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.