Lake Powell Fishing Report
July 23, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water Temperature 77-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
July 25 - Big Striper Boils reported all afternoon near the Horn - Buoy 129
Fishing 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.
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.