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June 30, 2015 - It's HOT!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 24, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3613
Water Temperature 82 - 85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is red hot!
The water surface temperature is well over 80 degrees first thing in the morning.  The air temperature is well over 100 degrees each day.  The air cools off into the high 70s after the sun has been down for a long time at night.  The wind is mostly calm.  All of this explains why so many boaters, swimmers, campers and recreationist love the lake in July.  What a great place to be!
Anglers can enjoy the July celebration at the lake right along with the crowd. But there is a window when fishing success is excellent.  The time frame is early morning and late evening.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass are very aggressive and easy to catch on topwater lures, shallow running crankbaits and weightless wacky rigged senkos. The time to start fishing is when the sun begins to light up the eastern sky between 4-5 AM (MST).  Fishing is great until about 7 AM when bass blink at the sun and move back into the brush or slip into the depths.
Evening bass fishing gets good again as the sun settles low in the west. Again topwater and crankbaits cast close to the brushy shoreline are the best bet. Sunfish have found shelter in the freshly flooded green brush and old tumbleweed piles that are now underwater. Largemouth bass live in the brush with the sunfish and smallmouth bass are in deeper water not far away so they can make a quick trip into the brush for a meal.
Bass fishing is steady all day long. Just cast plastic grubs to shallow reefs or quick falling slick rock slopes and points to find bass eagerly awaiting a forage fish swim by.  There is no question that bass fishing provides the best success right now. To catch a lot of fish, target smallmouth bass.
Striped bass are not slurping/boiling as much this week as they have during most of June. From their behavior today it seems that the supply of small shad has lessened.  Where big slurping groups were seen last week there are now only very small groups or individual stripers working the surface in the early morning in the southern lake. It is probably only a coincidence but declining surface action in the south usually means improving surface feeding in the northern lake.
The best surface action seen this week is in the evening.  Watch for a quick boil of larger 18-20 inch stripers, in the main channel or main canyon as the sun sets in the evening.
During the daylight hours the most consistent striper technique is trolling along the shallow sloping shoreline where bottom depth is 25-30 feet. Trolling results are steady for 18-inch.  Target rocky points and reefs and troll along the 25-foot bottom depth strata with medium depth crankbaits.  Remember to drop a spoon to the bottom or cast a crankbait behind the boat when a stripers is caught trolling.  The other members of his group will be trailing- along behind the hooked fish. It’s a great way to increase the catch rate.
Trolling with 12-foot divers along the 12-foot depth strata still provides some decent walleye success.  Walleye numbers are still above average and catching continues in midsummer. We found today that fast trolling (4-5 MPH) for stripers resulted in an occasional walleye when the lure passed near a bush or some other likely walleye hangout.
Fishing is still good and you can cool off by swimming with the fishes when you get hot.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 24, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3613

Water Temperature 82 - 85 F

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

Lake Powell is Red Hot!

hotwheelThe water surface temperature is well over 80 degrees first thing in the morning.  The air temperature is well over 100 degrees each day.  The air cools off into the high 70s after the sun has been down for a long time at night.  The wind is mostly calm.  All of this explains why so many boaters, swimmers, campers and recreationist love the lake in July.  What a great place to be! 

Anglers can enjoy the July celebration at the lake right along with the crowd. But there is a window when fishing success is excellent.  The time frame is early morning and late evening.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass are very aggressive and easy to catch on topwater lures, shallow running crankbaits and weightless wacky rigged senkos. The time to start fishing is when the sun begins to light up the eastern sky between 4-5 AM (MST).  Fishing is great until about 7 AM when bass blink at the sun and move back into the brush or slip into the depths.  

Evening bass fishing gets good again as the sun settles low in the west. Again topwater and crankbaits cast close to the brushy shoreline are the best bet. Sunfish have found shelter in the freshly flooded green brush and old tumbleweed piles that are now underwater. Largemouth bass live in the brush with the sunfish and smallmouth bass are in deeper water not far away so they can make a quick trip into the brush for a meal.  

Bass fishing is steady all day long. Just cast plastic grubs to shallow reefs or quick falling slick rock slopes and points to find bass eagerly awaiting a forage fish swim by.  There is no question that bass fishing provides the best success right now. To catch a lot of fish, target smallmouth bass.

Striped bass are not slurping/boiling as much this week as they have during most of June. From their behavior today it seems that the supply of small shad has lessened.  Where big slurping groups were seen last week there are now only very small groups or individual stripers working the surface in the early morning in the southern lake. It is probably only a coincidence but declining surface action in the south usually means improving surface feeding in the northern lake. 

The best surface action seen this week is in the evening.  Watch for a quick boil of larger 18-20 inch stripers, in the main channel or main canyon as the sun sets in the evening.  

bm3aDuring the daylight hours the most consistent striper technique is trolling along the shallow sloping shoreline where bottom depth is 25-30 feet. Trolling results are steady for 18-inch stripers.  Target rocky points and reefs and troll along the 25-foot bottom depth strata with medium depth crankbaits.  Remember to drop a spoon to the bottom or cast a crankbait behind the boat when a stripers is caught trolling.  The other members of his group will be trailing- along behind the hooked fish. It’s a great way to increase the catch rate. 

Trolling with 12-foot divers along the 12-foot depth strata still provides some decent walleye success.  Walleye numbers are still above average and catching continues in midsummer. We found today that fast trolling (4-5 MPH) for stripers resulted in an occasional walleye when the lure passed near a bush or some other likely walleye hangout. 

Fishing is still good and you can cool off by swimming with the fishes when you get hot.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 14:37
 

June 24, 2015 - Slurps everwhere

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 24, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temperature 78 - 83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Slurps, Slurps, Slurps!
Fishing is very exciting now with striped bass popping to the top over the length of the lake.  Catching is sometimes a different story so I am dedicating this report to help you catch more of the fish seen surfacing.
When:  Stripers are looking for three square meals a day. The only thing on the menu is small shad that live close to the surface while searching for plankton to eat.  The first daytime feeding event occurs at first light and lasts until the shade is gone.  The early morning period can be cancelled if the morning breeze roughs up the water surface making it difficult for striper to see the tiny shad in the rolling waves.
The next feeding period is from 9-11 AM (MST). If wind is a factor early then the combined first and second feeding period will begin as soon as the wind lays down allowing stripers to come up.
The last surface feeding event begins at 4 PM (MST) and continues until dark.  This is the best and most consistent feeding period unless afternoon wind spoils the party.
Where: Most of the action seen lately is in the main channel and main canyon areas in clear water. As water clarity improves in the next few weeks the northern lake will be the center of activity. Today the best area is from Bullfrog downstream to Padre Bay.
How:  Slurps are quick but numerous. When the slurp erupts it is critical to quickly get in casting range.  How close is different for each individual depending on how far you can cast with your rod and the lure used.    Regardless of the distance when in range make the first cast count. There may not be time for a second chance. Ideally the first cast will land 2 feet in front of the leading fish in the skirmish line.  The natural tendency is to then reel fast through the school.  The better approach is to slow down realizing that small shad are not fast swimmers. Give the striper time to eat a shad and then come to find your larger lure that may be more enticing than the standard ¾ inch skinny shad.
What: Many differ small lures are working now but it may be that one lure worked great yesterday but not so good today. So be prepared. The list, in no particular order, includes size 65 lucky Craft ghost colored pointers, small Revenge spoons with chartreuse back,   small Kastmaster lures (1/4 to ½ ounce), other similar size spoons, low profile surface lures (Ima Skimmers),  small shad colored plastic grubs (1/8 ounce), crappie lures, swim baits, etc.  Really, any small lure will work at the right time.
Tips:  Retrieve the lure slow and steady through a surfacing school.
Immediately after a school leaves the surface, cast to the last known location and let the spoon or grub fall to a depth of 12-20 feet.  Then slowly retrieve the lure back toward the boat.  More than half the time the school of stripers will follow your lure.  Watch the zone at the edge of visibility (12 feet) to see the lure come back into view. When stripers are seen following, drop the lure out of sight then jig it a time or two to catch more fish.
Larger stripers cannot compete in the warm surface water with the small ones.  To target larger fish, troll or cast near main channel slick rock points with a 45 degree slope where bottom depth is 25 feet.  Bait is working for bigger fish in deeper. Catch rate is slower but size is significantly larger (4-6 pounds) for bait-caught fish.
By the way, smallmouth bass fishing remains extremely good on the same gently sloping slick rock walls of the main channel from Padre to Bullfrog.
The best bass experience is had by throwing surface lures to the recently covered weedy pockets near deep water at first light in the morning.  That where big largemouth bass are now lurking.
There is always a new adventure while fishing Lake Powell.


Lake Powell Fish Report – June 24, 2015

jeffknorrLake Elevation: 3611

Water Temperature 78 - 83 F

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

Slurps, Slurps, Slurps!

Fishing is very exciting now with striped bass popping to the top over the length of the lake.  Catching is sometimes a different story so I am dedicating this report to help you catch more of the fish seen surfacing.

When:  Stripers are looking for three square meals a day. The only thing on the menu is small shad that live close to the surface while searching for plankton to eat.  The first daytime feeding event occurs at first light and lasts until the shade is gone.  The early morning feeding period can be cancelled if the morning breeze roughs up the water surface making it difficult for stripers to see the tiny shad in the rolling waves.

The next feeding period is from 9-11 AM (MST). If wind is a factor early then the combined first and second feeding period will begin as soon as the wind lays down allowing stripers to come up. 

The last surface feeding event begins at 4 PM (MST) and continues until dark.  This is the best and most consistent feeding period unless afternoon wind spoils the party.  

Where: Most of the action seen lately is in the main channel and main canyon areas in clear water. As water clarity improves in the next few weeks the northern lake will be the center of activity. Today the best area is from Bullfrog downstream to Padre Bay.  

How:  Slurps are quick but numerous. When the slurp erupts it is critical to quickly get in casting range.  How close is different for each individual depending on how far you can cast with your rod and the lure used.    Regardless of the distance when in range make the first cast count. There may not be time for a second chance. Ideally the first cast will land 2 feet in front of the leading fish in the skirmish line.  The natural tendency is to then reel fast through the school. The better approach is to slow down realizing that small shad are not fast swimmers. Give the striper time to eat a shad and then come to find your larger lure that may be more enticing than the standard ¾ inch skinny shad. 

rsoh-sch-thumbWhat: Many differ small lures are working now but it may be that one lure worked great yesterday but not so good today. So be prepared. The list, in no particular order, includes size 65 lucky Craft ghost colored pointers, small Revenge spoons with chartreuse back,  small Kastmaster lures (1/4 to ½ ounce), other similar size spoons, low profile surface lures (Ima Skimmers),  small shad colored plastic grubs (1/8 ounce), crappie lures, swim baits, etc.  Really, any small lure will work at the right time.

Tips:  Retrieve the lure slow and steady through a surfacing school.  Immediately after a school leaves the surface, cast to the last known location and let the spoon or grub fall to a depth of 12-20 feet.  Then slowly retrieve the lure back toward the boat.  More than half the time the school of stripers will follow your lure.  Watch the zone at the edge of visibility (12 feet) to see the lure come back into view. When stripers are seen following, drop the lure out of sight then jig it a time or two to catch more fish.   

Larger stripers cannot compete in the warm surface water with the small ones.  To target larger fish, troll or cast near main channel slick rock points with a 45 degree slope where bottom depth is 25 feet.  Bait is working for bigger fish in deeper water. Catch rate is slower but size is significantly larger (4-6 pounds) for bait-caught fish.   

By the way, smallmouth bass fishing remains extremely good on the same gently sloping slick rock walls of the main channel from Padre to Bullfrog.  

The best bass experience is had by throwing surface lures followed by senkos to the recently covered weedy pockets near deep water at first light in the morning.  That is where big largemouth bass are now lurking. 

There is always a new adventure while fishing Lake Powell.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:36
 

June 17, 2015 - More subtle changes

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 17, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3607
Water Temperature 77 - 80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Subtle changes in fishing conditions continue. Here are some of the small events that may change your fishing adventure into a successful trip.
Stripers have now received that warm water spawning trigger and most have now spawned. Female stripers caught recently had no viable eggs left in the ovary. That is important because spawning occurs at night and daytime activity is very limited.  One successful report from last week indicated a good trolling pattern at night with stripers from 2-10 pounds caught. Trolling in the same area during the day did not produce any stripers. The good news is that post spawn stripers will be more active during daylight hours.  The bad news is the warmer temperatures that caused the spawn to occur will now hold mature fish in deeper water.
Striper fishing strategy for the coming week will be to target mature stripers in deep water using deep diving lures or down riggers to get trolled baits down to 25-35 feet where larger stripers are more comfortable in the warm water.  The best time of day (or night) will be the low light periods near dusk and dawn.  Afternoon and evening fishing will be best with some late spawners still holding off and maintaining the nocturnal behavior pattern.
While adults have been waiting around to spawn, juvenile stripers have been lighting up the surface while slurping up tiny larval shad.  Slurps are most common early in the morning when the wind does not blow.  If wind is a factor then expect slurpers to pop up as soon as the lake calms down mid morning.  Still the most productive time is afternoon and evening beginning at 4 PM.
Slurps this week were short lived. I suspect the cause is that shad numbers are small.  Shad spawned recently are being quickly consumed and survivors are running toward weedy cover to escape relentless pursuit from small stripers. The end result is a slurp that is seen but not accessible due to the short time it is on the surface.
It is possible to use this behavior to locate larger stripers. Target slurps that are seen near shore. Approach the spot where slurping fish were seen, then fish on the bottom with small white plastic or bucktail jigs to target larger stripers.  Adult stripers are well aware of any school feeding behavior that occurs nearby.  Use that behavior to put a lure into cooler water where adults are forced to hold due to water temperature.  This was our best technique to find larger stripers on our weekly sampling trip.
Our trip was saved by the very cooperative smallmouth bass that were on fire on open water reefs and slick rock points and coves.  We caught numerous bass up to 2-pounds casting to the shore with small single and double tail plastic grubs, and rattletrap type crankbaits. Best lure colors were white and chartreuse. The best pattern was to find a slick rock point or shelf within a cove where water dropped off quickly into deep water. Starting depth was 12 feet with good bass action continuing all the way down to 30 feet. Bass turned on at 10 AM and continued until we had to leave to go back down lake at noon.
Here is a tip for smallmouth bass that bite a bit short and often are felt but not hooked. As soon as the bite occurs or the bass comes off the hook while reeling in, open the bail and drop the bait to the bottom.  When the bait hits bottom take up the slack and set the hook. It is the nature of smallmouth bass to follow the bait they have “wounded” and then pick it up again off the bottom. Knowing that, it is possible to set the hook and catch the fish without feeling the pickup.
Try this technique and let me know if it works for you.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 17, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3607

Water Temperature 77 - 80 F

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


zanewaedarkSubtle changes in fishing conditions continue. Here are some of the small events that may change your fishing adventure into a successful trip. 

Stripers have now received that warm water spawning trigger and most have now spawned. Female stripers caught recently had no viable eggs left in the ovary. That is important because spawning occurs at night and daytime activity is very limited.  One successful report from last week indicated a good trolling pattern at night with stripers from 2-10 pounds caught. Trolling in the same area during the day did not produce any stripers. The good news is that post spawn stripers will be more active during daylight hours.  The bad news is the warmer temperatures that caused the spawn to occur will now hold mature fish in deeper water.

Striper fishing strategy for the coming week will be to target mature stripers in deep water using deep diving lures or down riggers to get trolled baits down to 25-35 feet where larger stripers are more comfortable in cooler water.  The best time of day (or night) will be the low light periods near dusk and dawn.  Afternoon and evening fishing will be best with some late spawners still holding off and maintaining the nocturnal behavior pattern.  

While adults have been waiting around to spawn, juvenile stripers have been lighting up the surface while slurping up tiny larval shad.  Slurps are most common early in the morning when the wind does not blow.  If wind is a factor then expect slurpers to pop up as soon as the lake calms down mid morning.  Still the most productive time is afternoon and evening beginning at 4 PM. 

Slurps this week were short lived. I suspect the cause is that shad numbers are small.  Shad spawned recently are being quickly consumed and survivors are running toward weedy cover to escape relentless pursuit from small stripers. The end result is a slurp that is seen but not accessible due to the short time it is on the surface.  

It is possible to use this behavior to locate larger stripers. Target slurps that are seen near shore. Approach the spot where slurping fish were seen, then fish on the bottom with small white plastic or bucktail jigs to target larger stripers.  Adult stripers are well aware of any school feeding behavior that occurs nearby.  Use that behavior to put a lure into cooler water where adults are forced to hold due to water temperature.  This was our best technique to find larger stripers on our weekly sampling trip. 

zanetripbassOur trip was saved by the very cooperative smallmouth bass that were on fire on open water reefs and slick rock points and coves.  We caught numerous bass up to 2-pounds casting to the shore with small single and double tail plastic grubs, and rattletrap type crankbaits. Best lure colors were white and chartreuse. The best pattern was to find a slick rock point or shelf within a cove where water dropped off quickly into deep water. Starting depth was 12 feet with good bass action continuing all the way down to 30 feet. Bass turned on at 10 AM and continued until we had to leave to go back down lake at noon.  

We also caught one obligatory walleye in the process.

Here is a tip for smallmouth bass that bite a bit short and often are felt but not hooked. As soon as the bite occurs or the bass comes off the hook while reeling in, open the bail and drop the bait to the bottom.  When the bait hits bottom take up the slack and set the hook. It is the nature of smallmouth bass to follow the bait they have “wounded” and then pick it up again off the bottom. Knowing that, it is possible to set the hook and catch the fish without feeling the pickup.  

Try this technique and let me know if it works for you.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 08:42
 

June 10, 2015 - Striper Feeding Pattern

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 10, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3562
Water Temperature 71 - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The unusual year of fisheries expectations continues.  The big news is that striped bass females caught yesterday still have not spawned.  That should not be too surprising since the daytime temperatures and weather resemble late April more than early June.  It is raining and cool today as this report is written. Female stripers need the trigger of rapidly warming water before they will spawn. If daytime air temperature warms up to normal any time soon then the wait for spawning will be over.
The next surprise was being able to catch ripe females.  They have been hiding out all spring and not eating while sulking on the lake bottom.  We have done strange things to find catchable fish like trolling flies to select shallow plankton-eating ripe males.   On this trip we could not catch male stripers and found most of the fish caught were females. Why the change? Why are fish that were not eating suddenly participating?  That is enough biological intrigue for now as we focus on how to catch cooperating stripers.
At first light we searched for slurping stripers in the main channel.  We found them at the mouth of Warm Creek, mouth of Gunsight, and West Canyon. The negative part was that they were skittish and hard to approach.  The only working method was to cast a small Kastmaster to the location where the school sounded and let the spoon sink.  Then we could reel the spoon slowly and catch a few yearling  stripers at a depth of about 12 feet.
Our attitude changed dramatically in the main channel as the sun hit the water at the mouth of Last Chance where the slurpers were 2-3 pound fish.  These stripers were very cooperative taking lures and spoons that hit close to the slurping epicenter. We put 8 of these nice fish in the cooler before the school escaped to the depths.
Boils are great but not always available.  Here is the pattern that consistently worked the rest of the day. The holding depth of stripers actively feeding has been 25 feet all spring. Lately slick rock habitat has been used more than broken rock. We targeted main channel and main canyon cliffs looking for an isolated shallow bench in otherwise deep water. Slick rock points were the key. Find a shallow point along the canyon walls where shallow water provides a refuge for bait fish and crayfish and stripers will be close by.    We targeted stripers by trolling over the shallow point along the 25 foot depth contour.  Our best lure was the Luck Craft Bevy Shad in chartreuse shad color. When a striper was hooked trolling we switched over to Kastmaster spoons to catch more fish off the bottom in a hurry. Sometimes just casting the trolling lure worked as well if the trailing fish were high up in the water column. At the end of the day trolling and casting accounted for the majority of the 34 stripers caught.
As we worked back downlake we asked other anglers for their fish reports. We found a group with a cooler full of stripers that were caught on anchovies. The habitat type they were fishing was a 30-foot slick rock bench at the mouth of a canyon surrounded by deep water.  The habitat type is key to finding feeding stripers. Then they can be caught using techniques of your choosing.
We picked up active smallmouth bass while trolling/casting for stripers.  They are feeding in the same 25-30 foot zone as striped bass.  We did not catch walleye that prefer shallower water now that some shoreline vegetation has been inundated by rising water. Look for a bluegill school in the brush to know where walleye will be lurking in slightly deeper water.
Rising water, cool temperatures, brush in the water, spawning fish all make for a challenging but very rewarding fishing experience in Lake Powell in early June.

lctrip1





Lake Powell Fish Report – June 10, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3602

Water Temperature 71 - 75 F

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


The unusual year of fisheries expectations continues.  The big news is that striped bass females caught yesterday still have not spawned.  That should not be too surprising since the daytime temperatures and weather resemble late April more than early June.  It is raining and cool today as this report is written. Female stripers need the trigger of rapidly warming water before they will spawn. If daytime air temperature warms up to normal any time soon then the wait for spawning will be over.

lctripnobThe next surprise was being able to catch ripe females.  They have been hiding out all spring and not eating while sulking on the lake bottom.  We have done strange things to find catchable fish like trolling flies to select shallow plankton-eating ripe males.   On this trip we could not catch male stripers and found most of the fish caught were females. Why the change? Why are fish that were not eating suddenly participating?  That is enough biological intrigue for now as we focus on how to catch cooperating stripers.   

At first light we searched for slurping stripers in the main channel.  We found them at the mouth of Warm Creek, mouth of Gunsight, and West Canyon. The negative part was that they were skittish and hard to approach.  The only working method was to cast a small Kastmaster to the location where the school sounded and let the spoon sink.  Then we could reel the spoon slowly and catch a few yearling  stripers at a depth of about 12 feet. 

Our attitude changed dramatically in the main channel as the sun hit the water at the mouth of Last Chance where the slurpers were 2-3 pound fish.  These stripers were very cooperative taking lures and spoons that hit close to the slurping epicenter. We put 8 of these nice fish in the cooler before the school escaped to the depths.

Boils are great but not always available.  Here is the pattern that consistently worked the rest of the day. The holding depth of stripers actively feeding has been 25 feet all spring. Lately slick rock habitat has been used more than broken rock. We targeted main channel and main canyon cliffs looking for an isolated shallow bench in otherwise deep water. Slick rock points were the key. Find a shallow point along the canyon walls where shallow water provides a refuge for bait fish and crayfish and stripers will be close by.    We targeted stripers by trolling over the shallow point along the 25 foot depth contour.  Our best lure was the Lucky Craft Bevy Shad in chartreuse shad color. When a striper was hooked trolling we switched over to Kastmaster spoons to catch more fish off the bottom in a hurry. Sometimes just casting the trolling lure worked as well if the trailing fish were high up in the water column. At the end of the day trolling and casting accounted for the majority of the 34 stripers caught.    

As we worked back downlake we asked other anglers for their fish reports. We found a group with a cooler full of stripers that were caught on anchovies. The habitat type they were fishing was a 30-foot slick rock bench at the mouth of a canyon surrounded by deep water.  The habitat type is key to finding feeding stripers. Then they can be caught using techniques of your choosing.  

We picked up active smallmouth bass while trolling/casting for stripers.  They are feeding in the same 25-30 foot zone as striped bass.  We did not catch walleye that prefer shallower water now that some shoreline vegetation has been inundated by rising water. Look for a bluegill school in the brush to know where walleye will be lurking in slightly deeper water.

Rising water, cool temperatures, brush in the water, spawning fish all make for a challenging but very rewarding fishing experience in Lake Powell in early June.

This is not a scenery shot but the slick rock point habitat that can be seen a long way off. Striper are holding on the 25-30 foot bottom depth area where they find a few small fish but also plankton and larval shad schools.  Look for Slick Rock points to improve fishing success. 

lctrip2

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2015 09:09
 

June 2, 2015 - Slurps begin!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 2, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3597.6
Water Temperature 70 - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Slurps!
The fishing report trip this week got off to a weird start.  We wanted to get out early to counter the sometimes negative effect of full moon on fish behavior.  The moon was bright when we launched at Wahweap and headed straight for Castle Rock to look for fly-eating stripers. My trolled fly went unpunished but my partner’s Lucky Craft Bevy Shad was eaten by a striper.  That was the exact opposite response found using the same techniques at the same spot last week.  We tried one more pass and this time the Bevy was eaten by a walleye.
Walleye fishing is best in low light of early morning.  Walleye catch uplake is greater and more prolonged in the murky water near the mouth of Red Canyon. Some anglers report catching more than 30 walleye a day, fast trolling with Mann’s Red Craw deep divers. Other anglers are dragging night crawlers along the bottom and catching many walleye.  No matter what technique is used, walleye fishing is much better in the northern lake.
Since flies were not working we headed uplake through the Castle Rock Cut. As we idled through the Cut I put out my Helsinki Shad colored Shad Rap and caught the biggest striper of the day.  Later we found that the big fish had two large threadfin shad in the stomach. Shad are using the Cut for migration or hiding spots from lake predators. I don’t recommend trolling there unless there is no other boat traffic. It should work fine to troll there between 4 and 5 AM.
The next stop was Buoy 25 and 25B where stripers had been caught trolling last week. It seems moon effect and/or warming water were in play as fishing was not as productive along the slick rock points and reefs as it was just a few days ago. We did catch a few stripers trolling along the shade line in deep water.  But fishing was too slow so we went uplake.
The next stop was the mouth of West Canyon.  We tried fly trolling without success. We did catch smallmouth when near a shallow reef or when we ventured too close to the shore. After giving up on flies we looked for a new pattern.  There was an open water reef that was similar to the reef in Wahweap Bay that had been hot last week.  We trolled Bevy Shad lures along the reef edge.  The secret was to find the narrow 25 foot depth zone on the breaking edge of the reef. If we kept the boat and lures over that depth zone, stripers would find our lures.  That worked well as we caught stripers and bass on consecutive passes.
That would have been a fitting way to end the day but we got an added bonus.  As we were playing a troll caught fish, yearling stripers began boiling around the boat. We added another 6 fish to the cooler by casting small Hyper Stripers and Lucky Craft Pointers to the hungry stripers.  The boil came up 4 times before they stayed down and we headed for home.
As we passed through Padre Bay we tried the spot where fly fishing had been so good the week before.  Again flies did not work.  We did graph a huge striper school on the same shallow bench where they were previously caught. One ripe male was caught at 35 feet on a spoon but most of our offerings were ignored. My guess is that these fish have not yet completed spawning and they are still in the night activity mode. The warmer water may be keeping them deeper and preventing fly trolling from working as well as it did previously.
That is the excitement of fishing at Lake Powell. There is always a different technique or location that may turn a mundane outing into a successful fishing trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 2, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3597.6

Water Temperature 70 - 75 F

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

Slurps!

The fishing report trip this week got off to a weird start.  We wanted to get out early to counter the sometimes negative effect of full moon on fish behavior.  The moon was bright when we launched at Wahweap and headed straight for Castle Rock to look for fly-eating stripers. My trolled fly went unpunished but my partner’s Lucky Craft Bevy Shad was eaten by a striper.  That was the exact opposite response found using the same techniques at the same spot last week.  We tried one more pass and this time the Bevy was eaten by a walleye.

waessWalleye fishing is best in low light of early morning.  Walleye catch uplake is greater and more prolonged in the murky water near the mouth of Red Canyon. Some anglers report catching more than 30 walleye a day, fast trolling with Mann’s Red Craw deep divers. Other anglers are dragging night crawlers slowly along the bottom and catching many walleye.  No matter what technique is used, walleye fishing is much better in the northern lake. 

Since flies were not working we headed uplake through the Castle Rock Cut. As we idled through the Cut I put out my Helsinki Shad colored Shad Rap and caught the biggest striper of the day.  Later we found that the big fish had two large (6 inch) threadfin shad in the stomach. Shad are using the Cut for migration or hiding spots from lake predators. I don’t recommend trolling there unless there is no other boat traffic. It should work fine to troll there between 4 and 5 AM. 

The next stop was Buoy 25 and 25B where stripers had been caught trolling last week. It seems moon effect and/or warming water were in play as fishing was not as productive along the slick rock points and reefs as it was just a few days ago. We did catch a few stripers trolling along the shade line in deep water.  But fishing was too slow so we went uplake.  

The next stop was the mouth of West Canyon.  We tried fly trolling without success. We did catch smallmouth when near a shallow reef or when we ventured too close to the shore. After giving up on flies we looked for a new pattern.  There was an open water reef that was similar to the reef in Wahweap Bay that had been hot last week.  We trolled Bevy Shad lures along the reef edge.  The secret was to find the narrow 25 foot depth zone on the breaking edge of the reef. If we kept the boat and lures over that depth zone, stripers would find our lures.  That worked well as we caught many stripers and bass on consecutive passes. 

slurps622cThat would have been a fitting way to end the day but we got an added bonus.  As we were playing a troll caught fish, yearling stripers began boiling around the boat. We added another 6 fish to the cooler by casting small Hyper Stripers and Lucky Craft Pointers to the hungry stripers.  The boil came up 4 times before they stayed down and we headed for home. 

As we passed through Padre Bay we tried the spot where fly fishing had been so good the week before.  Again flies did not work.  We did graph a huge striper school on the same shallow bench where they were previously caught. One ripe male was caught at 35 feet on a spoon but most of our offerings were ignored. My guess is that these fish have not yet completed spawning and they are still in the night activity mode. The warmer water may be keeping them deeper and preventing fly trolling from working as well as it did previously.

That is the excitement of fishing at Lake Powell. There is always a different technique or location that may turn a mundane outing into a successful fishing trip.

 

May 26, 2015 - Transition and Striper Spawn

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 19, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3595
Water Temperature 63 - 70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is rising.  The weather forecast is for rapid warming.  Fish behavior is changing as a result of the changing conditions.  Here is how to keep up with the new reality in the fish world at Lake Powell.
Runoff is now busting downstream allowing the lake water level to increase each day.  All that water makes the upper lake muddy, reduces visibility, and points anglers downstream when leaving Bullfrog/Halls.  There is still good fishing upstream but it is the backs of canyons rather than the muddy main channel.  Those launching at Wahweap/Antelope Point find clear water but must move the boat each morning to accommodate the rising water.
Increasing temperatures will have a much larger impact on fishing success. Bass fishing has been the stalwart all spring with smallmouth bass leading the way. Great smallmouth fishing will continue but with rising water and temperature the target species will be found in deeper water.   Small bass will still be found on shore but mature bass will be found more consistently in water 20-30 feet deep.
Walleye are in transition from feeding all day long, to feeding early morning and late evening and into the night.  There is still an option to find fishing success in the daytime but it will likely be in muddy coves or windswept shorelines where visibility is less and walleye have an advantage over prey species.
Catfish and bluegill will be found much more often in these conditions and will be easy to catch near camp.
Striped bass are finally near spawning.  Female stripers are only ripe for one hour each year.  The hormones don’t flow until the spawning trigger arrives.  In the lake that trigger is rapid warming and rising water. The sign to look for is a rapid increase in surface water temperature.  The morning temperature today was 64F. If the lake surface increased to 74 degrees by this afternoon that would be enough to start the spawning process. But that won’t happen today.  Expect a one-day 10 degree rise in temperature within the next 10 days.    When that happens here are the clues to find a spawning school of stripers.
Ripe male stripers are schooled in virtually every bay and are much more interested in spawning than eating.  Locate them by trolling flies along the surface through the plankton schools where they are biding their time. They will eat a large zooplankter (white streamer fly) while foraging on the microscopic critters that are the foundation of the food web. Many stripers can be caught using the fly trolling technique.  Once the school location is known return to that spot at sundown on a day when the temperature has risen dramatically.
Stripers spawn on the surface at night.  A spawning school will behave much like slurping fish with lots of rolling and splashing making them a bit easier to find in low light. The males in the school will weigh from 2.5 pound to the larger fish which will exceed 10 pounds. The females in the school will start at 4 pounds and top out over 30 pounds.   These stripers are incredibly aggressive.  I suggest using a single hook which will make it easier to unhook these beasts quickly after dark.  I have successfully used a half to one ounce bucktail jig to catch spawning fish on every cast in coves that are 15-30 feet deep.
This is an unusual year where most of the stripers in the southern lake and 75% of the stripers in the mid to northern lake are in spawning condition.  The best way to find a spawning school is to troll the bucktail jig across lake points at sunset.  There will also be some boil-like activity close to shore that is still visible as the sun sets and the night darkens. This is the best chance we have had in this century to find and interact with a spawning school of a striped bass. I testify that is really worth it and an unforgettable experience.  It will happen within the next 10 days.
Be extremely alert for any signs of surface activity at dusk and be prepared to catch a ton of fish if lucky enough to be in the right spot.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 19, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3595

Water Temperature 63 - 70 F

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

Lake Powell is rising.  The weather forecast is for rapid warming.  Fish behavior is changing as a result of the changing conditions.  Here is how to keep up with the new reality in the fish world at Lake Powell.

dscf0108Runoff is now busting downstream allowing the lake water level to increase each day.  All that water makes the upper lake muddy, reduces visibility, and points anglers downstream when leaving Bullfrog/Halls.  There is still good fishing upstream but it is the backs of canyons rather than the muddy main channel.  Those launching at Wahweap/Antelope Point find clear water but must move the boat each morning to accommodate the rising water.

Increasing temperatures will have a much larger impact on fishing success. Bass fishing has been the stalwart all spring with smallmouth bass leading the way. Great smallmouth fishing will continue but with rising water and temperature the target species will be found in deeper water.   Small bass will still be found on shore but mature bass will be found more consistently in water 20-30 feet deep.  

Walleye are in transition from feeding all day long, to feeding early morning and late evening and into the night.  There is still an option to find fishing success in the daytime but it will likely be in muddy coves or windswept shorelines where visibility is less and walleye have an advantage over prey species. 

Catfish and bluegill will be found much more often in these conditions and will be easy to catch near camp. 

Striped bass are finally near spawning.  Female stripers are only ripe for one hour each year.  The hormones don’t flow until the spawning trigger arrives.  In the lake that trigger is rapid warming and rising water. The sign to look for is a rapid increase in surface water temperature.  The morning temperature today was 64 F. If the lake surface increased to 74 F degrees by this afternoon that would be enough to start the spawning process. But that won’t happen today.  Expect a one-day 10 degree rise in temperature within the next 10 days.    When that happens, here are the clues to find a spawning school of stripers.

carlos909 565Ripe male stripers are schooled in virtually every bay and are much more interested in spawning than eating.  Locate them by trolling flies along the surface through the plankton schools where they are biding their time. They will eat a large zooplankter (white streamer fly) while foraging on the microscopic critters that are the foundation of the food web. Many stripers can be caught using the fly trolling technique.  Once the school location is known return to that spot at sundown on a day when the temperature has risen dramatically. 

Stripers spawn on the surface at night.  A spawning school will behave much like slurping fish with lots of rolling and splashing making them a bit easier to find in low light. The males in the school will weigh from 2.5 pound to the larger fish which will exceed 10 pounds. The females in the school will start at 4 pounds and top out over 30 pounds.  

These stripers are incredibly aggressive.  I suggest using a single hook which will make it easier to unhook these beasts quickly after dark.  I have successfully used a half to one ounce bucktail jig to catch spawning fish on every cast in coves that are 15-30 feet deep.   

This is an unusual year where most of the stripers in the southern lake and 75% of the stripers in the mid to northern lake are in spawning condition.  The best way to find a spawning school is to troll the bucktail jig across lake points at sunset. There will also be some boil-like activity close to shore that is still visible as the sun sets and the night darkens.

This is the best chance we have had in this century to find and interact with a spawning school of a striped bass. I testify that is really worth it and an unforgettable experience.  It will happen within the next 10 days. Be extremely alert for any signs of surface activity at dusk and be prepared to catch a ton of fish if lucky enough to be in the right spot.

P.S.  Better bring a headlamp.wghalfstb

 

May 19, 2015 - Lost Stripers Found!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 19, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3592
Water Temperature 64 - 70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
LOST STRIPERS ARE FOUND!
Striper fishing has been difficult in May since most are accustomed to fishing with bait for big schools of fish in deep water of the main channel. But not this year.  Stripers are in great shape and in spawning condition.  In April schools of stripers were found in the backs of canyons eating shad hiding in shallow water.  But not now.
It is now apparent that these schools of prespawn fish have moved out of murky water in the backs of canyons into open bays often near the canyon mouth and main channel. Prespawn schools are holding in spawning coves next to deep water waiting for water to warm enough for spawning to occur. With no shad in spawning coves stripers have only plankton to eat while waiting….  Plankton move just enough to group up in shallow open water.  Stripers cruise along just under the surface until a plankton congregation is encountered and eat a few microscopic tidbits as they wait….  In these conditions shad imitating crankbaits are ignored except at low light morning and evenings. This is why striper fishing has been tough in May.
Now enter Dave Sellers, an expert striper fly fishermen from California.  He discovered that these schools were often near the surface and could be caught on flies by long casts expertly retrieved.  That did not help me much since I have not used a fly rod since I was a teenager. But he did give me one technique that I could successfully perform and it worked for a fish collection that was needed this week.  Here are Dave’s words (which I edited for this report) that I used to catch stripers.
“We headed back to Padre Bay to the cliff walls on the east shore and located a big school under the boat. We went fishless for about an hour. Rob handed me the controller to his boat troller and he laid out for some shut eye on the leaning seat on his Ranger Bay Boat while dragging a fly behind the boat. Happy accident!! it wasn't 100 feet before the rod was just about jerked out of his hand. I cast out and gave it a long count. Nothing. Then, I resumed trolling looking for schools. Rob did not have his line in water any longer as he was staring at the graph with me. Another 15 minutes and we decided to get on the main motor and slowly head across the mouth of the cove looking for fish on finder. I dragged my fly line out this time and cruising at tuna trolling speed, a hook up occurred inside of 30 seconds. The two clueless fly casters finally got a clue. The fish were not on the graph because they were on the surface. After getting my fish in, we shut the motor down and started casting. Every cast again. This time many of the takes were within the first two pulls, and once again, bone jarring. The fish, as expected, would pile under the boat with the caught fish. But this time, it was not a problem. For every school we dragged in from our casts, there were more out around us. It was yet another evening of abundance.”
I found ripe male stripers using Dave’s description of the habitat and then trolled a clouser minnow on my spinning rod with 7-pound fluorocarbon line along the surface at 4 mph and hooked up within 5 minutes.  Then we circled around that location continuing to catch shallow stripers on flies. We got one triple while trolling 3 flies and we even caught one fly casting when stopped over a school that we drug under the boat.
For the next week – maybe two, it is possible to find mature adult stripers by trolling flies along the surface.  This magnificent but incredibly unusual year continues while fishing Lake Powell.
Bass and walleye are still being caught in big numbers while working the shoreline with green plastic baits and square bill crankbaits.  The walleye bite in the northern lake is monumental. Add a live night crawler to target these toothy and tasty game fish.
Come enjoy fishing at Lake Powell. There is something for everyone to enjoy right now.

dsellerscloseup_edited-1

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 19, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3592

Water Temperature 64 - 70 F

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

                                                             LOST STRIPERS ARE FOUND!

Striper fishing has been difficult in May since most are accustomed to fishing with bait for big schools of fish in deep water of the main channel. But not this year.  Stripers are in great shape and in spawning condition.  In April schools of stripers were found in the backs of canyons eating shad hiding in shallow water.  But not now. It is now apparent that these schools of prespawn fish have moved out of murky water in the backs of canyons into open bays often near the canyon mouth and main channel. Prespawn schools are holding in spawning coves next to deep water waiting for water to warm enough for spawning to occur. With no shad in spawning coves stripers have only plankton to eat while waiting….  Plankton move just enough to group up in shallow open water.  Stripers cruise along just under the surface until a plankton congregation is encountered and eat a few microscopic tidbits as they wait….  In these conditions shad imitating crankbaits are ignored except at low light morning and evenings. This is why striper fishing has been tough in May.

pbflyspotNow enter Dave Sellers, an expert striper fly fishermen from California.  He discovered that these schools were often near the surface and could be caught on flies by long casts expertly retrieved.  That did not help me much since I have not used a fly rod since I was a teenager. But he did give me one technique that I could successfully perform and it worked for a fish collection that was needed this week.  Here are Dave’s words (which I edited for this report) that I used to catch stripers.

“We headed back to Padre Bay to the cliff walls on the east shore and located a big school under the boat. We went fishless for about an hour. Rob handed me the controller to his boat troller and he laid out for some shut eye on the leaning seat on his Ranger Bay Boat while dragging a fly behind the boat. Happy accident!! it wasn't 100 feet before the rod was just about jerked out of his hand. I cast out and gave it a long count. Nothing. Then, I resumed trolling looking for schools. Rob did not have his line in water any longer as he was staring at the graph with me. Another 15 minutes and we decided to get on the main motor and slowly head across the mouth of the cove looking for fish on finder. I dragged my fly line out this time and cruising at tuna trolling speed, a hook up occurred inside of 30 seconds. The two clueless fly casters finally got a clue. The fish were not on the graph because they were on the surface. After getting my fish in, we shut the motor down and started casting. Every cast again. This time many of the takes were within the first two pulls, and once again, bone jarring. The fish, as expected, would pile under the boat with the caught fish. But this time, it was not a problem. For every school we dragged in from our casts, there were more out around us. It was yet another evening of abundance.”

flysizeI found ripe male stripers using Dave’s description of the habitat and then trolled a clouser minnow on my spinning rod with 7-pound fluorocarbon line along the surface at 4 mph and hooked up within 5 minutes.  Then we circled around that location continuing to catch shallow stripers on flies. We got one triple while trolling 3 flies and we even caught one fly casting when stopped over a school that we drug under the boat. For the next week – maybe two, it is possible to find mature adult stripers by trolling flies along the surface.  This magnificent but incredibly unusual year continues while fishing Lake Powell. 

Bass and walleye are still being caught in big numbers while working the shoreline with green plastic baits and square bill crankbaits.  The walleye bite in the northern lake is monumental. Add a live night crawler to target these toothy and tasty game fish.   Come enjoy fishing at Lake Powell.

There is something for everyone to enjoy right now.

 

May 12, 2015 - Set Your Clock to find fish

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 12, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3590.6
Water Temperature 62- 70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is rising!  The inflow is double the outflow allowing the lake level to climb almost one foot in a week.  Let’s hope it continues to rise for the next month.
Fishing success continues at the fast rate for which the month of May is known.  All fish species are cooperating. You just have to know what time it is in the water so you can set your clock for your target species.
Bass fishing is an afternoon phenomenon.  Water temperature in the morning is in the low 60s.  That was just what bass wanted last month - but not now.  The sun starts to warm the water mid morning but really gets aggressive by mid afternoon. When the water temperature nears 68-70 degrees bass fishing peaks. Bass are caught lakewide.  There may have been a subtle movement from open water reefs toward fairly steep rocky shoreline.  But that will change now that water level is on the rise. It won’t take long to find out the best location.  Just cast to reefs and then to steep rock piles. Smallmouth bass will let you know where they are at any given time as they gobble up the green plastic grub or Gulp minnow.
But first check your fish watch – Afternoon = Bass.
Dawn starts the day off with another chance to catch walleye as the first fish of the day. It is best to fish in the shade before the sun hits the water. Drag a plastic grub slowly along the bottom.  In early morning expect walleye to be the narrow trough at the center of a ravine where water would run down to the lake after a rain storm.  The magic depth is 12-25 feet. Catching walleye is better if there are submerged tumbleweeds in the shallows near shore.  That gives bluegill a place to hide and walleye a fast food stop for breakfast.  Walleye will snack when the wind blows in the afternoon.  Look for them where the waves are braking along a reef or shoreline.
Fish watch – Breakfast – Walleye.
Crappie are rebels. They do not care what time of day it is. In fact their only concern is searching for a large bush to hide in. With not many bushes in the water crappie are paranoid and found in really strange places.  They can be on a shallow hump near shore or in open water where the water color is murky brown.  They are widely scattered so slow trolling to cover a lot of ground may be the best technique.  Crappie are easier to understand at night.  Put out a light in a shallow cove where crappie were found during the day.   Crappie are attracted to light after dark.
Fish watch – Light on a dark Night = crappie.
Striped bass fishing is HOT at the right time.  There are two brief periods when striper catching is easy.  The first striper feeding period occurs as the sun begins to brighten the morning sky.  Stripers then come shallow to feed after a night of chasing each other around shallow coves. The next catching period is from sunset until dark.  Stripers have been sleeping all day long waiting for dark and hoping tonight will be the time to spawn.  They try to find a little snack before be consumed by spawning mania once more.  Lucky Craft pointers retrieved in a stop and go motion near shore are just what stripers are looking for.
Fish Watch – Almost light and then again at almost dark = Stripers

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 12, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3590.6

Water Temperature 62- 70 F

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

elipricelmb_edited-1Lake Powell is rising!  The inflow is double the outflow allowing the lake level to climb almost one foot in a week.  Let’s hope it continues to rise for the next month.Fishing success continues at the fast rate for which the month of May is known.  All fish species are cooperating. You just have to know what time it is in the water so you can set your clock for your target species. 

Bass fishing is an afternoon phenomenon.  Water temperature in the morning is in the low 60s.  That was just what bass wanted last month - but not now.  The sun starts to warm the water mid morning but really gets aggressive by mid afternoon. When the water temperature nears 68-70 degrees bass fishing peaks. Bass are caught lakewide.  There may have been a subtle movement from open water reefs toward fairly steep rocky shoreline.  But that will change now that water level is on the rise. It won’t take long to find out the best location.  Just cast to reefs and then to steep rock piles. Smallmouth bass will let you know where they are at any given time as they gobble up the green plastic grub or Gulp minnow.  

But first check your fish watch – Afternoon = Bass.

Dawn starts the day off with another chance to catch walleye as the first fish of the day. It is best to fish in the shade before the sun hits the water. Drag a plastic grub slowly along the bottom.  In early morning expect walleye to be the narrow trough at the center of a ravine where water would run down to the lake after a rain storm.  The magic depth is 12-25 feet. Catching walleye is better if there are submerged tumbleweeds in the shallows near shore.  That gives bluegill a place to hide and walleye a fast food stop for breakfast.  Walleye will snack when the wind blows in the afternoon.  Look for them where the waves are breaking along a reef or shoreline. 

Fish watch – Breakfast – Walleye.

sprav5bCrappie are rebels. They do not care what time of day it is. In fact their only concern is searching for a large bush to hide in. With not many bushes in the water crappie are paranoid and found in really strange places.  They can be on a shallow hump near shore or in open water where the water color is murky brown.  They are widely scattered so slow trolling to cover a lot of ground may be the best technique.  Crappie are easier to understand at night.  Put out a light in a shallow cove where crappie were found during the day.   Crappie are attracted to light after dark.  

Fish watch – Bright light on a dark Night = crappie. 

Striped bass fishing is HOT at the right time.  There are two brief periods when striper catching is easy.  The first striper feeding period occurs as the sun begins to brighten the morning sky.  Stripers then come shallow to feed after a night of chasing each other around shallow coves. The next catching period is from sunset until dark.  Stripers have been sleeping all day long waiting for dark and hoping tonight will be the time to spawn.  They try to find a little snack before being consumed by spawning mania once more.  Lucky Craft pointers retrieved in a stop and go motion near shore are just what stripers are looking for. 

Fish Watch – Almost light and then again at almost dark = Stripers

 

May 6, 2015 - May is Best Month for Fishing Success

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 6, 2015                                                                                                                Lake Elevation: 3589.8
Water Temperature 62- 70
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Fish reports from the first weekend in May are rolling in and all agree that last weekend was the very best fishing of the year and perhaps the best seen in a very long time. All species of fish were caught along the length and breadth of the lake. Smallmouth bass were the leader by a country mile followed about equally by largemouth bass, crappie, and walleye. Stripers came in last but there were a few clues to help find them in the coming days.
Smallmouth bass were actively spawning in the mid to northern lake. They are very aggressive when the first eggs are laid but then become more docile with each passing day.  Weather is now blustery with scatter showers and cooler weather.   But water temperature remains above 62 degrees so bass will continue to guard nests and be easily caught.  Smallmouth techniques were evenly divided between square bill crankbaits cranked near shore and plastics fished along the bottom from shore to 25 feet deep.  It seems crankbaits and spinner baits were best early and late while plastics were better mid day.
Largemouth bass are randomly caught while pounding the shoreline looking for smallmouth.  It seems largemouth are done spawning but they are actively chasing sunfish and crayfish in submerged tumbleweed shelters in the backs of coves. Largemouth are caught frequently but compared to smallmouth they are outnumbered 10 to 1.
Crappie are actively spawning and have been found on nests in open water far from brush. The falling lake level with clear water makes them easy to see but they look back and see the boat so they are not always easy to catch. Small fish imitating lures are best. Try 1/16th ounce weights on 4-6 pound test when specifically targeting crappie.
Walleye are showing up more often now.  The magic depth is 15-20 feet. The best lures are plastic tubes and grubs that move slowly along the bottom.  A piece of live worm is a good enticement and draws response from crappie bass and bluegill as well.  Blue gill occupy tumbleweed piles in 10 feet of water and less.  Walleye hang at the 15 foot area and move in shallow occasionally to invite a bluegill to lunch.
Stripers are still difficult to find. The problem is romance related.  They are up all night and tend to go to sleep first thing in the morning.  I went out early today and found stripers much easier to catch at first light than at mid day. The vulnerable stripers are in open water where bottom depth is near 25 feet. These 1 and 2 year old fish are eating plankton and can be caught with small trolled lures.  Our best lure today was a ghost colored Lucky Craft Bevy Shad 75.  It runs about 8 feet deep and is small enough to excite the plankton-eating fish.
The larger mature males and females are separated from the small fish.  They hold in larger schools in deeper water.  Big schools were found at the mouth of 50-mile Canyon in the Escalante arm and in Bullfrog Bay near Buoy 94.  The 50-mile fish got away because they could be seen but not caught.  The Bullfrog fish were harvested in abundance with anchovy bait after extensive chumming and precise positioning over the stationary school.
If big striper schools are seen in deeper water, mark the spot and chum to wake them up. Once caught on bait they can be kept active with small spoons and jigs.  I caught schooled stripers today on Kastmasters and shad shaped worms.  Once active they just need something to eat.  Get it to them as quickly as possible before the boat drifts away from the school.
After the blustery week is over expect fishing to improve again as water warms.  Fishing does not have to be as good as it was last week to be incredibly exciting.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 6, 2015                                                                                                                          

Lake Elevation: 3589.8

Water Temperature 62 - 70 F

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

ssshanelmbFish reports from the first weekend in May are rolling in and all agree that last weekend was the very best fishing of the year and perhaps the best seen in a very long time. All species of fish were caught along the length and breadth of the lake. Smallmouth bass were the leader by a country mile followed about equally by largemouth bass, crappie, and walleye. Stripers came in last but there were a few clues to help find them in the coming days.

Smallmouth bass were actively spawning in the mid to northern lake. They are very aggressive when the first eggs are laid but then become more docile with each passing day.  Weather is now blustery with scatter showers and cooler weather.  But water temperature remains above 62 degrees so bass will continue to guard nests and be easily caught.  

Smallmouth techniques were evenly divided between square bill crankbaits cranked near shore and plastics fished along the bottom from shore to 25 feet deep.  It seems crankbaits and spinner baits were best early and late while plastics were better mid day. 

Largemouth bass are randomly caught while pounding the shoreline looking for smallmouth.  It seems largemouth are done spawning but they are actively chasing sunfish and crayfish in submerged tumbleweed shelters in the backs of coves. Largemouth are caught frequently but compared to smallmouth they are outnumbered 10 to 1.  

Crappie are actively spawning and have been found on nests in open water far from brush. The falling lake level with clear water makes them easy to see but they look back and see the boat so they are not always easy to catch. Small fish imitating lures are best. Try 1/16th ounce weights on 4-6 pound test when specifically targeting crappie.  

ssshane2smbWalleye are showing up more often now.  The magic depth is 15-20 feet. The best lures are plastic tubes and grubs that move slowly along the bottom.  A piece of live worm is a good enticement and draws response from crappie, bass and bluegill as well.  Bluegill occupy tumbleweed piles in 10 feet of water and less.  Walleye hang at the 15 foot area and move in shallow occasionally to invite a bluegill to lunch. 

Stripers are still difficult to find. The problem is romance related.  They are up all night and tend to go to sleep first thing in the morning.  I went out early today and found stripers much easier to catch at first light than at mid day. The vulnerable stripers are in open water where bottom depth is near 25 feet. These 1 and 2 year old fish are eating plankton and can be caught with small trolled lures.  Our best lure today was a ghost colored Lucky Craft Bevy Shad 75.  It runs about 8 feet deep and is small enough to excite the plankton-eating fish.  

The larger mature males and females are separated from the small fish.  They hold in larger schools in deeper water. Big schools were found at the mouth of 50-mile Canyon in the Escalante arm and in Bullfrog Bay near Buoy 94.  The 50-mile fish got away because they could be seen but not caught.  The Bullfrog fish were harvested in abundance with anchovy bait after extensive chumming and precise positioning over the stationary school. If big striper schools are seen in deeper water, mark the spot and chum to wake them up. Once caught on bait they can be kept active with small spoons and jigs.

 I caught schooled stripers today on Kastmasters and shad shaped worms.  Once active they just need something to eat. Feed them as quickly as possible before the boat drifts away from the school.  After the blustery week is over expect fishing to improve again as water warms.  

shuntstb15_edited-1Fishing does not have to be as good as it was last week to be incredibly exciting.

 

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
 
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