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Home Anglers Corner
Anglers Corner

catboy

Have you made a recent fishing trip to Lake Powell? If you have, please let us know how you did.  Post your fishing report on the Fishing Message Board or send it to Wayne Gustaveson ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) via E-mail.  Please include who you are and where you are from, dates fished, location, tackle used, species and number of fish caught and any other information you would like to pass on to other anglers.

Our goal here is to save shad by encouraging harvest of striped bass and walleye.  If we do that then all fisheries benefit from the effort.

Keep the reports coming.  I send out high resolution pictures to the media with my weekly fish reports.  If you have a good photo and would like it to be displayed in newspapers and magazines then send it to me.   Be aware that your photo may be used in other locations.

If possible send, first and last name, and hometown. The media likes pictures of kids (include age) and fishergirls. Be creative when taking photos. Change poses and backgrounds. Use the flash in full sun to avoid hat shadow.

Thanks to all who have contributed because it makes it easier for a newly arriving angler to start fishing with confidence needed to catch fish on this huge lake.

If you have a general question try posting on WAYNESWORDS FISHING MESSAGE BOARD.  Thanks to Bartsplace for putting the new message board in place so we can all commiunicate in real time with hot fish reports. 



September 20, 2017, SMB in Wahweap Bay

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Smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Powell last week was a tantalizing yet frustrating experience. It was tantalizing in the fact that it was just good enough to make us think it was ready to explode, but it was frustrating in that on the second day just as we thought we were figuring things out bad weather arrived and drove us off the lake.

My partner for this trip was Dale Marenda who has accompanied me on many trips to the lake over the years. Dale enjoys fishing Powell and is just happy to be out there whether we catch a lot or not. Of course, we both like to catch as many fish as possible which is something we just weren’t able to do this time around. We enjoyed short periods of excellent action and longer periods, mostly Wednesday, of very little success.

The forecast was for unsettled weather on Wednesday so we decided to stay on the lower end. Our first stop was the double islands just through the Castle Rock Cut. Over the years we’ve enjoyed some phenomenal success here as well as some  major failures. On Wednesday it was more like the latter. We did catch some fish, but they were mostly small and the numbers were not what we would expect for this time of year. We then motored over to the east side of Warm Creek just above the main channel junction. We fished the ledges down toward the junction, again with little success, until we reached a large offshore reef marked by two buoys. It was here we started catching fish with greater frequency taking around 15 in a little over an hour. We caught some smaller fish on the top of the reef, but the bigger ones were off the side at 20-plus feet.

 After fishing that area thoroughly we moved down to the shoreline below Navajo Canyon. As before we had little success in the beginning, but we eventually found a couple clusters of fish off the sides of the ledges and reefs. Our best pattern was fishing directly below the boat at 22 feet. We were able to take a number of fish in the 1 1/4 to 1 3/4-pound class. We did not get into any really big smallmouths. By 1 p.m. the fishing really slowed so we decided to call it a day. Although we took 45 smallmouths and a couple nice channel cats, we felt we had not really solved the pattern. The action was very spotty. We would fish large areas with few strikes and then find  an area where we would take several decent fish in a short time. The bite was light, usually just a bit of extra weight on the end of the line, and I only saw a couple of chasers following hooked fish. When the action is really fast it’s not unusual to see five or six chasers following a hooked bass. That just didn’t happen much Wednesday.

 We knew Thursday was going to be a short day as windy and rainy conditions were predicted starting mid to late morning. To maximize our fishing time we elected to stay in Wahweap Bay starting just below Wahweap Marina. For some reason that first 150 yards of shoreline was absolutely loaded with smallmouths. We caught several nice fish as we went through there the first time. After fishing a cove and a very good looking point with no success, we decided to go back up to where we started. That proved to be a smart move as we took 17 more smallmouths there in about an hour. We caught some fish up at 12 to 15 feet, but a majority - including most of the bigger ones - were caught between 22 and 31 feet fishing mostly vertically below the boat. When I saw a large, tightly bunched school on the graph we rarely got a strike. I suspect these schools were small stripers. However, when we dropped into a few, loosely associated marks we almost always took a smallmouth. Most of the fish were right on the bottom, however I caught a few suspended at 25 to 30 feet over a 40-foot bottom.

Unlike Wednesday when the strikes were very light, these fish hit much harder. We also saw a number of chasers following hooked fish. I believe the approaching storm front triggered the fish to being more aggressive. I also noted the water temperature Thursday was 78 degrees, two degrees cooler than Wednesday. We stayed in this area until the bite stopped, then we fished further down that shoreline but never got into any significant bass concentrations. I knew time was running short, so I decided we should run down to a ledge on the south side just above the mouth of Wahweap. Unfortunately I could see a storm moving in so we couldn’t stay long, but in the 30 minutes or so we were able to fish there we caught several nice fish including a couple of the nicest of the trip. Unlike our first stop, all these fish were up on top of the ledge at 12 to 15 feet. At these shallower depths casting horizontally well out from the boat proved to be the best presentation. Every hooked fish was followed by five to 10 chasers. These fish hit much harder and fought very well as smallmouths always do. Finally the thunder and lightning was getting closer and the wind was starting to pick up, so we decided at 9:30 to call it a trip and head back for the ramp. In just 3 1/2 hours we caught 32 smallmouths including the nicest fish of the trip. It proved to be a wise decision as just about 40 minutes after we returned to my Greenehaven mobile we were hit with undoubtedly the worst storm I’ve ever seen in some 22 years of fishing Lake Powell.

 There is no doubt the fishing Thursday just ahead of the storm front was much better than Wednesday. We caught everything on drop shot Shad Shaped Worms. I believe drop shotting was likely the best presentation for this trip, however as the weather cools and the bass become more aggressive, more active presentations might be very effective. I believe the fall smallmouth fishing on Lake Powell is getting ready to explode. Although we did not catch any really big smallmouths, we took a higher percentage of nicer ones than I have in my earlier trips. I plan on making at least three more trips between now and the end of October, and I predict we’ll see the best smallmouth fishing of the year.

 

September 20, 2017 - Neskahi to Zahn Bay

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My partner Bill and I set off for our annual week long expedition to the San Juan on Sept 6th. We fished daily from the mouth of Neskahi Bay to the Northern reaches of Zahn Bay. We never encountered a group of surface feeding Stripers. The surface feeding we did see were small bands of Stripers and SMB trapping shad against the walls in the backs of canyons. SMB fishing was spectacular. All the fish you could reel in were there for the taking. Our best lures were Ghost Shad Sammys until the sun hit the water, then Yamy Shad Shaped Worms (color 208) on a drop shot scored almost every time down. We caught a few nice LMB each day, but SMB were the show. Fishing was best on shorelines and reefs where the water dropped off into about 30 feet. Large shallow areas didn’t seem to hold the fish. Islands in Neskahi held bigger fish as did the sunken reefs in Zahn.

 The down side of the trip was heading home on 9/15. My partner Bill and I headed toward Hall’s in our 40 ft houseboat about 10 am. Just past the Rincon, we were caught by the big storm. At Dangling Rope the day before it was forecast as PM thundershowers, however, it turned into much more. We were hit by one microburst after another for the next five hours. We had waves easily clearing the top rail on the houseboat, crashing into the front doors. We were pulling my 19ft Crestliner and I was sure we would loose it from running the nose too deep or the rope snapping. I could see the auto bilge pumping away to keep up with the wash over the front and sides. Trouble was, there was nowhere to get out of the storm with 6-8 ft. waves breaking in the mouth of the canyons. At 5 pm, we got to our slip at Hall’s just as the storm subsided. We both had a cocktail.

 I have fished Powell seriously for about 45 years (yea, I’m old). We have continuously had our houseboat in the water at Powell for 35 years. I have never experienced anything like the storm of 9/15. Thankfully, the old tub got us through, thanks to good maintenance, dependable motors, and chugging along into or along with the waves. We always rig for wind, this time it paid off. Everything was secured on deck and we didn’t loose a thing.    Thankfully, i had just replaced my tow rope with a 50 ft tube rope (which is much heavier than a ski rope). It did the trick and held.

 Don’t think you’ll ever need your lifejacket on a houseboat? Wrong. Make sure you know where they are. They were on us the whole time.

 

September 20, 2017 - Gregory Butte

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Steve, Steve, Tom & Dallas Doepke from PHOENIX

Fished Thurs. 9/14 to Sunday 9/17

Fished from Gregory Butte to MM40.

 Caught 185 fish with the majority being stripers caught on anchovies. Best spot was MM40 on North side of the lake. These were healthy fish at 40-50' deep using Carolina rig and anchovies.

We encountered one boil in the Dove Canyon area early one morning.

We had the pleasure to fish with Mark W. From Phoenix and Todd and Steve from Utah. It's always nice to share fishing info with other wordlings on the water. See you in mid Oct.!!

 

September 15, 2017- Cottonwood to Cha

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shunt17wae

 

 

shunt17smb

Good morning Wayne:  We just got home yesterday from a wonderful week on Lake Powell.  I think September is a fine time to be at the Lake!  Warm days and perfect temps at night.

As usual we took off for the mouth of the San Juan and made camp just South of Llewellyn Gulch and fortunately the cove we were in was full of shad!  We fished behind our boat morning and night and caught numerous SMB and Stripers without even moving the boat.  I even caught a Walleye behind the boat.  We stayed there for 3 nights and fished from Cottonwood Canyon to Cha Canyon in the San Juan but the best fishing was where we were camped.  We decided to head towards Dangling Rope on Tuesday and made camp directly across the lakefrom DR.  We fished all our hot spots in that area and the inlet just East of DR we again found tons of shad and tons of SMB and Stripers willing to entertain us.  As usual we caught too many SMB to count, 30 stripers, 5 LMB and 1 Walleye.  Unfortunately many of the stripers were still thin especially the ones around 24" it seemed the smaller ones were the healthy ones.

Also the SMB are healthy and strong, they put up an amazing fight, many we caught were 1 to 2 pds and we had a few that broke our 8lb. test line, or maybe we just should have retied?  One gets a little lazy when almost every other cast you catch a fish.  Thank you Lake Powell, no place like it!  We used our usual single tail plastic grubs 5" in white or chartreuse, 4" shad colored tubes with 1/4 to 1/2 oz jig heads  and I actually tried the 1/4 oz Kastmaster and caught most of the stripers with it. We fished most backs of coves or inlets anywhere we found structure or weed from on shore to 30 ft. deep.  Like you said Wayne the boils have turned into small groups of stripers that you catch on surface briefly or on shore in the weeds at dusk or dawn. Sorry we can't make it back again in September and will probably have to wait until next spring to be back.  Lake Powell is a Blast!  Thanks again Wayne for the Great website!

 

 

mrhuntstbshunt17snb

 

September 13, 2017 - Warm Creek boils

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I have been a fan and weekly reader of your fishing report for years and would like to thank you for your unrivaled knowledge and quality of reporting.  I was fishing north of the Warm Creek floating restroom the mornings of September 10 – 12, and only saw one other boat that fished that group of fish the entire trip, so I assume it was you we saw the morning of the 12th.  The fishing was on fire from the time the sun crested the rocks until 9:30, then slowed substantially.  My son and I caught over 100 fish on small 1 oz and ½ oz salmon jigs (Dungeness Stingers - http://www.dungenessstinger.com/ ) and topwater lures on Monday, and another 50+ on Tuesday morning.  I was in the red/white Chaparral deck boat and another friend was in the tan/white bass boat.  There are thousands of stripers hanging out in that area, hanging out deep (50 – 70’) in the early morning (before sunrise) and pushing the shad shallow as the sun gets higher.  We caught fish non-stop on the jigs for another hour after the boil(s) stopped after the other boat (maybe you) left.  The evening bite was okay, but nothing compared to the morning.  I love Lake Powell!  Let me know if it was you we saw on Tuesday.  jacksonhorton.jpg   Good luck fishing!

 

Waynes Comments:   Yes that was our boat that you saw on Tuesday. Thanks for sharing

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:45
 

August 30, 2017 - Southern bass

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Hi All:  For a cluster of reasons I have not been fishing at Powell since I went with Dan Parks.  Quite a while ago.  This time I decided on a Fri Sat trip and was a little intrepid about a Saturday.  Saturday was not bad.  No worse than any other day.  Perry Ransom who is from Georgia has never been farther north in Arizona than Flagstaff.  He was awestricken by the beauty of the painted desert and Lake Powell.  We had perfect weather.  No wind, no rain, sunshine and a sliver of moon.
The batteries in the boat are quite old.  Will replace them this coming week.  Had a tail light that we could not get working even with a new replacement.  Park service with red and blue lights apprised us of that.  We already knew it and showed him our new replacement light.  He said I sped across the dam, 12 miles over the speed limit.  Nice guy, let us go with a warning.
When we went to the last hot spot at the entrance to the main channel at Warm Creek the trolling motor would not function.  We fished rather unsuccessfully without it and caught a few fish.  I believe leaving the foot control lying on the deck just under a boat cover for 3 months is a poor practice.  Particularly with almost daily showers we have had at Munds Park.  We let it dry out over night and Saturday it worked fine.  We tried the hot spot, no bites, went south of the entrance to Navajo and loaded up on not very big smallies.  We ended up keeping and fileting 18 and we probably let another 36 go because they were too small.  Smallies, in spite of not being huge, feel like you have a much larger fish in tow.  I missed Ed's fileting talents.  I did the honors and Perry took off the rib cages and packaged the catch.
The hot spot was the bay where Ed Gerdemann caught a big large mouth and a large smallie when we were up there earlier this year.  We caught the largest ones by dead sticking.  That is, just casting out, letting the lure sink to the bottom and have a drink of water or sing a song then pick up the pole with a fish on the end.  Not very scientific but effective.
I am looking forward to going again.  I know Perry is still even more eager than before having had a taste of the good fishing at Powell.
El Viejo

Hi All:  For a cluster of reasons I have not been fishing at Powell since I went with Dan Parks.  Quite a while ago.  This time I decided on a Fri Sat trip and was a little intrepid about a Saturday.  Saturday was not bad.  No worse than any other day.  Perry Ransom who is from Georgia has never been farther north in Arizona than Flagstaff.  He was awestricken by the beauty of the painted desert and Lake Powell.  We had perfect weather.  No wind, no rain, sunshine and a sliver of moon. 

The batteries in the boat are quite old.  Will replace them this coming week.  Had a tail light that we could not get working even with a new replacement.  Park service with red and blue lights apprised us of that.  We already knew it and showed him our new replacement light.  He said I sped across the dam, 12 miles over the speed limit.  Nice guy, let us go with a warning. 

When we went to the last hot spot at the entrance to the main channel at Warm Creek the trolling motor would not function.  We fished rather unsuccessfully without it and caught a few fish.  I believe leaving the foot control lying on the deck just under a boat cover for 3 months is a poor practice.  Particularly with almost daily showers we have had at Munds Park.  We let it dry out over night and Saturday it worked fine.  

We tried the hot spot, no bites, went south of the entrance to Navajo and loaded up on not very big smallies.  We ended up keeping and fileting 18 and we probably let another 36 go because they were too small.  Smallies, in spite of not being huge, feel like you have a much larger fish in tow.  I missed Ed's fileting talents.  I did the honors and Perry took off the rib cages and packaged the catch. 

The hot spot was the bay where Ed Gerdemann caught a big large mouth and a large smallie when we were up there earlier this year.  We caught the largest ones by dead sticking.  That is, just casting out, letting the lure sink to the bottom and have a drink of water or sing a song then pick up the pole with a fish on the end.  Not very scientific but effective. I am looking forward to going again.  I know Perry is still even more eager than before having had a taste of the good fishing at Powell. 

El Viejo

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 13:29
 

August 28, 29017 - Don't leave fish to find fish

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Thanks for all you do to get the word out about Powell fishing.
Had one day to fish Powell.  We were really trying to target top water boils.  Launched at Antelope at first light. We found our first boils in Padre Bay  (if you go around  Padre Island and  head toward Face, it would be the to the shear wall off to your left).  We found lightly dispersed boils but they stayed up as we approached and our big top water baits didn't scare the fish.  Every Boil produced fish.  Most were in great shape and went on ice in the cooler. We were only there about 30 min and boated 12 stripers with many, many exciting top water hits that didn't connect.  Love doing this... :-)
We had read the previous weeks report and were gnawing at the bit to get up near the San Juan to the "good fishing".  So we left these fish and headed up.   We spent the rest of the morning running up to the San Juan and then up to the San Juan till the main channel was only 30 feet deep. Didn't see a single boil :-(   We bass fished the rest of the morning and early afternoon in the San Juan.  Normal crazy SMB fishing on the white jig.  We headed back about 5pm to try and catch any evening activity in Padre.  We did run into a small but very dense boil about 2 turns from getting out of the San Juan, but they were skiddish and spooked easily.   On the way to Padre we had a big blow and just headed in.  In hind site, we let the anticipation of what might have been, get in the way of what was right in front of us at Padre....  We ended up with over 100 SMB, 2 LMB, 12 Stripers and another amazing memory.
As a side note.  In the 3rd week of June, I ran through this same area in Padre and was able to catch a few stripers out of slurps.  Also, my brother (who was on this trip) fished 3 weeks ago and caught stripers on topwater baits in the same place in Padre.... so there seems to be a good group hanging out around there.
thanks again for all you do.....doug
sorry about the picture.  it is the only one we took of fish.... :-)

dougwallaceThanks for all you do to get the word out about Powell fishing. 

Had one day to fish Powell.  We were really trying to target top water boils.  Launched at Antelope at first light. We found our first boils in Padre Bay  (if you go around  Padre Island and  head toward Face, it would be the to the shear wall off to your left).  We found lightly dispersed boils but they stayed up as we approached and our big top water baits didn't scare the fish.  Every Boil produced fish.  Most were in great shape and went on ice in the cooler. We were only there about 30 min and boated 12 stripers with many, many exciting top water hits that didn't connect.  Love doing this... :-)

We had read the previous weeks report and were gnawing at the bit to get up near the San Juan to the "good fishing".  So we left these fish and headed up.   We spent the rest of the morning running up to the San Juan and then up to the San Juan till the main channel was only 30 feet deep. Didn't see a single boil :-(   We bass fished the rest of the morning and early afternoon in the San Juan.  Normal crazy SMB fishing on the white jig.  We headed back about 5pm to try and catch any evening activity in Padre.  We did run into a small but very dense boil about 2 turns from getting out of the San Juan, but they were skiddish and spooked easily.   On the way to Padre we had a big blow and just headed in.  In hind site, we let the anticipation of what might have been, get in the way of what was right in front of us at Padre....  We ended up with over 100 SMB, 2 LMB, 12 Stripers and another amazing memory.

As a side note.  In the 3rd week of June, I ran through this same area in Padre and was able to catch a few stripers out of slurps.  Also, my brother (who was on this trip) fished 3 weeks ago and caught stripers on topwater baits in the same place in Padre.... so there seems to be a good group hanging out around there.
thanks again for all you do.....doug 

sorry about the picture.  it is the only one we took of fish.... :-)

 

August 28, 2017 - Big Fish for 10 yr old

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kodacarothers_edited-1  Hey Wayne, this is Cody Crothers I went to school with your son and I am in town for a month visiting my parents all the way from Sri Lanka.  We are staying out on the lake and have been fishing everyday. I really appreciate your reports to help me start patterning the fish after being gone the last 3 years.  

kcarothersrbt

 

Well from Mammoth mountain to here my 10 year olf son Koda has been out fishing me on an extreme level.  Pictures attached.   Well today I finally figured out the the small and large mouth bass are not up in the sallows but rather on deeper structure, so we would troll until we got a hook up "no fish finder" then stop and fan cast the area.  Well as Koda's 5 foot ultralight trout rod with a 2" mid diving white bomber lure loaded up I figured he had a healthy striper but to my surprise it was the biggest smallmouth I have ever seen face to face.  Didn't have a scale or a tape but I recon it was pushing the 4lb mark.  Gotta love when the student surpasses his teacher.  Thanks again for what you do.

 

August 12, 2017 - Boils at Great Bend

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I launched out of Antelope Pt Friday morning 8/11 early and due to the wind causing turbid water I hustled up to the San Juan but never saw any boils even when arriving in the river and slowing down and having flat water and overcast skies.

After driving around Cha Bay I just went on up to Neshkai and bass fished again but the fishing was just ok. A few on TW, more on the Ned Rig and even more and bigger on the good 'ol Yamamoto dbl tail grub.

After awhile I went on up to the 'Spencer's Camp' area but only caught a few LM. On the way back down the Great Bend I about slept through lotsa boils but turned around and got on them consistently good from 1-3. These were large groups of fish stretched all across the bend and I'd catch 2-4 from each group and by the time I'd get them all unhooked I'd have to chase the group down 100 yards from me going north. This repeated itself so many times I got wore out and quit throwing TW and just tossed a big rattletrap as these fish would eat anything!!  Sometimes they'd just have my boat surrounded 5' away but I did my best to save a few stripers! 

Gotta luv the DNA of these small bass (pic) trying to eat a spoon that's their same size.

It's worth mentioning that the new Mercury 'auto trim' (see picture) on this new boat works pretty well. Good for beginners and seasoned veterans alike!!

 

Sam Sherwood

Mesa, AZ

 

August 9, 2017 - Moki Boils

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Fished Monday morning, evening, and again Tuesday morning. Monday morning we found boils from Halls bouy field almost to Moki Canyon. We got a little of a late start and only boated around 30. They would go down around 10:00. Monday evening good boils in same place, several large groups which could be approached slowly without spooking. 7 boats ended up working these fish. Something I've never seen happened. These fish scattered totally across the main channel and did their own thing. Became almost impossible for a hookup but fish were everywhere feeding. I guess they lost the pack mentality.
Tuesday morning we caught them starting at the mouth of Moki. Good large boils, easy to approach.  They were moving up stream, and we just followed and overfilled the cooler. 11:00 was shutdown time again.  We saw on small boil on our way back to Bullfrog which we got 1 out of. 96 fish total in 7 hours of fishing. All were caught on super spooks with gold, red, and blue, with silver.  The gold seemed to be the favorite for them.

Fished Monday morning, evening, and again Tuesday morning. Monday morning we found boils from Halls bouy field almost to Moki Canyon. We got a little of a late start and only boated around 30. They would go down around 10:00. Monday evening good boils in same place, several large groups which could be approached slowly without spooking. 7 boats ended up working these fish. Something I've never seen happened. These fish scattered totally across the main channel and did their own thing. Became almost impossible for a hookup but fish were everywhere feeding. I guess they lost the pack mentality.

Tuesday morning we caught them starting at the mouth of Moki. Good large boils, easy to approach.  They were moving up stream, and we just followed and overfilled the cooler. 11:00 was shutdown time again.  We saw on small boil on our way back to Bullfrog which we got 1 out of. 96 fish total in 7 hours of fishing. All were caught on super spooks with gold, red, and blue, with silver.  The gold seemed to be the favorite for them.

 
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