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.
Oct 30, 2016 - GHB
Fished Good Hope on the 28th. Arrived the evening of the 27th and night fished in Two Mile. Landed a few stripers and catfish. Up early the 28th and boated around looking for boils or schools on the graph. None spotted. Fished walls for walleye and smb. Between two of us, Landed one nice 3 pound or so walleye. Hundred or so smb, bluegill, and sunfish all fairly small. Night fished in Halls Creek. More stripers and catfish. Saturday we found one large school of stripers in Halls near the old cut to Bullfrog. We spooned over 20 healthy stripers from that one school before it moved out of sight. Never found another decent school. Also caught many more smb, sunfish and two stripers casting jigs for walleye. Those walleye are sure easier to fillet than stripers. Marty Peterson.
October 29, 2016 - Last Trip for Bass
Smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Powell turned into a real grind for longtime fishing partner John Conrad and I last week. This is not to say we didn’t catch fish - we did and quite a few of them - but we were never able to establish any one consistent pattern. We’d pick up a fish here and two fish there, but we were not able to find that one area that could produce a lot of smallmouths in a short time which is something we’ve grown to expect on Lake Powell in October. Part of it may have been other bass fishermen practicing for last weekend’s tournament as a number of them had fished or were fishing some of our favorite spots, however I believe most of it was the bass were just not in an aggressive mode in the areas we were fishing.
On Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th we worked a number of my favorite spots in Last Chance Bay. On Friday we stayed in close and fished the double islands just through the Castle Rock Cut, the reefs along the mouth of Warm Creek, the rocky bay just up the main channel from Warm Creek and the steep structure just below the mouth of Navajo Canyon. On Wednesday we caught 26 smallmouths, two largemouths, one catfish and a walleye; on Thursday we took 32 smallmouths and three largemouths, while on Friday we caught 33 smallmouths, two largemouths and three sunfish and a striper.
We found three distinct patterns. In Last Chance Bay our best locations were small cuts with a trench running into them. We found the bass scattered along the sides of the trench mostly in the shadows of large boulders in five to 15 feet of water. We caught a few fish out on top of and at the ends of some long points, but this was not a consistent pattern. We took a few fish in the 20 to 25-foot range, but most of the fish caught were at 15 feet and above. Thinking this pattern would hold true in the far lower end, we began Friday by working those types of cuts around the double islands but with little success. We then went to the shelves and reefs at the mouth of Warm Creek and experienced far better action. In fact, this is where we caught our best fish of the day. We found most of them off the deep ends of the reefs and shelves from 15 to 25 feet - much deeper than what we found the previous days in Last Chance. Thinking we would duplicate this in the rocky bay up the channel, we were disappointed to discover very little activity there. About 1:30, at John’s suggestion, we moved down to the steep structure below Navajo where we took over 20 smallmouths in the last two and a half hours we fished. This was probably our most consistent action of the trip although the average size smallmouth was a bit smaller than in other locations. These fish generally ranged between 20 and 30 feet off the steeper structure. Unlike in Last Chance, the shallower cuts were not very productive.
The one thing that was consistent all three days was the fish we found were not willing to chase. We saw little surface activity. Our best presentation was putting a lure right in front of their nose and leaving it there. While I always catch some bass on the initial drop, I probably caught more after the drop on a very slow drag, almost a dead stick presentation, using a drop shot setup. The drop shot worked well because it allowed me to suspend my lure up off the bottom in one spot out away from the boat. Even in deeper water it was necessary to cast out away from the boat to get strikes. We had hardly any action directly under the boat - another unusual twist for October fishing. It paid to work all areas slowly and thoroughly. I also believe my tackle setup consisting of a sensitive graphite rod, no-stretch Berkley Fireline as my main line and a 15 to 20-foot fluorocarbon leader served me well. As mentioned earlier, most of the hits came on a very slow drag. That means the fish had a lot of time to look at our baits before striking. In this situation I believe line visibility was a big deal, and using a leader that the fish couldn’t see likely helped me. The bites, particularly Wednesday and Thursday, were very light so having a sensitive rod and a no-stretch line helped me feel strikes a lot of anglers would have missed. Often times all I felt was a tiny tap or just a little bit of extra weight on the end of the line. The exception to this was Friday below Navajo where the fish hit a lot harder and the weight on the end of the line felt a lot heavier.
Hook setting technique was also critical. I use a Yamamoto Split Shot hook which is a type of circle hook. When fishing circle hooks one does not use the hard jerk type hook set commonly used by bass anglers when fishing plastic worms and jigs. The proper technique with a circle hook is to simply start reeling while gently sweeping the rod into fighting position. For years as soon as I felt the fish I just started reeling, however over the past few seasons I found myself losing a lot of fish. I was having a particularly frustrating time this spring with my uncle fishing a small private lake in Texas. I was getting strike after strike using a weightless Yamamoto Senko, but I kept losing those largemouths one right after another. Convinced my hook was big enough for the lure, I decided to wait a bit before reeling down on the fish. When I detected a strike I dropped my rod, slowly took out the slack before really reeling down on the fish. This change worked as I lost very few fish the rest of the trip. I started using this technique with my drop shot setup with much improved results as well.
While it’s possible we were not finding the really active fish and fishing different locations with different presentations might have been more effective, I really do believe most of the bass last week were in a sluggish mood. The bass we cleaned were feeding mainly on crayfish with just a few having shad or sunfish in their stomachs. While I certainly believe any bass in Lake Powell will take a shad or sunfish if it swims too close, I just don’t believe the fish last week were in an active baitfish chasing mode. It takes a lot less effort for a smallmouth to catch a crayfish than a shad, and if there are a lot of crayfish available that’s going to be the forage of choice. That’s been a true statement about smallmouths every where I’ve ever fished for them. For that reason a grub or tube hopped along the bottom might have been a better presentation than what we were doing, however both John and I have such great confidence in drop shot fishing that I really don’t believe we would have done much better doing anything else. John, in particular, is an excellent jig fisherman, and I’m sure he would have gone to it if he felt it would have been more effective.
The weather, while wonderful, may have been a bit too good. There was virtually no wind the entire trip. Wednesday was bright and sunny while both Thursday and Friday were overcast. The fishing was better on the overcast days which I believe was no coincidence. I also believe a bit of a breeze would have been beneficial, especially when fishing the shallower areas. John caught the biggest smallmouth of the trip, a 2 3/4-pounder that was 19 inches. We caught a number of fish in the 1 3/4 to two-pound class, especially Thursday. All the smallies we caught fought extremely hard with many of them leaping completely out of the water more than once. Whatever Wayne’s been feeding these fish must be working because they certainly are strong.
This was my final Lake Powell fishing trip for the season. When motoring back late Friday afternoon John and I were enjoying exceptionally smoother water coming across Warm Creek Bay. As we approached Castle Rock the sun peaked out behind the overcast casting a beautiful light on Castle Rock causing it to glimmer against the steel gray October sky. The fall shadows provided a stark contrast to the bright rays illuminating the rock. Although I caught a lot of nice fish this year, I think this sight will be my lasting memory of the season. I don’t know how long God will allow me to continue to fish Lake Powell, but I’m so very grateful for the privilege of being able to enjoy this magnificent lake for as much as I have over the last 21 plus years. I hope these reports have helped others enjoy it as well.
October 27, 2016 - Bj at Bullfrog
Here are pictures from our fishing trip on October 6th. my fishing buddy and I.
Caught a variety of it all, but not in mass amounts. This was right outside bullfrog.
October 27, 2016 - Unique Smallmouth pattern
Fishing was great at Lake Powell last week; at least it was for my son and I. We spent three days on the lake and caught somewhere over a hundred small and large mouth bass and two bluegills. Mostly we caught SMB.
Thursday we fished in Stanton Canyon and across the lake by the Halls houseboats. We had the most success with Yamamoto green pumpkin double hula grubs. We caught a few on chartreuse and two on top water plugs. We hoped to find a walleye with a lucky tag, but didn't catch any walleyes this trip.
Friday and Saturday we fished in Moki Canyon. We caught a lot of fish; mostly on the green pumpkin grubs. The fish weren't shallow. Most of the bites came in about ten to twelve feet of water. A slow retrieve was more effective than a fast one. We did not notice a difference between sun and shade.
We ran onto a pattern in Moki I haven't noticed before. In the left fork, we noticed that the fish finder screen looked like it was covered with flakes of pepper. We were unsure of the type of fish we were seeing. We tried trolling to see if we could happen to find out what we were seeing; turned out it was small mouth bass. There must have been several thousand bass in that bay. I'd never caught SMB trolling before. We also big bunches of fish; like striper schools in the winter. Again it was SMB. We caught them jigging right under the boat in twenty to thirty feet of water. Wayne was right (again). He said to "watch your fish finder and be flexible in how you fish."
I've included a picture of a lizard we saw in Moki Canyon. It reminded me of the trips I'd take with my uncle fifty years ago. At that time, a popular way to fish was to fish salamanders in the cottonwoods. One trip we ran out of salamanders so we caught lizards and fished with them. Yes, you can catch bass on lizards.
October 27, 2016 - Stanton- Moki (Must Read)
Having just returned from spending three days on the lake with my dad, October 20-22, I thought I'd share the experience and insight from our trip. We launched from bullfrog early Thursday morning. After setting camp in Stanton Canyon we decided to stay close for the day. The first day on the water seemed quite slow we caught a smallmouth here picked a smallmouth up there but it just didn't seem to be that productive. However, at the end of the day we started to count up the number fish that we had caught it ended up that we had picked up about 40 fish throughout the day.
On Friday morning we ventured out of Stanton and headed up to the lake to Moki. In Moki we picked up several fish using the normal techniques that you would think of when fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. As we were slowly progressing down one of the rockslides we noticed crazy amount of disturbance on our graph, as you can see in the picture. After fishing the rest of the way through the rockslide constantly seeing all this disturbance on our graph I decided to throw on a diver we trolled it. Within just a few seconds I had a hit and unfortunately the fish got off. Put my lower back in the water control that for another 30 seconds or so and have another hit and missed. This cycle continued a few more times and then I hooked onto a fish. At this point in time I was totally expecting to pull in a striper or possibly a walleye. But that's not when I found attached to my lure. What did they find on the end of my pole? Nothing other than about a pound and a half smallmouth bass.
At first I thought it was a fluke, so I tried again. What happened? Caught another small mouth. While we were trolling we noticed that there were groups of fish sitting on the bottom in 20 to 25 feet of water, but on our graph, appeared to be balls of stripers. This led us to dropping the same plastic grubs that we had been fishing the rockslide earlier down and jigging just like you would for stripers in the winter. Did we hook into a fish? Yeah we did. But once again not what we expected. Just like before, we didn't find a striper at the end of the line. It was a smallmouth bass.
As we've reflected on what we saw on our sonar and made some connections with the fish that we caught during this trip, I wonder how many times I've passed off balls of smallmouth bass as carp. My suggestion if you're headed in to the northern part of the lake would echo words that I think Wayne wrote about a week and a half ago, "Be flexible. If you find something that works stick with it."
When I headed out on the water if you told me I would've been trolling and jigging for smallmouth bass I would've said you were crazy. Having experienced that now, it's opened my mind to a whole new set of possibilities on the water.
Ocotber 18, 2016 - Rock Creek
Rock Creek Fishing was great!
October 27, 2016 - Lone Rock
This fishing report is for the 18th to the 22nd of October we fished the canyon and cliff drop offs near lone rock. Bass fishing was slow to moderate with the best times being early morning or late afternoon. Small mouth were caught with a grub jig green, chartreuse or white colored. They were staged off rocky points and off steep cliff drop offs. Some crappie were caught will fishing for small mouth at the end of the retrieve.
Striper fishing was moderate to fast. Most succes was found buy jigging with small tube or grub jigs tipped with anchovie shad or striper meat. We used a fish finder to watch for schooling and staging fish. Most fish were caught in deeper water with some exciting top water sight fishing in the mornings and evenings. Thanks and good fishing.
October 27, 2016 - Good Hope Bay
Fished Lake Powell October 7th and 8th. Fished Goodhope Bay both days. Fishing was pretty slow looking for SMB and LMB and walleye or what ever bites our hooks. We finally had some fun on Saturday afternoon at Striper City. We got into a boil between 2:30 and 3:30 that lasted an hour. Boated 18 stripers and probably lost just as many. Had continuous activity for an hour chasing the school around. We were the only ones up there except for a boat that was trolling and never saw the boil. When it was over we trolled over to them and told them about it and boy were they bummed they missed it. We gave them all the stripers and that made them happy.
Happy fishing, Dan Sundt
October 27, ,2016 - Rincon
Fished the Rincon area, including slick rock and iceberg canyons. Bass were down deep still approx 30ft. Fishing the bottom slow with single tail grubs, paddle tail grubs, and Rapalas with fair success. The best bass fishing was from 5pm to dark. Stripers were missing in action, brought 3 in between 6 fishermen over 3 days.
October 27, 2016 - Good Hope Bay
Went down the 6&7 of Oct and stayed in GHB. We fished ticaboo with probably our greatest success. I think we did best throwing a bomber model A and did ok with jigs. We typically don't fish much for stripers but got into a great school at 50 ft with Flo green and silver kastmasters in the back of warm springs canyon. Only managed 2 walleye 1 big crappie too many smallies to count and a decent number of largemouth. I wish I could figure the walleye out better I included a pic of my brother's monster smallie. Can't wait to get back down!
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