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August 24, 2016 - Subtle surface action

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 24, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3614.82
Water Temperature: 78 – 80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
August striper boils continue to excite anglers over the length of Lake Powell.  There are some subtle nuances that will assist those trying to find them.
Full moon has an impact on fishing. For instance, the full moon on August 18 delayed striper boils in Good Hope Bay until 6 PM, but once they started catching was great.   The next two evenings, boils started at 4PM and provided tremendously exciting striper fishing results until dark.  Boiling stripers varied from small 12 inch fish, to mid range 14-18 inchers, with a few  in the 22-24 inch range.  During the day stripers were in deep water and could be caught trolling along the shady steep shorelines. On the 21st stripers began boiling at noon and continued until dark.
Bright nights had the same impact in the southern lake.  Scattered boils were found from Padre to Rainbow in the evening but the surface was calm during the day.  That changed on the cloudy morning of August 23rd.  Overcast skies provided stripers the desired visibility and strange surface feeding activity was found in West Canyon.  On our weekly sampling trip we noticed many single fish hitting the surface in a deep box canyon.  They were not aggressively chasing surface lures and I thought they might have been gizzard shad.  Then we put on heavy spoons that allowed us to throw long casts. When the spoon hit within the splash ring, stripers could be caught with a quick, shallow retrieve.  Twenty stripers were caught before the fish quit at 8 AM.
We caught an occasional smallmouth bass or striper while trolling, but this fishing was not as exciting as the single fish boils in the early morning hours.  We were surprised to troll up an adult bluegill on a rocky point at the mouth of West Canyon. I carry night crawlers with me in hopes of catching a walleye. I put a small split shot sinker on in front of a small #8 hook and dropped a night crawler onto the 15 foot flat where the bluegill was caught.  I was proud to catch 3 more bluegill on 3 casts. I am studying panfish to determine how their diet may change in the presence of quagga mussels.  Some mussels have been found in sunfish stomachs to date but they are only found as a small portion of stomach contents.
A bass fishermen reported a good pattern that will work lake wide.  In the spring time we look for the warmest water available to target largemouth bass.  Now, in the heat of summer, targeting the coolest water works well. These spots include long points that fall into the deep main channel.  The warm surface layer prevents bass from occupying shallow water in the backs of coves.  Fish hold deep in their comfort zone, then rise quickly to feed and retreat back to the depths. Search for bass on main channel points and use crankbaits and rattletraps to target the quick moving fish. Fish the deep water with plastic grubs on ¼ ounce jig heads.
Bait fishing for stripers is still good along steep canyon walls but as the water cools both bass and stripers will have more freedom to move throughout the water column. Expect trolling and casting to improve as water temperature drops into the low 70s.
We have confirmed a late spawn of shad so surface fishing for bass and stripers will continue into September. Shad will be small size so surface feeding will be more like slurps than boils.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 24, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3614.82

Water Temperature: 77 – 80 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

August striper boils continue to excite anglers over the length of Lake Powell.  There are some subtle nuances that will assist those trying to find them. 

Full moon has an impact on fishing. For instance, the full moon on August 18 delayed striper boils in Good Hope Bay until 6 PM, but once they started catching was great.   The next two evenings, boils started at 4PM and provided tremendously exciting striper fishing results until dark.  Boiling stripers varied from small 12 inch fish, to mid range 14-18 inchers, with a few  in the 22-24 inch range.  During the day stripers were in deep water and could be caught trolling along the shady steep shorelines. On the 21st stripers began boiling at noon and continued until dark.

alvarez22Bright nights had the same impact in the southern lake.  Scattered boils were found from Padre to Rainbow in the evening but the surface was calm during the day.  That changed on the cloudy morning of August 23rd.  Overcast skies provided stripers the desired visibility and strange surface feeding activity was found in West Canyon.  On our weekly sampling trip we noticed many single fish hitting the surface in a deep box canyon.  They were not aggressively chasing surface lures and I thought they might have been gizzard shad.  Then we put on heavy spoons that allowed us to throw long casts. When the spoon hit within the splash ring, stripers could be caught with a quick, shallow retrieve.  Twenty stripers were caught before the fish quit at 8 AM.

We caught an occasional smallmouth bass or striper while trolling, but this fishing was not as exciting as the single fish boils in the early morning hours.  We were surprised to troll up an adult bluegill on a rocky point at the mouth of West Canyon. I carry night crawlers with me in hopes of catching a walleye. I put a small split shot sinker on in front of a small #8 hook and dropped a night crawler onto the 15 foot flat where the bluegill was caught.  I was proud to catch 3 more bluegill on 3 casts. I am studying panfish to determine how their diet may change in the presence of quagga mussels.  Some mussels have been found in sunfish stomachs to date but they are only found as a small portion of stomach contents. 

A bass fishermen reported a good pattern that will work lake wide.  In the spring time we look for the warmest water available to target largemouth bass.  Now, in the heat of summer, targeting the coolest water works well. These spots include long points that fall into the deep main channel.  The warm surface layer prevents bass from occupying shallow water in the backs of coves.  Fish hold deep in their comfort zone, then rise quickly to feed and retreat back to the depths. Search for bass on main channel points and use crankbaits and rattletraps to target the quick moving fish. Fish the deep water with plastic grubs on ¼ ounce jig heads.  

Bait fishing for stripers is still good along steep canyon walls but as the water cools both bass and stripers will have more freedom to move throughout the water column. Expect trolling and casting to improve as water temperature drops into the low 70s. 

We have confirmed a late spawn of shad so surface fishing for bass and stripers will continue into September. Shad will be small size so surface feeding will be more like slurps than boils.

bgstbsmall

 

 

August 17, 2016 - Lakewide Boils

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 17, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3616
Water Temperature: 79 – 83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
My flat bottomed boat sprung a leak last week and prevented me from getting out on the lake. Thankfully that was quickly repaired and we went fishing on August 16th.  Missing that personal weekly lake trip left me wondering where to start and where to go on this huge lake. That reminded me how a summer visitor feels when coming to Lake Powell for an infrequent trip.  So I went to Wayneswords.com and asked for information.  Fishing reports are scarce in the heat of summer when recreation is the main reason to be on the lake.  However, I know that many lake visitors fish early and late and then do water sports during the day.  So I asked the website members where to go and how to fish.  Not surprisingly, fish reports came rolling in.
Here is the summary:
Quick striper boils were common over the length of the lake. Striper schools come up fast, go down quickly and then return to the surface.  The key is to make a good guess where the next surface blast will be and move to that spot. If in casting range when the school resurfaces, catching is easy with surface lures, spoons or midrange crankbaits.  August is the most consistent month to find surface feeding fish.  That is the case in 2016.
The best boil spots were from Good Hope Bay to Hite. Northern fish stay up longer and boil more often.  Stripers boiled long and hard at Buoy 134. The main channel islands at the mouth of Scorup Canyon created a calm spot which constituently attracted surface feeding stripers. Wind was a key factor from Red Canyon to the Horn.  When windy, boils were quiet. When calm the surface blew up with hungry stripers. One day the wind was calm at the mouth of Red Canyon and the entire bay was dotted with individual stripers feeding on top. An accurate
Long cast to a splash ring caught a fish every time.  It was a great experience for those that like the challenge of casting to a single surfacing fish.
At mid lake, surface action was reported at the mouth of the Escalante and at Hole in the Rock.  The best time was again early morning and late evening in clam spots. Iceberg Canyon continues to be a go-to spot for surfacing feeding stripers. From dawn until 9 AM boils were common in the main canyon.
Evening boils were reported in the main channel upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.
Fortunately for me, boils are also going on from Rainbow Bridge to Antelope Point Marina.   I choose to follow up a report of boils in Face Canyon and stretching all the way across the main channel to Gooseneck Point. I may have arrived there too early but did not see any surfacing fish.  After years of experience, I have found that waiting for boils is not wise.  It is better to search for them because stripers and shad move each night and can be in a much different location each day.  Do not wait for boils – Go find them!
I continued traveling upstream and saw the first surface action against the shady east wall at the mouth of Rock Creek. Their behavior was, as expected, quick intense boils that lasted only a short time. But we often got close enough to cast and caught 1-3 fish from each boil.  We put over 30 fish in the ice chest from 6:30- 9 AM. When the surface action ceased we moved over to Wetherill canyon where more boils were reported. We did not see any more fish but did find the reported herd of 35 desert bighorn sheep feeding along the lake shore. This was the biggest herd of sheep I have personably seen on the lake.  Isn’t Lake Powell amazing?
Boil reports continue in the main channel from the mouth of Navajo to Antelope Point marina. These boils are early morning and late evening. One group of anglers caught 50 stripers in one 2-hour fishing trip here.
We did find some larger shad in the striper stomachs at the fish cleaning station. That indicates boils will be more aggressive as stripers try to corral a heard of shad.  They will stay up larger and be more aggressive which makes them easier for anglers to catch.
It looks like striper boils will continue for the rest of August.  Action is occurring lakewide. The best place to go is Good Hope Bay, but the rest of the lake is not bad either.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 17, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3616

Water Temperature: 79 – 83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com


brodylarsenMy flat bottomed boat sprung a leak last week and prevented me from getting out on the lake. Thankfully that was quickly repaired and we went fishing on August 16th.  Missing that personal weekly lake trip left me wondering where to start and where to go on this huge lake. That reminded me how a summer visitor feels when coming to Lake Powell for an infrequent trip.  So I went to Wayneswords.com and asked for information.  Fishing reports are scarce in the heat of summer when recreation is the main reason to be on the lake.  However, I know that many lake visitors fish early and late and then do water sports during the day.  So I asked the website members where to go and how to fish.  Not surprisingly, fish reports came rolling in.  

Here is the summary:

Quick striper boils were common over the length of the lake. Striper schools come up fast, go down quickly and then return to the surface.  The key is to make a good guess where the next surface blast will be and move to that spot. If in casting range when the school resurfaces, catching is easy with surface lures, spoons or midrange crankbaits.  August is the most consistent month to find surface feeding fish.  That is the case in 2016.

The best boil spots were from Good Hope Bay to Hite. Northern fish stay up longer and boil more often.  Stripers boiled long and hard at Buoy 134. The main channel islands at the mouth of Scorup Canyon created a calm spot which consistently attracted surface feeding stripers. Wind was a key factor from Red Canyon to the Horn.  When windy, boils were quiet. When calm the surface blew up with hungry stripers. One day the wind was calm at the mouth of Red Canyon and the entire bay was dotted with individual stripers feeding on top. An accurate long cast to a splash ring caught a fish every time.  It was a great experience for those that like the challenge of casting to a single surfacing fish. 

At mid lake, surface action was reported at the mouth of the Escalante and at Hole in the Rock.  The best time was again early morning and late evening in calm spots. Iceberg Canyon continues to be a go-to spot for surfacing feeding stripers. From dawn until 9 AM boils were common in the main canyon.

Evening boils were reported in the main channel upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.

Fortunately for me, boils are also going on from Rainbow Bridge to Antelope Point Marina.   I choose to follow up a report of boils in Face Canyon and stretching all the way across the main channel to Gooseneck Point. I may have arrived there too early but did not see any surfacing fish.  After years of experience, I have found that waiting for boils is not wise.  It is better to search for them because stripers and shad move each night and can be in a much different location each day.  Do not wait for boils – Go find them!

shuntsheepI continued traveling upstream and saw the first surface action against the shady east wall at the mouth of Rock Creek. Their behavior was, as expected, quick intense boils that lasted only a short time. But we often got close enough to cast and caught 1-3 fish from each boil.  We put over 30 fish in the ice chest from 6:30- 9 AM.

When the surface action ceased we moved over to Wetherill canyon where more boils were reported. We did not see any more fish but did find the reported herd of 35 desert bighorn sheep feeding along the lake shore. This was the biggest herd of sheep I have personably seen on the lake.  Isn’t Lake Powell amazing?

Boil reports continue in the main channel from the mouth of Navajo to Antelope Point marina. These boils are early morning and late evening. One group of anglers caught 50 stripers in one 2-hour fishing trip here.   

We did find some larger shad in the striper stomachs at the fish cleaning station. That indicates boils will be more aggressive as stripers try to corral a herd of shad.  They will stay up longer and be more aggressive which makes them easier for anglers to catch. 

It looks like striper boils will continue for the rest of August.  Action is occurring lakewide. The best place to go is Good Hope Bay, but the rest of the lake is not bad either.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 10:12
 

August 9, 2016 - Boils and Graphs

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3617
Water Temperature: 80 – 86 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
I keep hoping for reports of striper boils close enough for me to find them in a one day trip from Wahweap.  The last boil reports received were almost in range. The surface in the San Juan has been quiet most of the year, but last week striper boils erupted. Surface action was found in the main channel near the mouth of the San Juan and in the San Juan arm as far uplake as the entrance to the Great Bend. The strong boils in Good Hope Bay the previous week calmed down which seems to be the pattern.  As soon as the fish report says they are boiling in Good Hope that changes to a new location. So the last good reports were from the San Juan. Now you have to choose where they might come up next.
I do know that our recent mid water trawl samples found mostly gizzard and a few threadfin shad in the Bullfrog area. Shad numbers in the San Juan (Piute Canyon) and Good Hope Bay were similar while Wahweap Bay came in a distant fourth.   This information suggests that searching for boils each morning and evening near Bullfrog would be a rewarding experience.
The warm cap on the lake still impacts adult stripers.  They can make a quick trip to the surface and catch a few shad but then have to dive quickly to deep, cool water. Adult fish boils will be quick.  Prolonged surface action will likely feature juvenile stripers that can stay in the warm surface water full time. Personally, I am very happy to find, catch and keep small stripers that are easy to fillet and great to eat.
Deep stripers that have had a recent shad meal are always susceptible to spoons.  Striper schools hold on the bottom, usually on elevated structure such as the top of a submerged rock pile or  on the breaking edge of an underwater cliff where depth increases quickly from 30 feet to 50 feet or deeper.  While graphing, I keep a spoon in hand and drop it as soon as a school is seen on the graph. As the spoon descends I stop the boat to try to stay over the school. Recently these school fish are quick to hit the spoon the first time it enters the school.
In the southern lake where shad are not abundant, adult stripers hold at 30 feet.  They periodically search shallower water for shad, crayfish or sunfish.  These fish are best targeted with bait fished at 30-50 feet.  Steep canyons walls (near a shallow rocky area) from Warm Creek to Rainbow Bridge are the summer home for huge numbers of stripers. Try 3 different spots on any shady canyon wall and it is likely that you will find stripers in short order.
Walleye are caught sporadically along with largemouth bass.  Fish deep water for walleye and brushy coves for largemouth. Smallmouth bass are found in deep water as well except at dusk and dawn when they are susceptible to surface lures.
Panfish are hiding in shallow weed beds and are very willing to eat small live worms on tiny hooks as they shade up under your fishing boat.
Fishing is still great if you fish deep water during the day or in shallow areas during low light.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3617

Water Temperature: 80 – 86 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

slurps622cI keep hoping for reports of striper boils close enough for me to find them in a one day trip from Wahweap.  The last boil reports received were almost in range. The surface in the San Juan has been quiet most of the year, but last week striper boils erupted. Surface action was found in the main channel near the mouth of the San Juan and in the San Juan arm as far uplake as the entrance to the Great Bend. The strong boils in Good Hope Bay the previous week calmed down which seems to be the pattern.  As soon as the fish report says they are boiling in Good Hope that changes to a new location. So the last good reports were from the San Juan. Now you have to choose where they might come up next.  

I do know that our recent mid water trawl samples found mostly gizzard and a few threadfin shad in the Bullfrog area. Shad numbers in the San Juan (Piute Canyon) and Good Hope Bay were similar while Wahweap Bay came in a distant fourth.   This information suggests that searching for boils each morning and evening near Bullfrog would be a rewarding experience. 

The warm cap on the lake still impacts adult stripers.  They can make a quick trip to the surface and catch a few shad but then have to dive quickly to deep, cool water. Adult fish boils will be quick.  Prolonged surface action will likely feature juvenile stripers that can stay in the warm surface water full time. Personally, I am very happy to find, catch and keep small stripers that are easy to fillet and great to eat.

graphgw3Deep stripers that have had a recent shad meal are always susceptible to spoons.  Striper schools hold on the bottom, usually on elevated structure such as the top of a submerged rock pile or  on the breaking edge of an underwater cliff where depth increases quickly from 30 feet to 50 feet or deeper.  While graphing, I keep a spoon in hand and drop it as soon as a school is seen on the graph. As the spoon descends I stop the boat to try to stay over the school. Recently these school fish are quick to hit the spoon the first time it enters the school. 

In the southern lake where shad are not abundant, adult stripers hold at 30 feet.  They periodically search shallower water for shad, crayfish or sunfish.  These fish are best targeted with bait fished at 30-50 feet.  Steep canyons walls (near a shallow rocky area) from Warm Creek to Rainbow Bridge are the summer home for huge numbers of stripers. Try 3 different spots on any shady canyon wall and it is likely that you will find stripers in short order.  

Walleye are caught sporadically along with largemouth bass.  Fish deep water for walleye and brushy coves for largemouth. Smallmouth bass are found in deep water as well except at dusk and dawn when they are susceptible to surface lures.

Panfish are hiding in shallow weed beds and are very willing to eat small live worms on tiny hooks as they shade up under your fishing boat.  

Fishing is still great if you fish deep water during the day or in shallow areas during low light.

Looking for a good bait to "match the shad hatch"  Try this- 

bait_zpsjkls4t7z

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 August 2016 12:30
 

August 3. 2016 - Go Deep!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 3, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3617
Water Temperature: 80 – 86 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Last week the suggested fishing spot was “Go North”.  That is still good advice. This week with surface water temperatures climbing into the mid 80s the suggested “Hot” spot is “Go Deep”.  A walleye report just received indicates the walleye was caught at a depth of 50 feet.  Smallmouth fishing has slowed but these fish are still available at 25 feet and deeper.  Stripers are holding at 30 feet or deeper.  All of the species that prefer water temperatures in the 70s are forced into deeper water to find their comfort zone.
Here is the breakdown by species:
Striped Bass: Stripers love shad.  Shad love warm shallow water that is enriched with plankton. Shad would prefer to hold in 75 degree water but that depth zone is overpopulated with predators.  Shad then stay on the surface and move toward the brush line where it is possible to move into the brush when danger threatens.  Adult stripers are forced into deep water because after they mature their body can only withstand 80 degree water for a few minutes. They can attack a shallow shad school, grab a bite to eat, but then must quickly dive to cooler water.  This is synonymous with humans snorkeling. We can dive into deep water while holding our breath but must soon surface to take another breath.
Striper surface activity seen yesterday lasted less than a minute.  In one Padre Bay location, a striper school surfaced many times but only for 30 seconds per trip.  When close to the rising fish, catching was easy.  If we had to run toward the school there was no surface catching.  The simple answer to this dilemma was to use a medium size spoon that could be cast 50 yards to reach surface feeding fish or dropped toward the bottom to chase fish that were diving for cooler water.   One resting school was graphed on the bottom at 55 feet. They responded quickly to spoons. Three fish were caught before the school vacated the spot.
The most effective fishing method for stripers is to use bait while chumming along steep canyon walls.  Not surprisingly, these adult fish are holding at 30 feet which provides a comfortable temperature while they wait for food to descend from above. Productive fishing spots included: Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, East side of Padre Bay, Mouth of Padre Canyon, and the west wall between Wetherill and Cornerstone Canyon (fish the lighter grey wall instead of the colorful red wall.)
Walleye:  Prefer cooler water but will come shallow in low light and at night. Use night crawlers on bottom bouncers or added to single tail grubs that can be worked slowly along the bottom.  Walleye are not a schooling fish but they congregate in the same areas. When one is caught by any means, mark the location and return to capture site to target more.   Sometimes a walleye is caught trolling. That catch may mark the spot where many more can be found using many different walleye fishing techniques.
Largemouth bass are brush loving fish and will be in brush despite water temperature.  If an old tumble weed pile is available in deeper, cooler water that is the preferred habitat. Smallmouth bass like rock structure, so they can be anywhere in this lake. With shallow shad being present, the best smallmouth technique now is to use topwater lures at dusk and dawn each day.
Bluegill love the brushy coves with tumbleweeds windrowed at the base of the tamarisk forest at the waters edge. Small worms on small hooks make for a perfect match for the bold attitude of these aggressive panfish.  Kids and bluegill were made for each other.
It’s hot, but fish can still be caught.  Try fishing early in the morning when it’s cool and then use the wakeboards and PWCs for the rest of the day.  Have a great trip to Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 3, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3617 

Water Temperature: 80 – 86 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

walleyecaughttubeLast week the suggested fishing spot was “Go North”.  That is still good advice. This week with surface water temperatures climbing into the mid 80s the suggested “Hot” spot is “Go Deep”.  A walleye report just received indicates the walleye was caught at a depth of 50 feet.  Smallmouth fishing has slowed but these fish are still available at 25 feet and deeper.  Stripers are holding at 30 feet or deeper.  All of the species that prefer water temperatures in the 70s are forced into deeper water to find their comfort zone.

Here is the breakdown by species:

Striped Bass: Stripers love shad.  Shad love warm shallow water that is enriched with plankton. Shad would prefer to hold in 75 degree water but that depth zone is overpopulated with predators.  Shad then stay on the surface and move toward the brush line where it is possible to move into the brush when danger threatens.  Adult stripers are forced into deep water because after they mature their body can only withstand 80 degree water for a few minutes. They can attack a shallow shad school, grab a bite to eat, but then must quickly dive to cooler water.  This is synonymous with humans snorkeling. We can dive into deep water while holding our breath but must soon surface to take another breath.  
Striper surface activity seen yesterday lasted less than a minute.  In one Padre Bay location, a striper school surfaced many times but only for 30 seconds per trip.  When close to the rising fish, catching was easy.  If we had to run toward the school there was no surface catching.  The simple answer to this dilemma was to use a medium size spoon that could be cast 50 yards to reach surface feeding fish or dropped toward the bottom to chase fish that were diving for cooler water.   One resting school was graphed on the bottom at 55 feet. They responded quickly to spoons. Three fish were caught before the school vacated the spot.

fattystbThe most effective fishing method for stripers is to use bait while chumming along steep canyon walls.  Not surprisingly, these adult fish are holding at 30 feet which provides a comfortable temperature while they wait for food to descend from above. Productive fishing spots included: Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, East side of Padre Bay, Mouth of Padre Canyon, and the west wall between Wetherill and Cornerstone Canyon (fish the lighter grey wall instead of the colorful red wall.)

Walleye:  Prefer cooler water but will come shallow in low light and at night. Use night crawlers on bottom bouncers or added to single tail grubs that can be worked slowly along the bottom.  Walleye are not a schooling fish but they congregate in the same areas. When one is caught by any means, mark the location and return to capture site to target more.   Sometimes a walleye is caught trolling. That catch may mark the spot where many more can be found using many different walleye fishing techniques. 

Largemouth bass are brush loving fish and will be in brush despite water temperature.  If an old tumble weed pile is available in deeper, cooler water that is the preferred habitat. Smallmouth bass like rock structure, so they can be anywhere in this lake. With shallow shad being present, the best smallmouth technique now is to use topwater lures at dusk and dawn each day. 

Bluegill love the brushy coves with tumbleweeds windrowed at the base of the tamarisk forest at the waters edge. Small worms on small hooks make for a perfect match for the bold attitude of these aggressive panfish.  Kids and bluegill were made for each other. 

It’s hot, but fish can still be caught.  Try fishing early in the morning when it’s cool and then use the wakeboards and PWCs for the rest of the day.  Have a great trip to Lake Powell.

bgl

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 09:05
 

July 26, 2016 - Go North for Topwater

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 26, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3619
Water Temperature: 79 - 83F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
If planning a fishing trip to Lake Powell the best advice is Go North!  Fishing is awesome, incredible and just about any other exciting expressive term may be used. The best spots are from Bullfrog to Hite.  I will present details later but just wanted to get that out there.
If you are committed to a southern lake trip and it’s too late to switch, you can still catch fish and lots of them. The differentiation between north and south lake fishing is technique.  North is TOPWATER and spoon fishing while southern lake fish are eating bait. So take your pick.
If launching from Wahweap or Antelope Point the best fishing is now found from Padre Bay to Rock Creek and beyond.  The good bait spots close to the marinas are still producing but at a smaller, slower rate than last month.  Now the key to finding a deep striper school is to find a major rock structure that extends out from the middle or at the end of a steep cliff wall.   Stripers suspend at 30-40 feet over a  200 feet or deeper bottom and then periodically search shallower rocky flats or structures to find sunfish and crayfish.
These spots produced big catches recently:
Rock Creek - last steep cliff on the left side near the back of the canyon; 3 coves starting at the restroom cove and then those coves in order on the same side when moving toward the back of the canyon.  Look for the steep walls with a shallow structure nearby.
Last Chance -   Same steep structure with isolated shallow structure.  White Rock slide on the right side about 3 or 4 coves toward the back of the canyon.
Padre Bay  - Shady east side in the morning.  The steep cliff on the east shoreline is interrupted by a large cove in the middle of the cliff wall. On the left of the cove look for a big rockslide that leads down to a slick rock point which is the first hot spot.  In the middle cove is a short canyon, with high walls that I call Secret Canyon, 2nd hot spot. The 3rd hotspot is along the right side of the big cove where a rocky butte protrudes from the cliff wall.  Basically, graph and troll along the east wall until a school is seen and then use bait to catch them.
From Bullfrog north, finding stripers is a lot easier.  Head uplake early and look for striper boils. Boils were found from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte both morning and evening. When boiling, the stripers were happy to hit topwater, shallow runners, spoons etc.
These boils were not nonstop.  There were times when no surface action was seen. When this happens just look at the graph and stop over the first school of fish seen and drop spoons or swim baits.  Catching is actually quicker using spoons in deeper water although boils are the most exciting fishing done in freshwater. Unlimited fish are waiting to be caught in the northern lake by you.
As a bonus you can try for a few walleye from Bullfrog to Good Hope Bay.  One of those tasty fish may have a tag in its back which will allow you to win a prize in the Tagged Walleye contest sponsored by Utah Wildlife Resources.
The HOT (including summer weather and catching) Fishing will continue through August.  Everyone should make at least one more trip to Lake Powell this summer. There are a lot of fish just waiting for you.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 26, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3619 

Water Temperature: 79 - 86F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

bjgilliam2If planning a fishing trip to Lake Powell the best advice is Go North!  Fishing is awesome, incredible and just about any other exciting expressive term may be used. The best spots are from Bullfrog to Hite.  I will present details later but just wanted to get that out there.  

If you are committed to a southern lake trip and it’s too late to switch, you can still catch fish and lots of them. The differentiation between north and south lake fishing is technique.  North is TOPWATER and spoon fishing while southern lake fish are eating bait. So take your pick.

If launching from Wahweap or Antelope Point the best fishing is now found from Padre Bay to Rock Creek and beyond. The good bait spots close to the marinas are still producing but at a smaller, slower rate than last month.  Now the key to finding a deep striper school is to find a major rock structure that extends out from the middle or at the end of a steep cliff wall.  The end of a steep cliff wall is a great place to try. Stripers suspend at 30-40 feet over a  200 feet or deeper bottom and then periodically search shallower rocky flats or structures to find sunfish and crayfish.

These southern spots produced big catches recently: 

Rock Creek - last steep cliff on the left side near the back of the canyon; 3 coves starting at the restroom cove and then those coves in order on the same side when moving toward the back of the canyon.  Look for the steep walls with a shallow structure nearby.

Last Chance -   Same steep structure with isolated shallow structure.  White Rock slide on the right side about 3 or 4 coves toward the back of the canyon. 

buoy25bPadre Bay  - Shady east side in the morning.  The long steep cliff on the east shoreline is interrupted by a large cove in the middle of the cliff wall. On the left of the cove look for a big rockslide that leads down to a slick rock point which is the first hot spot.  In the middle cove is a short canyon, with high walls that I call Secret Canyon, 2nd hot spot. The 3rd hotspot is along the right side of the big cove where a rocky butte protrudes from the cliff wall.  Basically, graph and troll along the east wall until a school is seen and then use bait to catch them. 

From Bullfrog north, finding stripers is a lot easier.  Head uplake early and look for striper boils. Boils were found from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte both morning and evening. When boiling, the stripers were happy to hit topwater, shallow runners, spoons etc. 

These boils were not nonstop.  There were times when no surface action was seen. When this happens just look at the graph and stop over the first school of fish seen and drop spoons or swim baits.  Catching is actually quicker using spoons in deeper water although boils are the most exciting fishing done in freshwater. Unlimited fish are waiting to be caught in the northern lake by you.

wgwaeAs a bonus you can try for a few walleye from Bullfrog to Good Hope Bay.  One of those tasty fish may have a tag in its back which will allow you to win a prize in the Tagged Walleye contest sponsored by Utah Wildlife Resources. 
The HOT (including summer weather and catching) Fishing will continue through August.  

Everyone should make at least one more trip to Lake Powell this summer. There are a lot of fish just waiting for you.  You might plan a fall trip as well if you like to catch fish in the scenic wonderland where I live.

 

 

July 19, 2016 - Summertime tips

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 19, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3620
Water Temperature: 77 - 83F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Stripers have moved out of the main channel and toward the backs of canyons. The move indicates that the shad food source has been well used in open water of the channel and bays. Slurping stripers have been relentless in pursuit of small newly-hatched shad.   Those shad that have survived are seeking a sanctuary in the brush that now lines the shoreline.  Shad have a better chance of avoiding predation if there is some kind of brushy cover available. Shad are clever but stripers are hungry.  Stripers keep searching and moving until more shad are found.
The prime shad striper battleground is now found in short U-shaped coves near the main channel or main bay. Shad move into coves to look for brush while stripers guard the mouth of these coves to prevent shad from escaping. Search for striper surface activity at first light in the morning.  Top water lures are working well when any surface action is seen. Shallow running crankbaits and Kastmaster type spoons work well when cast into active boiling fish.
If surface feeding stripers are going down quickly try to locate the retreating school on the graph. These flighty fish are hungry and will eat a shad-like offering while they are down at 30 feet under the boat.   One sure fire technique is to drop a rattletrap type lure into the deep school and then reel it up through the school as the fish reorganize and get ready for the next surface burst.
Striper boil fishing is best from the San Juan north, but a slurping boil can be seen anywhere.  In the southern lake bait fishing is king. Huge catches are still being reported along main channel walls particularly where these walls meet a rockslide, rock pile or shallow boulder field. Hungry main channel stripers stay deep to stay cool but periodically come shallower (20 feet) to look for crayfish on rocky structure.
Bass fishing is slower in the heat of summer.  Largemouth bass are tucked in the comforting arms of abundant submerged brush. Smallmouth bass have gone deeper than most anglers prefer to fish. It is much better to get the bait down to 30-50 feet now than to fish along the shallow shoreline.
The surprise fish right now is the walleye.  They are still hungry despite the abundant shad spawn.  Walleye are found in the U-shaped canyons where stripers and shad are competing. They are in shallow shoreline habitat where one or two trees attract sunfish. Slow rolling crankbaits, worm-tipped plastic grubs or tubes, and slow trolled bottom bouncers with worm harnesses are all working right now.  More walleye have recently been tagged from Wahweap Bay to Dungeon Canyon in the southern lake.  The greatest numbers of tagged walleye are found near Bullfrog Bay.  Remember the tagged walleye contest is still going on and we are looking forward to awarding our second prize to the next lucky angler to catch a tagged walleye.
There are many coves now that contain tumbleweed piles, tamarisk trees and other brush.  In each of these coves a school of panfish can be found and caught.  Bluegill, and green sunfish are abundant and getting larger than in recent years.  Perhaps the sunfish in the southern lake are increasing in size due to the opportunity to eat quagga mussels. Our food habits investigations have determined that panfish are eating mussels.  These larger sunfish can be caught well on a live worm by a small child.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 19, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3620 

Water Temperature: 77 - 83F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

andrewStripers have moved out of the main channel and toward the backs of canyons. The move indicates that the shad food source has been well used in open water of the channel and bays. Slurping stripers have been relentless in pursuit of small newly-hatched shad.   Those shad that have survived are seeking a sanctuary in the brush that now lines the shoreline.  Shad have a better chance of avoiding predation if there is some kind of brushy cover available. Shad are clever but stripers are hungry.  Stripers keep searching and moving until more shad are found.

The prime shad striper battleground is now found in short U-shaped coves near the main channel or main bay. Shad move into coves to look for brush while stripers guard the mouth of these coves to prevent shad from escaping. Search for striper surface activity at first light in the morning.  Top water lures are working well when any surface action is seen. Shallow running crankbaits and Kastmaster type spoons work well when cast into active boiling fish.

stb2hungryIf surface feeding stripers are going down quickly try to locate the retreating school on the graph. These flighty fish are hungry and will eat a shad-like offering while they are down at 30 feet under the boat.   One sure fire technique is to drop a rattletrap type lure into the deep school and then reel it up through the school as the fish reorganize and get ready for the next surface burst. 

Striper boil fishing is best from the San Juan north, but a slurping boil can be seen anywhere.  In the southern lake bait fishing is king. Huge catches are still being reported along main channel walls particularly where these walls meet a rockslide, rock pile or shallow boulder field. Hungry main channel stripers stay deep to stay cool but periodically come shallower (20 feet) to look for crayfish on rocky structure. 

Bass fishing is slower in the heat of summer.  Largemouth bass are tucked in the comforting arms of abundant submerged brush. Smallmouth bass have gone deeper than most anglers prefer to fish. It is much better to get the bait down to 30-50 feet now than to fish along the shallow shoreline.

benedetto3The surprise fish right now is the walleye.  They are still hungry despite the abundant shad spawn.  Walleye are found in the U-shaped canyons where stripers and shad are competing. They are in shallow shoreline habitat where one or two trees attract sunfish. Walleye really like to eat small sunfiush.

Slow rolling spinnerbaits, worm-tipped plastic grubs or tubes, and slow trolled bottom bouncers with worm harnesses are all working right now.  More walleye have recently been tagged from Wahweap Bay to Dungeon Canyon in the southern lake.  The greatest numbers of tagged walleye are found near Bullfrog Bay.  Remember the tagged walleye contest is still going on and we are looking forward to awarding our second prize to the next lucky angler to catch a tagged walleye. 

There are many coves now that contain tumbleweed piles, tamarisk trees and other brush.  In each of these coves a school of panfish can be found and caught.  Bluegill, and green sunfish are abundant and getting larger than in recent years.  Perhaps the sunfish in the southern lake are increasing in size due to the abundant opportunity to eat quagga mussels. Our food habits investigations have determined that panfish are eating mussels.  These larger sunfish can be caught well on a live worm by a small child.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2016 10:41
 

July 13, 2016 - Tagged Walleye Caught

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 13, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3621 (Lake has Topped out)
Water Temperature: 77 - 83F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
The big news this week is that the first tagged walleye has been captured in Bullfrog Bay. It is not only possible to catch a walleye in the heat of the summer but also to capture one of the select few fish that have been tagged with red Floy tags. The attached picture shows where to look for the tag when a walleye is caught.  Jared Beckman was awarded a gift card from Sportsmans Warehouse as his prize.
If you would like to enter the contest before the next trip to Lake Powell you may do so at this website.
When a tagged walleye is caught take a picture of the fish and then a closeup of the tag number. Contact me with the tag number at 928 645 2392.  Send a fishing report indicating how and where the fish was caught. You will then receive a prize donated by Sportsmans Warehouse, Fish Tech Outfitters, Stix Market, or Berkley.
Other fish are biting as well. Bait fishing continues to provide lots of stripers for anglers using anchovies along steep canyon walls.  One consistent habitat type is a steep main channel canyon wall that ends in a shallow rocky flat or point.  Stripers hold in the deep water and then move up to shallower rocky areas to search for crayfish. Recent hotspots include Antelope Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Navajo Canyon and shady east walls in Padre Bay and Last Chance canyon. Look for the same steep walled habitat in the northern lake for fast bait fishing.
From Rock Creek to Hite, stripers are feeding on the surface and easy to find as slurping boils are often seen anytime during the day. Larger stripers have joined smaller fish in chasing small shad to the top. Surface activity is still found in the main channel but surface action is increasing along the shoreline.  We found stripers chasing shad into 2 feet of water on our sampling trip this week.  Shad were trying to find a hiding place in the brush ring that now surrounds the lake. Hopefully, some of those shad will survive to grow to a larger size and provide more forage in the fall.
Bass fishing continues to excel along the rocky shoreline. Plastic grubs, swim baits, spinner baits, and surface lures are working well.  The best topwater fishing is found at dusk and dawn while the best daytime fishing action is at 25 feet with plastic baits fished close to the bottom. A striper school chasing shad into the shallows activates the bass and increases opportunities to catch a wide variety of species. I was surprised to catch a walleye on a rattletrap while fishing the shoreline after surface feeding stripers evacuated the area.
Bluegill and green sunfish are seen much more often and their size is increasing. Look for a canyon or cove with lots of weeds.  Large schools of bluegill can be seen in shallow water hanging out in the newly submerged brush. They can be caught on tiny crappie jigs or on live worms on small hooks.  Bluegill are excellent eating fish and a lot of fun for kids to catch off the back of the boat.
Catfish are a constant visitor to sandy shore areas where houseboats can park on a sandy beach.  Catfish are best caught in the evening on hotdogs or other leftover dinner food. My favorite catfish bait is found in a striper stomach. Just open the stomach cavity of a freshly caught striper and remove the liver. Catfish just cannot get enough striper liver!  Try it.
This has been a great year for catching fish at the lake and it looks like fishing success will only improve as summer wanes.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 13, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3621 (Lake has Topped out)

Water Temperature: 77 - 83F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

The big news this week is that the first tagged walleye has been captured in Bullfrog Bay. It is not only possible to catch a walleye in the heat of the summer but also to capture one of the select few fish that have been tagged with red Floy tags. The attached picture shows where to look for the tag when a walleye is caught.  Jared Beckman was awarded a gift card from Sportsmans Warehouse as his prize. 


If you would like to enter the contest before the next trip to Lake Powell you may do so at this website.

  
http://wildlife.utah.gov/lake-powell-tagged-fish-contest.html


When a tagged walleye is caught, take a picture of the fish and then a closeup of the tag number. Contact me with the tag number at 928 645 2392.  Send a fishing report indicating how and where the fish was caught. You will then receive a prize donated by Sportsmans Warehouse, Fish Tech Outfitters, Stix Market, or Berkley. 


Other fish are biting as well. Bait fishing continues to provide lots of stripers for anglers using anchovies along steep canyon walls.  One consistent habitat type is a steep main channel canyon wall that ends in a shallow rocky flat or point.  Stripers hold in the deep water and then move up to shallower rocky areas to search for crayfish. Recent hotspots include Antelope Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Navajo Canyon and shady east walls in Padre Bay and Last Chance canyon. Look for the same steep walled habitat in the northern lake for fast bait fishing.     

From Rock Creek to Hite, stripers are feeding on the surface and easy to find as slurping boils are often seen anytime during the day. Larger stripers have joined smaller fish in chasing small shad to the top. Surface activity is still found in the main channel but surface action is increasing along the shoreline.  We found stripers chasing shad into 2 feet of water on our sampling trip this week.  Shad were trying to find a hiding place in the brush ring that now surrounds the lake. Hopefully, some of those shad will survive to grow to a larger size and provide more forage in the fall.  

Bass fishing continues to excel along the rocky shoreline. Plastic grubs, swim baits, spinner baits, and surface lures are working well.  The best topwater fishing is found at dusk and dawn while the best daytime fishing action is at 25 feet with plastic baits fished close to the bottom. A striper school chasing shad into the shallows activates the bass and increases opportunities to catch a wide variety of species. I was surprised to catch a walleye on a rattletrap while fishing the shoreline after surface feeding stripers evacuated the area.

 bgl
Bluegill and green sunfish are seen much more often and their size is increasing. Look for a canyon or cove with lots of weeds.  Large schools of bluegill can be seen in shallow water hanging out in the newly submerged brush. They can be caught on tiny crappie jigs or on live worms on small hooks.  Bluegill are excellent eating fish and a lot of fun for kids to catch off the back of the boat.    

Catfish are a constant visitor to sandy shore areas where houseboats can park on a sandy beach.  Catfish are best caught in the evening on hotdogs or other leftover dinner food. My favorite catfish bait is found in a striper stomach. Just open the stomach cavity of a freshly caught striper and remove the liver. Catfish just cannot get enough striper liver!  Try it.  

This has been a great year for catching fish at the lake and it looks like fishing success will only improve as summer wanes.

jaredbeckmanJared Beckman

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2016 09:37
 

July 6, 2016 - Another Day at the Office

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 6, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3621
Water Temperature: 79-83F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell has topped 3621 feet.  The runoff is slowing and the lake will not rise much more but the brush and trees are under water and all fish are thriving.   Rising water has picked up much driftwood and debris
Let me take you out on the lake with me today.  I had the assignment to capture 60 striped bass for disease certification. Each year our crew from the Fisheries Experiment Station (FES) in Logan, UT comes down and checks striper kidneys and spleens for any bacteria, virus, or other maladies that may be harmful to humans or would be unexpected in healthy striped bass. The number 60 is selected to provide statistical significance in the sample size taken of the lakewide population. We are happy to report that for the past 20 years striped bass disease certification reports have come back as clean and healthy.
It is not easy to collect 60 stripers on the busy July 4th week in the southern lake. Knowing this some good fishermen were invited to help us collect the needed numbers of fish. Don Randolph was asked to go to the back of Navajo Canyon where he had caught stripers quite well a few days ago.  Ray Young and Dana Andrus had caught stripers on bait in Antelope Canyon so they headed that way again. I took the FES crew in our 2 work boats with the idea to fish in Padre for slurping stripers that had been so good before the 4th.   With this crew we only needed to catch 15 fish per boat to meet our goal. That was an achievable goal.
On the way uplake we trolled in front of Castle Rock and caught our first striper, but that was the only taker. I had sent Nob Wimmer on ahead to check Warm Creek Wall to see if a school was there and willing to hit bait. We came out of Warm Creek into the main channel and saw Nob anchored in the shallow water at the end of the Warm Creek Wall. He said a school was there and willing to bite.  I took the FES crew back to the Warm Creek side of the wall, parked the boat and then walked toward Nob’s boat where we could fish from shore without worrying about boat wakes.
The 50 yard hike was interrupted by 5 or 6 birds making a real racket.  Upon closer examination we discovered a mother Peregrine falcon and some fledglings sitting on the rock walls over-looking the main channel. As we walked along the rim toward our fishing spot the falcon flock flew over and around us. It was an amazing event to be that close to these private and secretive birds.  We watched them for two minutes and then moved on. There were fish to be caught.
Warm Creek wall ends abruptly on a rock platform about 5 feet above the water near the entrance to Warm Creek Bay.  We cut up some anchovy chum and tossed it in the water. Then we put ½ of an anchovy on a 3/16th ounce football jig head and cast out to the chum line.  For the next two hours we caught stripers steadily with about one fish every 5 minutes.  Sometimes a school would come through and we caught a double or triple but at other times we would wait and almost get ready to leave before the school returned.  From 6:30 – 8:30 AM we caught 35 stripers.  The wind freshened and boat wakes increased so we headed out to see how our fishing buddies were doing.  The wind got stronger so we headed back to the prearranged rendezvous at the Wahweap Fish Cleaning Station.
The body count at the station was less than expected.  Don found wind in the back of Navajo with few fish willing to bite.  Ray and Dana did a bit better in Antelope but that school did not perform as well due to wind not allowing them to hold over a school for any length of time. The end result was a total body count of 45 stripers. That is short of the goal which means that I have to go out again and collect 15 more stripers next week to complete the survey.  It is a difficult task but I will make time to complete the project.
In other news, the walleye contest is under way and we are still waiting for that first tagged fish to be captured in the Bullfrog area.
Striper slurps and boils continue with the epicenter moving uplake to the Good Hope Bay area as the water begins to clear up as het silt settles out with less runoff coming downstream.
Bass fishing is great along the rocky shoreline.
Catfish are commonly caught while using bait to catch stripers.
Bluegill and green sunfish are commonly caught on rocky shoals on live worms and small plastic jigs.
Thanks for going along on another day at the office.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 6, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3621

Water Temperature: 79-83F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

wgshadrally12Lake Powell has topped 3621 feet.  The runoff is slowing and the lake will not rise much more but the brush and trees are under water and all fish are thriving.   Rising water has picked up much driftwood and debris.

Let me take you out on the lake with me today.  I had the assignment to capture 60 striped bass for disease certification. Each year our crew from the Fisheries Experiment Station (FES) in Logan, UT comes down and checks striper kidneys and spleens for any bacteria, virus, or other maladies that may be harmful to humans or would be unexpected in healthy striped bass. The number 60 is selected to provide statistical significance in the sample size taken of the lakewide population. We are happy to report that for the past 20 years striped bass disease certification reports have come back as clean and healthy.  

It is not easy to collect 60 stripers on the busy July 4th week in the southern lake. Knowing this some good fishermen were invited to help us collect the needed numbers of fish. Don Randolph was asked to go to the back of Navajo Canyon where he had caught stripers quite well a few days ago.  Ray Young and Dana Andrus had caught stripers on bait in Antelope Canyon so they headed that way again. I took the FES crew in our 2 work boats with the idea to fish in Padre for slurping stripers that had been so good before the 4th.   With this crew we only needed to catch 15 fish per boat to meet our goal. That was an achievable goal.

On the way uplake we trolled in front of Castle Rock and caught our first striper, but that was the only taker. I had sent Nob Wimmer on ahead to check Warm Creek Wall to see if a school was there and willing to hit bait. We came out of Warm Creek into the main channel and saw Nob anchored in the shallow water at the end of the Warm Creek Wall. He said a school was there and willing to bite.  I took the FES crew back to the Warm Creek side of the wall, parked the boat and then walked toward Nob’s boat where we could fish from shore without worrying about boat wakes.

The 50 yard hike was interrupted by 5 or 6 birds making a real racket.  Upon closer examination we discovered a mother Peregrine falcon and some fledglings sitting on the rock walls over-looking the main channel. As we walked along the rim toward our fishing spot the falcon flock flew over and around us. It was an amazing event to be that close to these private and secretive birds.  We watched them for two minutes and then moved on. There were fish to be caught.

Warm Creek wall ends abruptly on a rock platform about 5 feet above the water near the entrance to Warm Creek Bay.  We cut up some anchovy chum and tossed it in the water. Then we put ½ of an anchovy on a 3/16th ounce football jig head and cast out to the chum line.  For the next two hours we caught stripers steadily with about one fish every 5 minutes.  Sometimes a school would come through and we caught a double or triple but at other times we would wait and almost get ready to leave before the school returned.  From 6:30 – 8:30 AM we caught 35 stripers.  The wind freshened and boat wakes increased so we headed out to see how our fishing buddies were doing.  The wind got stronger so we headed back to the prearranged rendezvous at the Wahweap Fish Cleaning Station.

The body count at the station was less than expected.  Don found wind in the back of Navajo with few fish willing to bite.  Ray and Dana did a bit better in Antelope but that school did not perform as well due to wind not allowing them to hold over a school for any length of time. The end result was a total body count of 45 stripers. That is short of the goal which means that I have to go out again and collect 15 more stripers next week to complete the survey.  It is a difficult task but I will make time to complete the project.

waesampleIn other news, the walleye contest is under way and we are still waiting for that first tagged fish to be captured in the Bullfrog area.   Striper slurps and boils continue with the epicenter moving uplake to the Good Hope Bay area as the water begins to clear up as the silt settles out with less runoff coming downstream.
Bass fishing is great along the rocky shoreline.  

Catfish are commonly caught while using bait to catch stripers. 

Bluegill and green sunfish are commonly caught on rocky shoals on live worms and small plastic jigs.  

Thanks for going along on another day at the office.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2016 12:58
 

June 28, 2016 - Water rising - Conditions Changing

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 28, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3619
Water Temperature: 79-83F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell came up another 3 feet since the last report.  All fish seem to like the rising water but changing conditions are making fishing better at some locations and not as good at others.
Here is the most recent fishing schedule for midlake Bullfrog/Halls and upstream:
From first light until the sun hits the water there are lots of small slurping stripers all over the mid section of the lake.  After 8 AM with full sun on the water larger stripers join in the surface feeding action with the small slurpers. I think the larger stripers need the sunlight to be able to identify and target the small shad (less than one inch) they are pursuing. Large boils and slurps are found until about mid day when the surface action subsides.  Iceberg Canyon had some majestic boils recently.
Smallmouth bass are willing participants all day long near sloping shorelines and rock piles while larger bass are hiding under the floating debris and near submerged brush.
From noon to 5 PM, particularly in breezy areas, walleye are the most likely fish to catch.  Look for mud lines or murky water trailing off points in the Stanton Creek area.  Troll medium diver lures where bottom depth is 7-20 feet. When a walleye is hooked trolling, return to the hooking spot and try for more walleye by casting jigs and night crawlers to the capture sight or slow troll bottom bouncers and worms in the area.  From Bullfrog to Hite walleye are caught in the afternoons in murky water.
This is exciting news since the tagged walleye contest will start this week on July 1st.   Many walleye with red numbered tags in their back are now swimming in Bullfrog Bay and nearby canyons.   Catch one of these tagged fish and win prizes awarded by Sportsman’s Warehouse, Stix Market, Fish Tech and Berkeley.  You must register on line before catching the walleye to be eligible for a prize.
Fishing success around Bullfrog was slow after 5 PM earlier this week. Expect that to change soon but for now the best fishing times are early mornings for stripers and afternoons for walleye.
Wahweap to Rock Creek fishing schedule:
In the southern lake trolling for stripers works well in the morning shade of tall canyon walls on the east side of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek. Bait fishing for stripers is still excellent all day long in Navajo Canyon from the mouth to the far end.   Surface slurping activity is slowing down but still visible and fish catchable during the morning hours from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  Further upstream from Rock Creek to Escalante surface activity continues all morning long for small slurpers and the larger stripers up to 24 inches that have joined in on the feeding spree. Impatient stripers are consuming way too many tiny shad now. It would be much wiser for stripers to wait until shad were larger than 2 inches.  We can help stripers manage their resources better by chasing the slurps, making the stripers go deep and allowing some shad to escape the constant striper pursuit.
Smallmouth bass are found in the backs of canyons and coves. A slender rock slide located on a barren slick rock wall marks a location where bass, walleye and sunfish can be caught on live worms, small plastic grubs and swim baits.  In full sun look for a tall cliff wall to provide shade and then target a rockslide or a few submerged boulders to target smallmouth bass.
There are not as many walleye to be caught in the southern lake but tagged walleye are available to be caught from Warm Creek to Rock Creek.
Fishing success is surprisingly good for long, hot summer days marked with lots of boat traffic, water sports, and houseboats.  The key is to select the right location, technique and time of day to seek after your favorite species of fish.

 

walleye-sectionheader02

Lake Powell Fish Report - June 28, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3619

Water Temperature: 79-83F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

Lake Powell came up another 3 feet since the last report.  All fish seem to like the rising water but changing conditions are making fishing better at some locations and not as good at others. 

Here is the most recent fishing schedule for midlake Bullfrog/Halls and upstream:

From first light until the sun hits the water there are lots of small slurping stripers all over the mid section of the lake.  After 8 AM with full sun on the water larger stripers join in the surface feeding action with the small slurpers. I think the larger stripers need the sunlight to be able to identify and target the small shad (less than one inch) they are pursuing. Large boils and slurps are found until about mid day when the surface action subsides.  Iceberg Canyon had some majestic boils recently. 

Smallmouth bass are willing participants all day long near sloping shorelines and rock piles while larger bass are hiding under the floating debris and near submerged brush.

From noon to 5 PM, particularly in breezy areas, walleye are the most likely fish to catch.  Look for mud lines or murky water trailing off points in the Stanton Creek area.  Troll medium diver lures where bottom depth is 7-20 feet. When a walleye is hooked trolling, return to the hooking spot and try for more walleye by casting jigs and night crawlers to the capture sight or slow troll bottom bouncers and worms in the area.  From Bullfrog to Hite walleye are caught in the afternoons in murky water.  

waemouthThis is exciting news since the tagged walleye contest will start this week on July 1st.   Many walleye with red numbered tags in their back are now swimming in Bullfrog Bay and nearby canyons.   Catch one of these tagged fish and win prizes awarded by Sportsman’s Warehouse, Stix Market, Fish Tech and Berkeley.  You must register on line before catching the walleye to be eligible for a prize.  Enter here:       http://wildlife.utah.gov/lake-powell-tagged-fish-contest.html
Fishing success around Bullfrog was slow after 5 PM earlier this week. Expect that to change soon but for now the best fishing times are early mornings for stripers and afternoons for walleye. 

Wahweap to Rock Creek fishing schedule:

In the southern lake trolling for stripers works well in the morning shade of tall canyon walls on the east side of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek. Bait fishing for stripers is still excellent all day long in Navajo Canyon from the mouth to the far end.   Surface slurping activity is slowing down but still visible and fish catchable during the morning hours from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  

Further upstream from Rock Creek to Escalante surface activity continues all morning long for small slurpers and the larger stripers up to 24 inches that have joined in on the feeding spree. Impatient stripers are consuming way too many tiny shad now. It would be much wiser for stripers to wait until shad were larger than 2 inches.  We can help stripers manage their resources better by chasing the slurps, making the stripers go deep and allowing some shad to escape the constant striper pursuit.

Smallmouth bass are found in the backs of canyons and coves. A slender rock slide located on a barren slick rock wall marks a location where bass, walleye and sunfish can be caught on live worms, small plastic grubs and swim baits.  In full sun look for a tall cliff wall to provide shade and then target a rockslide or a few submerged boulders to target smallmouth bass. 

wgwae4of7There are not as many walleye to be caught in the southern lake but tagged walleye are available to be caught from Warm Creek to Rock Creek. 

Fishing success is surprisingly good for long, hot summer days marked with lots of boat traffic, water sports, and houseboats.  The key is to select the right location, technique and time of day to seek after your favorite species of fish.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:41
 

June 21, 2016 - Slurps are consistent

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 21, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3616

Water Temperature: 76-82F

By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com

 

billzeglinLake level continues to rise. The result of rapidly changing shoreline is not so good for bass fishing but excellent for stripers.

 


Young bass that were so eager to hit lures along the shoreline 2 weeks ago and almost made fishing too easy, are now a bit harder to find.  Really good bass fishing for the larger size fish is found by dropshotting, or using plastic grubs on a lead head jig.  The secret is to get the bait down to the old shoreline where bass were holding before the lake began its rapid ascent. The correct depth is 15-25 feet deep for smallmouth bass while largemouth are loving the brush just covered by rising water.  Look for largemouth in the middle of a bush in 5 feet of water. Bass fishing is still good but best early and late in the day.

 

Slurping stripers have been extremely dependable all week.  Tight little slurping pods are seen every morning starting in Warm Creek when heading out of Wahweap or Buoy 9 when leaving Antelope Point.  Slurps continue through the narrows into all of Padre Bay, Last Chance and continuing up the main channel.  Most slurp activity is seen from 6:30 to 9:30 AM (MST).

 

Approach the slurp quickly but stop one long cast away from the action.  Cast ahead or to the far side of the school and bring the lure back through the feeding fish. Best lures this week include small surface lures, small jerk baits, swim baits, rattletraps, and jigs. The size of slurping fish is increasing as some older fish have joined the young ones.  Aggression level is increasing as school numbers climb and encourage more interscholastic competition.

 

I prefer surface fishing but certainly more and bigger stripers can be caught while hovering over a huge school of adults in deeper water. Bait hotspots this week included: Warm Creek Wall (Buoy 12), Labyrinth Wall (Buoy 18), Navajo Canyon points and the final deep pocket in the muddy water at the back of the canyon.  Bait fishing is good at the end of most long canyons like Last Chance and Rock Creek.  Expect the same patterns to occur in the mid and northern lake.

 

Those stripers not quick enough to keep up with the school fish are still found along the shore and will hit topwater lures. When one fish is hooked, play him slowly and cast lures out toward the hooked fish to catch the followers.

 

smeyerwaeWalleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of stained water in the back of most canyons.  There are areas where driftwood and debris are thick, which makes trolling almost impossible.  Find small open areas without debris and troll right against the cliff wall to target walleye.  Cast grubs tipped with night crawlers to select walleye over bass. Worm harnesses pulled behind a bottom bouncer or just cast and retrieved along the bottom in 15 feet of water work well now in the colored rising water.

 

Bluegill, green sunfish and catfish round out the fish species that are very active and willing to bite lures and baits for all ages of anglers.

 

The days are hot, but so is fishing in the right place at the right time. The right place is Lake Powell and the right time is when you can get here.

 
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