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April 29, 2015 - May is Walleye Month

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 29, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3590.5

Water Temperature 61 - 66 wgwae4of7F

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

 

May is walleye month.

 

Fishing at Lake Powell continues to get stronger as the water warms.  It was 61-66 F today, which is primetime for spring fishing.  Smallmouth are still king but striped bass are in the back seat now and walleye are riding shotgun.

 

Smallmouth bass are moving back on the spawning beds so bass fishing will be super this week.

 

Striped bass are thinking about spawning so they are active at night.  The best time to catch stripers is at night or early morning in pre dawn light. They tend to quit biting when the sun peaks over the ridge and hits the water.

 

Walleye always come on strong in May because they are trying to rebuild their body after the stress of spawning.  They are caught more often now because they feed all day long. Later in the summer after the other fish spawn there is plenty of forage for omnivorous walleye but in May they have to use available forage.  It takes a full day of feeding to get that feeling of fullness they desire.

 

Walleye pattern:

 

Find colored water, usually toward the back of the canyon but sometimes along the bank where wind and waves stir up the sediment.

 

The proper walleye-catching depth is 12-15 feet.  That works whether trolling, casting or dragging live worms.  Find a bench, terrace or reef surrounded by deeper water.  Work your bait along the breaking edge.  As with most animals fish really like to have a close avenue of escape handy where they can dive quickly into deep water.

 

Trolling, casting, dragging or bottom bouncing will work.  It is up to you to decide which is your preferred method.

 

walleyecaughttubeTrolling: Tie on a 12-foot medium runner and drag it at 2-2.5 mph across the reef.  Walleye are ambush feeders that will strike quickly as a trolled bait is in range.  They really like to hide in a bush and eat fish that swim in close proximity.  Therefore trolling near brush and hitting bottom occasionally is the most effective technique.

 

Bottom bouncing: Use the 12 inch long L-shaped weight with a worm harness, attractant spinners and beads to deliver the night crawler to the waiting walleye. The bouncer has a heavy weight to keep the worm near the bottom.  The worm harness spinners attract attention and the worm usually has a couple of hooks that will impale the walleye as it strikes.

 

Casting or Drifting:  Use a plastic grub, jig, tube or worm on a jig head.  They key is to keep the bait on the bottom while slowly moving along the bottom contour. It will soon become apparent when the lure hits a stick or rock and bounces off.  Then the distinctive walleye bite will feel subtlety different as the bait is mouthed and then released…then picked up and dropped again.   Walleye often bite many times before getting enough hook to be caught.  The bite feels like a lure being grabbed by a rubber band, stretched and then released.  The take home message is that when strange things happen to your lure on the bottom it is usually walleye related.

 

How important is the live worm?  When the worm is lost to a walleye bite it seems wise to put another worm on to catch the fish.  But at times the lure on bottom without a worm will work just fine.  Live worms attached to the terminal tackle are really a matter of personal preference.  If you think walleye will bite better with a worm attached then put one on.  If you think it doesn’t matter then you don’t need one.  All of the walleye caught casting today had a piece of worm attached. The one walleye caught trolling did not bite a worm.  

 

Place a half-inch chunk of live worm on the hook with the plastic grub for taste and to build your confidence.

 

Oh! and one last caution:


walleyelurewormWhen you hook the walleye do not put your hand in the fishes mouth  They have sharp teeth! 

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:48
 

April 22, 2015 - Smallmouth Bass Best!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 22, 2015                                                                                                                Lake Elevation: 3590.5                                                                                                                                                             Water Temperature 59 - 65F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Weather in the southwest continues to be mild. At Lake Powell nights are cool and days warm enough to make fishing and boating on the lake refreshing. The mild weather lasts until May when temperatures are turned up a notch.  That warming will bring another bass spawn and the beginning of runoff and rising lake levels.
Current conditions include excellent fishing success for smallmouth bass lakewide.  Largemouth and crappie are the next most likely fish to catch.  When May warms up walleye may take over second place, at least in the northern lake. Here is a breakdown of fishing success from last week.
Northern Lake (Trachyte to Good Hope Bay)
Fishing success moves up and down with the degrees on the thermometer. It is better in the afternoon when warm and more challenging following a cool night or windy day. Striper schools are continually moving but can be caught in large numbers when a school is located by graphing or trolling. The most recent positive report came from trolling the main channel between Castle Butte and the Horn with deep Thundersticks and Umbrella rigs adorned with 6-inch paddle tail swim baits.
Walleye were caught trolling bottom bouncers with night crawlers and casting Wally Divers across shallow flats (15 ft) near Castle Butte.  Bass fishing was best near broken rock structure on a 45 degree slope.  Bass were found from shore out as far as 20 feet.
Bullfrog to Escalante
Bass fishing is best along the shoreline. Use plastics for best success.  Single tail, double tail, senkos, shad shaped worms, and other plastic baits all work well. The secret is to use the technique that instills personal confidence rather than trying the technique that worked well for someone else. Go with your favorite lure and technique right now and fish will be caught. For best results use green colored plastic.
Crappie are showing up in the Escalante canyons with brush piles on the bottom. Stick up brush is hard to find so search for the submerged cover for best results.
Walleye will be caught in bigger numbers during May but expect to catch one or two per trip this week.
Southern Lake (Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge)
Bass lead the way but do it better in the warming afternoons.  Fish broken rock along the shore and over submerged rock piles in open water.  Plastic lures are best with green colors most preferred. Walleye are showing up but not yet in large numbers.
Stripers can be found trolling where bottom depth is 25 feet. Yesterday we were able to mark schools in the back of the Rock Creek canyons and catch stripers on each pass over the school location.  Surprisingly, the fish caught early in the day were small yearlings that were in open water eating plankton.  After the water warmed in mid morning, larger stripers were caught where the yearlings had been located. The bigger mature fish were not found. It is expected that they are off feed while waiting for spawning temperatures to arrive.  It may be difficult fishing for mature stripers during the next month. Bait fishing may produce a few stripers throughout the lake.
San Juan is perhaps the best location on the lake this week for all fish. Bass fishing is phenomenal.  Water is clear all the way around the Great Bend.   Crappie are showing up in the San Juan better than in other lake locations.
The first two weeks of May will probably be the best fishing for the spring season.  Hope you can make it!

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 22, 2015                                                                                                                

Lake Elevation: 3590.5

Water Temperature 59 - 65F

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

smbrecordWeather in the southwest continues to be mild. At Lake Powell nights are cool and days warm enough to make fishing and boating on the lake refreshing. The mild weather lasts until May when temperatures are turned up a notch.  That warming will bring another bass spawn and the beginning of runoff and rising lake levels.

Current conditions include excellent fishing success for smallmouth bass lakewide.  Largemouth and crappie are the next most likely fish to catch.  When May warms up walleye may take over second place, at least in the northern lake. Here is a breakdown of fishing success from last week.    

Northern Lake (Trachyte to Good Hope Bay)

Fishing success moves up and down with the degrees on the thermometer. It is better in the afternoon when warm and more challenging following a cool night or windy day. Striper schools are continually moving but can be caught in large numbers when a school is located by graphing or trolling. The most recent positive report came from trolling the main channel between Castle Butte and the Horn with deep Thundersticks and Umbrella rigs adorned with 6-inch paddle tail swim baits. 

Walleye were caught trolling bottom bouncers with night crawlers and casting Wally Divers across shallow flats (15 ft) near Castle Butte.  Bass fishing was best near broken rock structure on a 45 degree slope.  Bass were found from shore out as far as 20 feet.  

Bullfrog to Escalante 

Bass fishing is best along the shoreline. Use plastics for best success.  Single tail, double tail, senkos, shad shaped worms, and other plastic baits all work well. The secret is to use the technique that instills personal confidence rather than trying the technique that worked well for someone else. Go with your favorite lure and technique right now and fish will be caught. For best results use green colored plastic.

Crappie are showing up in the Escalante canyons with brush piles on the bottom. Stick up brush is hard to find so search for the submerged cover for best results. 

Walleye will be caught in bigger numbers during May but expect to catch one or two per trip this week. 

Southern Lake (Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge)

Bass lead the way but do it better in the warming afternoons.  Fish broken rock along the shore and over submerged rock piles in open water.  Plastic lures are best with green colors most preferred. Walleye are showing up but not yet in large numbers. 

andrewtiptonStripers can be found trolling where bottom depth is 25 feet. Yesterday we were able to mark schools in the back of the Rock Creek canyons and catch stripers on each pass over the school location.  Surprisingly, the fish caught early in the day were small yearlings that were in open water eating plankton.  After the water warmed in mid morning, larger stripers were caught where the yearlings had been located. The bigger mature fish were not found. It is expected that they are off feed while waiting for spawning temperatures to arrive.  It may be difficult fishing for mature stripers during the next month. Bait fishing may produce a few stripers throughout the lake.

San Juan is perhaps the best location on the lake this week for all fish. Bass fishing is phenomenal.  Water is clear all the way around the Great Bend.   Crappie are showing up in the San Juan better than in other lake locations.   

The first two weeks of May will probably be the best fishing for the spring season.  Hope you can make it!

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 09:07
 

April 14, 2015 - Bass Fishing is Best

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 14, 2015                                                                                                                Lake Elevation: 3591                                                                                                                                                              Water Temperature 56 - 62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The fishing reports from the weekend were the best reports of this year by far.   Virtually all that went fishing caught fish.  Some found phenomenal fishing success.
Bass anglers led the way.  Reports of 50 bass per trip were common.  Bass were caught equally well on plastic baits fished along the bottom or with crankbaits cast to shore and retrieved in shallow water.  Afternoon fishing in warmer water was much better than morning fishing but both were worthwhile.  It is not necessary to wait until noon to catch bass as it was a month ago.
Searching the shoreline in Rock Creek and Padre Bay for bedding bass nests was not productive. There were a few nests seen and some reported but the majority of bass have not reoccupied the nests for the magical second spawn.  That means good bass fishing is still to come. The most likely spawning period is from April 19th to April 24th following the cold front moving in tomorrow.
Stripers are still being caught by trolling to find the school and casting to catch more fish.  Stripers are relatively shallow and really like to hold over shallow water humps near deep water.  Shad are hiding in shallow water while stripers are at the mouth of the cove making sure no shad try to escape from the box canyon.  Small shad lures trolled over those striper humps (10-25 feet) activate the striper school.  Trailing stripers are still being caught by casting shad imitating lures in the area where a striper was caught trolling.  However striper fishing in the southern lake is less successful than it was in March and early April. We retraced our steps used to write the last fish report and found striper numbers only half as great as were caught the previous week.  Searching in the coves near Buoy 25 produced no stripers.  My guess is that fishing pressure caused many of the sun bathing stripers to move on.  They will not go far.  I expect them to be found within a few miles of Buoy 25 in the next week.  If you find them let us know!
Further uplake striper schools were larger and acting in a more normal manner.  That means large schools of stripers can be detected on the graph while trolling.   If they are too deep for the shallow trolled lures they can be marked and then caught with spoons as the boat returns to the school. A striper school was reported to be holding at the mouth of Bullfrog Bay near Buoy 94.  These fish were eager to strike a trolled silver and blue Thunderstick Jr.  When the fish were seen under the boat they could be spooned off the bottom at a depth of 25 feet.  Stripers were being caught at the mouth of Red Canyon trolling, spooning and casting.
Walleye were showing up well in Good Hope Bay.  They could be caught trolling and jigging on shallow flats (15 feet) out in open water. Find a submerged flat and bounce a trolled lure off the bottom to excite walleye holding on the shallow terrain.
The mud line created by runoff from the Colorado River is upstream from Red Canyon. Stained water starts at Buoy 118 and increases near the mouth of Ticaboo.
A few crappie are being caught in the backs of canyons from Good Hope to Trachyte.  It is necessary to go all the way to the back of a canyon to find clearer water not impacted by silt from runoff in the main channel.  Crappie are also being reported in the San Juan and Escalante arms of the lake.
The brief cool down will delay the catch of all species midweek but the bite will warm back up again by the weekend.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 14, 2015                                                                                                                Lake Elevation: 3591                                                                                                                                                              Water Temperature 56 - 62 F

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

dungeebass1The fishing reports from the weekend were the best reports of this year by far.   Virtually all that went fishing caught fish. Some found phenomenal fishing success.   

Bass anglers led the way.  Reports of 50 bass (45 smallmouth and 5 largemouth) per trip were common lakewide.  Bass were caught equally well on plastic baits fished along the bottom or with crankbaits cast to shore and retrieved in shallow water.  Afternoon fishing in warmer water was much better than morning fishing but both were worthwhile.  It is not necessary to wait until noon to catch bass as it was a month ago. 

Searching the shoreline in Rock Creek and Padre Bay for bedding bass nests was not productive. There were a few nests seen and some reported but the majority of bass have not reoccupied the nests for the magical second spawn. That means good bass fishing is still to come. The most likely spawning period is from April 19th to April 24th following the cold front moving in tomorrow. 

Stripers are still being caught by trolling to find the school and casting to catch more fish.  Stripers are relatively shallow and really like to hold over shallow water humps near deep water.  Shad are hiding in shallow water while stripers are at the mouth of the cove making sure no shad try to escape from the box canyon.  Small shad lures trolled over those striper humps (10-25 feet) activate the striper school.  Trailing stripers are still being caught by casting shad imitating lures in the area where a striper was caught trolling.  However striper fishing in the southern lake is less successful than it was in March and early April. We retraced our steps used to write the last fish report and found striper numbers only half as great as were caught the previous week.  Searching in the coves near Buoy 25 produced no stripers.  My guess is that fishing pressure caused many of the sun bathing stripers to move on.  They will not go far.  I expect them to be found within a few miles of Buoy 25 in the next week.  If you find them let us know!     

Further uplake striper schools were larger and acting in a more normal manner.  That means large schools of stripers can be detected on the graph while trolling.   If they are too deep for the shallow trolled lures they can be marked and then caught with spoons as the boat returns to hover over the school. A striper school was reported to be holding at the mouth of Bullfrog Bay near Buoy 94.  These fish were eager to strike a trolled silver and blue Thunderstick Jr.  When the fish were seen under the boat they could be spooned off the bottom at a depth of 25 feet.  Stripers were being caught at the mouth of Red Canyon trolling, spooning and casting.

duboysbigwaeWalleye were showing up well in Good Hope Bay.  They could be caught trolling and jigging on shallow flats (15 feet) out in open water. Find a submerged flat and bounce a trolled lure along the bottom to excite walleye holding on the shallow terrain.  

The mud line created by runoff from the Colorado River is upstream from Red Canyon. Stained water starts at Buoy 118 and increases near the mouth of Ticaboo. 

A few crappie are being caught in the backs of canyons from Good Hope to Trachyte.  It is necessary to go all the way to the back of a canyon to find clearer water not impacted by silt from runoff in the main channel.  Crappie are also being reported in the San Juan and Escalante arms of the lake.  

The brief cool down will delay the catch of all species midweek but the bite will warm back up again by the weekend.

 

April 7, 2015 - Catching Nibblers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 7, 2015                                                                                                                Lake Elevation: 3590.9                                                                                                                                                              Water Temperature 56 - 62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The unseasonably warm water experienced during the past week has now turned seasonably cooler.  The cold front chased bass off their nests, sent stripers deeper and slowed fishing success temporarily.  But it reality that makes this a normal April with the various changes that occur every Spring.  Now it is easy to predict what will happen next by looking at the temperature and weather forecast. Plan the fishing trip for 3-5 day warming periods and avoid cold fronts if possible.
Both large and smallmouth bass made nests and some spawning probably occurred. But as water cools bass leave the beds and wait for the next warming period when the nests can then be freshened up and more eggs laid. During a normal spring male bass will guard 4-6 different batches of eggs and fry.
Weather is predicted to warm up this weekend. Expect bass to return to shallow rocky structure when surface water temperature exceeds 62F in the morning period.  The next spawn will include many more fish than the few that made nests during the first week of April. Bass fishing success will also increase. One major change is that bass fishing success will be much better in clear water.  Bass can now be caught on virtually all rocky habitat over the length of the lake.
Walleye will get more active with the next water warm up.  The key to catching walleye is to fish low light periods in morning and evenings with slowly worked plastic baits that creep along the bottom in 12-25 feet of water. Another friend of walleye anglers is wind and wave action that ruffles the water surface and reduces visibility allowing walleye to see bait and lures more clearly through their light sensitive eyes. Walleye numbers are much higher from Bullfrog to the Colorado River inlet near Trachyte Canyon.  Runoff water makes the water murky which also enhances walleye success.
Striped bass moved from shallow warm water back to deep water with the recent cooling period. In the past few days the best success for larger stripers was found by those trolling deep diving lures in the 20-45 foot strata. Adult and juvenile stripers are divided by size.  Smaller fish are near the surface where plankton is found. Young stripers can feed on these random open water congregations of tiny microscopic animals and maintain good condition by the food obtained. But all stripers are habitually required by nature to consume any fish or lure that invades their personal space.  A shallow running lure that zips through the feeding school will be whacked. While trolling lipless vibrators recently we often feel many little ticks before hooking a striper.  My guess is that the trolled lure runs through a school of plankton eating stripers that just nibble at the lure before one finally opens its mouth enough to take the hook. When nibblers are contacted mark the spot and return to cast lures to the location for a quick catch of stripers.
It was recently reported that stripers were seen in the famous Buoy 25 coves that were so good two years ago. We investigated and found that to be true.  Many nibblers were found with respectable numbers caught while trolling LVs. The clear water makes it easy for stripers to just go deep to avoid boat traffic trolling overhead.  I have predicted that bait fishing will be slow this spring but this spot may be the perfect place to find lots of success using anchovies.  Striper numbers are large and the friendly deep water with shallow benches tend to hold stripers that come up to eat plankton and dive to avoid trouble.  It would be worthwhile to try bait at Buoy 25 just like the good old days.

 Lake Powell Fish Report – April 7, 2015                                                                                                                          Lake Elevation: 3590.9                                                                                                                                                            Water Temperature 56 - 62 F

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

wglmb09The unseasonably warm water experienced during the past week has now turned seasonably cooler.  The cold front chased bass off their nests, sent stripers deeper and slowed fishing success temporarily.  But it reality that makes this a normal April with the various changes that occur every Spring.  Now it is easy to predict what will happen next by looking at the temperature and weather forecast. Plan the fishing trip for 3-5 day warming periods and avoid cold fronts if possible.   

Both large and smallmouth bass made nests and some spawning probably occurred. But as water cools bass leave the beds and wait for the next warming period when the nests can then be freshened up and more eggs laid. During a normal spring male bass will guard 4-6 different batches of eggs and fry.   

Weather is predicted to warm up this weekend. Expect bass to return to shallow rocky structure when surface water temperature exceeds 62F in the morning period.  The next spawn will include many more fish than the few that made nests during the first week of April. Bass fishing success will also increase. One major change is that bass fishing success will be much better in clear water.  Bass can now be caught on virtually all rocky habitat over the length of the lake. 

gauneyeWalleye will get more active with the next water warm up.  The key to catching walleye is to fish low light periods in morning and evenings with slowly worked plastic baits that creep along the bottom in 12-25 feet of water. Another friend of walleye anglers is wind and wave action that ruffles the water surface and reduces visibility allowing walleye to see bait and lures more clearly through their light sensitive eyes. Walleye numbers are much higher from Bullfrog to the Colorado River inlet near Trachyte Canyon.  Runoff water makes the water murky which also enhances walleye success.

Striped bass moved from shallow warm water back to deep water with the recent cooling period. In the past few days the best success for larger stripers was found by those trolling deep diving lures in the 20-45 foot strata. Adult and juvenile stripers are divided by size.  Smaller fish are near the surface where plankton is found. Young stripers can feed on these random open water congregations of tiny microscopic animals and maintain good condition by the food obtained. But all stripers are habitually required by nature to consume any fish or lure that invades their personal space.  A shallow running lure that zips through the feeding school will be whacked.

While trolling lipless vibrators recently we often feel many little ticks before hooking a striper.  My guess is that the trolled lure runs through a school of plankton eating stripers that just nibble at the lure before one finally opens its mouth enough to take the hook. When nibblers are contacted mark the spot and return to cast lures to the location for a quick catch of stripers.  

It was recently reported that stripers were seen in the famous Buoy 25 coves that were so good two years ago. We investigated and found that to be true.  Many nibblers were found with respectable numbers caught while trolling LVs. The clear water makes it easy for stripers to just go deep to avoid boat traffic trolling overhead.  I have predicted that bait fishing will be slow this spring but this spot may be the perfect place to find lots of success using anchovies.  Striper numbers are large and the friendly deep water with shallow benches tend to hold stripers that come up to eat plankton and dive to avoid trouble.  It would be worthwhile to try bait at Buoy 25 just like the good old days.

ryankimball


 

April 1, 2015 - Warm water arrives early

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 1, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature 60 - 65 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
April is here but bass and stripers took little notice as they have been swimming in warming water for the past two weeks.   We usually have to wait until mid April for the magic 60 degree water temperatures that kicks-off bass and crappie spawning but those temperatures are already here.  It is no joke!  Fishing success makes it seem like the end of April and early May. Here is the summary of current conditions.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been active in the murky water in the backs of canyons for a while but now are found on points and in coves in water color transition zones and even clear water. The best habitat is rocky structure with piles of submerged tumbleweeds in close proximity. Bass are very active and quick to bite plastic jigs and tubes, worked methodically along the bottom.  Afternoon fishing in warming water is very productive but the morning bite is improving dramatically.
Recent bass tournaments have had winning weights exceeding 20 pounds for 5 bass. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are rotund coming out of winter in great shape. Bass fishing is great over the length of the lake.
Crappie are found in the backs of canyons near brush and weeds where water is stained. Crappie fishing is better in the northern lake than the south with the San Juan and Escalante canyons being the best spots right now.
Walleye fishing has taken off in the northern lake with Good Hope Bay being the prime location.  These great tasting fish were caught most often on open water reefs at a depth of 20-25 feet. Slow trolling with bottom bouncers and worm harnesses is a sure thing but casting night crawlers and plastic grubs to the same reefs works well also.  Walleye are being caught lakewide but the numbers are smaller in the southern lake compared to the north.
Striped bass are active but well hidden.  Adult stripers are searching for shad. Shad are hiding in very shallow water hoping that stripers will not cross long shallow flats in the back of a canyon or cove.  Stripers hold in the 25 foot zone and periodically make the trek into 2 feet of water to get a shad snack.  A good sign of fish activity is looking for grebe congregations. Grebes often rest in large groups in the middle of the bay over deep water.  Finding a cluster of grebes in the back of the canyon where water depth is less than 3 feet is very unusual.  But if a flock of grebes is found out of place there is often a school of hungry stripers targeting that same shad school.  Right now it is more likely to find a striper school on a shallow flat in the back of the canyon than it is to find stripers in the deep water of the main channel. Do not expect to catch stripers at the dam or Moki Wall using anchovy bait.    It would be very helpful if concerned anglers went the extra half mile across the mud flat in the extreme back of the canyon to rescue shad from ravenous BIG stripers.
During the daily cycle stripers will hold in deeper water where they can be trolled up with down riggers.  Then stripers will move toward the shallows looking for shad.  Stripers in search mode are vulnerable to rattletraps and LVs trolled or cast to moving schools. Finally striper schools will go shallow for a short time where they can be caught on shallow running lures, spinner baits and surface lures. One striper boil was reported in shallow water over the weekend. Stripers then retreat from the shallows and head back out to deep water where they stay for a time before repeating the foraging process. It is necessary to look in all these depths and places to find the moving school.  Smaller stripers are consistently feeding on plankton in open water and they can be caught by trolling shallow running crankbaits and casting LVs or Kastmasters spoons.
There is a lot of fishing opportunity at Lake Powell now and it should continue throughout the month of April.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 1, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3591   

Water Temperature 60 - 65 F

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

mikelarsen3April is here but bass and stripers took little notice as they have been swimming in warming water for the past two weeks. We usually have to wait until mid April for the magic 60 degree water temperatures that kicks-off bass and crappie spawning but those temperatures are already here.  It is no joke!  Fishing success makes it seem like the end of April and early May. Here is the summary of current conditions. 

Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been active in the murky water in the backs of canyons for a while but now are found on points and in coves in water color transition zones and even clear water. The best habitat is rocky structure with piles of submerged tumbleweeds in close proximity. Bass are very active and quick to bite plastic jigs and tubes, worked methodically along the bottom.  Afternoon fishing in warming water is very productive but the morning bite is improving dramatically. 

Recent bass tournaments have had winning weights exceeding 20 pounds for 5 bass. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are rotund coming out of winter in great shape. Bass fishing is great over the length of the lake. 

Crappie are found in the backs of canyons near brush and weeds where water is stained. Crappie fishing is better in the northern lake than the south with the San Juan and Escalante canyons being the best spots right now. 

Walleye fishing has taken off in the northern lake with Good Hope Bay being the prime location.  These great tasting fish were caught most often on open water reefs at a depth of 20-25 feet. Slow trolling with bottom bouncers and worm harnesses is a sure thing but casting night crawlers and plastic grubs to the same reefs works well also.  Walleye are being caught lakewide but the numbers are smaller in the southern lake compared to the north. Striped bass are active but well hidden.  

hotwheelAdult stripers are searching for shad. Shad are hiding in very shallow water hoping that stripers will not cross long shallow flats in the back of a canyon or cove.  Stripers hold in the 25 foot zone and periodically make the trek into 2 feet of water to get a shad snack.  A good sign of fish activity is looking for grebe congregations. Grebes often rest in large groups in the middle of the bay over deep water.  Finding a cluster of grebes in the back of the canyon where water depth is less than 3 feet is very unusual.  But if a flock of grebes is found out of place there is often a school of hungry stripers targeting that same shad school.  Right now it is more likely to find a striper school on a shallow flat in the back of the canyon than it is to find stripers in the deep water of the main channel. Do not expect to catch stripers at the dam or Moki Wall using anchovy bait.    It would be very helpful if concerned anglers went the extra half mile across the mud flat in the extreme back of the canyon to rescue shad from ravenous BIG stripers. 

During the daily cycle stripers will hold in deeper water where they can be trolled up with down riggers.  Then stripers will move toward the shallows looking for shad.  Stripers in search mode are vulnerable to rattletraps and LVs trolled or cast to moving schools. Finally striper schools will go shallow for a short time where they can be caught on shallow running lures, spinner baits and surface lures. One striper boil was reported in shallow water over the weekend. Stripers then retreat from the shallows and head back out to deep water where they stay for a time before repeating the foraging process. It is necessary to look in all these depths and places to find the moving school.  

Smaller stripers are consistently feeding on plankton in open water and they can be caught by trolling shallow running crankbaits and casting LVs or Kastmasters spoons.  

There is a lot of fishing opportunity at Lake Powell now and it should continue throughout the month of April.

9lbscampbell

 

March 24, 2015 - Murky water stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 24, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3591.25
Water Temperature 55 - 63 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
This is an incredible time to be on Lake Powell.  Spring arrived early with warm temperatures and no wind.  The calm water is so picturesque that it is hard to break away and concentrate on fishing.  All the fish are noticing the warm water as well.  It’s a month early but bass are lining up to spawn.  If the water continues to warm bass may move on nests next week.  Regardless, the prespawn fishing success is awesome.
Smallmouth bass are the most cooperative fish right now. Fishing success is temperature dependent making afternoon fishing prime time. Use plastic single tail grubs or tubes along primary and secondary points near shore.  The warm water is found in shallow water with deep water still fairly cool.  Find colored water for most consistent results but some bass are now being caught in clear water as well.  Bass can be caught anywhere from the shoreline to 25 feet deep.  Cast shallow and work the plastic bait progressively deeper along the rocky point until a fish is hooked and then recast to catch another.
Largemouth bass were caught occasionally while using these same fishing techniques.  It helps to find some semblance of brush to locate largemouth bass habitat.
The best news is that all these fish are fat and healthy. Many rotund, 2-pound smallmouth were caught this weekend.
Crappie are also showing up in these warm conditions.  Bluegill and other brush-loving fish have moved into muddy water to find protection from marauding predators.  If submerged tumbleweeds or some other brushy material is found in muddy water it is added incentive for bass, crappie and bluegill to set up temporary quarters there until the lake rises and covers more brush. Reports of 30 crappie caught in a day were had this weekend.  One 3-pound crappie was caught in the San Juan.
Stripers are following these proceedings with interest. As small bodied fish move into the shallow muddy water, stripers follow. The best reports for big stripers this week came from muddy water in the backs of canyons.  Anglers casting jerk baits and lipless vibrators into shallow water were rewarded with big stripers weighing 5-pounds and better.  Again afternoon fishing was better after the water warmed in the afternoon sun.
Smaller stripers (16 inches) are eating plankton which is most prevalent in murky water at 5-10 feet deep. Troll or cast lipless vibrators or jerk baits to target these fish. The best option is to troll to find the striper school then cast quickly once a fish is hooked to catch more stripers while the first fish is netted.
Walleye are starting to show up for bass anglers dragging plastic lures long the bottom.  They will get more active in April but walleye made an appearance this weekend.   To target walleye tip the plastic bass jig with a small piece of night crawler.
All things considered it looks like a very good week to fish for many different species at Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 24, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3591.25    

Water Temperature 55 - 63 F

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

lv500smaThis is an incredible time to be on Lake Powell.  Spring arrived early with warm temperatures and no wind.  The calm water is so picturesque that it is hard to break away and concentrate on fishing.  All the fish are noticing the warm water as well.  It’s a month early but bass are lining up to spawn.  If the water continues to warm bass may move on nests next week.  Regardless, the prespawn fishing success is awesome.  Smallmouth bass are the most cooperative fish right now.

Fishing success is temperature dependent making afternoon fishing prime time. Use plastic single tail grubs or tubes along primary and secondary points near shore.  The warm water is found in shallow water with deep water still fairly cool.  Find colored water for most consistent results but some bass are now being caught in clear water as well.  

Bass can be caught anywhere from the shoreline to 25 feet deep.  Cast shallow and work the plastic bait progressively deeper along the rocky point until a fish is hooked and then recast to catch another. Largemouth bass were caught occasionally while using these same fishing techniques.  It helps to find some semblance of brush to locate largemouth bass habitat.  

The best news is that all these fish are fat and healthy. Many rotund, 2-pound smallmouth were caught this weekend.

Crappie are also showing up in these warm conditions.  Bluegill and other brush-loving fish have moved into muddy water to find protection from marauding predators.  If submerged tumbleweeds or some other brushy material is found in muddy water it is added incentive for bass, crappie and bluegill to set up temporary quarters there until the lake rises and covers more brush. Reports of 30 crappie caught in a day were had this weekend.  One 3-pound crappie was caught in the San Juan. 

Stripers are following these proceedings with interest. As small bodied fish move into the shallow muddy water, stripers follow. The best reports for big stripers this week came from muddy water in the backs of canyons.  Anglers casting jerk baits and lipless vibrators into shallow water were rewarded with big stripers weighing 5-pounds and better.  Again afternoon fishing was better after the water warmed in the afternoon sun. 

Smaller stripers (16 inches) are eating plankton which is most prevalent in murky water at 5-10 feet deep. Troll or cast lipless vibrators or jerk baits to target these fish. The best option is to troll to find the striper school then cast quickly once a fish is hooked to catch more stripers while the first fish is netted.

Walleye are starting to show up for bass anglers dragging plastic lures long the bottom.  They will get more active in April but walleye made an appearance this weekend.   To target walleye tip the plastic bass jig with a small piece of night crawler. 

All things considered it looks like a very good week to fish for many different species at Lake Powell.

 

reedboat

 

March 18, 2015 - Murky is Better!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 18, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3591.85
Water Temperature 55-60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Spring is here!  Water temperature has warmed enough to wake up bass and energize the fishery.  Water temperature in the morning is in the mid 50s but in the afternoon the 60 degree barrier is overcome.  That has positive ramifications for all Lake Powell fish.
Largemouth bass are the first to spawn.  The warm 60 degree threshold has largemouth building nests. Males select rocky structure at the base of a bush or near a tumbleweed pile.  They use their tail to   sweep moss and sand from the rocky structure.  If the warm pattern holds they will soon select a mate and lay eggs on the rocks for the male to guard.  If a cold front comes through the nest is temporarily abandoned until the water warms again and the egg-laying process is repeated.   Once the nest site is selected the male bass will be in close proximity for the next month. Find that nest site in the lakes clear water and fishing for bass is a whole lot easier. If the male is released to return to his nest he can be caught a number of times during the spawning season.
Smallmouth bass have been almost dormant over the winter. They react to 60 degree water by waking up and feeding more often.  They do not spawn until water temperature climbs consistently above 62-64 degrees.  It will take another two weeks before smallmouth begin the nesting ritual.  The main difference with smallmouth spawning is the lack of brush near the smallmouth nest.  Smallmouth need rocks for substrate but hide the nest near a ledge or rocky structure. Nests found on a shallow ridge in open water without brush will normally be made by smallmouth. Nests within a brush pile will likely be tended by largemouth and crappie males.
To catch fish find shallow rocky habitat with deep water nearby.  Fish near the nests to catch the smaller males.  But the bigger female fish will be just off the deep water edge in 10-15 feet of water. Best baits now are Yamamoto senkos and shad shaped worms fish weightless or on a dropshot rig.
Stripers have moved shallow to “sun themselves” – not really!  Stripers are all about eating.  They go where the forage fish are. Small fish are in the shallows feeling the warmth and stripers have followed. Instead of fishing deep water looking for schools, move to the 10-15 foot bottom depth and cast shad or sunfish imitating lures. There is not much brush in the water for forage fish to hide in so they have gone to Plan B. Forage fish use murky water and rocks as a defense against predator fish. Water with color absorbs more heat than clear water and is therefore warmer.  Warm water fish really like warm water in the spring time. The take home message here is that predator fish will be in warmest water available where bottom depth is 10-20 feet.
For example, when southern lake boaters go through the Castle Rock Cut they will leave clear water in Wahweap and enter murky water in Warm Creek.  Look closely at that water color and then duplicate it at new fishing spots.  Find matching water color to locate a new fishing spot to try at a new location.
Fishing is really good right now if a few rules are followed. Head to the backs of murky water canyons where water temperature is warmer to find the best fishing results possible in late March.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 18, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3591.85    

Water Temperature 55-60 F

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


Spring is here!  Water temperature has warmed enough to wake up bass and energize the fishery.  Water temperature in the morning is in the mid 50s but in the afternoon the 60 degree barrier is overcome.  That has positive ramifications for all Lake Powell fish.  

kcampbell2Largemouth bass are the first to spawn.  The warm 60 degree threshold has largemouth building nests. Males select rocky structure at the base of a bush or near a tumbleweed pile.  They use their tail to   sweep moss and sand from the rocky structure.  If the warm pattern holds they will soon select a mate and lay eggs on the rocks for the male to guard.  If a cold front comes through the nest is temporarily abandoned until the water warms again and the egg-laying process is repeated.   Once the nest site is selected the male bass will be in close proximity for the next month. Find that nest site in the lakes clear water and fishing for bass is a whole lot easier. If the male is released to return to his nest he can be caught a number of times during the spawning season. 

Smallmouth bass have been almost dormant over the winter. They react to 60 degree water by waking up and feeding more often.  They do not spawn until water temperature climbs consistently above 62-64 degrees.  It will take another two weeks before smallmouth begin the nesting ritual.  The main difference with smallmouth spawning is the lack of brush near the smallmouth nest.  Smallmouth need rocks for substrate but hide the nest near a ledge or rocky structure. Nests found on a shallow ridge in open water without brush will normally be made by smallmouth. Nests within a brush pile will likely be tended by largemouth and crappie males.   

charsmbTo catch fish find shallow rocky habitat with deep water nearby.  Fish near the nests to catch the smaller males.  But the bigger female fish will be just off the deep water edge in 10-15 feet of water. Best baits now are Yamamoto senkos and shad shaped worms fish weightless or on a dropshot rig. 

Stripers have moved shallow to “sun themselves” – not really!  Stripers are all about eating.  They go where the forage fish are. Small fish are in the shallows feeling the warmth and stripers have followed. Instead of fishing deep water looking for schools, move to the 10-15 foot bottom depth and cast shad or sunfish imitating lures. There is not much brush in the water for forage fish to hide in so they have gone to Plan B. Forage fish use murky water and rocks as a defense against predator fish. Water with color absorbs more heat than clear water and is therefore warmer.  Warm water fish really like warm water in the spring time.  The take home message here is that predator fish will be in warmest water available where bottom depth is 10-20 feet.

For example, when southern lake boaters go through the Castle Rock Cut they will leave clear water in Wahweap and enter murky water in Warm Creek.  Look closely at that water color and then duplicate it at new fishing spots.  Find matching water color to locate a new fishing spot to try at a new location.  

Fishing is really good right now if a few rules are followed. Head to the backs of murky water canyons where water temperature is warmer to find the best fishing results possible in late March.

 

lv100stb

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:40
 

March 11, 2015 - Good Hope Stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 11, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature 50-54 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
The striper hot spot this week at Lake Powell is Good Hope Bay.  This will be a recurring theme in 2015.  Striper numbers and shad forage are higher in the northern lake. Reports from Good Hope this week indicate it is possible to catch 100 stripers per day while graphing and spooning.
Begin the search in Good Hope Bay near Red Canyon.  You may have to go as far as The Horn to find a school.  Graph the 25-45 foot contour looking for big striper schools.  These schools are large and easy to detect.  Stop the boat directly over the school and immediately drop spoons to the bottom. Fish in an active school will hit the spoon as it comes down.  Inactive fish have to be coaxed so jig the spoon off the bottom perhaps 3-4 times.  Then retrieve the spoon as quickly as possible for 15 – 20 feet, before stopping and jigging at mid depth.  This gives any trailing fish an excuse to grab the suspended spoon.  If there were no followers, rest assured the fish in the resting school are “looking up” just waiting for the bait to come back down.  Give them what they want by dropping the spoon back to the bottom.  If the spoon lands within the school again, they won’t disappoint.  There will soon be a fish holding on to the spoon with others following trying to get a good look at what the first fish ate. Then its game on! The whole school goes into feeding mode.  Work quickly to hook, land fish, unhook, and return the spoon to the water as quickly as possible. Admire the fish after the school moves on. Just concentrate on catching fish while the school is in range.
In the southern lake it is not quite that easy.  Shad numbers are less and stripers seem to be separated from shad. Try trolling while graphing.  Lately we have been seeing small groups of 10 stripers or less on the graph instead of the huge schools found in the north. These randomly scattered fish are better targets for trolled lures than a precise spoon drop.  Troll in the backs of most canyons where water color is slightly stained and water depth is the same 25-45 feet.  When a striper hits the trolled lure be ready to toss a spoon or a crankbait to any following fish.  There will be occasions when a small bunch of stripers follow the hooked fish and an extra 2-3 fish can be caught at each stop.
If bass are the target, some rally fat large and smallmouth are being caught near brush.  That sounds simple but requires some explanation.  Submerged shoreline vegetation is scarce and the lake level continues to fall.  “Brush” is defined as tumbleweed piles, cattail clumps washed into the lake from flash floods last fall, or any other unusual structure that a largemouth bass could call home. Sometimes it is a rock, ledge, or a change in water color. Finding bass-holding habitat is challenging but may be the key to catching the huge bass that are available right now.   When a good spot is found it can be fished more than once. If bass are caught in a likely spot, let it rest and return 2 hours later to find more bass.
Bass fishing in the southern lake seems to be almost as good as in the north. The general rule this year is that bass are bigger, fatter and more satisfying than in any recent year.  There have been some really big bass landed already and many more are expected as the water warms.
Walleye are spawning now so they are challenging to catch.  Fishing will be better in mid April after spawning is over.  But females that are not actively spawning can still be enticed by night crawlers towed behind a spinner rig on a bottom bouncer or a trolled crankbait ticking bottom at 12 feet in murky water.
Expect to interact with some quality fish this year no matter which species is pursued.  Don’t miss out on the action. This year is going to be very special.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 11, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3591    

Water Temperature 50-54 F

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


bfgraph2The striper hot spot this week at Lake Powell is Good Hope Bay.  This will be a recurring theme in 2015.  Striper numbers and shad forage are higher in the northern lake. Reports from Good Hope this week indicate it is possible to catch 100 stripers per day while graphing and spooning.   

Begin the search in Good Hope Bay near Red Canyon.  You may have to go as far as The Horn to find a school.  Graph the 25-45 foot contour looking for big striper schools.  These schools are large and easy to detect.  Stop the boat directly over the school and immediately drop spoons to the bottom. Fish in an active school will hit the spoon as it comes down.  Inactive fish have to be coaxed so jig the spoon off the bottom perhaps 3-4 times.  Then retrieve the spoon as quickly as possible for 15 – 20 feet, before stopping and jigging at mid depth.  This gives any trailing fish an excuse to grab the suspended spoon.  If there were no followers, rest assured the fish in the resting school are “looking up” just waiting for the bait to come back down.  Give them what they want by dropping the spoon back to the bottom.  If the spoon lands within the school again, they won’t disappoint.  There will soon be a fish holding on to the spoon with others following trying to get a good look at what the first fish ate. Then its game on! The whole school goes into feeding mode.  Work quickly to hook, land fish, unhook, and return the spoon to the water as quickly as possible. Admire the fish after the school moves on. Just concentrate on catching fish while the school is in range.

In the southern lake it is not quite that easy.  Shad numbers are less and stripers seem to be separated from shad. Try trolling while graphing.  Lately we have been seeing small groups of 10 stripers or less on the graph instead of the huge schools found in the north. These randomly scattered fish are better targets for trolled lures than a precise spoon drop.  

Troll in the backs of most canyons where water color is slightly stained and water depth is the same 25-45 feet.  When a striper hits the trolled lure be ready to toss a spoon or a crankbait to any following fish.  There will be occasions when a small bunch of stripers follow the hooked fish and an extra 2-3 fish can be caught at each stop.   If bass are the target, some rally fat large and smallmouth are being caught near brush.  That sounds simple but requires some explanation.  Submerged shoreline vegetation is scarce and the lake level continues to fall.  “Brush” is defined as tumbleweed piles, cattail clumps washed into the lake from flash floods last fall, or any other unusual structure that a largemouth bass could call home. Sometimes it is a rock, ledge, or a change in water color. Finding bass-holding habitat is challenging but may be the key to catching the huge bass that are available right now.   When a good spot is found it can be fished more than once. If bass are caught in a likely spot, let it rest and return 2 hours later to find more bass. 

Bass fishing in the southern lake seems to be almost as good as in the north. The general rule this year is that bass are bigger, fatter and more satisfying than in any recent year.  There have been some really big bass landed already and many more are expected as the water warms. Walleye are spawning now so they are challenging to catch.  Fishing will be better in mid April after spawning is over.  But females that are not actively spawning can still be enticed by night crawlers towed behind a spinner rig on a bottom bouncer or a trolled crankbait ticking bottom at 12 feet in murky water. 

Expect to interact with some quality fish this year no matter which species is pursued.  Don’t miss out on the action. This year is going to be very special.

meyersbboth

 

 

March 2, 2015 - What to expect in 2015

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 2, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3592
Water Temperature 49-53 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Welcome to a Happy New FISHING Year at Lake Powell.  Headline news indicated that threadfin shad, the main forage fish in the lake, had a banner year in 2014. The Utah Division of Wildlife trawl shad samples in 2014 were 10 times greater than seen in the past decade. I would like to insert a picture of a big striped bass here with a huge smile on its face but I don’t have any fish that will smile for the camera.  Instead we will have to be satisfied with bass and stripers with a large stomach compared to the whole body profile.  Lake Powell fish are coming out of winter in the best rotund condition seen in this century.
That is fantastic news for fish but has to be interpreted when it comes to angling projections.  Let’s take striped bass for an example.  Fat healthy stripers have lived in the back of the canyon eating shad all winter.  When water warms in the springtime most anglers expect stripers to be in the main channel by Glen Canyon Dam or Moki Wall near Bullfrog.
A recent poll of stripers, conducted by me, found that most fish interviewed said they would choose to stay in the back of the canyon rather than heading to the dam in the spring because there was more food in the canyon than the main channel.  When asked about spawning they indicated they could spawn in the canyon near food and did not have to run to the channel.   Sample size was small but consistent.  My prediction is that fishing will be much better in the canyons with reaction type shad imitating lures than in the main channel with anchovy bait.
Further questioning teased out another fact.  Most stripers were in spawning condition this spring because of the great food resources. Therefore, when spawning time comes in May, the majority of adult fish indicated they would not feed during the spawning season but spend time finding a mate and spawning habitat. Younger fish and precocious teens said they would keep chasing shad no matter what.  Luckily it was found that adult striper fishing would improve dramatically after the spawn in June as older fish said they would feed on the surface often if shad numbers were strong again in 2015.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass were not interviewed so the same old traditions should be expected. When water warms in March and April male bass will head to the shallows to build nests.  If the runoff is small or significantly delayed by cool weather, bass nests can be seen and fish readily caught from shallow nests.  If fast rising water covers the nests and makes them harder to find, male bass will still be quick to bite when a plastic bait threatens to enter a bass nest.
All bass have benefitted from the abundant shad food resource. They are in prime condition.  Both large and smallmouth bass may produce personal best size fish for lucky anglers this spring. Habitat is limited by low water levels so largemouth bass will be found near submerged brush piles. Look for old tumbleweed piles or cattail clumps that were displaced by flood waters.  These areas are not common but could be a bass bonanza when found.  Some crappie will be found in the same locations.
Walleye are present in large numbers in the northern lake.  They will be a worthy target fish in May and June.  If stripers are being stubborn during this time make sure to have some walleye baits and worms along to save the trip.
Catfish are fat and sassy as well. They will be easy to catch on a sandy beach near camp.
It looks like a great fishing year.  My prediction is that calm, good weather periods extending for 3-5 days in March and April will be the best spring fishing periods for a variety of fish with largemouth the main target and smallmouth a close second.  Walleye will be the best target fish in May.  Striped bass will be consistent throughout the spring season but location will be the key to finding them. Look in the backs of canyons near shad schools for best results.  Bait will work better for night fishing while shad lures will be the best method in daylight hours.
Plan your trip now.  It’s going to be a great year for fishing success.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 2, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3592     

Water Temperature 49-53 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

Welcome to a Happy New FISHING Year at Lake Powell.  Headline news indicated that threadfin shad, the main forage fish in the lake, had a banner year in 2014. The Utah Division of Wildlife trawl shad samples in 2014 were 10 times greater than seen in the past decade. I would like to insert a picture of a big striped bass here with a huge smile on its face but I don’t have any fish that will smile for the camera.  Instead we will have to be satisfied with bass and stripers with a large stomach compared to the whole body profile.  Lake Powell fish are coming out of winter in the best rotund condition seen in this century.

wgstb5That is fantastic news for fish but has to be interpreted when it comes to angling projections.  Let’s take striped bass for an example.  Fat healthy stripers have lived in the back of the canyon eating shad all winter.  When water warms in the springtime most anglers expect stripers to be in the main channel by Glen Canyon Dam or Moki Wall near Bullfrog.  

A recent poll of stripers, conducted by me, found that most fish interviewed said they would choose to stay in the back of the canyon rather than heading to the dam in the spring because there was more food in the canyon than the main channel.  When asked about spawning they indicated they could spawn in the canyon near food and did not have to run to the channel.   Sample size was small but consistent.  My prediction is that fishing will be much better in the canyons with reaction type shad imitating lures than in the main channel with anchovy bait. 

wgstb2big_edited-1Further questioning teased out another fact.  Most stripers were in spawning condition this spring because of the great food resources. Therefore, when spawning time comes in May, the majority of adult fish indicated they would not feed during the spawning season but spend time finding a mate and spawning habitat. Younger fish and precocious teens said they would keep chasing shad no matter what.  Luckily it was found that adult striper fishing would improve dramatically after the spawn in June as older fish said they would feed on the surface often if shad numbers were strong again in 2015.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass were not interviewed so the same old traditions should be expected. When water warms in March and April male bass will head to the shallows to build nests.  If the runoff is small or significantly delayed by cool weather, bass nests can be seen and fish readily caught from shallow nests.  If fast rising water covers the nests and makes them harder to find, male bass will still be quick to bite when a plastic bait threatens to enter a bass nest.  

All bass have benefitted from the abundant shad food resource. They are in prime condition.  Both large and smallmouth bass may produce personal best size fish for lucky anglers this spring. Habitat is limited by low water levels so largemouth bass will be found near submerged brush piles. Look for old tumbleweed piles or cattail clumps that were displaced by flood waters.  These areas are not common but could be a bass bonanza when found.  Some crappie will be found in the same locations. 

waemouthWalleye are present in large numbers in the northern lake.  They will be a worthy target fish in May and June.  If stripers are being stubborn during this time make sure to have some walleye baits and worms along to save the trip.

Catfish are fat and sassy as well. They will be easy to catch on a sandy beach near camp. 

It looks like a great fishing year.  My prediction is that calm, good weather periods extending for 3-5 days in March and April will be the best spring fishing periods for a variety of fish with largemouth the main target and smallmouth a close second.  Walleye will be the best target fish in May.  Striped bass will be consistent throughout the spring season but location will be the key to finding them. Look in the backs of canyons near shad schools for best results.  Bait will work better for night fishing while shad lures will be the best method in daylight hours. 

Plan your trip now.  It’s going to be a great year for fishing success.

Walleye Trolling lures (Banana lures)  Wally Divers

wallydiversrrm

 

February 19, 2015 - Rock Creek and Padre Canyon

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Lake Powell Fishing Report

February 19, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3592

Water Temperature: 50-53 F

 

It has been my experience that fishing success is much better in low light conditions.  Therefore we launched as soon the first dim light appeared in the eastern horizon. It took an hour to travel from Wahweap to Rock Creek but we made it before the sun hit the water.
We began trolling our standard Shad Raps (SR8) and ghost colored Lucky Craft XD 100 with immediate success.  Well the Lucky Craft worked well and the Shad Frap did too when we switched from black and silver to Helsinki Shad color.  Fish are fussy for unknown reasons which I can’t explain.  I just change colors and let them decide on the color of the day.
Fishing was steady at the 18-25 foot range in the back of the canyon. We caught a striper every 8 minutes or so for the first two hours.  We were only able to catch one striper on a spoon as these fish were randomly scattered.  Trolling worked best in the low light of early morning but when the sun came out enough to warm us up fishing success declined.
At that point we retreated to shallow turbid water and tried for other fish species.  Our plastic grubs fished in 10-15 feet of water near submerged brush piles produced one smallmouth one striper and my personal best 20 inch largemouth bass that was between 5 and 6 pounds.
But fishing was slow so we checked out a few more spots.  No fish were caught nor schools graphed in Dry Rock Creek probably because we there in full sun light.
We ran up lake as far as Grotto Canyon to check on quagga mussel advance.  Mussels were easy to find. Lake Powell is infested from Wahweap to Dangling Rope.  We did not have means to go further so will save that for another day.
On the way back to Wahweap we stopped in Padre Canyon and trolled toward the back.  We passed over a big school at bottom depth of 35 feet.  Three fish were caught trolling but only one on spoons as the fish hightailed away from our tempting lures. The only spoon caught fish came on a small spoon.  We will have to try smaller spoons on these reluctant fish next trip.
All fish are fat, in great condition and willing to eat even at the currently low temperature of 50-53 degrees. It looks like spring fishing will be awesome.

It has been my experience that winter fishing success is much better in low light conditions.  Therefore we launched as soon as the first dim light appeared in the eastern horizon. It took an hour to travel from Wahweap to Rock Creek but we made it before the sun hit the water.

We began trolling our standard Shad Raps (SR8) and ghost colored Lucky Craft XD 100 with immediate success.  Well, the Lucky Craft worked well and the Shad Rap did too when we switched from black and silver to Helsinki Shad color.  Fish are fussy for unknown reasons which I can’t explain.  I just change colors and let them decide on the color of the day. 

waynegbigbasssmallCatching was steady at the 18-25 foot bottom depth range in the back of the canyon. We caught stripers from 2.5 to 4 pounds  every 8 minutes or so for the first two hours.  We were only able to catch one striper on a spoon as these fish were randomly scattered with no large schools detected.  Trolling worked best in the low light of early morning but when the sun came out enough to warm us up fishing success declined. 

At that point we retreated to shallow, turbid water and tried for other fish species.  Our plastic grubs fished in 10-15 feet of water near submerged brush piles produced two smallmouth, one striper, and my personal best 20-inch largemouth bass that was between 5 and 6 pounds. We put him back to protect the cove until we return again. 

But fishing was slow later in the day  so we checked out a few more spots.  No fish were caught nor schools graphed in Dry Rock Creek probably because we there in full sun light. 

We ran up lake as far as Grotto Canyon to check on quagga mussel advance.  Mussels were easy to find. Lake Powell is infested with mussels from the main channel to the backs of all canyons from Wahweap to Dangling Rope and beyond.  We did not have means to go further so will save that for another day.   

On the way back to Wahweap we stopped in Padre Canyon and trolled toward the back.  We passed over a big striper school at bottom depth of 35 feet.  Three fish were caught trolling but only one on spoons as the fish hightailed away from our tempting lures. The only spoon caught fish came on a small spoon (2 inches).  We will have to try smaller spoons on these reluctant fish next trip. 

At the cleaning station we found all fish to be fat, in great condition but their stomachs were empty which makes them challenging to catch.  

But, It looks like spring fishing will be awesome as soon as the water warms to the upper 50s. 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015 10:18
 
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