  We saw no boils in Warm Creek so we headed uplake. There were no boils at the mouth of Gunsight so we kept driving.
This was getting depressing because I was sure the cooler water temperature would allow stripers to attack shad that had been peacefully feeding on the surface.  On calm evenings for the past two weeks hundreds of schools of shad could be seen feeding in the open water of the main channel with only an occasional game fish rising up to chase them. It was amazing to see that many shad with no stripers in attendance.
Next we rounded the corner of Gregory Butte trying to decide whether to go to Rock Creek or Last Chance when a school of big stripers attacked a shad school right in front of us.  In early September we had been catching stripers smaller than 16 inches on top in the warm surface water. But these fish were different. The first two fish hooked were both over 3 pounds and so strong we could not get them in the boat before the school went down.  We just had to play these fish and watch the rest boil while we reeled them in.  The school came up quickly 2 more times and we caught more big fish each time they surfaced. The largest striper weighed 4.5 pounds. That was worth the trip but we weren’t done.
We headed into a nearby Last Chance cove and found the yearlings boiling.  They were easier to catch and land quickly so we caught another 10 on top.  When they went down we followed them with spoons between 40-60 feet and caught more.
At 9 AM this action stopped so we headed back down lake. Back at Gregory Butte the big fish boiled in the main channel twice more and we caught 2 out of each boil.
Fall fishing has officially arrived. Stripers are boiling from dawn to 10:30 AM.  There were reports of more 3-4 pound boiling fish in Rock Creek during the same time that we were catching fish in Last Chance.  We caught plenty of smallmouth bass on top water and shallow running cranks that were feeding right with the stripers in the coves. It is likely that random boils continued through the day and then build again during the last hour of daylight.
The cooler surface temperature is what the stripers have been waiting for.  If planning a trip for boiling stripers now is the time.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

September 30, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water Temperature 74-78 F

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

wg4lbs930Stripers just blew the hot water lid off of Lake Powell. The long hot summer kept the surface temperature above 80 degrees until the rainy cold front arrived this past weekend. Now instead of daytime air temperatures reaching 90 degrees the temperature is now a much more comfortable 70 degrees.  Morning air temperature is now in the 50s. 


We put on our coats and headed out at first light this morning.  We saw no boils in Warm Creek so we headed uplake. There were no boils at the mouth of Gunsight so we kept driving.

 
This was getting depressing because I was sure the cooler water temperature would allow stripers to attack shad that had been peacefully feeding on the surface.  On calm evenings for the past two weeks hundreds of schools of shad could be seen feeding in the open water of the main channel with only an occasional game fish rising up to chase them. It was amazing to see that many shad with no stripers in attendance.

 
Next we rounded the corner of Gregory Butte trying to decide whether to go to Rock Creek or Last Chance when a school of big stripers attacked a shad school right in front of us.  In early September we had been catching stripers smaller than 16 inches on top in the warm surface water. But these fish were different. The first two fish hooked were both over 3 pounds and so strong we could not get them in the boat before the school went down.  We just had to play these fish and watch the rest boil while we reeled them in.  The school came up quickly 2 more times and we caught more big fish each time they surfaced. The largest striper weighed 4.5 pounds. That was worth the trip but we weren’t done. 


We headed into a nearby Last Chance cove and found the yearlings boiling.  They were easier to catch and land quickly so we caught another 10 on top.  When they went down we followed them with spoons between 40-60 feet and caught more.

 
At 9 AM this action stopped so we headed back down lake. Back at Gregory Butte the big fish boiled in the main channel twice more and we caught 2 out of each boil.

  
Fall fishing has officially arrived. Stripers are boiling from dawn to 10:30 AM.  There were reports of more 3-4 pound boiling fish in Rock Creek during the same time that we were catching fish in Last Chance.  We caught plenty of smallmouth bass on top water and shallow running cranks that were feeding right with the stripers in the coves. It is likely that random striper boils continued through the day and then build again during the last hour of daylight. 


The cooler surface temperature is what the stripers have been waiting for.  If planning a trip for boiling stripers now is the time.

 

sr93014

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 18:46
 

September 26, 2014 - Interim Report

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September 26, 2014 -  Interim Fish Report
As we cruised uplake on Monday it was pleasing to see one quick boil in the main channel between West and Friendship Cove.  It was over before I could even turn the boat in hopes of getting close enough for a cast.  Perhaps stripers were just taunting us and wanted to get our hopes up.  From then on we saw no more boils.
There was not much time to fish as the electrofishing survey occurred at sundown and traveling between stations consumed about 4 hours per day. Free time was mid afternoon when air temperature exceeded 90 degrees making lake temperature over 80 degrees. This is not the best time to fish because fish are most active at twilight.  So we learned more about fish populations and not as much about how and where to catch fish on rod and reel.
The quick report on fish populations is that smallmouth, largemouth, stripers, bluegill, catfish and sunfish all had great spawns and good survival of young.  More detail will happen after we analyze data.
We did learn some fish facts.
1. On an early morning run from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte we found single individual fish hitting the surface. Some of these splashes were massive as water soared over two feet in the air. If close enough the splash it was possible to catch a striper on a spoon or a jig.  Spoons can be worked down through the water column and they retrieved up again trying to find that feeding fish.  Stripers are looking for an easy meal so when they are on the prowl they can be caught near their splash.  But the chances are better of catching a fish within one minute of the splash.
2. On the return down lake we trolled across the flat on the downstream side of Castle Butte. A fat 3 pound striper hit the shad rap.  We turned to retrace the trolling course when we were distracted by 5 fish splashing frantically on the shoreline. Quick casts proved that these fish were smallmouth bass feeding aggressively on shad in the brush line. I was surprised because the splashes were huge and striper-like.
3.  Over the length of the lake in the evening shad come to the surface and feed on top. Schools of 100 to 1000 shad cover the main channel during the last hour of daylight.  Surface temperature is over 80 degrees which is uncomfortable for stripers that have attained larger size.  I think shad are in a protected sauna with striper lurking below ready to feed when shad return to the depths.
4. In one cove in Good Hope Bay we saw small fish boiling. We downsized to small pointers and found these fish were again not stripers but 6-10 inch largemouth bass. Later while sampling we found a record high number of largemouth at this sampling station. Bass survival was tremendous in 2014. There is a grand population growing up for next year.
Finally fish are small but fat and healthy. There are huge numbers of shad and record high numbers of bass, stripers, catfish, and sunfish which are the only ones vulnerable to this survey. The future of fishing in Lake Powell is in the excellent to superb range for the next 3 years.

As we cruised uplake on Monday it was pleasing to see one quick boil in the main channel between West and Friendship Cove.  It was over before I could even turn the boat in hopes of getting close enough for a cast.  Perhaps stripers were just taunting us and wanted to get our hopes up.  From then on we saw no more boils. 

There was not much time to fish as the electrofishing survey occurred at sundown and traveling between stations consumed about 4 hours per day. Free time was mid afternoon when air temperature exceeded 90 degrees making lake temperature over 80 degrees. This is not the best time to fish because fish are most active at twilight.  We learned more about fish populations and not as much about how and where to catch fish on rod and reel.  The quick report on fish populations is that smallmouth, largemouth, stripers, bluegill, catfish and sunfish all had great spawns and good survival of young.  More detail will happen after we analyze data. 

We did learn some fish facts. 

1. On an early morning run from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte we found single individual fish hitting the surface. Some of these splashes were massive as water soared over two feet in the air. If close enough the splash it was possible to catch a striper on a spoon or a jig.  Spoons can be worked down through the water column and they retrieved up again trying to find that feeding fish.  Stripers are looking for an easy meal so when they are on the prowl they can be caught near their splash.  But the chances are better of catching a fish within one minute of the splash. 

2. On the return down lake we trolled across the flat on the downstream side of Castle Butte. A fat 3 pound striper hit the shad rap.  We turned to retrace the trolling course when we were distracted by 5 fish splashing frantically on the shoreline. Quick casts proved that these fish were smallmouth bass feeding aggressively on shad in the brush line. I was surprised because the splashes were huge and striper-like.

3.  Over the length of the lake in the evening shad come to the surface and feed on top. Schools of 100 to 1000 shad cover the main channel during the last hour of daylight.  Surface temperature is over 80 degrees which is uncomfortable for stripers that have attained larger size.  I think shad are in a protected sauna with striper lurking below ready to feed when shad return to the depths. 

4. In one cove in Good Hope Bay we saw small fish boiling. We downsized to small pointers and found these fish were again not stripers but 6-10 inch largemouth bass. Later while sampling we found a record high number of largemouth at this sampling station. Bass survival was tremendous in 2014. There is a grand population growing up for next year. 

Finally fish are small but fat and healthy. There are huge numbers of shad and record high numbers of bass, stripers, catfish, and sunfish which are the only ones vulnerable to this survey. The future of fishing in Lake Powell is in the excellent to superb range for the next 3 years.

 
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