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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

70-75 F

June 13, 2019



June 12, 2019 - Slurping stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 12, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water temperature:  70-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

 

We went to Bullfrog on Monday to complete a work assignment, which was to collect 200 surface feeding striped bass.  These captured fish are destined to be brood fish used to create hybrid stripers. We chose this date months ago, based on previous fish reports, which indicated slurping stripers would begin feeding on the surface during the first week of June.   The report strategy worked great as we caught 100 surface feeding (slurping) stripers from dawn until 10 AM on Monday and Tuesday.

Stripers find small schools of shad (less than inch long) on the surface in areas where gizzard shad spawn.  These small shad, bunch up, are surrounded and attacked by hungry stripers. The event is names “slurps” because tiny shad cannot swim fast enough to elude the attacking fish. Schooling stripers surround the shad school and leisurely gulp down as many shad as possible.  Anglers observing the shad feast only see a small surface disturbance and an occasional fish head skimming the surface.

Binging stripers are prone to eat something larger than a tiny shad. If a “large shad” swims by (small rattletrap, spoon, or surface lure), the closest striper can be distracted and hit your lure. The trick is to cast just beyond the feeding school and reel the lure back through the skirmish line.  Usually only one fish is caught from a slurp. Two fish is a bonus.  That is not a problem because the stripers go down, regroup and come right back up under another shad school. On our trip, the wait was often less than a minute with the school coming up again, not very far away.  We ran the big motor close enough to get off another cast and catch another fish. This is an exciting way to catch stripers.  Surprisingly the little foreheads seen sticking out of the water belonged to very healthy 2-3 pound stripers.

Slurps were found uplake as far as Moki Canyon. We did not go uplake further due to a heavy mudline with lots of floating debris. There were slurps in the main channel all day long from Moki Canyon to Rock Creek.  The heaviest concentration of slurping fish were found at Annies Canyon to Rincon where another water color change occurred from murky to clear.  The next giant concentration of stripers was at the mouth of the San Juan. Slurping schools were seen as far downlake as Rock Creek, Dove Canyon, and Dominguez Butte (floating restroom).

Smallmouth Bass fishing is still slower than usual with smallmouth holding on rocky habitat found a week ago, that is now over 20 feet deep.  Largemouth bass are doing fine hiding in the newly submerged tumbleweeds in the backs if canyons and coves. Walleye are deeper than usual because of the fast rising water levels.

The good news is that the Castle Rock Cut is almost 10 feet deep.  Antelope Point public launch ramp will be open soon, The inflowing river water exceeds 134,000 acre feet. Perhaps the best news for anglers is that the Wahweap Fish Cleaning Station is now open.

Life is good at Lake Powell!

 

 

New Wayneswords.net

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There are still many of the long term members that read this fish report that are not signed up on the New Wayneswords.net website. I talked to a fisherman this week who said the new webiste is very confusing. Nothing is in order and it is really hard to find anything.  

The answer to that is you need to be signed in and become a member before the new site makes sense.  After joining (which is simple and easy) then the posts are in order and information easy to find.  Each day you come back you can start where you left off and see new posts that were added and which threads are actively being updated.  The fishing information and pictures are great! Simply ask a question and get many replies.

 https://wayneswords.net/threads/fishing-near-wahweap-campground.2895/

If you are houseboating and not fishing then look on the Recreation page.

Go through the table of contents on the front page by clicking on Forums and see what is offerred.  

Please give the new site another look.  I suspect that we have over 2000 previous members to WW.com that have not yet signed up. You can read the fish report on the old site but there is so much more. Give it a try. It will be worth it.  

Wayne 

 

 

June 5, 2019 - Lake rapidly rising

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 5, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3586.42
Water temperature:  68-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

The lake is coming up fast.  Castle Rock Cut now has over 6 feet of depth allowing all vessels to pass through. The Antelope Point launch ramp will open in a week or less. For those camping on the shoreline, be aware that the lake is coming up 6-inches or more per day.  Make sure your boat is retied every morning.  The rising water is also confusing some of the fish.

Stripers and shad are always in close proximity. Shad have been absent most of the winter and spring but are now reproducing in big numbers.  Our shad sampling shows good reproduction results over the length of the lake. There are tons of shad in the backs of the canyons. That means stripers are beginning to move from the main channel walls to the backs of canyons. This will take a few weeks for stripers to find shad and make the right moves.

Slurping stripers are now common in the northern lake.  The southern lake is slightly behind, but slurps are starting in the backs of most major canyons. This has caused some movement, as active stripers will now be searching for shad.  Stripers are scattered in the backs of canyons but can be seen surfacing very early in the morning. Catching topwater stripers is a good start for any fishing trip.

Rising lake levels have displaced largemouth and smallmouth bass. Largemouth want dense cover so newly submerged tumbleweeds are very welcome shelters.  Look for largemouth in new brushy cover in the backs of canyons. Smallmouth bass like rock structure so they are holding in familiar rock structure as the lake continues to rise.  Crayfish are not moving shallow as fast as the lake is rising so smallmouth bass are now deeper than expected.  Smallmouth are susceptible to the normal plastic baits, as their activity level has increased with the warming water temperature.  They will hit in shallow water near rocky habitat.  We also found them in open water while trolling along rocky shorelines.

Walleye are scattered but more aggressive as the water temperature has increased. We did not target walleye but were able to catch them while trolling and casting.  My biggest surprise came after catching a striper while trolling.  While playing that fish, I saw other fish on the graph following the striper.  When that happens, the troll-caught first fish is tossed in the cooler and a spoon deployed to catch more stripers. My spoon was inhaled by a walleye on the first bounce, on the bottom in 25 feet of water.  The best walleye baits are bottom bouncers, Ned rigs and bass jigs with a piece of night crawler attached.  Walleye will be vulnerable to daytime anglers for a few more weeks.  After that, they will revert to a nighttime shad and crayfish diet.

Our main target this week was Bluegill and Green Sunfish.  A piece of worm hooked to a tiny ice jig was a successful technique once the proper habitat was located.  With rapidly rising water, shallow rocky habitat can be covered and lose its appeal.  We looked for very tall rockslides that offered constant rocky habitat as the water level quickly rises. These tall, but narrow, rockslides worked well for sunfish and we found smallmouth bass happy to bite a worm.

The fishing trip produced a mixed bag of species caught while trolling, casting, spooning and dropping worms in shallow water. There are many options for your fishing enjoyment.

 

May 29, 2019 - Fish are Energized!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 29, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3583.42
Water temperature:  61-65 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

 

Lake Powell is three feet higher than reported in the last fish report. That is great news for all those fishing at the lake this spring, but those on the southern end are giddy because the Castle Rock Cut is now open.  Yesterday on my fish report trip, we found a few low spots in the Cut where the depth was only 1.5 feet.  We had our outboard motor elevated so it was almost at a 45-degree angle. We did not hit bottom in the shallow spots.  Since then the lake has risen another 4 inches. In another week, the shallowest spot in the Cut will be over 2.5 feet making the Cut passable for almost all vessels.

Our trip goal was to find out how fishing conditions have changed since the big cold front passed through.  We started by trolling for stripers on the Wahweap side of Castle Rock.  We caught 2 stripers in 3 short runs confirming that as a valid technique. We then tried the mouth of Labyrinth with no success in one short trolling run.  We caught another 3 stripers in 3 short runs on the east wall of Padre Canyon. Our next stop was Buoy 25 where we got a real time fish report that stripers were still hitting bait on the canyon wall. We then hit the back of Last Chance and Rock Creek and found stripers willing to hit trolled Flicker Shad (Chartruese), Lucky Craft XD 78 Pointers (Chartruese shad), and small, dark colored rattletraps. Using trolling, casting and spooning techniques, we caught 25 healthy stripers, of which only 4 were malnourished.

Uplake stripers were caught trolling in the back of Bullfrog and Halls and other canyons. Bait fishing works as well at Moki Wall and Moki Canyon, Lake Canyon, mouth of Halls Creek, and many other spots.  Bait will continue to work on the main channel walls and mouths of canyons for a few more weeks.

The most exciting report of the week is that stripers are beginning to “slurp” on larval shad in Moki Canyon and many other canyons in the northern lake. Newly hatched shad are just learning how to swim near the surface.  Stripers form a line, swim through the floating shad school and slurp shad off the surface. Their surface disturbance is visible from about 100 yards away. Cast small surface lures to the side of the slurper line or to individual fish that are breaking ranks with the main body of their cohorts.  These individuals are looking for a new target while the school feeding in formation is only interested in eating small shad. Stripers will now regain their health since shad are now available for a daily meal.

Smallmouth bass fishing slowed down with the cold, rainy weather but will now peak as the water temperature climbs from 60 to 70F in the next week. Ned rigs, single and double tail grubs, square bill crankbaits and a variety of other plastic lures based on your personal preference will work great this week as bass are re-energized with warming conditions.  Largemouth bass will follow suit but they will be parked in the tumbleweed piles that have recently gone underwater.

Walleye are energized, as well, by the warming water as they search for food at 15-20 feet.  Crayfish colored Ned Rigs fished very slowly along 15-foot flat shelves have been the most dependable presentation so far this spring.  Add a piece of worm to increase your confidence in catching these toothy predators.  Keep all the walleye you want as there is no limit on walleye and they are harder to catch in the summer months. This is prime time.

Bluegill and green sunfish will be easy to catch on tiny ice jigs with a piece of worm around shallow brush and rocks in the warming water.  Bluegill will also use your houseboat for shade and can be caught by children off the back of the boat.

So take your pick of which species to chase. Fishing at Lake Powell will be supercharged this week with the warming weather.

 

May 22, 2019 - Cold and rainy

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 22, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3580
Water temperature:  60-65F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

The last report was all about spawning potential of Lake Powell fish in warming water. Then the temperature dropped, the rain fell and the wind blew.  Spawning will eventually happen but it was delayed for at least a week or more by the weather change.

As the water cools there will be fewer bass guarding nests but more bass and other fish in deeper water. The lake is now rising at a rate of 3-6 inches per day. Lures that have been effective this spring will continue to work. Just slow down the presentation and work the lure into deeper water to find fish.  Ned rigs, single and double tailed grubs, and shad shaped worms will still be the most effective lures, but crankbaits cast and trolled in deeper water will be a good way to find bass that are on the move in these changing lake level conditions.  Watch for weeds and rocks that were recently submerged that may provide a new brush or rock shelter for bass and other fish.

Striped bass schools have not moved, and remain along the steep canyon walls.  Those anglers that are chumming and using bait along the walls will still find many fish willing to hit bait.  The hot spots include:  Dam (West wall),  Buoy 3,  Navajo Canyon (points after the double islands and further back in the main canyon), Labyrinth Wall, Buoy 25 (coves and wall), and Grotto Canyon.

Fly fishing for stripers along the east canyon walls in the early morning continues as the spawning congregations gather waiting for the temperature surge that will cause nightly spawning.

Bait fishing for stripers is picking up dramatically in the Bullfrog area. Most of the canyons above and below Bullfrog Bay will have a school of stripers holding right at the intersection of the canyon and the main channel. Chum with anchovies to get the school started and then enjoy the action for the next hour or more.

Walleye are hungry and willing to eat slow trolled lures, plastic ned rigs fished very slowly on the bottom, and bait following a bottom bouncer.  The muddy runoff has made the northern lake very brown but reports coming in say that when fishing for walleye in areas with 1-2 feet of visibility the catch rate can be quite good.

Fishing success will heat up with the warming water temperatures forecast for next week.  Stripers will go into spawning mode after Memorial Day.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass will spawn one more time with warming water.  Bluegill and green sunfish will start nest building the first week of June.

There are some really good fishing events forecast for the coming weeks.
 
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