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May 24, 2016 - Lake rising and full moon

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 24, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3599
Water Temperature: 63-67 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Early Monday morning it was not possible to walk to the Stateline Ramp courtesy dock without getting wet up to the knees because the lake had risen that much overnight.  Lake Powell is coming up fast as the spring runoff builds.  Lake level is four feet higher this week than last.  The lake will rise even more this week.  If camping, it will be necessary to readjust mooring lines daily.  Rising water also impacts fishing success.
Lake water temperature is holding in the mid 60s which makes all fish happy and contented.  The full moon this week did delay good fishing success until mid morning and then afternoon fishing was just great – particularly for stripers on bait. Early morning bait fishing at the dam and other steep canyon wall locations was slower than usual.  Fish were caught randomly but big schools were not active.  At 10:30 AM that changed and schools became hyper active.  Still the good bait fishing spots further uplake (Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall etc.) seem to be better than the dam and buoy 3 now. Run uplake and try some of the spots that have not been fished as much to find a secluded location with a ton of fish ready to bite.
The striper spawn is now imminent.  Each year I dream of finding a spawning school where it is possible to catch a mature fish or even a trophy every cast for hours at a time.  I say ‘dream’ because it all happens at night when I am home in bed.  If you are camping on the lake it would be wise to check the nearby coves and points by trolling and casting shallow running crankbaits,
just as the sun sets. You may be near the spawning school that has been inactive all day long and becoming super active at night. My search for spawners happens early in the morning before the sun rises. I look along the east walls of the tall canyons where the sun’s rays are delayed by morning shade.  Ripe males and females can be caught trolling and casting in the pre dawn light. These fish are bigger and healthier than the stripers caught on bait during the day.
Trees and brush along the shoreline are getting much closer to becoming fish habitat as the lake rapidly rises. Largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie will gladly leave their current barren locations to find a tumbleweed or tamarisk tree in 3 feet of water.  They love to be near, live in and never depart from brush structure once found. Fish near brush for these fish as the lake comes up.
Smallmouth bass are still living on the rocks.  They have built nests to spawn and some are still actively guarding the nests.  As the lake rises smallmouth bass tend to stay at the same nesting location.  This week adult smallmouth will be four feet deeper than last week since the lake came up that much.  Fishing success is still really good for those using jig heads and plastic baits worked along the bottom from 10 to 25 feet deep.  Do not hesitate to use top water baits for bass at first light in the morning and as the sun sets at night.
Channel catfish are awake and actively eating.  They will spawn in early June as the water temperature climbs to 72 degrees. They are being caught all day long now on bait fished on the bottom.  Some cats are being caught by striper fishermen each day as the anchovy temporarily resides on the bottom near a striper fishing spot.
Walleye fishing is now at its peak. The best locations are in the upper lake in the backs of the canyons where water color is stained but not muddy from the huge runoff event now occurring.  Reports of walleye caught in huge numbers are coming in from Red Canyon in the far north and many canyons between Bullfrog and Good Hope.  My choice to catch walleye would be from Bullfrog down to San Juan including the Escalante.  In a new fishing area my first exploratory efforts would be to troll bottom bouncers or flat line lures in 15-30 feet of water near shore or over open water reefs. When walleye are found, target that area specifically with bass grubs or worm harnesses tipped with a tasty night crawler. Work the worm slowly along the bottom in the area where a walleye was randomly caught to find many more in the walleye gathering spot.
UDWR is actively tagging walleye now to have target fish in the water for anglers to catch from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  If you register for the contest and catch a tagged walleye you will be awarded a gift certificate donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.  More information will be provided prior to July 1st on contest rules and how to sign up.  For now, practice catching walleye to get you walleye skills honed to sharp edge.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 24, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3599

Water Temperature: 63-67 F

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

trophyreleased

This big striper was "rescued" by an angler who saw it thrashing on the surface. When he pulled the trophy out of the water he found another striper stuck in the trophy fishes throat.  He pulled the smaller striper out, took a picture and then released the big striper and watched it swim off apparently unharmed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Monday morning it was not possible to walk to the Stateline Ramp courtesy dock without getting wet up to the knees because the lake had risen that much overnight.  Lake Powell is coming up fast as the spring runoff builds.  Lake level is four feet higher this week than last.  The lake will rise even more this week.  If camping, it will be necessary to readjust mooring lines daily.  Rising water also impacts fishing success. 

Lake water temperature is holding in the mid 60s which makes all fish happy and contented.  The full moon this week did delay good fishing success until mid morning and then afternoon fishing was just great – particularly for stripers on bait. Early morning bait fishing at the dam and other steep canyon wall locations was slower than usual.  Fish were caught randomly but big schools were not active.  At 10:30 AM that changed and schools became hyper active.  Still the good bait fishing spots further uplake (Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall etc.) seem to be better than the dam and buoy 3 now. Run uplake and try some of the spots that have not been fished as much to find a secluded location with a ton of fish ready to bite.  

The striper spawn is now imminent.  Each year I dream of finding a spawning school where it is possible to catch a mature fish or even a trophy every cast for hours at a time.  I say ‘dream’ because it all happens at night when I am home in bed.  If you are camping on the lake it would be wise to check the nearby coves and points by trolling and casting shallow running crankbaits, just as the sun sets. You may be near the spawning school that has been inactive all day long and becoming super active at night. My search for spawners happens early in the morning before the sun rises. I look along the east walls of the tall canyons where the sun’s rays are delayed by morning shade.  Ripe males and females can be caught trolling and casting in the pre dawn light. These fish are bigger and healthier than the stripers caught on bait during the day. 

Trees and brush along the shoreline are getting much closer to becoming fish habitat as the lake rapidly rises. Largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie will gladly leave their current barren locations to find a tumbleweed or tamarisk tree in 3 feet of water.  They love to be near, live in and never depart from brush structure once found. Fish near brush for these fish as the lake comes up. 

Smallmouth bass are still living on the rocks.  They have built nests to spawn and some are still actively guarding the nests.  As the lake rises smallmouth bass tend to stay at the same nesting location.  This week adult smallmouth will be four feet deeper than last week since the lake came up that much.  Fishing success is still really good for those using jig heads and plastic baits worked along the bottom from 10 to 25 feet deep.  Do not hesitate to use top water baits for bass at first light in the morning and as the sun sets at night. 

Channel catfish are awake and actively eating.  They will spawn in early June as the water temperature climbs to 72 degrees. They are being caught all day long now on bait fished on the bottom.  Some cats are being caught by striper fishermen each day as the anchovy temporarily resides on the bottom near a striper fishing spot.  

Walleye fishing is now at its peak. The best locations are in the upper lake in the backs of the canyons where water color is stained but not muddy from the huge runoff event now occurring.  Reports of walleye caught in huge numbers are coming in from Red Canyon in the far north and many canyons between Bullfrog and Good Hope.  My choice to catch walleye would be from Bullfrog down to San Juan including the Escalante.  In a new fishing area my first exploratory efforts would be to troll bottom bouncers or flat line lures in 15-30 feet of water near shore or over open water reefs. When walleye are found, target that area specifically with bass grubs or worm harnesses tipped with a tasty night crawler. Work the worm slowly along the bottom in the area where a walleye was randomly caught to find many more in the walleye gathering spot.   

UDWR is actively tagging walleye now to have target fish in the water for anglers to catch from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  If you register for the contest and catch a tagged walleye you will be awarded a gift certificate donated by Sportsman’s Warehouse.  More information will be provided prior to July 1st on contest rules and how to sign up.  For now, practice catching walleye to get you walleye skills honed to sharp edge.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:18
 

May 17, 2016 - Totally Awesome

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 17, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3593
Water Temperature: 64-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is rising in lake level and water temperature.  The lake came up two feet since the last report and the water temperature is now pegged in the mid 60s.  Every fish I saw this week had a big smile on its face because of the warming water temperature. Lake Powell fishing is now at the Spring Peak.  Here is the rundown.
Stripers are extremely catchable over the length of the lake. Many are being caught on bait from the shore, or on the fish docks near Wahweap and Antelope Point.  Reports of great bait fishing are coming from Bullfrog, Halls, and Lake Canyon mouth.
Those that like to chase stripers can visually see shallow schools sunning themselves along the edges of shallow reefs in Padre Bay, Buoy 25, and Wetherill. These stripers readily respond to blind casting with shallow running crankbaits   (I use the ghost colored Lucky Craft Pointer SP 78) and some have found quick boils with surface lures.    Striper schools are also grouped in the murky water in the backs of canyons where they can be caught on shallow running cranks and trolled deep diving lures.
Bass are mixed up with the crazy spring weather.  Some have spawned, others have not. Bass nests are still seen while some are abandoned.  The summary is that bass are hitting lures like crazy along the shoreline where rock or brush cover is present. My favorite go-to lure is a 5-inch single tail Yamamoto Grub in watermelon or pumpkin color on a 3/8th ounce jig head.  Cast to shore, let it hit bottom and work it gently deeper.  Cast it to deep water and work it shallow. Swim it back to the boat.  Just put the grub in the water and bass will tell you where they like it best.
The main problem with targeting bass with a single tail grub is that other fish like it too. It’s hard to keep bluegill and green sunfish from pecking at it. Walleye will intercept the grub particularly when it is s-l-o-w-l-y worked along the bottom from 10 -30 feet deep.  Catfish have become very active in the last week and are being caught on a variety of lures. Crappie are being caught at random locations while they are waiting for the lake level to rise and cover up brush along the shoreline.
Walleye can also be targeted by trolling bottom bouncers with worm harnesses at the magic 12-30 foot depth. Flat line trolling works too with less expensive “banana lures” lures (Wally divers, etc) that hit bottom often when trolled at 12-15 feet.  The peak in walleye catching is now through June 15th.  These fish taste really good so you ought to give it a try. Walleye fishing is best at midlake right now.  The mudline from the Colorado River runoff is near Buoy 118 at the entrance to Good Hope Bay.  More cloudy water works its way down lake with each passing day.  Walleye are caught well in turbid water but really muddy water is not as much fun to navigate. The San Juan mudline begins in the narrows leading to the Great Bend at the end of the Neskahi Bay.
In summary, fishing is totally awesome at Lake Powell right now.  The only downside is that 20 mph winds have blown every weekend recently while week days have been calm. I will talk to the weather man and see if he can fix that.  I highly recommend a trip to Lake Powell during May 2016.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 17, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3595

Water Temperature: 64-70 F

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


dannystb2Lake Powell is rising in lake level and water temperature.  The lake came up two feet since the last report and the water temperature is now pegged in the mid 60s.  Every fish I saw this week had a big smile on its face because of the warming water temperature. Lake Powell fishing is now at the Spring Peak.  Here is the rundown.


Stripers are extremely catchable over the length of the lake. Many are being caught on bait from the shore, or on the fish docks near Wahweap and Antelope Point.  Reports of great bait fishing are coming from Bullfrog, Halls, and Lake Canyon mouth.

Those that like to chase stripers can visually see shallow schools sunning themselves along the edges of shallow reefs in Padre Bay, Buoy 25, and Wetherill. These stripers readily respond to blind casting with shallow running crankbaits   (I use the ghost colored Lucky Craft Pointer SP 78) and some have found quick boils with surface lures.    Striper schools are also grouped in the murky water in the backs of canyons where they can be caught on shallow running cranks and trolled deep diving lures.

Bass are mixed up with the crazy spring weather.  Some have spawned, others have not. Bass nests are still seen while some are abandoned.  The summary is that bass are hitting lures like crazy along the shoreline where rock or brush cover is present. My favorite go-to lure is a 5-inch single tail Yamamoto Grub in watermelon or pumpkin color on a 3/8th ounce jig head.  Cast to shore, let it hit bottom and work it gently deeper.  Cast it to deep water and work it shallow. Swim it back to the boat.  Just put the grub in the water and bass will tell you where they like it best. 

bmapr2The main problem with targeting bass with a single tail grub is that other fish like it too. It’s hard to keep bluegill and green sunfish from pecking at it. Walleye will intercept the grub particularly when it is s-l-o-w-l-y worked along the bottom from 10 - 30 feet deep.  

Catfish have become very active in the last week and are being caught on a variety of lures. Crappie are being caught at random locations while they are waiting for the lake level to rise and cover up brush along the shoreline. 

Walleye can also be targeted by trolling bottom bouncers with worm harnesses at the magic 12-30 foot depth. Flat line trolling works too with less expensive “banana lures” lures (Wally divers, etc) that hit bottom often when trolled at 12-15 feet.  The peak in walleye catching is now through June 15th. These fish taste really good so you ought to give it a try. Walleye fishing is best at midlake right now.  

wgwaeThe mudline from the Colorado River runoff is near Buoy 118 at the entrance to Good Hope Bay.  More cloudy water works its way down lake with each passing day.  Walleye are caught well in turbid water but really muddy water is not as much fun to navigate. The San Juan mudline begins in the narrows leading to the Great Bend at the end of the Neskahi Bay.

In summary, fishing is totally awesome at Lake Powell right now.  The only downside is that 20 mph winds have blown every weekend recently while week days have been calm. I will talk to the weather man and see if he can fix that.  I highly recommend a trip to Lake Powell during May 2016.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 11:16
 

May 10, 2016 - Spring Fling

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 10, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3593
Water Temperature: 60-66 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Fishing success has been great despite lingering cold and winds. The good news now is that morning water temperatures now exceed 60 degrees which opens up opportunities for the second round of bass spawning, continuing gizzard shad spawning which will soon be followed by threadfin shad spawning. More forage is on the way for the many predators in Lake Powell.
For this week, all fish are hungry and warming temperatures only increase the desire for food and protective instincts for those in spawning mode.  In short, the spring fishing peak for 2016 is now.  A brief look back in time reminds us that the past two years have been strong shad years which led to high fish production and survival. Smallmouth bass and stripers are at a peak in numbers, largemouth bass and crappie are maintaining and walleye are reaching a new population peak. There are a lot of fish and many more opportunities for anglers.   Here is the rundown on fishing opportunities.
Smallmouth Bass are in spawning and protection mode.  Nests are very close to shore. Look for bass in the shallow coves beginning at the first primary point, and then on smaller secondary points and finally all the way in the back of each cove. Males are shallow and larger females will be in the same vicinity but in deeper water.  Search for bays and coves rather than steep cliff walls.  There are a surprising number of bass on gentle sloping sandstone points extending well into the lake or sandstone reefs in open water.  It is likely that the sun warms these spots and attracts all fish looking for warmer water. The clear water in most of the lake allows you to see fish in shallow water that is 10-15 feet deep. The highest concentrations of smallmouth beds will be on the north shore, with southern exposure. These are the warmest spots and are presently very attractive to warmwater fish.
The most popular fishing techniques include casting Yamamoto grubs in watermelon color on ¼ ounce lead head jigs; using shad shaped worms on dropshot rigs. KVD minnows and Zoom worms are working well. Pounding the shoreline with shallow running jerk baits works just as well.
Largemouth bass are found right alongside the smallmouth. Some coves will be smallmouth sanctuaries while largemouth will be found more often in others. Both will be found guarding beds this week.
Striped bass are found from the shallows to the depths.  Bait fishing is the most popular and productive catching method in deep water.  The same spots are still producing in the southern lake: the dam, Buoy 3, Power Plant Intake, Navajo Canyon points.  In the north, bait fishing is getting more consistent at Moki Canyon, Halls Creek wall, and Lake Canyon mouth. Look for other anglers catching fish along the main channel walls and join them. More bait in the water usually means that more fish will be caught by all that are fishing.
Another faction of stripers can be visually seen swimming over the slick rock points and islands in the large bays. These are generally juvenile stripers that are following plankton concentrations. They feed slowly and continually on the tiny food items eating over 500 individual plankters each day.  In past weeks these fish have ignored trolling or casting lures as they focused on plankton. As the water has warmed they are more likely to hit a small jerk bait or spoon. We had good luck last week with Ghost colored Lucky Craft 78SP Pointers and blue and silver small War Eagle Spoons. At the right time and place, the sight-fishing striper catch was “amazing”.  Look for warming spots (north shore, with southern exposure) where plankton is thick and shallow running small stripers are seen just by looking in the water.
Stripers can also be caught trolling in stained water in the backs of canyons where runoff is flowing.  Storm Thundersticks worked well on the San Juan in the murky Great bend.  The San Juan and Escalante are the best spots to try right now with a wide variety of fish being caught in big numbers.
Walleye fishing is peaking from Padre Bay to the Colorado River.  They can be caught on a wide variety of methods.  Slow trolled bottom bouncers dragging a worm harness is very popular and effective.   Trolling Wally Divers and other “banana lures” along the lake shore in 12-15 of water is equally effective. Casting plastic grubs for bass often results in a surprise walleye. Tipping the bass grub with a one inch piece of night crawler eliminates the surprise factor and tips the scale from bass fishing to walleye fishing. Whatever the technique walleye are the go-to fish for the next three weeks particularly from Bullfrog north.
Walleye were caught very effectively at Warm Springs, Cedar, Knowles, Forgotten and Crystal canyons near Bullfrog. Trolling around the island outside Hall's Creek also produced along with the fingers and drop offs that are across the main channel from Hall's Marina along the western edge of Bullfrog Bay.
In summary, if you like to fish its time to head to Lake Powell for the ‘Spring Fling’!

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 10, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3593

Water Temperature: 60-66 F

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

sherwood2bassFishing success has been great despite lingering cold and winds. The good news now is that morning water temperatures now exceed 60 degrees which opens up opportunities for the second round of bass spawning, continuing gizzard shad spawning which will soon be followed by threadfin shad spawning. More forage is on the way for the many predators in Lake Powell. 

For this week, all fish are hungry and warming temperatures only increase the desire for food and protective instincts for those in spawning mode.  In short, the spring fishing peak for 2016 is now.  A brief look back in time reminds us that the past two years have been strong shad years which led to high fish production and survival. Smallmouth bass and stripers are at a peak in numbers, largemouth bass and crappie are maintaining and walleye are reaching a new population peak. There are a lot of fish and many more opportunities for anglers.   Here is the rundown on fishing opportunities. 

Smallmouth bass are in spawning and protection mode.  Nests are very close to shore. Look for bass in the shallow coves beginning at the first primary point, and then on smaller secondary points and finally all the way in the back of each cove. Males are shallow and larger females will be in the same vicinity but in deeper water.  Search for bays and coves rather than steep cliff walls.  There are a surprising number of bass on gentle sloping sandstone points extending well into the lake or sandstone reefs in open water.  It is likely that the sun warms these spots and attracts all fish looking for warmer water. The clear water in most of the lake allows you to see fish in shallow water that is 10-15 feet deep. The highest concentrations of smallmouth beds will be on the north shore, with southern exposure. These are the warmest spots and are presently very attractive to warmwater fish.  

The most popular fishing techniques include casting Yamamoto grubs in watermelon color on ¼ ounce lead head jigs; using shad shaped worms on dropshot rigs. KVD minnows and Zoom worms are working well. Pounding the shoreline with shallow running jerk baits works just as well. 

Largemouth bass are found right alongside the smallmouth. Some coves will be smallmouth sanctuaries while largemouth will be found more often in others. Both will be found guarding beds this week. 

stb2hungryStriped bass are found from the shallows to the depths.  Bait fishing is the most popular and productive catching method in deep water.  The same spots are still producing in the southern lake: the dam, Buoy 3, Power Plant Intake, Navajo Canyon points.  In the north, bait fishing is getting more consistent at Moki Canyon, Halls Creek wall, and Lake Canyon mouth. Look for other anglers catching fish along the main channel walls and join them. More bait in the water usually means that more fish will be caught by all that are fishing. 

Another faction of stripers can be visually seen swimming over the slick rock points and islands in the large bays. These are generally juvenile stripers that are following plankton concentrations. They feed slowly and continually on the tiny food items eating over 500 individual plankters each day.  In past weeks these fish have ignored trolling or casting lures as they focused on plankton. As the water has warmed they are more likely to hit a small jerk bait or spoon. We had good luck last week with Ghost colored Lucky Craft 78SP Pointers and blue and silver small War Eagle Spoons. At the right time and place, the sight-fishing striper catch was “amazing”.  Look for warming spots (north shore, with southern exposure) where plankton is thick and shallow running small stripers are seen just by looking in the water. 
Stripers can also be caught trolling in stained water in the backs of canyons where runoff is flowing.  Storm Thundersticks worked well on the San Juan in the murky Great bend.  The San Juan and Escalante are the best spots to try right now with a wide variety of fish being caught in big numbers. 

walleyecaughttubeWalleye fishing is peaking from Padre Bay to the Colorado River.  They can be caught on a wide variety of methods. Slow trolled bottom bouncers dragging a worm harness is very popular and effective.   Trolling Wally Divers and other “banana lures” along the lake shore in 12-15 of water is equally effective. Casting plastic grubs for bass often results in a surprise walleye. Tipping the bass grub with a one inch piece of night crawler eliminates the surprise factor and tips the scale from bass fishing to walleye fishing. Whatever the technique walleye are the go-to fish for the next three weeks particularly from Bullfrog north.

Walleye were caught very effectively at Warm Springs, Cedar, Knowles, Forgotten and Crystal canyons near Bullfrog. Trolling around the island outside Hall's Creek also produced along with the fingers and drop offs that are across the main channel from Hall's Marina along the western edge of Bullfrog Bay. 

In summary, if you like to catch fish, it's time to head to Lake Powell for the ‘Spring Fling’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2016 - Late warming

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 4, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3592

Water Temperature: 59-66  F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

http://www.wayneswords.com

 

bassarigWarming has been late in coming but that is changing now as May has arrived.  Early morning surface water temperature has been consistently found at 58 F for the past few weeks and that is what the thermometer showed as we headed out for our weekly trip.  Those fish waiting to spawn in the southern lake were slow to start feeding in cold water. We caught a few smallmouth and an occasional striper or walleye in the early morning hours as we ran uplake as far as Dungeon and Rock Creek.

 

As the day warmed and water temperature climbed to 65F fishing success improved. Here is a rundown on the various techniques used to catch each species:

 

Striped bass were best caught using bait in the main channel.  Choose a spot, throw out a handful of chum, followed by a baited circle hook (Carolina rig) or light weight jig head with a chunk of anchovy attached.  The best fishing spots were the same as previously reported including the dam, first main channel corner before arriving at Antelope Canyon (also known as Buoy 3), the power plant intake (under the chain link fence upstream from Antelope Point marina) and some points in Navajo Canyon upstream from the double islands.  I know there are other places where stripers can be caught on bait but these locations close to launch areas are still producing so there are no reports of anglers going further uplake to fish bait.

 

In the northern lake the best bait spots have been close to marinas including the mouth of Moki Canyon, Buoy 99 and the coves near by.  Remember that stripers along the walls tend to start and stop feeding on their own schedule.  If they are not hitting in one spot move a short distance and try again.  When a school turns on under the boat your fishing trip will be a great success.

 

ezraStripers are still being caught trolling and spooning over the length of the lake and many are still being visually spotted in the shallows making them susceptible to crankbaits and crayfish imitating plastic baits.  Spooning was more productive for us in the afternoon after the water had warmed.

 

Over the length of the lake, smallmouth bass are caught in bigger numbers than stripers.  Morning hours are not as productive as later in the afternoon when water warms to the mid 60s.  Productive habitat includes the protected coves with southern exposures where the sun heats up the water a few degrees warmer than the surrounding open water.

 

Smallmouth bass really like plastic baits including single tail grubs, double tail grubs, senkos, square bill crank baits and spinner baits. It seems that more bass were caught in the backs of canyons in cloudy water than in the main channel and main canyon clear water.  As you travel further uplake from Wahweap the number of smallmouth caught increases. The very best areas right now are the San Juan Arm, the Escalante, and the Rincon including surrounding canyons.

 

Be aware that the runoff is flowing and muddying the water from Good Hope Bay upstream. The mud line is near the middle of the big bay.  Cloudy and murky water provide excellent fishing for bass and stripers while dark, muddy water makes it more difficult to interact with fish that remain in the runoff areas.  These fish include stripers that are running upstream to spawn, walleye that feed well in muddy water and some bass and crappie that are using the colored water for protection while waiting for the lake level to come up and cover brush.

 

wallydiversrrmWalleye are being caught more often each day as water warms. These low light feeders are best caught during May while waiting for shad to spawn.  The best technique is to maintain bottom contact with a slow moving lure in the 12-30 foot range.  Live night crawlers can be used to target walleye.  Worm harnesses can be cast to sandy bottoms in cloudy coves or attached to bottom bouncers that are slow-trolled behind a boat in the same depth range.  Walleye are being caught more often each day on plastic baits used to target smallmouth bass in rocky cover.

 

Best walleye trolling lure may be the wally diver pictured here:

 

May is the month of variety of catch. As we used dark green, double tail plastic grubs, we caught smallmouth, stripers, bluegill, green sunfish, largemouth bass and walleye in the same stretch of shoreline.  All sport fish are hungry while waiting for shad to spawn which normally happens mid-May. The warming water triggers the feeding response.  All of these fish are looking for food and a plastic grub or crankbait draws serious attention from a variety of species.  May is the best Spring month to fish at Lake Powell.

 

April 27, 2016 - Waiting for Warming

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 27, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature: 57-62  F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
It has been a roller coaster ride this week while trying to catch fish at Lake Powell.  Cold winds blow and reduce the water temperature sending bass scurrying for deeper water. Pouting and lockjaw are symptoms of fish hoping to spawn but finding cooling temperatures.  Then the wind quits, the sun comes out and fish swim into shallow warm water, and frolic while basking in the sun. The best pattern for anglers this past week was to hunker down while the wind was blowing and then rush out when the sun came out and water warmed.  The short warm periods produced very good fishing results. This week expect more of the same. Wind and rain are forecast but some calm warm periods will happen as well.  Look at the thermometer on your graph often and fish in the warmest shallow water available to find the best success.
Bass and crappie have started spawning. Bass nests or beds are easy to see in shallow water. The lake has come up less than a foot and water is still clear over the majority of the lake. Water is muddy near the Colorado inflow from Trachyte to 4-mile Canyon and in the upper San Juan and Escalante river arms.
Male bass guard their nests while fresh eggs are there but cold water takes the fun out of it and males sometimes abandon the nests.  When the sun comes out again, the same male returns to the nest, tidies up the rocks and then finds another ripe female to add more eggs to the old ones on the rocks.  Both male and female bass are able to spawn as many as six different times during the spawning season which lasts from mid April to mid May.
This knowledge should alert anglers about where to find bass depending on weather conditions. If cold and windy, look for bass in deeper water near a shallow rocky shoal or point where nests have been seen.  If warm and calm, just look for bass in close proximity to nests visible in shallow water.  Crappie follow the same triggers and patterns but really like to have their nose in a bush while waiting for the weather to warm and spawning to resume. Tumbleweed piles are the most common habitat.
The big news this week is the beginning of “Walleye Month”.  Warming water increases their activity but lack of food makes them very hungry.  The end result is that walleye are easy to catch from now through May.  Good Hope Bay is the Walleye Capital of Lake Powell. Last week walleye were caught in stained water in the morning hours. The best technique was to drag a crayfish imitating lure slowly along the bottom. Twin tail grubs in dark pumpkin, watermelon and other crayfish variations worked well as did white shad imitating colors.  Some caught walleye while vertically jigging white Yamamoto grubs in less than 30 feet of water while others used a slow drifting technique with double tail grubs while maintaining bottom contact in 20 feet of water.
Trollers were successful as well, as they covered more water looking for the walleye congregation.  Wally Diver lures in blue and brown colors were successful when they were trolled at a depth where the lure would periodically bounce off the bottom. Walleye catching will only get better as water gets much warmer in May.  There is no limit on walleye as there is an over population of these superb eating fish in the northern lake.  We wish you great success in catching and keeping as many walleye as you can use.
Stripers were still red hot for those using bait in the southern lake near the main channel. Hot spots included Buoy 3A on the corner that turns toward Antelope Canyon; the power plant intake; and Navajo Canyon.   There were no reports from bait fishermen further uplake as the fish close to Antelope and Wahweap launch areas were too fun to catch.
Warm weather returns early next week and fishing will only improve.  The first two weeks of May should provide epic fishing adventures and stories for those that can make the magical trip to Lake Powell during prime time.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 27, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3591

Water Temperature: 57-62  F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

http://www.wayneswords.com

It has been a roller coaster ride this week while trying to catch fish at Lake Powell.  Cold winds blow and reduce the water temperature sending bass scurrying for deeper water. Pouting and lockjaw are symptoms of fish hoping to spawn but finding cooling temperatures.  Then the wind quits, the sun comes out and fish swim into shallow warm water, and frolic while basking in the sun. The best pattern for anglers this past week was to hunker down while the wind was blowing and then rush out when the sun came out and water warmed.  The short warm periods produced very good fishing results. This week expect more of the same. Wind and rain are forecast but some calm warm periods will happen as well.  Look at the thermometer on your graph often and fish in the warmest shallow water available to find the best success.

2bassBass and crappie have started spawning. Bass nests or beds are easy to see in shallow water. The lake has come up less than a foot and water is still clear over the majority of the lake. Water is muddy near the Colorado inflow from Trachyte to 4-mile Canyon and in the upper San Juan and Escalante river arms. 

Male bass guard their nests while fresh eggs are there but cold water takes the fun out of it and males sometimes abandon the nests.  When the sun comes out again, the same male returns to the nest, tidies up the rocks and then finds another ripe female to add more eggs to the old ones on the rocks.  Both male and female bass are able to spawn as many as six different times during the spawning season which lasts from mid April to mid May.   

This knowledge should alert anglers about where to find bass depending on weather conditions. If cold and windy, look for bass in deeper water near a shallow rocky shoal or point where nests have been seen.  If warm and calm, just look for bass in close proximity to nests visible in shallow water.  Crappie follow the same triggers and patterns but really like to have their nose in a bush while waiting for the weather to warm and spawning to resume. Tumbleweed piles are the most common habitat. 

The big news this week is the beginning of “Walleye Month”.  Warming water increases their activity but lack of food makes them very hungry.  The end result is that walleye are easy to catch from now through May.  Good Hope Bay is the Walleye Capital of Lake Powell. Last week walleye were caught in stained water in the morning hours. The best technique was to drag a crayfish imitating lure slowly along the bottom. Twin tail grubs in dark pumpkin, watermelon and other crayfish variations worked well as did white shad imitating colors.  Some caught walleye while vertically jigging white Yamamoto grubs in less than 30 feet of water while others used a slow drifting technique with double tail grubs while maintaining bottom contact in 20 feet of water.

  imgresTrollers were successful as well, as they covered more water looking for the walleye congregation.  Wally Diver lures in blue and brown colors were successful when they were trolled at a depth where the lure would periodically bounce off the bottom. Walleye catching will only get better as water gets much warmer in May.  There is no limit on walleye as there is an over population of these superb eating fish in the northern lake.  We wish you great success in catching and keeping as many walleye as you can use.

 Stripers were still red hot for those using bait in the southern lake near the main channel. Hot spots included Buoy 3A on the corner that turns toward Antelope Canyon; the power plant intake; and Navajo Canyon.   There were no reports from bait fishermen further uplake as the fish close to Antelope and Wahweap launch areas were too fun to catch. 

buoy25aWarm weather returns early next week and fishing will only improve.  The first two weeks of May should provide epic fishing adventures and stories for those that can make the magical trip to Lake Powell during prime time.

 

April 20, 2016 - It's Time! Choose your fish

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 20, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature: 58-65  F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Its time! Choose your species and technique
Lake Powell is officially open for fishy business.  The lake has now stabilized and is slowly starting to rise.  Water temperature is rising. Bass are moving into the shallows. Stripers are found in all portions of the lake. The peak of spring fishing opportunities begins right now. Let’s look at each species of fish and what they have to offer.
Bass are ready to spawn and lake level is stable. These are perfect conditions for sight-fishing.  Male bass build nests in 3 feet of water by dusting the sand and debris off rocky structure with their tail.  When temperature warms to 62F or more female bass are herded on to the nest and adhesive eggs are laid on the rocks. Then the male bass guards the eggs for the 5 days it takes them to hatch. Lake Powell water is crystal clear in the nest building zone over the majority of the lake.   Head to shallow water and visually search for the newly constructed nests along a rocky shoreline or cove.  Cast a light plastic grub (1/8th ounce) or wacky rigged senko (no weight) and let it settle onto the nest.  On the first day or two post spawn, the male bass will be super aggressive and hit the grub every time one is thrown close to the nest. Later in the incubation period the aggression drops off.  Males are visibly found in shallow water while larger females will be nearby and less visible in deeper water. Sight fishing for bass should peak during the next 2 weeks.
Largemouth bass and crappie follow the same pattern with male bass and crappie building nests in rock structure but they will also choose a spot near brush. This year brush includes a sunken tumble weed or any other woody habitat that can be found in a brush poor environment.  As the lake goes back up, more brush will be covered and it will be easier for crappie and largemouth bass to find the right nesting habitat. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie will be nesting now and continue until at least the first week of May.  Sight fishing will be best for the next two weeks until the lake rises and muddies the clear water making the nests harder to see. When the lake goes up 10 feet the first nest built (now 13 feet deep) will still be occupied and difficult to see in murky water.
Stripers are separated by age, health, forage and behavior.  Here is the breakdown.  Juvenile stripers (less than 3 pounds) are widely spread and feeding in zooplankton schools which are found in open water. Plankton schools are shallow so young stripers can be found by trolling small crankbaits in clear or cloudy water.
Mature stripers are found in the backs of productive canyons where plankton is available to eat while waiting for shad to spawn and provide the food needed to begin the warm summer period. These larger fish (3 pounds and greater) can be found by trolling and casting in the backs of major canyons with perennial streams or murky water. Some canyons with sediment deposits in the back have a consistent low visibility area which is often more productive than clear water and helps both forage and sport fish hide from each other.
Senile fish – those that did not compete well with their school mates and have lost some body condition – have moved to the main channel where they roam along the canyon walls looking for food that is not available. These are the easiest fish to catch as they are very hungry and will return to the same spots each day to feed on left over chum from anglers that used bait to catch fish previously. The best fishing spots are at the dam, both east and west sides near the barricade; Buoy 3 on the right hand corner before turning toward Antelope Canyon; Power Plant intake under the chain link fence on the south side of the lake just past Antelope Point Marina, and at many places in Navajo Canyon.  Schools move randomly along the canyon wall. If they are not hitting at the dam my impatience requires me to try the other good spots instead of waiting for the school to come to me.
Best bait fishing is found in the southern lake because more forage fish are produced in the more fertile areas of the lake fed by the Colorado and San Juan rivers. From Rincon north, trolling, casting and spooning produces more stripers than bait fishing.
Walleye are starting their spring feeding binge.  There are more walleye in the lake upstream from Bullfrog but in the southern lake they are found from Padre Bay to Dangling Rope and beyond.  Walleye are best caught during low light periods both morning and evening, but mud lines produced by wind and wave action are productive daytime walleye feeding locations.  Bass fishermen catch walleye while working plastic baits slowly along the bottom.  Trollers catch them when a mid-range lure bottoms out at about 12 feet while crossing a rocky point.  Some anglers fish specifically for walleye while slow trolling bottom bouncers or while casting night crawlers on worm harnesses.
Choose the proper bait, location and technique to select your favorite fish. All are readily available and the time is now!

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 20, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3591

Water Temperature: 58-65  F

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


Its time! Choose your species and technique!

 

Lake Powell is officially open for fishy business.  The lake has now stabilized and is slowly starting to rise.  Water temperature is rising. Bass are moving into the shallows. Stripers are found in all portions of the lake. The peak of spring fishing opportunities begins right now. Let’s look at each species of fish and what they have to offer. 

smeyersmb2Smallmouth bass are ready to spawn and lake level is stable. These are perfect conditions for sight-fishing.  Male bass build nests in 3 feet of water by dusting the sand and debris off rocky structure with their tail.  When temperature warms to 62F or more female bass are herded on to the nest and adhesive eggs are laid on the rocks. Then the male bass guards the eggs for the 5 days it takes them to hatch. Lake Powell water is crystal clear in the nest building zone over the majority of the lake.   Head to shallow water and visually search for the newly constructed nests along a rocky shoreline or cove.  Cast a light plastic grub (1/8th ounce) or wacky rigged senko (no weight) and let it settle onto the nest.  On the first day or two post spawn, the male bass will be super aggressive and hit the grub every time one is thrown close to the nest. Later in the incubation period the aggression drops off.  Males are visibly found in shallow water while larger females will be nearby and less visible in deeper water. Sight fishing for bass should peak during the next 2 weeks.

Largemouth bass and crappie follow the same pattern with male bass and crappie building nests in rock structure but they will also choose a spot near brush. This year brush includes a sunken tumble weed or any other woody habitat that can be found in a brush poor environment.  As the lake goes back up, more brush will be covered and it will be easier for crappie and largemouth bass to find the right nesting habitat. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie will be nesting now and continue until at least the first week of May.  Sight fishing will be best for the next two weeks until the lake rises and muddies the clear water making the nests harder to see. When the lake goes up 10 feet the first nest built (now 13 feet deep) will still be occupied and difficult to see in murky water.   

Stripers are separated by age, health, forage and behavior.  Here is the breakdown.  

Juvenile stripers (less than 3 pounds) are widely spread and feeding in zooplankton schools which are found in open water. Plankton schools are shallow so young stripers can be found by trolling small crankbaits in clear or cloudy water. 

stbusy_edited-1Mature stripers are found in the backs of productive canyons where plankton is available to eat while waiting for shad to spawn and provide the food needed to begin the warm summer period. These larger fish (3 pounds and greater) can be found by trolling and casting in the backs of major canyons with perennial streams or murky water. Some canyons with sediment deposits in the back have a consistent low visibility area which is often more productive than clear water and helps both forage and sport fish hide from each other. 

Senile fish – those that did not compete well with their school mates and have lost some body condition – have moved to the main channel where they roam along the canyon walls looking for food that is not available. These are the easiest fish to catch as they are very hungry and will return to the same spots each day to feed on left over chum from anglers that used bait to catch fish previously. The best fishing spots are at the dam, both east and west sides near the barricade; Buoy 3 on the right hand corner before turning toward Antelope Canyon; Power Plant intake under the chain link fence on the south side of the lake just past Antelope Point Marina, and at many places in Navajo Canyon.  Schools move randomly along the canyon wall. If they are not hitting at the dam my impatience requires me to try the other good spots instead of waiting for the school to come to me. 

Best bait fishing is found in the southern lake because more forage fish are produced in the more fertile areas of the lake fed by the Colorado and San Juan rivers. From Rincon north, trolling, casting and spooning produces more stripers than bait fishing.   

waemouthWalleye are starting their spring feeding binge.  There are more walleye in the lake upstream from Bullfrog but in the southern lake they are found from Padre Bay to Dangling Rope and beyond.  Walleye are best caught during low light periods both morning and evening, but mud lines produced by wind and wave action are productive daytime walleye feeding locations.  Bass fishermen catch walleye while working plastic baits slowly along the bottom.  Trollers catch them when a mid-range lure bottoms out at about 12 feet while crossing a rocky point.  Some anglers fish specifically for walleye while slow trolling bottom bouncers or while casting night crawlers on worm harnesses.

Choose the proper bait, location and technique to select your favorite fish. All are readily available and the time is now!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 11:22
 

April 13, 2016 - Spawning is Nigh!

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bassonbed
Lake Powell Fish Report – April 13, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature: 57-64  F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Bass and Crappie Ready to Spawn!
Every spring season bass and crappie wait for just the right water temperature before spawning.  Water temperature was 57F this morning which means that on a warm calm day the temperature will increase in the afternoon to the 64F threshold where spawning begins.  The weather forecast for this week shows a cold front on the weekend followed by 80F air temperatures during the following week. My prediction is that bass and crappie will begin nest building this week but will not spawn until after April 20th.
It seems that water has been warmer this spring but looking back through the history of the lake, bass and crappie normally spawn during the 3rd week of April.  This will then be a normal year.
For those that have not experienced this event, the first week of spawning prior to runoff allows anglers to see the nests in 3 feet of water and often view the attending male fish guarding the nest. These security guards will attack anything that threatens the nest.  A lure bounced on the nest will be picked up and quickly removed by the bass or crappie.  It is exciting to see a 3-pound bass or 1-pound crappie guarding the nest and then grabbing your lure.  Guarding males are most aggressive right after the spawn.  They lose enthusiasm with each passing day and become less aggressive. I am not sure why nature made Dads the babysitter when Moms are much better at it, but that is how it is in the Centrarchid world.
Largemouth bass and crappie are in short supply because of the lack of brush which is critical nursery habitat for young fish. Any fish caught off a nest should be returned to protect the young fry.  It is easy to tell male crappies because of their dark black coloration. Females are lighter, more silver and larger.  If keeping a few crappie for dinner, select the big fish and let the little black guys go.
Largemouth males usually have raw red scrap marks on their tails from sweeping the mud off the rocks while nest building.  Since it is impossible to tell male bass from females all largemouth should be returned.  Smallmouth bass can be kept both male and female as their population strength is high.
Stripers continue to delight bait fishermen in the main channel from the dam to the back of Navajo Canyon.  There are individual stripers that have remained in the murky water at the back of some canyons that can be caught trolling and casting in 15-25 of water.  Further uplake there are more stripers in the backs of canyons that can be caught trolling and some stripers looking for bait along the canyon walls.
My preferred approach to fishing in these conditions is to run uplake to Padre or further and fish for stripers in the morning. Then as it warms up, switch over to pounding the shoreline for bass and crappie with plastic grubs.  Walleye are an added bonus as they began to feed regularly along the shoreline with bass in the 15-25 foot range. Tip the plastic grub with a chunk of worm to select walleye.
Springtime fishing at Lake Powell is totally awesome no matter which species of fish you wish to pursue.



Lake Powell Fish Report – April 13, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3591

Water Temperature: 57-64  F

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


Bass and Crappie Ready to Spawn!

camegrassmallEvery spring season bass and crappie wait for just the right water temperature before spawning.  Water temperature was 57F this morning which means that on a warm calm day the temperature will increase in the afternoon to the 64F threshold where spawning begins.  The weather forecast for this week shows a cold front on the weekend followed by 80F air temperatures during the following week. My prediction is that bass and crappie will begin nest building this week but will not spawn until after April 20th.  

It seems that water has been warmer this spring but looking back through the history of the lake, bass and crappie normally spawn during the 3rd week of April.  This will then be a normal year.  

For those that have not experienced this event, the first week of spawning prior to runoff allows anglers to see the nests in 3 feet of water and often view the attending male fish guarding the nest. These security guards will attack anything that threatens the nest.  A lure bounced on the nest will be picked up and quickly removed by the bass or crappie.  It is exciting to see a 3-pound bass or 1-pound crappie guarding the nest and then grabbing your lure.  Guarding males are most aggressive right after the spawn.  They lose enthusiasm with each passing day and become less aggressive. I am not sure why nature made Dads the babysitter when Moms are much better at it, but that is how it is in the Centrarchid world.   

Largemouth bass and crappie are in short supply because of the lack of brush which is critical nursery habitat for young fish. Any fish caught off a nest should be returned to protect the young fry.  It is easy to tell male crappies because of their dark black coloration. Females are lighter, more silver and larger.  If keeping a few crappie for dinner, select the big fish and let the little black guys go.

Largemouth males usually have raw red scrap marks on their tails from sweeping the mud off the rocks while nest building.  Since it is impossible to tell male bass from females all largemouth should be returned.  Smallmouth bass can be kept both male and female as their population strength is high.  

Stripers continue to delight bait fishermen in the main channel from the dam to the back of Navajo Canyon.  There are individual stripers that have remained in the murky water at the back of some canyons that can be caught trolling and casting in 15-25 feet of water.  Further uplake there are more stripers in the backs of canyons that can be caught trolling and some stripers looking for bait along the canyon walls. 

My preferred approach to fishing in these conditions is to run uplake to Padre or further and fish for stripers in the morning. Then as it warms up, switch over to pounding the shoreline for bass and crappie with plastic grubs.  Walleye are an added bonus as they began to feed regularly along the shoreline with bass in the 15-25 foot range. Tip the plastic grub with a chunk of worm to select walleye.

Springtime fishing at Lake Powell is totally awesome no matter which species of fish you wish to pursue.

 

 

Largemouth bass on bed:bassonbed

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:58
 

April 6, 2016 - Bass Fishing Begins

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 6, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature: 56-62  F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Warm Water Kicks-off Bass Fishing!
Striper fishing remains great both in the main channel and also in the shallow bays. The big news is the recent warming of the surface water to the magic 60 degree mark.  With that warming, major changes are now occurring in the Lake Powell fishery. Just remember that a windy day will slow down fishing success as the warm surface layer is mixed with the deeper cold water. That means hot fishing cools off only to start over with the next warming period.
Early morning water temperature was 56F which means that temperatures will exceed 60F on a warm, calm afternoon.  When that happens bass and crappie start thinking about spawning.  They come into shallow water and start prowling around looking for the right spot to build a nest.  This increase in activity makes them very susceptible to green or watermelon colored lures. As they search for spawning rocks they often encounter crayfish that are also moving toward the warm surface water.  Crayfish have green hues on the claws and bodies making crayfish imitating lures a hot commodity.
During the last bass tournament successful anglers did very well on green 4 inch senkos and single tail grubs.  Some also had great success with crayfish colored (red, orange and green) crank baits while working consistently down a rocky shore or along a sloping primary point. Bass fishing was just great over the last weekend with lots of 12-16 inch largemouth and smallmouth bass caught.  Some 4-pounders were taken as well, but the big news is that there are still some nice 6-pound largemouth in the lake.
Crappie are searching for brush in warming water.  Unfortunately brush is hard to find. In this situation they will suspend somewhere in 12-20 feet of water and wait for the lake to rise and for brush to be covered.  It will be necessary to slow troll or cast to find crappie holding out in open water at the back of a canyon.
Striper fishing is only getting better as more schools move into the main channel searching for food and following current. The dam, power plant intake, points in Navajo, and main channel walls over the length of the lake are harboring large schools of hungry fish. Chum the schools and fish with anchovies or other cut bait to catch lots of stripers.  Remember that the meandering school is mobile. If fish are not found at the first spot, then try other spots close by.   These fish are very willing to hit bait but you have to be close to them before that can happen. I am not good at waiting for fish to come to me so I move to find them.  Probably, at the end of the day, the patient anglers and the impatient movers will end up with the same number of fish.
Fortunately for me, other striper schools have chosen a different course and are more susceptible to my run and gun fishing methods. Smaller juvenile stripers are still in the backs of canyons and moving shallower. These are the plankton eating fish that are holding in 20-30 feet of water often in open bays.  They can be quickly found by trolling shallow to mid range crank baits at 3 mph along the breaking edge of a 20-foot deep shelf that quickly falls off to deeper water.  Wally divers, pointers, and shad raps worked well recently. The schools will often light up for a short time after the first fish is caught trolling. Cast to catch stripers following the hooked fish and always be on the alert for a school of stripers resting on the bottom. Spoons have worked recently on the stationary resting schools.
Take your pick:  Stripers deep or shallow and bass along the shoreline.  The amazing Lake Powell fishery is lighting up again and it looks like another banner year.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 6, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3591

Water Temperature: 56-62  F

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

Warm Water Kicks-off Bass Fishing! 

Striper fishing remains great both in the main channel and also in the shallow bays.The big news is the recent warming of the surface water to the magic 60 degree mark.  With that warming, major changes are now occurring in the Lake Powell fishery. Just remember that a windy day will slow down fishing success as the warm surface layer is mixed with the deeper cold water. That means hot fishing cools off only to start over with the next warming period. 

crawcolorEarly morning water temperature was 56F which means that temperatures will exceed 60F on a warm, calm afternoon.  When that happens bass and crappie start thinking about spawning.  They come into shallow water and start prowling around looking for the right spot to build a nest.  This increase in activity makes them very susceptible to green or watermelon colored lures. As they search for spawning rocks they often encounter crayfish that are also moving toward the warm surface water.  Crayfish have green hues on the claws and bodies making crayfish imitating lures a hot commodity.

During the last bass tournament successful anglers did very well on green 4-inch senkos and single tail grubs.  Some also had great success with crayfish colored (red, orange and green) crank baits while working consistently down a rocky shore or along a sloping primary point. Bass fishing was just great over the last weekend with lots of 12-16 inch largemouth and smallmouth bass caught.  Some 4-pounders were taken as well, but the big news is that there are still some nice 6-pound largemouth in the lake.  Crappie are searching for brush in warming water.  Unfortunately brush is hard to find. In this situation they will suspend somewhere in 12-20 feet of water and wait for the lake to rise and for brush to be covered.  It will be necessary to slow troll or cast to find crappie holding out in open water at the back of a canyon. clintsarah

Striper fishing is only getting better as more schools move into the main channel searching for food and following current. The dam, power plant intake, points in Navajo, and main channel walls over the length of the lake are harboring large schools of hungry fish. Chum the schools and fish with anchovies or other cut bait to catch lots of stripers.  Remember that the meandering school is mobile. If fish are not found at the first spot, then try other spots close by.   These fish are very willing to hit bait but you have to be close to them before that can happen. I am not good at waiting for fish to come to me so I move to find them.  Probably, at the end of the day, the patient anglers and the impatient movers will end up with the same number of fish.  

Fortunately for me, other striper schools have chosen a different course and are more susceptible to my run and gun fishing methods. Smaller juvenile stripers are still in the backs of canyons and moving shallower. These are the plankton eating fish that are holding in 20-30 feet of water often in open bays.  They can be quickly found by trolling shallow to mid range crank baits at 3 mph along the breaking edge of a 20-foot deep shelf that quickly falls off to deeper water.  Wally divers, pointers, and shad raps worked well recently. The schools will often light up for a short time after the first fish is caught trolling. Cast to catch stripers following the hooked fish and always be on the alert for a school of stripers resting on the bottom. Spoons have worked recently on the stationary resting schools. 

Take your pick:  Stripers deep or shallow and bass along the shoreline.  The amazing Lake Powell fishery is lighting up again and it looks like another banner year.

 

March 30, 2016 - Stripers eating plankton

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 30, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3592
Water Temperature: 52-56 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
The last fishing report trip was very informative. It was overcast and just hours before a big wind storm arrived.  Many boats were already at the dam so our first stop was the main channel near the corner just before arriving at Antelope Canyon.  Most main channel striper bait fishing spots are hit-and-miss. The schools tend to move often.   We were fortunate to see this play out on our fish finder.
We stopped and chummed with anchovies, waited 10 minutes and then caught 6 fish as fast as we could rebait the hooks and get them back in the water. A glance at the graph indicated a huge school right under the boat swimming at 20-30 feet where bottom depth was over 300 feet.  Then the school moved on and we quit catching fish.
At any main channel location where striper schools have been reported it is possible to draw the school back to your boat by heavy chumming or by moving and trying to find the school on the graph. Fishing success was good for those I saw that day at the fish cleaning station with most filleting over 25 stripers.
Our next stop was in Navajo Canyon while searching for stripers that would respond to trolled baits.  The wind picked up so we were not able to go to the back of the canyon.  We deployed our deep diving lures near the 2nd point after the double islands.  We targeted shallow areas along the edge of the steep canyon.  Rock falls and talus slopes make a bench that is often 20-45 feet deep. Stripers really like to hold on the shallow breaking edge of these drop offs.  We found a willing school of juvenile stripers holding at 35-45 feet on a rock fall. These fish would hit trolled lures and spoons dropped into the holding school. We caught more small stripers trolling than the larger fish caught in bait. I prefer to target the smaller fish that hit lures/spoons while most others would be happier to find the larger fish in the channel looking for bait.
We successfully duplicated the trolling technique in Warm Creek and Wahweap on the breaking edge of shallow 20-25 foot benches that quickly fell to deeper water.  Back at the fish cleaning station we learned that the smaller stripers were stuffed with plankton.  It appears there has been a resurgence of plankton lately that has attracted stripers to the upper 25 feet of the water column. Plankton forage makes stripers available to shallow trolling techniques and applies to the entire lake.
Water temperature is holding at the low 50s in the mornings. Bass, crappie and walleye will be more active on calm days when warming allows the afternoon temperatures to climb towards 60F.  Look for these species in murky or green water that is warmer than clear water.     Some walleye and crappie are now being caught but most anglers fishing the shallow shoreline with plastic baits are catching some dandy largemouth bass along with decent smallmouth bass. Fishing for these shorebound and brush loving species will improve dramatically when water temperature climbs into the 60s.
Right now, chasing stripers in deep and/or shallow water results in a larger catch of fish at the end of the day.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 30, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3592

Water Temperature: 52-56 F

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


jstrffanThe last fishing report trip was very informative. It was overcast and just hours before a big wind storm arrived.  Many boats were already at the dam so our first stop was in the main channel near the corner just before arriving at Antelope Canyon.  Most main channel striper bait fishing spots are hit-and-miss. The schools tend to move often.   We were fortunate to see this play out on our fish finder.  

We stopped and chummed with anchovies, waited 10 minutes and then caught 6 fish as fast as we could rebait the hooks and get them back in the water. A glance at the graph indicated a huge school right under the boat swimming at 20-30 feet where bottom depth was over 300 feet.  Then the school moved on and we quit catching fish. At any main channel location where striper schools have been reported it is possible to draw the school back to your boat by heavy chumming or by moving and trying to find the school on the graph.  Fishing success was good for those I saw that day at the fish cleaning station with most filleting over 25 stripers.  

Our next stop was in Navajo Canyon while searching for stripers that would respond to trolled baits.  The wind picked up so we were not able to go to the back of the canyon.  We deployed our deep diving lures near the 2nd point after the double islands.  We targeted shallow areas along the edge of the steep canyon.  Rock falls and talus slopes make a bench that is often 20-45 feet deep. Stripers really like to hold on the shallow breaking edge of these drop offs.  We found a willing school of juvenile stripers holding at 35-45 feet on a rock fall. These fish would hit trolled lures and spoons dropped into the holding school. We caught more small stripers trolling than the larger fish caught on bait. I prefer to target the smaller fish that hit lures/spoons while most others would be happier to find the larger fish in the channel looking for bait.

hookremoveWe successfully duplicated the trolling technique in Warm Creek and Wahweap on the breaking edge of shallow 20-25 foot benches that quickly fell to deeper water.  Back at the fish cleaning station we learned that the smaller stripers were stuffed with plankton.  It appears there has been a resurgence of plankton abundance lately that has attracted stripers to the upper 25 feet of the water column. Plankton forage makes stripers available to shallow trolling techniques and applies to the entire lake. 

Water temperature is holding at the low 50s in the mornings. Bass, crappie and walleye will be more active on calm days when warming allows the afternoon temperatures to climb towards 60F.  Look for these species in murky or green water that is warmer than clear water.    

Some walleye and crappie are now being caught but most anglers fishing the shallow shoreline with plastic baits are catching some dandy largemouth bass along with decent smallmouth bass. Fishing for these shorebound and brush loving species will improve dramatically when water temperature climbs into the 60s.

Right now, chasing stripers in deep and/or shallow water results in a larger catch of fish at the end of the day.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 09:42
 

March 23, 2016 - Stripers hitting at the dam and Intake.

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 23, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3593
Water Temperature: 51-56 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Striper fishing continues to be excellent at Glen Canyon Dam.  Stripers are cruising along the cliff walls.  The west wall is the favored spot since there is a shallow shelf that juts out into the bay near the barricade.  Boats that hold in one spot near the shelf will have quick action for a while and then the school will move on hopefully toward the next boat anxiously waiting for the school to get in range. It seems the schools continue to move then turn around and retrace their path. As they return, catching gets good again as the school passes under the boat once more. Boaters can successfully wait for the moving schools on the east wall as well.
Some anglers are catching fish from shore as they chum and wait patiently on the rocky outcroppings down the rocky slope from the “Chains” parking lot.  Long casts into the deep bay followed by a gentle drop and a long slow retrieve will attract schooling stripers as they swim along the east shoreline.  Those that use a white plastic single tail grub on a jighead with an anchovy chunk attached seem to do better than those that only use an anchovy on a jig head. Dress up the bait from boat or shore to get the best results.
In the northern lake more shad are found which means that stripers react differently.  Striper schools remain in the backs of canyons and can be caught on spoons in deep water or by trolling and casting in shallower water along the breaking edge of the cliff wall. Often stripers will hold at the mouth of major canyons where they can be caught with bait or spoons or bucktail jigs.  It is wise to try lots of different methods and locations this time of year so that when the anglers and the striper school are close together the anglers can catch and the fish can chase baits.
Smallmouth bass are getting much more active now that the afternoon temperature is getting closer to 60 F.  Watch for murky green water instead of crystal clear blue water for best catching success. Bass fishing is much better in the afternoon than in the morning.  Largemouth bass are on the same afternoon schedule and found in the same colored water but they will be near a bush or a submerged tumbleweed patch or any other structure they can find.
Crappie are suspended at about 12-15 feet in the backs of canyons. Slow trolling a small marabou or plastic jig in open water will result in catching a few crappie.  Crappie catching success will get better in April with the 3rd week usually being the peak of crappie action.
Walleye are now being caught occasionally but the spawn is still progressing and walleye are not inclined to feed regularly during the spawning period.
Fishing success will greatly improve during the next warming cycle as all get ready for warm spring weather.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 23, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3593

Water Temperature: 51-56 F

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

bymyers2Striper fishing continues to be excellent at Glen Canyon Dam. Stripers are cruising along the cliff walls.  The west wall is the favored spot since there is a shallow shelf that juts out into the bay near the barricade.  Boats that hold in one spot near the shelf will have quick action for a while and then the school will move on hopefully toward the next boat anxiously waiting for the school to get in range. It seems the schools continue to move then turn around and retrace their path. As they return, catching gets good again as the school passes under the boat once more. Boaters can successfully wait for the moving schools on the east wall as well.

Some anglers are catching fish from shore as they chum and wait patiently on the rocky outcroppings down the rocky slope from the “Chains” parking lot.  Long casts into the deep bay followed by a gentle drop and a long slow retrieve will attract schooling stripers as they swim along the east shoreline.  Those that use a white plastic single tail grub on a jighead with an anchovy chunk attached seem to do better than those that only use an anchovy on a jig head. Dress up the bait from boat or shore to get the best results.  

Stripers are also caught on bait at the Power Plant intake and in a few spots in Navajo Canyon.  These places will get better with time and warming. 

In the northern lake more shad are found which means that stripers react differently.  Striper schools remain in the backs of canyons and can be caught on spoons in deep water or by trolling and casting in shallower water along the breaking edge of the cliff wall. Often stripers will hold at the mouth of major canyons where they can be caught with bait or spoons or bucktail jigs.  It is wise to try lots of different methods and locations this time of year so that when the anglers and the striper school are close together the anglers can catch and the fish can chase baits. 

egrept1Smallmouth bass are getting much more active now that the afternoon temperature is getting closer to 60 F.  Watch for murky green water instead of crystal clear blue water for best catching success. Bass fishing is much better in the afternoon than in the morning.  Largemouth bass are on the same afternoon schedule and found in the same colored water but they will be near a bush or a submerged tumbleweed patch or any other structure they can find. Crappie are suspended at about 12-15 feet in the backs of canyons. Slow trolling a small marabou or plastic jig in open water will result in catching a few crappie.  

Crappie catching success will get better in April with the 3rd week usually being the peak of crappie action.

Walleye are now being caught occasionally but the spawn is still progressing and walleye are not inclined to feed regularly during the spawning period.  

awashFishing success will greatly improve during the next warming cycle as all get ready for warm spring weather.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:00
 
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