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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

78-82 F

September 5, 2019

June 15, 2011 - First Boils!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 15, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3635           
Water Temperature 67-73 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

682011groupMy weekly fishing report trip was extremely informative.  It began by trying to duplicate some great fishing reports for striper schools from the Rock Creek area.  The dawn trip from Wahweap to Rock Creek was magical with ultra calm water, clear warm water and glowing red rocks basking in the sun's first light.  Turned out that was the only redeeming factor as we found no willing fish of any species in main Rock Creek.  The first fish was caught about 9:30 AM when a walleye took a dropshot senko at 30 feet.  Shortly there after a nice striper was caught trolling in the back of Dry Rock Creek.  This morning lull was a mystery to me until last night when the huge full moon came up, reminding me that fish prowl at night during the full moon and take the next morning off. Fishing success increases throughout the day and peaks in the evening. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that fishing expertise is trumped by more important events (like full moon or weather fronts) happening in the fish world. There was some great fishing that occurred in predawn hours but I only learned about that after the fact.

andrewAt first light yesterday the first striper boils of the year were seen in Navajo Canyon. The big event occurred at the back of the canyon in muddy water where bottom depth was 15-20 feet.  A second boil event was later seen about noon near the big sand dune in clear water. Stripers were caught on surface lures, spoons and rattletraps in both surface feeding events. Boil season is now open for business and will happen sporadically lakewide for the rest of the summer.  For now look in the backs of canyons at dusk, middday and dawn where most shad spawning occurs and small shad are present in large numbers. Both boils and slurps were seen with large fish caught in both events on spoons and rattletraps fished under the surface action.

connerOn my return from the non event in Rock Creek we found fishing success gradually improved as we got closer to Wahweap. As moon effect lessened fish were more eager to respond. Smallmouth bass yearlings were holding on deep water edges on open water reefs.  Bass were consistently found on the main channel side of the reef and absent from the side closer to shore.

dtribbleboysOur fishing prowess improved dramatically as we arrived at the power plant intake.  A bit of chum ignited a school and many stripers were caught in short order in shallow water.  My best technique in this situation was to use a circle hook with no weight allowing the bait to sink to 12-15 feet before the next fish hit.




Moved on to Buoy 3 and found stripers catchable but at a much slower rate than at the intake. Fish were deeper here and the short shanked jig head with a small grub tipped with anchovy bait was very effective. The big difference between the two spots was the condition of fish. Many fish caught at the intake were thin with only an occasional fat fish. It seemed that the last month of constant catching has removed most of the thin fish from Buoy 3 while many remain in spots less popular.  Boat traffic made holding position near the intake difficult while Buoy 3 was a calm experience except for one tour boat wake. We finished up at Buoy 1 by chumming a few chunks of bait and catching another 6 fish in short order.

Our trip was typical. We went out expecting a certain outcome and came back with a report much different than expected.  There are always fish to catch on this beautiful lake. On some days it just takes longer to find them.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 July 2011 19:07

June 8, 2011 - Transiiton Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 8, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3628            
Water Temperature 64-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

bryanbecksteadLake Powell has risen 6 feet since last weeks report.  Water temperature has gone up 5 degrees.  These massive changes really impact fishing success. Its not that fish quit biting but rather the changing lake makes fish more difficult to locate each day. They change position daily to find the right combination of temperature, light and depth. The good news is that once found, fish are very cooperative.  It just takes some effort and understanding to get on the same wavelength with the fish.

danowellStriped bass are still hanging out along main channel canyon walls from Wahweap to Bullfrog and beyond. They are a bit more hesitant to bite so it takes much more chumming with anchovies to get a school going and to keep them under the boat. Catch has diminished to 20-30 fish per trip instead of the 100 fish trips reported earlier in the year. Trolling success has declined as fish are deeper than they were making it necessary to troll in deeper water.

Cooler spring temperatures have kept stripers in the main channel and the 30-60 foot strata at the backs of canyons where they will remain until shad schools entice them to come to the surface later in the month. There has been a noticeable change in school structure as school size is increasing with fewer scattered fish seen. That makes finding striper schools on the graph easier but it makes it more important to find the school before investing large amounts of chum.  Continue to fish at the dam, Buoy 3, Navajo Canyon, shallow rocky ledges jutting into the main channel, Lake Canyon, and Red Canyon.

braydenBass fishing is still about finding the right habitat and depth. My best advice is to search the shoreline for bassy looking structure such as chunk rock, trees or points.  The key difference is to get near the habitat but instead of casting to shore drop the bait directly under the boat to a depth of 25-30 feet. Let the bait rest on bottom or drift slowly with the boat.  Bass will pause while looking at the stationary bait and then hit after thorough investigation.  It's hard to fish slowly enough. The best rigging techniques are drop-shot and Carolina rigs which feature a free floating bait suspended just above the bottom.

shellywaeOne of the best ways to catch fish now is to use a large night crawler or plastic bait on a drop shot rig at 30-40 feet. Walleye are deeper but still being caught in good numbers.  Work the worm slowly along the bottom early in the morning or late in the evening to capture these tasty but elusive fish. Slow trolling with a bottom bouncing weight and worm harness with night crawler attached is working very well lakewide.  

Live worms on small hooks used along steep rocky shorelines are a good way to catch the underutilized bluegill and green sunfish that are abundant but seldom caught.  Sunfish are fun to catch for kids of all ages and provide a tasty meal. They will often use a houseboat for shade. Sunfish get excited about eating when the prop wash from a boat maneuvering to park stirs up the bottom. Give sunfish a try near your camp. Catfish are there too just waiting to come to dinner.

June 1, 2011 - Bullfrog Stripers Start!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 1, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3622            
Water Temperature 60-65 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  


kobybigThe big news this week is that stripers are now being caught in big numbers at the mouth of Lake Canyon.  Stripers have been slow to start this spring in the mid lake area but now it appears that has changed.  It is likely that the mouth of other canyons including Annies, Slick Rock and Iceberg would have similar concentrations of large stripers willing to hit bait. In other late developing years stripers have been found along the walls downstream from Halls Creek all the way to Lake Canyon.  Catch rate is increasing just inside the mouth of Moki where the canyon intersects with the main channel.  Smaller stripers are being caught in Halls Creek using crappie jigs near the surface in open water.

kobyposeAnglers are catching hundreds of fish using standard bait fishing techniques that have worked so well at Wahweap this spring. It has just taken longer for stripers near Bullfrog to move to the main channel and then be located by anglers.  But the wait is now over and striper fishing midlake is heating up fast. We expected striper fishing to begin later uplake but had no idea it would be June before it exploded.  

Striper fishing in the southern lake continues to amaze us with the volume of fish that are being caught on a daily basis - weather permitting.  High winds over Memorial Day weekend made fishing success marginal because calm spots were hard to find. But the seas have now calmed and fishing is picking up right where it left off. Striper fishing is excellent from Wahweap to Bullfrog.

kobylmbBass fishing continues to be good but not along the shoreline. The rapid increase in lake level floods new shoreline each day.   Smallmouth bass are now 20 feet deep making it necessary to fish deeper water. Old standard plastic grubs fished along the bottom are still very effective for catching good numbers of bass.  Largemouth are shallower. When trees are available largemouth will not leave the cover.  Each day more brush is covered allowing bass to move back into the thickets that they occupied when water was higher.

Walleye fishing continues to be exceptional.  Slow-trolled bottom bouncers weights with attached worm harness are very effective while fast trolling with diving crankbaits is working as well. Casting into murky water often produces walleye along with bass and stripers. Walleye are being caught from Good Hope Bay to Wahweap. This may be the yearly peak for walleye fishing so give it a try before success rate declines.  

perezbcCrappie fishing is winding down as spawning is now complete.  Some crappie can still be caught on small jigs trolled slowly with an electric motor or wind drift. Target the deep water side of brush thickets to find a suspended school of elusive panfish.  

Catfish are now starting to bite on a beach near your camp. Share your dinner with them and they will provide great fun for kids of all ages.  Fishing is not as fast as it was in May but the variety and chance of catching a large number of fish still exists.

May 25, 2011

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 25, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3619            
Water Temperature 60-68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

jenninixRunoff is now adding a foot of water every two days.  If camping overnight be sure to retie the boat each morning. Do not leave camp unattended for any extended amount of time. Rapidly rising water makes it harder to fish the shoreline as bass are now at least 10-15 feet deep in the vicinity of the nests they built when spawning started a month ago.  It is better strategy to fish where the shoreline is steep rather than flat. Fish at least 10 feet deep to start and ignore the shallow flats.

kristinFishing success for stripers is overdue at Bullfrog. Only a few stripers are being caught by bait fishermen uplake. Fortunately bass, crappie and walleye fishing is good. Water is murky from Bullfrog upstream.  It is not recommended that anyone fish the Hite area due to high runoff, muddy water and floating debris. The backs of the canyons in the northern lake are fishable but no reports are coming from that area.  

perezbcAnglers in the southern lake have big smiles as they congregate at the fish cleaning station each afternoon to process their 20-50 fish catch for the day. Hungry stripers are caught on cut anchovy bait in the main channel from the dam to many locations upstream. Some of the most consistent spots are Dam, Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon (points protruding into channel), Gunsight, Last Chance Rock Creek.

There was one group of anglers that were not smiling as they caught only one striper after two days of fishing. They showed me their fishing rigs including braided line without any leader and snelled hooks on 20 pound test monofilament. Stripers are sight feeders. They can see braided line and heavy monofilament. Finesse fishing (bait) success increases dramatically when using fluorocarbon line or light test monofilament leader above the baited hook. Reaction fishing with straight braid works but bait fishing with this handicap brings poor results.

raynopattyWe found it interesting this week that our anchovy bait on a ¼ ounce jig head was being hammered unmercifully near the surface on a trip to Navajo Canyon but only a few small fish were caught. Most of the time the bait was knocked off the hook and no fish were caught. We changed our technique to accommodate the smaller fish and went crappie fishing….for stripers. We downsized to 1/8 ounce crappie jigs with a 2" chartreuse grub tipped with a tiny piece of bait. Little stripers (10-18 inches) were then caught every cast for 2 hours.  If the bait came off, stripers ate the swimming grub almost as well.   This was a neat change of pace that targeted stripers in the best condition. Of the 70 fish caught 10 were adults and 60 juveniles.  Larger stripers are not as prime and the little fish are easier to fillet and better to eat. Remember to put harvested fish on ice now. Don't leave them on a stringer in the warm water as condition deteriorates in a hurry in warm weather.  

Walleye and crappie are still being caught.  Pick your spot. Striper fishing is better at Wahweap while bass and walleye success rate is higher at Bullfrog/Halls.

May 18, 2011 - Mixed bag

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 18, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3616            
Water Temperature 59 - 68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

brianbarsnessLake level is rising 2 feet per week now but that will soon grow to 4-5 feet per week.  Runoff is coming at high levels and will continue to run strong from now though July. Expect to see the lake rise to the highest level in this decade by mid summer. The Castle Rock Cut is now open to all boats. This short cut on the southern end saves boaters headed uplake much time and gas.

Anglers are having great success over the length of the lake. At Wahweap the fish cleaning station looks like a rock concert each afternoon with anglers standing in line to process hundreds of striped bass. These hungry fish are caught on cut anchovy bait and scented plastic lures fished in the main channel from the dam to many locations upstream. Some of the most consistent spots are Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon (points protruding into channel), Gunsight, Last Chance Rock Creek, Forbidding Canyon (first canyon on the left).

dennisThe million dollar fish contest is in full swing as 15 tagged stripers continue to swim waiting to be captured and turned in for prizes.  The first tagged fish was captured on May 16 in the main channel near Buoy 3.

Walleye are garnering much attention. These fish are hard to catch most of the time but are vulnerable in May due to warming water and low forage conditions. Trolling black and white Wally diver crank baits is very effective in 8-15 feet of colored water near the back of the canyon or on wind washed banks and coves.

bassman9Largemouth spawning is complete but large bass still frequent the brush piles. It helps that the rising lake is covering much more brush allowing more largemouth habitat to get wet.  Look for largemouth in any thick brush pile. Use weedless lures that can be retrieved in brush for best results.

Smallmouth are very active now with fish of all sizes found along rocky points, ledges and terraces. Plastic tubes and grubs are preferred baits fished along the bottom in 3 to 30 feet of water.  

Crappie are in the thickest brush found in the backs of the canyons. Pull the boat into the thicket and drop a crappie jig straight down through the limbs to contact hungry crappie just completing the spawning act.  

ryancrappieThe beauty of fishing in May is the ability to use one lure, such as a plastic grub or tube, and catch largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, walleye, stripers, sunfish and catfish along one shoreline expanse. Fishing is at its spring peak. Shad are now spawning which will provide more food for the myriad of predators that now swim in the largest reservoir in the West. If fishing is on the list of things to do this year, now would be a good time to make that excursion to Lake Powell.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 07:33

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