June 13, 2016 -Rock Creek Stripers
Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2016 20:48
We had another productive trip last weekend catching as many stripers as we wanted both in the back of Rock Creek and the first bay to the north of the floating toilet at the mouth of Rock Creek. Same MO, trolling crank baits to locate a school, chum, 1/4 oz jig head with an anchovie. We also caught bass and 1 walleye. Time of day didn't seem to matter. Apx 1/3 of the fish were healthy, 1/3 were thin and a 1/3 weren't even worth filleting.
June 13, 2016 - Bullfrog walleye
On Saturday water temps were up at 75 degrees. We started out on Moki wall and in Moki for several hours and didn't catch any walleye. We fished our way back in the Hall's Marina area with really good success. The rest of the day we hit other areas in Bullfrog, also with good success. We fished rocky points or islands that had a mudlines. Not all mudlines had walleyes, but we only caught walleyes where there was muddy or stained water. Wave action from wind and boat wakes were the causes of the muddy areas.
We tagged maybe 40 walleye. We caught one 4-pounder. Most of the rest are good eaters size except the ones we caught in the back of Bullfrog Bay. Those were all in about 5 feet of water, and smaller in size. Thought they would be accessible to someone with a small boat. These were all caught on the west side of the penninsula/islands that run out of the back. Except for the ones in the back of the bay, all walleye came from roughly the 12-15 foot range.
All but a couple were on spinner rigs. Gold and brass blades seemed to work best for us, and the body colors didn't seem to matter. Matt fished real worms the whole time and I alternated between Gulp and real. Overall, real worms caught more fish, but Gulp caught a good share. Real worms worked all the time when there were walleyes. Gulp worked most of the time, but there were times they didn't.
June 13, 2016 - Fly Fishing Mid Lake to San Juan
I just returned from Lake Powell after another great fly fishing adventure. This trip I went with my friend Charles Carter from Santa Rosa, CA. (A proud Utah native and desert lover who has seen but not fished Lake Powell). We took the "Loneliest Highway" from California to Bullfrog Marina, my first launch from mid lake. This time we took my 15 foot boat "Juney" and she once again put us on great fishing from day one. Loading the boat with 10 extra gallons of gas and enough food and supplies for 5 days was surprisingly easy. The extra weight also helped with her ride, we tackled big water in moderate winds with ease. The first place we explored was Iceberg but it was ultimately only for a look as there were "players" everywhere having a great time on jetskis and wakeboards and the good looking campsites were occupied by houseboats. We never wet a line. So, it was on to Escalante.
We quickly found a campsite and were fishing near camp by very late afternoon. The smallie fishing was fast both subsurface and topwater. We also boated a number of nice, hard fighting stripers on streamers. The downside was the large number of folks having a great time stirring up the water, but everyone was courteous so we enjoyed good fishing despite the noisy distractions and hoped that dawn, the next day, would hold the "players" close to camp allowing us to get out and explore Escalante in quiet. We were not disappointed - the day began with only the sound of canyon wrens. The first spot we felt would hold stripers gave up fish quickly. It was what I call a mixed bank, with sloping rock slides combined with some steep cliffs. About 100 feet from shore, the depth was variable, from 70 feet to around 150 feet. It was in shade, which added to it's appeal. The fishing was outstanding and doubles were common. We had 30 fish between us in no time. The size of these fish was small but their fight was outstanding on 6wt rods and they were in great shape but curiosity over came us so we set off to explore up canyon. Around the very next bend we found slurpers. We only had one shot at them before they sounded and we moved on. I'm BIG on patterns so it was off to another mixed bank shade spot. And it was game on again. This time the action was punctuated by slurpers that rose randomly near us, some times within 20 feet. A cast to what looked like a lead fish resulted in "instagrab". It was great fun and good striper fishing continued all morning. When we heard the first wakeboard boat making it's way up canyon by late morning, we headed back to camp to pack up and set off for what we hoped would be less crowded water down lake, in the middle waters between Bullfrog and Dangling Rope.
Without a firm plan, we spontaneously decided to head all the way down to Dangling Rope to gas up and sight see. It turned out to be good decision because we ended up, with full tanks, heading back up lake to San Juan where our real discovery adventure began. At San Juan that evening we once again over indulged in great popper fishing for smallies. Most were small but we were pleasantly surprised by the occasional 12 to 15 incher. The next morning the topwater fishing continued eventually fading to the point that we went subsurface on fast sink lines. With that, two additional discoveries occurred that morning that helped inform our trip and decipher the fish. The first was a surprise attack by a 7 pound striper in a shallow "smallie cove". This fish was in fair shape and fought exceptionally well but we could see some slight muscle atrophy near the tail. It was fairly clear that this outlying fish was slumming in bass water. We made a note of that and decided that the mixed bank canyon walls with the big schools were not the only place to catch a striper. The second discovery occurred over stubborn fish at a mixed bank canyon wall. We were graphing hundreds of stripers but they were not eating. We stuck with them for a while wanting to catch at least one for dinner. Charles finally hooked up and we dispatched his 6 pounder for fish tacos. In the stomach of this fish was a single large crayfish.
At another striper fishery I know well, the "crayfish bite" often occurs at night into the early morning and, of course, tight to rocky structure. We filed that information for the next day. But that night, another spontaneous game presented itself. To set the scene, we found this beautiful little side arm in San Juan that made for a perfect spot to prepare striper tacos for an early dinner. After dinner, we picked up the rods again and began to fish. By around 6:30, the dream of every striper fisher came true. Bass began boiling all around us. As many as 5 schools at once started attacking on the surface, many within easy casting range. Some slurping schools were mixed in the surface activity but most of the action was aggressive boils. At first, the stripers were less than grabby on the fly but as their enthusiasm for chasing bait crescendo-ed, so did their enthusiasm for flies. The hook ups were instant and the targets were many and constant. I tried to strip fast enough to avoid hooking up.....just to see if I could. I couldn't. The melee lasted until it was approaching dark dark, and time to return to camp. The next day we got up early with the invitation to test the crayfish theory. The theory was, I believe, proved. We fished a striper bank on a cliff wall that the previous day was holding fish off shore. The marks under the boat were not as numerous. My hope was that this was because the fish were tight to the rocks. As cast to the shore with a nice long count down resulted in a hook up on the drop. I was very hopeful that this was NOT one of the many smallies we had caught on that same wall the previous day, during the mid day hours. It wasn't. It was nice striper, and it was definitely "on the job". That morning, there were no smallies in attendance on that wall. Our assumption was that the hoodlum schools of stripers scouring the rocks for crayfish sent most of the black bass, particularly the small ones, looking for cover more than for food!. The striper fishing tight to structure was outstanding until about 9 a.m. The bite continued further off structure until about 10 but it wasn't as automatic. Also, around that time, the smallies began to feed right on shore - we had to assume that this was because they were coming out of hiding.
We spent the better part of the rest of that day exploring the canyons of the San Juan for pan fish. As an artist, I like to paint fish and panfish are a fun and popular subject. Charles loves catching panfish and he knows all the species. We had a fantastic time. Charles did most of fishing, I positioned the boat and documented the fish. As late afternoon moved toward evening, we fished "smallie coves" for stripers per our discovery the previous day. Again, using fast sink lines, we dropped the fly deep, in the throat of long coves averaging around 40 to 70 feet deep. Without actually marking stripers under the boat, we caught quite a few, down around 20 feet deep. We mixed it up with a cast now and then tight to shore for a virtually guaranteed smallie. Walleye made for a nice added surprise now and then, particularly in the more turbid end coves. Not surprisingly, we ended up back in our topwater cove that evening. This time, the activity on the surface was not nearly as consistent, but thankfully, the bite was just as good, if not better. The biggest fish in that session was 8 pounds and in prime condition. No sign of any atrophy. It's fight was as expected..........incredible and so much fun on light tackle.
Charles and I shared lots of laughs, had fantastic weather and, as I have hopefull detailed here, outstanding fishing. It is beyond fun to introduce people to the wonders of Lake Powell and, as always, thanks to Wayne for his fantastic board, invaluable information and the whole community here for good, positive information and great questions. Dave
June 11, 2016 - Add on to Sharon Hunt report
We are traveling back to Oklahoma and I got your message so I'm sending our pics.
We have never had so much fun fishing! We loved Lake Powell, it is majestic to say the least!!
We caught more fish each day than we ever have in one day on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.
Sharon and Don were great guides as they know the Lake well. The 8 days on the Lake went so fast, I have never camped out that long in my life! We do plan to return.
Thanks for sharing our pics.
Darrell & Kathey Wyrick
June 10, 2106 - Dangling Rope to Escalante
Last Updated on Friday, 10 June 2016 09:38
Just got back from an 8 day stay on Powell and we had an awesome trip. Even though it was really hot the fishing was outstanding! We fished the Dangling rope area for the first couple of days from Rock Creek up to Dangling Rope and made camp in Grotto Canyon. Stayed there from Thursday to Saturday morning and moved up the lake and made camp just south of Llewellyn gulch. We did stop in Oak Bay and fished there where we are never disappointed.
On Wednesday our trolling motor went out so we decided to call it quits and head home Thursday afternoon. We could not complain, as I said the fishing was outstanding! We targeted the backs of canyons and any cove we could find and found fish in most all of them. We caught more large mouth bass this trip than we have in a long time, since our great success in Cottonwood Canyon a few years back.
They were in shallow water under all the trash that had washed up into the coves and, of course, the newly covered brush. Also found many walleye in that same water, the murkier the better for our walleye friends. The smallmouth bite was stellar we caught too many to keep track of the count and a number of them were good size along with the dinks.
The stripers were big, but thin and we caught them intermittenly every day. We often thought we had a huge Walleye for lack of the fight from the big stripers. We used our regular favorite 5" Yamamoto grubs single of double tail, didn't matter, but the best color was watermelon green. We also used some 5" senkos in green with success.
Sorry I don't know the size of the jig heads we used. We found fish in shallow water up to 30 feet deep in every area. We fish the bottom a lot targeting Walleye. We took worms along but never needed them for the Walleye. The Walleye were a bit smaller this year than what we experienced last year most of them around 16" to 18". The largemouth and smallies seemed to be larger.
We fished from the Escalante to the first arm of the San Juan and found fish everywhere.The big SMB in the picture weighed 2.8 lbs biggest SMB I've every caught.
The slurps are starting we saw many of them in the area between the San Juan and the Escalante but they weren't cooperative to catch and disappeared quickly. It was a great trip and great FUN! Hope to make it back again in September. Thanks Wayne for your great website and all the information for us anglers.
June 9, 2016 - Crystal Springs
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:14
We launched our Houseboat on June 3rd and headed North of Bullfrog. We really like to go to Good Hope bay but with the runoff and the amount of people I had to shuttle(people leaving early) this year, we decided to stay closer to Bull Frog. We found a nice shady anchorage in Crystal Springs Canyon and would use that as our home base for the week. The stained water (main channel) was about to this area at the beginning of the trip and all the way to Halls by the end. All the side channels had clearer water but did have a lot of floating debris. Now on to the fishing report
We did see a few slurps here and there in the main channel but not a ton, as expected. Stripers are not typically our target but I knew this year we would do a bit of anchovies fishing due to the fact that we would have a few newbies along that might fish a bit.
My Son Colter and I would spend most of our time pounding the rocks for bass (every canyon from Crystal to Cedar) and it was not unusual for us to have six species outings. Just as others have said, the walleye are more numerous this year than I have seen in near 40 years of fishing Powell. Our Spring trip and this one found us catching walleye on most outings. We did try and spend a fair amount of family time along with fishing and such but still had 30-60 fish mornings every day.
Drop shots, Wacky rig senkos, Neko rigs, you name it, it all produced Small mouth and Large mouth along with walleye, striper, bluegill, sunfish, and even catfish. We even caught a walleye on popper in the early morning. I can’t remember ever seeing that before.
In the evening we would take whatever kid or newbie with us and graph for striper and throw out the chum and anchovies. Most evenings were as fast as I wanted and sometimes pure chaos. We would fish with 2 rods each when there was only 3 of us on the boat but if there was more than that, forget it, I couldn’t keep up and didn’t want to fillet that many in the dark.
There was a bunch of fish in Crystal Springs about 3/4ths of the way back on a curve that has a sharp corner in it. I was not unusual to have to try and set hooks with both hands at the same time.
June 5, 2016 - Halls Crossing Report
Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2016 15:02
Hello to all fellow anglers. I just returned home to Farmington New Mexico from my best fishing trip ever on the beautiful Lake Powell. I posted on the message board last week for tips on how four rookie striper fishermen could catch striper, well, thanks to Wayne and others we were able to load the boat. We stayed at the trailers at Halls and fished Bullfrog up to Knowles on Friday 6/3. We caught numerous SM bass and LM bass everywhere we went.
On the way back we decided to try Waynes suggestions and stopped at the mouth of Moqui and fished for strippers. Within an hour we boated twenty six all on a jig head and anchovies. All were 3 to 5 lb range and very healthy, amazing fighting fish!
We also caught 5 Walleye and numerous catfish. Saturday we went south of Bullfrog Down to Iceberg and Annies cove, mainly just sight-seeing, while bass fishing here and there. We caught numerous bass on single tail grubs in pumpkin color.
About 5 o’clock we decided to try the stripers again at Moqui. We arrived about 5:30 p.m and fished until dark and managed to catch 43 striper, 3 walleye, and numerous catfish. This time the striper seemed to be bigger than the day before, averaging the 4lb mark, and an occasional 5 or 6 pounder. All four of us are now hooked on striper fishing! We loved how chaotic the boat would get once someone hooked up, then the next, until all four of us had fish on. We were running around like crazy, netting for the others, re-baiting, and filming. I actually caught one while I was filming the others, that was an experience.. Anyways, I just like to thank everyone for the help, especially Wayne!
Cant wait tell I can go back! Until next time, tight lines everyone!
June 5, 2016 - San Juan Bait fishing
Steve Doepke (Doepke Fishing)
Dates Fished - Tuesday, 5/31 to Saturday, 6/4.
Do you remember the fantastic anchovy fishing in 2013?.......It's Back!
I fished the first Cove on your right as you enter the San Juan (Melody Springs) and caught many striper very similar to the great anchovy fishing in 2013 at MM25. In the morning they will be in front of the rock pile 1/2 way into the cove on your left in the shade until 11:30am. I would keep the boat in approx. sixty feet of water and they would come cruising by around thirty feet deep. In the late afternoon they will be in the shade on the right side of the cove between the rock pile and the point. At around 5:30pm my entire screen would light up and it would be nonstop action. The fish did not want any lures or spoons….they were hungry and wanted anchovies. These weren't nibbles, these are freight trains and you better hold on. The fish were not line shy and I used straight 8lb mono tied onto a 1/4 oz jig head with 1/2 of an anchovy. Set your drag light and hand on.
I also caught some very healthy stripers at the mouth of Nasja, but not near the action the I had at Melody Springs. Nasja did have small mouth beside every boulder on the bank, but I don't think any of them were more than a pound.
Fantastic fishing trip. Grab a bunch of anchovies and head to the mouth of the San Juan. Your thumb will be hurting (Striper Thumb) for a week.
Nice meeting Reed on the water, couple of great Wordlings.
June 4, 2016 - Scout Fishing Trip
Fish and Scouts Go Together Down South!
I had a great time at Lake Powell for a few days this week assisting my Venture Scouts get into catching several species of fish every time we went out in the southern lake. Stripers, walleye, LM & SM bass along with catfish were caught aplenty but we just couldn't hook one of those frisky carp, dang it.
While I typically bank on Yamamoto watermelon grubs, the Gulp grub in white was much better by a long ways for all my fishermen along with trolling small Flicker Shad lures and DT 6 & 10's. The latter especially proved effective with the rising water level. I'd keep the boat in 12-15' of water as much as possible but on occasion the stripers would be over 25'. TW did produce a few early but mostly on the small side and while we did get into several packs of 10" stripers feeding on top one evening, they wanted a shallow jerkbait, not TW. The amount of walleye caught were especially surprising! Fish were caught mostly in Gunsight, West, and Middle Rock Creek Canyons.
June 1, 2016 - Dry Rock
Hi Wanye It was nice to see you again. We had a great trip the weather was perfect. We caught all species of fishes, but the small mouth where on fire, my grand kids could not keep them off there poles. We camped in dry rock creek with the house boats and every night the stripers and catfish were right behind the boat. The kids caught them until they got tired. The stripers where skinny and the catfish where in good health. The little small mouth were right on the banks near any rock pile, but the bigger fish where about 20 feet off the bank. If you casted parrell to the banks you had a better chance in catching bigger fish, we caught large mouth and walleye in 10 to 20 feet. Lots of fat blue gill and sun fish. We fished from rock creek to rainbow bridge and had good luck ever day. We saw 4 ewe desert sheep and each one had a baby in the back of dry rock creek. I had the best birthday trip a man could have, my family had a great time and it was hard to come home. Talk to you soon. Joe