May 31, 2016 - Rock Creek Bait
We were fortunate enough to have productive fishing trips on both May 15th and over Memorial Day weekend catching endless stripers on bait in apx 30-50' of water over points. We fished by buoy 9A the 15th and were in the back of rock creek Memorial Day weekend.
The fish ranged from 1-4 pounds. Apx 1/2 the larger fish were health and laden with eggs but the other 1/2 were very thin. All the smaller fish were very healthy. Needless to say, the kids had a blast !
May 25, 2016 - Pre Fish South
Lake Powell Report for May 23 & 24, 2016
Southern Lake Pre-Fish
My brother and I ran up to Lake Powell for an abbreviated trip on Monday/Tues to help me find some more places to take the scouts to next week that was close to Wahweap since we are staying on a houseboat, ‘roughing it’ in a slip. (I like this rough style!) We didn’t stay long in any one place as we were just looking to find some fish concentrations and then move on and find more.
We started fishing about 11:30am on Monday up in West Canyon and then the surrounding areas. We then went further east to ‘haystack corner’, then on into Dungeon Cove, then back to the entrance of Last Chance (eastside), the Westside of Gregory Butte for a few minutes and then finished the day over into a few northern coves of Padre Bay. All produced at least some fish and some areas were better for numbers than others and some had a higher concentration of stripers. All of the ‘normal’ species of fish were caught except crappie, including a couple of nice walleye. In addition to a sampling of areas, we also tried numerous techniques, all of which worked except top water. A slender ‘Wally Diver’ type crankbait worked the best for stripers when trolled and in most areas, the 7’ deep Wally worked better than a 12’ deep Flicker Shad but in Padre Bay it was the opposite. Wacky style Senkos and Yamamoto jigs along with Gulp 3” minnows in white worked best for bass although some stripers ate the Gulp bait as well. I didn’t keep an exact count this day but I’d guess we caught about 40 fish between 11:30 – 6:30. Not great but OK for running and gunning.
We didn’t start fishing until close to 7am on Tuesday and our time was limited so we hit a spot by the Castle Rock cut, supplied by my buddy Super Shane Spazoff, and after figuring out the topography, we caught a half dozen before motoring over to buoy 3 for the anchovies ordeal. I really don’t like this bait style of fishing unless it is really going good and then it is a quick way to keep non fishermen entertained without having casting accuracy/hook setting, etc a requirement. Buoy 3 showed NO love to us or another boat there so we booked after 30 minutes, over to the dam where an hours’ worth of anchovies drowning produced only a handful of mostly smaller stripers. We were going to go to the intake area but figured we’d had enough of a sampling size of this bait bite so we were loaded and driving away from the Antelope ramp by 10am. Now that I read Wayne’s latest fishing report, perhaps this bait bite is working but just later than we had time for?? I’d sure love to hear back by next Tue if it is so I can take some young men on a good striper bait bite if possible.
Sam Sherwood – Mesa, AZ
May 24, 2016 - Bullfrog
My family has been going to Powell for almost 20 years for a fishing trip. We fished the 18th and 19th in Bullfrog and Moqui canyon. The fishing was slower than expected. We went for crappie in the back canyons. That is the easiest way to fish for us since we take my Granddad who is almost 82.
Though it was slower than expected we still did well considering. My mom caught her first walleye and crappie. We caught a couple cats and a few SM bass. We talked to a few people and they had noticed the same thing for bass it looks like bullfrog was hit pretty hard by tournaments and other bass fisherman. Better reports were up the lake.
Stripers were caught right about 20 ft and at the mouth of the canyon. You needed to use your fish finder to find them at just the right spots by the points of the mouth of the canyon. When you found them at 20ft it was fish on.
The 20th and 21st the wind was very strong. I thought you were going to talk to the weatherman for us Wayne to help out. This forced us to fish on the houseboat in halls. This was great the striper were active and some of the best size on average I have seen in the last few years. We were 15-20ft and it was just with a jig head and an anchovies. We put grubs on as well but that didn't change how active they were.
Always fun at lake Powell and thanks Wayne for your reports. This is my first report but I have read the reports for years now.
Mike and Cristie
The big fisherman John Berg my Grandad!
Jared I was going to fix the weather for you, but we had all these stripers under the dock and wanted them taken care of first. Wayne
May 15, 2016 - Girls Day (Is that legal?)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 13:49
Did a girls trip with my sister Laureen and her daughters. Stayed at bullfrog a few days, weather was great and the fishing was off the charts. We fished the points and walls at and around moki area. We would stop and chum with anchovies and it wasnt long before everyone was hooking up! Lots of fish moving along the wall and holding off the points and just inside the canyon.
3 size classes of stripers we were catching, some around 14-16 inches, some around 16-18 inches and the larger ones going 20-24 inches. The mid sized fish seemed to have more girth on them, but there were some healthy fish in all three sizes that we were catching. Great time to be at Powell.
Thanks Wayne for all the info and help on your website. Russ
May 18, 2016 - Escalante report
Took off from the West Slope of Colorado Friday at Noon and got to BullFrog as the sunset. Ran to Slick Rock and camped for the night. Headed out at First Light to the Escalante for what was an epic day of fishing with my brother. Between the 2 of us we caught 100+ fish; lots of SMB, our limit of Walleye (Which I think has been lifted? Anybody know? Stan Jones Map I have says 10 but I heard the limit was lifted for Walleye) The occasional Striper, 1 jumbo sized Crappie and the occasional very aggressive sunfish and blue gill.
Fished structure in Davis, Fifty Mile and Willow. Rock Piles held SMB shallow and Walleye deeper. Long casts in the clear water and Maintaining bottom contact with our grubs seemed to be key, if the SMB would let it sink that far. Used a 1/4 oz Wide Gap Jig Hook (silver lead head) with Yamamoto 4" Single tail Grub in Watermelon with Black Flake, it caught most of our fish. Did switch to a Bomber Creek Craw 4a Crank at dusk and caught Striper and a Large SMB on a shallow sand flat (4-6FOW) near the mouth of the Escalante. Down sized to a 3" Single Tail Yum Christmas Tree grub with a 1/8 oz jig with Black head when we nearly ran out of Yamamoto Grub and it worked just as well, started catching a lot more small SMB's. Main Escalante was around 63-64 degrees and back of canyons were closer to 70 especially in stained water. Walleye Shore Dinner!!!Delicious!
Sunday AM ran out to the floating restroom opposite mouth of Escalante, fished the wall/ledge directly behind the restroom for a 200 yard stretch moving back towards BullFrog and got into a school of Stripers. The Bass and Walleye that we caught the day before had spit up 4" Juvenile Walleye ( I think) that had green backs and light yellow sides so I experimented with a 3.5" Cane Thumper in Sunfish laminate manufactured by Big Bite Baits paired with a 1/4 oz Swimbait Head and the Stripers ate it. My brother had a twin tail zoom fat albert grub on in WaterMelon that was refused by the Stripers. We actually witnessed the refusal when he threw into the water while I was hooked up because the Striper I had hooked into had some buddies trying to steal my bait out of its mouth...so bro put on the swimbait rig and proceeded to go to town on the Stripers as well. Prior to heading back into Escalante after the Striper school left I caught a nice LMB on the Swimbait as well.
Back in the Escalante we fished Davis again which was a little slower (water was Murky compared to the day before) so we headed back to main Escalante and concentrated on Rock Piles in clearer water. We had switched back to Yamamoto Watermelon grub and ran out so I rigged up Smoke with Black Flake instead and it was just as well. Lots more SMB, a nice LMB, some more big Crappies and a bunch more Walleyes, we boated 60 more fish by 1:30 before we had to pack up and get back to reality. Found the mud line in Escalante at about Explorer Canyon.
Lake Powell is Awesome! Thanks to all the Waynes Word Fellas for posting reports with great info, after doing my home work on WW I was dialed in on the right baits right away and it made for a great trip. Hope to get back soon!
May 17, 2016 - Rock Creek to Last Chance
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 18:38
Just heading back from fishing 2 days and the fishing was spectacular!
Fished with my Dad, John Chaparro from Saint George, UT, my favorite fishing Partner.
We had been watching the weather and decided to head out on the 12th to take advantage of the forecasted warm sunny weather.
We put the boat in on Thursday afternoon and discovered a minor electrical problem and needed to replace the battery select switch.
Got up on Friday morning, headed over to Ted's Marine supply 30 minutes before opening hoping someone would show up and they did. We got our part, did a quick install and off to Rock Creek Canyon we went.
The smallmouth fishing was excellent and we caught a released over 100 fish easy with a nice mix of largemouth, smallmouth and a few token stripers.
We finished the day at the back of last chance and the Smalleys were eating the Zara puppy. What a great way to end the day. We went through four bags of Yamamoto Grubs.
Saturday morning we got up, pick up some frozen anchovies at Stix, and headed down to buoy three.
We slaughtered the stripers and filled the cooler in under two hours. Headed in for a break, went down to the fish cleaning station and spent some quality time filleting fresh fish.
Went back out for the afternoon smallmouth bite but a front was rolling in and the wind started to howl so we made it a short afternoon, came in and went out for a prime rib dinner.
This has become an annual trip to take advantage of the spawn.
The fishery is so vibrant and healthy, it never disappoints and it certainly didn't this trip.
I had a fabulous time fishing with my dad, the man that raised me right and taught me how to fish. I can't imagine a better way to spend time.
San Clemente, California.
May 10, 2016 - Padre Slam
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 20:10
I just got back from my first trip up to Powell this season, and it did not disappoint. I fished midlake with Chris Romero and Nick Sanchez. The water temps. ranged from 58-64 degrees and the fishing was on fire. The fishing was slower in the morning with the cooler water temps, but as the day wore on and the temps warmed, the fish reacted.
We spent the majority of our time fishing the Padre, Last Chance, and Rock Creek areas. We hit for the cycle, catching the big 5 in one day! We caught smallmouth, largemouth , striped bass, crappie and walleye. Most of our fish came out of very shallow water and were gearing up for the spawn. We focused our efforts around broken, chunk rock, in 2-20 ft of water. The fish were very aggressive and we caught them on just about everything we threw. Some of our best baits included senkos, sweet beavers, yamamoto 5 inch jigs in single tail, double, and hula, tubes, and small cranks. The quality of fish on this trip was very impressive and the lake seemed as healthy as I have seen it in some time.
The fishing is as good as it gets right now, so get out and enjoy it before its too late!
May 9. 2016 - Driftwood to San Juan
This year we decided to come up in April rather than June for some better fishing. Made the right choice - as Wayne said “the catching is better in April” - boy was he right. Left out of Antelope early Saturday morning – weather was decent - ran the houseboat to Driftwood just above Dangling Rope, the guys all ran their boats up fishing on the way. The guys fished the main channel before Rock Creek on the east side. Also Rock Creek and Dungeon. Caught a few fish later in the morning as water temp came up. We fought some cold rain Saturday afternoon and Sunday but the bass fishing remained constant.
Fished from Driftwood to Oak Bay Sunday & Monday. One group ran up to the Escalante. We fished the from the back of coves out to the main lake. Fish are everywhere. Years past we focused on broken rocks/riprap – did the same this year but we were also catching fish off the sandstone points in the main lake. Not the vertical cliffs but areas where the rock forms a point or a submerged island. As you drift over these sandstone points you can see cuts and holes. They all held fish. Water was clear. Back end of Oak creek had some color, shallow back there but still caught fish. - Over all the fish were deeper (10-15 ft.) at the beginning of each day - as the water warmed the fish came up to the bank. The big surprise was the number of largemouth bass. Typical 4 hour outing would yield 40-50 fish for 2 guys - 8-15 were largemouth. 1-3 walleyes. Rest smallmouths. We picked up occasional stripers. We all were impressed by the number of 1.5-2.5 lb. bass caught each day.
We cleaned more walleyes than we ever have. Jigs were the ticket - Hula grubs, single tails, salty craws and tubes/gitzits in smoke, brown, watermelon, green and even chartreuse. Couldn’t find one color was more productive than others. Three guys in the same boat each fishing different colors and all caught fish. 1/4 once head on the craws and tubes. 1/4 or 3/8 heads on the hula grubs.
Some boats played around trolling outsides of the bays and caught stripers on deep diving cranks in shad or silver colors. Found a spot on the outside of Oak Bay to chum up some stripers on anchovies - - toward the main channel side of the big island - the area of broken rocks/rip rap between the sheer walls. This spot has been good in years past, especially in June. Get close to the rocks to anchor or drift – fish holding at 25-40 ft.
Ran up the San Juan Tuesday. Stopped in Cha Bay for 20 minutes - nada. Ran the rest of the way to Piute Bay/Creek. Lots of boats up there – Fishing was crazy. Couldn’t go 5 minutes without a single or double hook up. North or south sides produced fish. Each boat caught over 100 fish in 5 hours of fishing. Lots of 10”-12” fish with occasional 2 pounder in there. Had a few fish over 2.5 lbs. Did get some nice walleyes on the south side of Piute Bay. Definitely caught more fish up there but the fish size was about the same in the main lake.
We let the most of the largemouth go, especially the big ones. Hope they continue to rebound. The smallmouth fishing is phenomenal – all the bass and walleyes look healthy , the striper are a little skinny but fought hard. Thanks to Ed, Tom, Dave, Ted, Russ, Bob, Lee and Bobby. Best fishing trip we have ever had. Trying to figure out how to get back up there. George.
May 9, 2016 - Walleye in north lake
The crew from The Arizona Crappie Association made our annual Lake Powell trip fishing out of Hall's Crossing in search of Walleye. This year we had 5 boats making day trips from Hall's to points south as far as Iceberg Canyon and points north as far as Warm Springs. In the 6 1/2 days our crew fished we ended our week with 440 Walleye kept which proved to be one of our better Walleye years!!
We caught the majority of the Walleye trolling worm harnesses using 2 oz to 3 oz bottom bouncers in 25' to +40' of water. Most of our crew used bait casters spooled with heavy braid (I used 50 lbs Power Pro braid) tied direct to the bottom bouncer. From there we used various worm harnesses with different size blades such as Mack Lures smile blades or #6 Colorado blades. Blade colors didn't seem to matter as not one color(s) seemed to have an advantage over others. I tended to use bluegill or shad colored harnesses in attempt to mimmic forage fish. We trolled shallower shelves around the 30' range with close access to deep water drop offs at .8 to 1.2 mph.
Using bottom bouncers takes work as you must be a graph watcher and constantly adjusting your depth by reeling in line or letting more line out as you troll over the ever changing bottom depth. Dragging a bottom bouncer will guarantee lost gear. With my set up I was able to guesstimate the position/depth of my bottom bouncer by watching my graph and was able to reel in line as my bottom bouncer travel uphill and let line out as the depth dropped off. There were many spots we trolled where the shallower ledges would sharply drop off into deep water (+150'). We caught many Walleye by watching for this drop off and releasing our reel's spool (which is why I use a bait caster thumbing the spool) allowing the bait to fall over the ledge into deep water.
We also caught many Walleye by casting the rock rubble shore with 5/8 oz lead head jigs with a 5" Yamamoto single tailed grub in pumpkin color. Jigs were ALWAYS tipped with a small piece of nightcrawler.
The most productive areas for us were from the island outside Hall's Creek to Warm Springs. Walleye catch rate for those that went south didn't come close to those that went north. As mentioned in other posts, the water color become slightly stained to the north. We caught all our Walleye along the main channel or the entrance to different canyons as we didn't catch any Walleye very far back into the canyons. Mouths of canyons that produced for us were Warm Springs, Cedar, Knowles, Forgotten and Crystal. Trolling around the island outside Hall's Creek also produced along with the fingers & drop offs that are across the main channel from the Hall's Marina along the western edge of Bullfrog Bay.
Thank you to all that post your own fishing reports and Thank You to Wayne for such a great website & resource.....
May 9, 2016 - Halls to Good Hope bass
We fished in your backyard last week, selecting the best weather days from Tuesday- Thursday. Upon arrival at Bullfrog on Tuesday, we quickly adjusted our attire, prepped the boat, and hit the lake for some afternoon fishing....
Tuesday afternoon- We stuck around Bullfrog Bay, fishing from the back of the canyon to the mouth of the bay. Fishing was spotty, but when we sighted beds, we could pick-up both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The highest concentrations of beds were on the north shore, with southern exposure. We caught fish on Yamamoto grubs in watermelon and drop shot rigs with KVD minnows or Zoom worms. Water temps up to 67F.
Wednesday- We fished uplake, and started trolling near the Tapestry Wall. We caught some stripers and a few walleye trolling cranks like Wally Divers (black/silver, orange peel) and Berkley Flicker Shads (red shad, chartreuse/white). Speed was 3.2mph, but we also caught fish on the outside of turns. We left there and headed uplake to Good Hope to pitch jigs along shore. We caught some smallmouth bass and a surprise carp, but fishing was spotty. The next stop was the mouth of Red Canyon where there was a significant color change (pea green). We trolled the transition using the same gear as above, catching another half dozen stripers. Some were yearlings, even really small ones, only about 8-inches in length. All were healthy though, even the 3-4lbers. I was pretty surprised at the two smaller stripers, which seemed really small for a yearling. From there we bounced downlake, hitting a canyon here and there, finding some bass, crappie, and sunfish on a variety of jigs. We saw water temps climb to 69F.
Thursday- We received a good report of crappies in Halls Creek and gave it a try. We only boated a couple in the old cottonwood forest, but they were good ones. Later on in the day, we ran into the same angler that shared his report, and he also noted slower crappie fishing. We boated some nice largemouth and a couple smallmouth in Halls too.
The wind picked up, so we headed to Moki Canyon, starting in the backs and fishing pockets all the way out. The pockets were talus slopes among slickrock walls. This proved very productive and we caught up to 30 fish in just a couple hours, including: walleye, stripers, largemouth, and predominantly smallmouth bass. Jigs were the ticket, 1/4oz heads with watermelon Yamamotos. The storms and need to get a decontamination before departure cut our "fun run" short, but it was great to end on a really high note. Though it was cloudy most of the day, we saw water temps up to 68F.
Other than the smaller than usual yearling stripers, the only other surprise was the abundance of spawning gizzard shad and carp. I even saw gizzards chasing lures and bass off nests. I don't recall seeing that behavior in them before, but it might be my timing. Many of the anglers we spoke to were seeing similar trends in catch rates too.
Hope that helps some. Thanks a bunch for all your hard work which gives us an exceptional starting point for last minute trips like this one!