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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

75 - 82 F

June 21, 2016



June 21, 2016 - Slurps are consistent

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 21, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3616

Water Temperature: 76-82F

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

 

billzeglinLake 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.

 

smeyerwaeWalleye 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.

 

June 14, 2106 - Early is Best

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 14, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temperature: 63-67 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
The inflow to Lake Powell over the past 5 days has exceeded 100,000 acre feet. The lake is still rising and will end up at the highest level recorded since 2012.  Fish are excited because the lake is now flooding into green brush and trees.  Bass and crappie really like brush habitat.  Shad love brush because it helps them avoid the constant barrage of predators that have their eye on them. 2016 has been a wonderful fishing year so far and it will continue through the summer in to fall.
I have one fishing tip this week that will be the most helpful suggestion to all that use it.  Are you ready?  The best time to go fishing is at dawn!  OK, that is usually the case but it is really important now.   Our fish are early risers and most active during the first hour of daylight.  They stay energized each morning until about 9 AM (MST) after which they tend to dose off until dusk when another surge in fishing excitement occurs. Go early for best results.
Stripers can be caught all day long on bait. The standard locations in the main channel are still providing some action but the time between active schools coming under each boat is increasing.  Fish are caught more quickly be actively searching for a school in the backs of canyons and coves. Newly reported hot spots include the back of Rock Creek and the cove just north of the floating restroom at the mouth of Rock Creek.
My standard method of locating striper schools is working well right now. Troll a medium diving crankbait and graph the bottom contour from 25 – 50 feet.  When a fish is hooked or a school seen on bottom, throw a floating marker (or hit a waypoint on the graph) so the school can be relocated quickly. Return to hover over the school, chum with anchovies and get ready to catch a bunch of fish.
Small stripers are slurping on the surface in the midlake areas from Last Chance Canyon to the murky water downstream from Good Hope Bay.  Slurpers are catchable when casting to the leading fish that change direction and leave the main group.  Fish size is usually small but the eating quality of small stripers is superb.  Bigger stripers will be working near the smaller fish as the summer progresses.
The other group of stripers which have been ostracized and left the schools are found in shallow water while bass fishing.  These fish are long but thin.  These fish should be harvested and disposed of to reduce competition among the massive striper population that exists right now.
Smallmouth bass are still biting like crazy with small fish making up the majority of the bites.  You can find bigger bass in 20-25 feet of water about the same distance out from the shoreline.
Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of MURKY water.  Look for the mud lines in clear water to select walleye habitat.  Then use your favorite technique to catch them.  Walleye numbers are large in the mid to northern lake. Techniques include worm harness that are cast or towed behind slow trolled bottom bouncer rigs; single or double tail grubs with or without a piece of live night crawler attached, that are inched along the bottom; or mid range crankbaits trolled in murky water along the 12-20 feet bench.
There are so many choices while visiting this incredible lake. It is so beautiful to cruise Lake Powell while skiing, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or sight-seeing. Do not forget to go fishing during the early and late periods of the day to make your trip complete.

Lake Powell Fish Report - June 14, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3611

Water Temperature: 73-79 F

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

sharonhunt3
The inflow to Lake Powell over the past 5 days has exceeded 100,000 acre feet each day. The lake is still rising and will end up at the highest level recorded since 2012.  Fish are excited because the lake is now flooding into green brush and trees.  Bass and crappie really like brush habitat.  Shad love brush because it helps them avoid the constant barrage of predators that have their eye on them. 2016 has been a wonderfully successful fishing year, so far, and it will continue through the summer into fall.

I have one fishing tip this week that will be the most helpful suggestion to all that use it.  Are you ready?  The best time to go fishing is at dawn!  OK, that is usually the case but it is really important now.   Our fish are early risers and most active during the first hour of daylight.  They stay energized each morning until about 9 AM (MST) after which they tend to dose off until dusk when another surge in fishing excitement occurs. Go early for best results. 

chris-steve1Stripers can be caught all day long on bait. The standard locations in the main channel are still providing some action but the time between active schools coming under each boat is increasing.  Fish are caught more quickly by actively searching for a school in the backs of canyons and coves. Newly reported hot spots include the back of Rock Creek and the cove just north of the floating restroom at the mouth of Rock Creek.

 My standard method of locating striper schools is working well right now. Troll a medium diving crankbait and graph the bottom contour from 25 – 50 feet.  When a fish is hooked or a school seen on bottom, throw a floating marker (or hit a waypoint on the graph) so the school can be relocated quickly. Return to hover over the school, chum with anchovies and get ready to catch a bunch of fish. 

Small stripers are slurping on the surface in the midlake areas from Last Chance Canyon to the murky water downstream from Good Hope Bay.  Slurpers are catchable when casting to the leading fish that change direction and leave the main group.  Fish size is usually small but the eating quality of small stripers is superb.  Bigger stripers will be working near the smaller fish as the summer progresses. 

The other group of stripers which have been ostracized and left the schools are found in shallow water while bass fishing.  These fish are long, but thin.  These fish should be harvested and disposed of in deep water to reduce competition among the massive striper population that exists right now. 

ssprav3Smallmouth bass are still biting like crazy with small fish making up the majority of the bites.  You can find bigger bass in 20-25 feet of water about the same distance out from the shoreline. Both singletail and doubletail plastic grubs are working well. Green watermelon, pumpkin, smoked and chartreuse colored grubs are working equally well.

Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of MURKY water.  Look for the mud lines along shore in otherwise clear water to select walleye habitat.  Then use your favorite technique to catch them.  Walleye numbers are large in the mid to northern lake. Techniques include worm harness that are cast or towed behind slow trolled bottom bouncer rigs; single or double tail grubs with or without a piece of live night crawler attached, that are inched along the bottom; or mid range crankbaits trolled in murky water along the 12-20 feet bench.

A tagged walleye contest will begin on July 1, 2016.  You must sign up to be eliglible to win a prize when a tagged fish is caught.  Sign up here:    http://wildlife.utah.gov/lake-powell-tagged-fish-contest.html

There are so many choices while visiting this incredible lake. It is so beautiful to cruise Lake Powell while skiing, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or sight-seeing. Do not forget to go fishing during the early and late periods of the day to make your trip complete.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:42
 

June 7, 2016 - Slurps Begin!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 7, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature: 72-76 F

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


Slurps Start!


Lake Powell rose 3 more feet in the past week with more runoff yet to come. Surface water is muddy in Good Hope Bay all the way to the inflowing river.  Downstream from Good Hope the water is stained but fishable. There is floating debris lake wide that has been set adrift by rising water so be alert for floating wood.


slurps622b 

 

 

 

The big news this week is the beginning of striper surface action.  “Slurps” have begun as small stripers have found the very small, newly hatched baby shad.  Stripers have been subsisting by eating plankton, which is the only readily available food source.   Now that plankton also contains small fish that are growing larger each day, much to the delight of hungry stripers.







 

The slurpers are mostly yearling striped bass 9-12 inches long. They are catchable each morning and evening and then randomly seen throughout the day. The key to catching them is to cast small flies into the line of slurpers or to find the leaders that change direction and look for a new food source after the shad school runs out.  These fish that are looking for more food can be caught on spoons (Kastmasters) and small bass jigs while the main school eating small shad are totally focused on the job at hand and spook when a large lure splashes nearby.



Do not be surprised when larger fish suddenly join the small feeding stripers.  The warm surface layer is thin and larger fish living in deeper cool water will investigate the feeding action and rise to the occasion. Visible slurps can be a target for anglers that want to fish for bigger fish by dropping spoons under the surface action.


Bait fishing for stripers is not over. Many new schooling areas have been reported this week. The standard spots in the main channel at Moki Canyon, Lake Canyon, Navajo and many more are still producing.  The new spots are at the mouth of the San Juan and Nasja, and in the in the back of Rock Creek, Last Chance, Deep Canyon and Gunsight. The best fishing time is morning and evening.  Look for striper schools on the shade line near rock outcroppings suspended at 30-40 foot depths in 60 feet of water.


Juvenile smallmouth bass are still on fire along shallow rocky terrain over the length of the lake.  Larger bass are found in 20-30 feet of water at the same distance away form the shore.  Sometimes casting parallel to the bank works better to catch the larger bass. Lake Powell has an abundant supply of all species of fish this spring.  Please keep a 20 fish limit of 9-12 inch smallmouth bass for a great meal while camping on the lake shore.


Walleye are being caught early and late in low light conditions while trolling and casting medium to deep diving lures in 12 to 25 feet of water. Dragging bottom bouncers along a smooth slick rock bench works well, particularly where the worm trailer rig falls over a breaking edge into deeper water.  Lake Powell predators really like to be on the edge of deep water waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.


Fishing conditions are changing with rising water and warmer temperatures, but the catch of fish continues to be off the charts for a wide variety of sport fish.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 June 2016 07:34
 

June 1, 2016 - Lake conditions changing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 1, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3603

Water Temperature: 67-72 F

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

 

 

Lake Powell conditions are changing each day with rising water and temperature.  The lake came up another 4 feet since the last report.  Many weed beds that were high and dry are now getting wet once more.  Individual weeds, driftwood and debris are now floating which makes trolling more challenging.  It is great to see barren flats being covered by water and the brush line getting closer to going under each day.

 

Fishing success is changing as well.  Catching is still really good particularly for stripers and smallmouth bass.  Bass are easy to find on isolated rockslides in the main canyons and bays.  Look for a small but dense rock mass along the sheer canyon walls for quick results.   Rockslides that stretch for hundreds of yards take a lot more searching to find the bass honey hole.  Small rockslides make for easy fishing success.  Main channel alcoves with a shallow rock pile surrounded by deep water also have an abundant bass crop,

 

These areas have mostly small but eager bass that can delight youngsters that have not caught a lot of fish.  Use a simple single tail plastic grub on a 3/16th ounce jig head.  Grub color is not that important as all colors from chartreuse to pumpkin to smoke seemed to work fine.  It is more about finding the shallow rock formation than having the right color lure.  Fishing is FAST for feisty bass.

 

Larger bass are down deeper in the 20-foot zone.  Use drop shot rigs or heavier lead head jigs to get down to fishing depth quickly.  Bass are hitting top water lures early and late.  Pounding the shoreline with squarebill cranks, shaky head rigs and spinner baits are also effective.

 

Stripers are still hanging out along the canyon walls but they are on the move.  It is just as likely to find a willing school in the back of the canyon as it is in the main channel.  Bait fishing is still the easiest way to find and catch.  Recent reports have come from the back of Rock Creek, West Canyon and Gunsight in the southern lake.

 

Midlake hotspots were found in the Escalante, Iceberg , Lake Canyon and Bullfrog areas. The north lake is still muddy with catchable fish in the backs of canyons where water is stained but not straight mud.  In summary, it is possible to find a willing school of stripers just about anywhere. Chum a spot and see if they will come. If not, move to the next likely spot and try again.  Try 4 or 5 different spots  to find the one holding fish that day.

 

Walleye are the bonus fish all over the lake.  They can be caught while fishing for bass on rockslides or stripers along canyon walls. Target them along any shoreline where stained water appears along the 20-30 foot deep shoreline.  Troll a bottom bouncer with night crawler or a 15-foot running lure that hits bottom occasionally.  When one walleye is found spend more time fishing in that area to find others from the same congregation.

 

Catfish, bluegill, green sunfish, largemouth and crappie are all active now but found in isolated locations. Catch one of these fish and then repeat using the same lure in the same spot to catch more. Bass and crappie are searching for weed beds.  Many stranded tumbleweed coves are now going under water. Look for bass and crappie in the weeds and under floating debris pushed into a cove by a breeze.

 

In short fishing remains quite good but conditions change daily and fishing spots change with lake level.

 

 

jknorr12

 

Jeff Knorr family found stripers willing to hit bait in the back of Rock Creek this week. 


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:47
 

May 24, 2016 - Lake rising and full moon

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 24, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3599
Water Temperature: 63-67 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Early Monday morning it was not possible to walk to the Stateline Ramp courtesy dock without getting wet up to the knees because the lake had risen that much overnight.  Lake Powell is coming up fast as the spring runoff builds.  Lake level is four feet higher this week than last.  The lake will rise even more this week.  If camping, it will be necessary to readjust mooring lines daily.  Rising water also impacts fishing success.
Lake water temperature is holding in the mid 60s which makes all fish happy and contented.  The full moon this week did delay good fishing success until mid morning and then afternoon fishing was just great – particularly for stripers on bait. Early morning bait fishing at the dam and other steep canyon wall locations was slower than usual.  Fish were caught randomly but big schools were not active.  At 10:30 AM that changed and schools became hyper active.  Still the good bait fishing spots further uplake (Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall etc.) seem to be better than the dam and buoy 3 now. Run uplake and try some of the spots that have not been fished as much to find a secluded location with a ton of fish ready to bite.
The striper spawn is now imminent.  Each year I dream of finding a spawning school where it is possible to catch a mature fish or even a trophy every cast for hours at a time.  I say ‘dream’ because it all happens at night when I am home in bed.  If you are camping on the lake it would be wise to check the nearby coves and points by trolling and casting shallow running crankbaits,
just as the sun sets. You may be near the spawning school that has been inactive all day long and becoming super active at night. My search for spawners happens early in the morning before the sun rises. I look along the east walls of the tall canyons where the sun’s rays are delayed by morning shade.  Ripe males and females can be caught trolling and casting in the pre dawn light. These fish are bigger and healthier than the stripers caught on bait during the day.
Trees and brush along the shoreline are getting much closer to becoming fish habitat as the lake rapidly rises. Largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie will gladly leave their current barren locations to find a tumbleweed or tamarisk tree in 3 feet of water.  They love to be near, live in and never depart from brush structure once found. Fish near brush for these fish as the lake comes up.
Smallmouth bass are still living on the rocks.  They have built nests to spawn and some are still actively guarding the nests.  As the lake rises smallmouth bass tend to stay at the same nesting location.  This week adult smallmouth will be four feet deeper than last week since the lake came up that much.  Fishing success is still really good for those using jig heads and plastic baits worked along the bottom from 10 to 25 feet deep.  Do not hesitate to use top water baits for bass at first light in the morning and as the sun sets at night.
Channel catfish are awake and actively eating.  They will spawn in early June as the water temperature climbs to 72 degrees. They are being caught all day long now on bait fished on the bottom.  Some cats are being caught by striper fishermen each day as the anchovy temporarily resides on the bottom near a striper fishing spot.
Walleye fishing is now at its peak. The best locations are in the upper lake in the backs of the canyons where water color is stained but not muddy from the huge runoff event now occurring.  Reports of walleye caught in huge numbers are coming in from Red Canyon in the far north and many canyons between Bullfrog and Good Hope.  My choice to catch walleye would be from Bullfrog down to San Juan including the Escalante.  In a new fishing area my first exploratory efforts would be to troll bottom bouncers or flat line lures in 15-30 feet of water near shore or over open water reefs. When walleye are found, target that area specifically with bass grubs or worm harnesses tipped with a tasty night crawler. Work the worm slowly along the bottom in the area where a walleye was randomly caught to find many more in the walleye gathering spot.
UDWR is actively tagging walleye now to have target fish in the water for anglers to catch from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  If you register for the contest and catch a tagged walleye you will be awarded a gift certificate donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.  More information will be provided prior to July 1st on contest rules and how to sign up.  For now, practice catching walleye to get you walleye skills honed to sharp edge.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 24, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3599

Water Temperature: 63-67 F

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

trophyreleased

This big striper was "rescued" by an angler who saw it thrashing on the surface. When he pulled the trophy out of the water he found another striper stuck in the trophy fishes throat.  He pulled the smaller striper out, took a picture and then released the big striper and watched it swim off apparently unharmed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Monday morning it was not possible to walk to the Stateline Ramp courtesy dock without getting wet up to the knees because the lake had risen that much overnight.  Lake Powell is coming up fast as the spring runoff builds.  Lake level is four feet higher this week than last.  The lake will rise even more this week.  If camping, it will be necessary to readjust mooring lines daily.  Rising water also impacts fishing success. 

Lake water temperature is holding in the mid 60s which makes all fish happy and contented.  The full moon this week did delay good fishing success until mid morning and then afternoon fishing was just great – particularly for stripers on bait. Early morning bait fishing at the dam and other steep canyon wall locations was slower than usual.  Fish were caught randomly but big schools were not active.  At 10:30 AM that changed and schools became hyper active.  Still the good bait fishing spots further uplake (Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall etc.) seem to be better than the dam and buoy 3 now. Run uplake and try some of the spots that have not been fished as much to find a secluded location with a ton of fish ready to bite.  

The striper spawn is now imminent.  Each year I dream of finding a spawning school where it is possible to catch a mature fish or even a trophy every cast for hours at a time.  I say ‘dream’ because it all happens at night when I am home in bed.  If you are camping on the lake it would be wise to check the nearby coves and points by trolling and casting shallow running crankbaits, just as the sun sets. You may be near the spawning school that has been inactive all day long and becoming super active at night. My search for spawners happens early in the morning before the sun rises. I look along the east walls of the tall canyons where the sun’s rays are delayed by morning shade.  Ripe males and females can be caught trolling and casting in the pre dawn light. These fish are bigger and healthier than the stripers caught on bait during the day. 

Trees and brush along the shoreline are getting much closer to becoming fish habitat as the lake rapidly rises. Largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie will gladly leave their current barren locations to find a tumbleweed or tamarisk tree in 3 feet of water.  They love to be near, live in and never depart from brush structure once found. Fish near brush for these fish as the lake comes up. 

Smallmouth bass are still living on the rocks.  They have built nests to spawn and some are still actively guarding the nests.  As the lake rises smallmouth bass tend to stay at the same nesting location.  This week adult smallmouth will be four feet deeper than last week since the lake came up that much.  Fishing success is still really good for those using jig heads and plastic baits worked along the bottom from 10 to 25 feet deep.  Do not hesitate to use top water baits for bass at first light in the morning and as the sun sets at night. 

Channel catfish are awake and actively eating.  They will spawn in early June as the water temperature climbs to 72 degrees. They are being caught all day long now on bait fished on the bottom.  Some cats are being caught by striper fishermen each day as the anchovy temporarily resides on the bottom near a striper fishing spot.  

Walleye fishing is now at its peak. The best locations are in the upper lake in the backs of the canyons where water color is stained but not muddy from the huge runoff event now occurring.  Reports of walleye caught in huge numbers are coming in from Red Canyon in the far north and many canyons between Bullfrog and Good Hope.  My choice to catch walleye would be from Bullfrog down to San Juan including the Escalante.  In a new fishing area my first exploratory efforts would be to troll bottom bouncers or flat line lures in 15-30 feet of water near shore or over open water reefs. When walleye are found, target that area specifically with bass grubs or worm harnesses tipped with a tasty night crawler. Work the worm slowly along the bottom in the area where a walleye was randomly caught to find many more in the walleye gathering spot.   

UDWR is actively tagging walleye now to have target fish in the water for anglers to catch from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  If you register for the contest and catch a tagged walleye you will be awarded a gift certificate donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.  More information will be provided prior to July 1st on contest rules and how to sign up.  For now, practice catching walleye to get you walleye skills honed to sharp edge.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:18
 
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