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June 20, 2013 - Beware of Buzzards when fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 20, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  73 - 76 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
My weekly fishing trip began in perfect fashion.  We stopped at Padre Butte and trolled with great hope of catching a walleye.  The lures were deployed and we trolled for 50 yards before both rods jerked and loaded hungry fish.  My partner caught a smallmouth bass but my fish was a 14-inch walleye. This seemed like the perfect start to a perfect day.  However, within a few minutes the wind picked up and conditions changed.
Our plan was to chase slurping stripers from Padre Bay to Rock Creek.  We saw lots of stripers slurping shad near the surface but they were up quickly and usually gone before we could get in range to make a decent cast.  Surprisingly, the slurp that stayed up the longest was in the main channel on the return trip where boat wakes were stirring up the water into 2 foot waves.  This school of stripers stayed up long enough to make a decent cast and catch some fish.  Reports from Bullfrog were identical with quick slurps and no fish caught.  Striper slurps are still going strong but in calm water it is much easier to see the surface disturbance, approach quickly and make a good cast. This will continue until the rapidly growing larval shad are big enough to swim fast which causes the stripers to boil as they round up the shad school and then attack.  That will happen in July and August.
As we gathered fish reports at the end of the day it was obvious that anglers using bait for stripers along the canyon walls all caught more and larger stripers than we did. Average catch for anglers using bait was 10 - 20 stripers. Good bait fishing was found in Antelope, Navajo, Labyrinth Wall, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake Moki Wall and the cove just upstream from the mouth of Moki were good bait spots. Night fishing under green lights in Bullfrog Bay is the best way to catch large numbers of stripers.
Another hot ticket in the northern lake is to chase slurps in Red Canyon and the Good Hope Bay area. There are more stripers, more shad and more fish caught there. If I had a day to fish up north, I would go to Good Hope Bay.
The best is saved for last.  Smallmouth bass are the best fish to target and catch right now.  They really like topwater lures at first light in the morning (lakewide). After the sun comes up, switch to plastic shad-shaped worms on a drop shot rig. Fish those rigs from 10-15 feet early and switch to 17-22 feet later in the day.  The best habitat is submerged ledges, scattered boulder-sized rocks and even muddy points where crayfish gather. Smallmouth bass will hit plastic baits all day long. Bass caught this week ranged from small to 3.5 pounds. Kids fishing for this first time will be able to catch both bass and stripers by following the directions given here.
Walleye are still caught trolling and casting early and late and under muddy colored water durng the day.  Bluegill and green sunfish are still holding at nest sites where a few stick ups or tumbleweeds are submerged. Channel catfish are spawning and active both day and night in the backs of the canyons from 10-29 feet on a sandy bottom.
In conclusion, I suggest to those exploring the lake that canyons that have buzzards in them are not a good place to fish. In fact, I am quite sure that the two buzzards we saw in the back of Rock Creek spoiled our fishing trip.  It seemed fine when they were perched on the rocks just looking at us, but when they turned their backs and spread their wings and maintained that posture the whole time that we fished in the canyon that our fishing trip was spoiled for the rest of the day.  Just a word of caution: DO NOT fish near buzzards with outstretched wings.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 20, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  73 - 76 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

My weekly fishing trip began in perfect fashion.  We stopped at Padre Butte and trolled with great hope of catching a walleye.  The lures were deployed and we trolled for 50 yards before both rods jerked and loaded hungry fish.  My partner caught a smallmouth bass but my fish was a 14-inch walleye. This seemed like the perfect start to a perfect day.  However, within a few minutes the wind picked up and conditions changed.

Our plan was to chase slurping stripers from Padre Bay to Rock Creek.  We saw lots of stripers slurping shad near the surface but they were up quickly and usually gone before we could get in range to make a decent cast.  Surprisingly, the slurp that stayed up the longest was in the main channel on the return trip where boat wakes were stirring up the water into 2 foot waves.  This school of stripers stayed up long enough to make a decent cast and catch some fish.  Reports from Bullfrog were identical with quick slurps and no fish caught.  Striper slurps are still going strong but in calm water it is much easier to see the surface disturbance, approach quickly and make a good cast. This will continue until the rapidly growing larval shad are big enough to swim fast which causes the stripers to boil as they round up the shad school and then attack.  That will happen in July and August.

As we gathered fish reports at the end of the day it was obvious that anglers using bait for stripers along the canyon walls all caught more and larger stripers than we did. Average catch for anglers using bait was 10 - 20 stripers. Good bait fishing was found in Antelope, Navajo, Labyrinth Wall, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake Moki Wall and the cove just upstream from the mouth of Moki were good bait spots. Night fishing under green lights in Bullfrog Bay is the best way to catch large numbers of stripers. 

egsmbnet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another hot ticket in the northern lake is to chase slurps in Red Canyon and the Good Hope Bay area. There are more stripers, more shad and more fish caught there. If I had a day to fish up north, I would go to Good Hope Bay.  

The best is saved for last.  Smallmouth bass are the best fish to target and catch right now.  They really like topwater lures at first light in the morning (lakewide). After the sun comes up, switch to plastic shad-shaped worms on a drop shot rig. Fish those rigs from 10-15 feet early and switch to 17-22 feet later in the day.  The best habitat is submerged ledges, scattered boulder-sized rocks and even muddy points where crayfish gather. Smallmouth bass will hit plastic baits all day long. Bass caught this week ranged from small to 3.5 pounds. Kids fishing for this first time will be able to catch both bass and stripers by following the directions given here.

Walleye are still caught trolling and casting early and late and under muddy colored water during the day.  Bluegill and green sunfish are still holding at nest sites where a few stick ups or tumbleweeds are submerged. Channel catfish are spawning and active both day and night in the backs of the canyons from 10-20 feet on a sandy bottom. 

In conclusion, I suggest to those exploring the lake that canyons that have buzzards in them are not a good place to fish. In fact, I am quite sure that the two buzzards we saw in the back of Rock Creek spoiled our fishing trip.  It seemed fine when they were perched on the rocks just looking at us, but when they turned their backs and spread their wings and maintained that posture the whole time that we fished in the canyon that our fishing trip was spoiled for the rest of the day.  Just a word of caution: DO NOT fish near buzzards with outstretched wings.

badbuzzards

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 09:35
 

June 13, 2018 - Slurps Continue

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 13, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  72  - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striper slurps continue over the length of the lake.  Typically slurping stripers begin feeding when the sun hits the water.  If in a shaded canyon just randomly throw surface lures toward the shore in areas where bottom depth is about 25 feet.  Stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass respond well in low light to a surface lure hitting near shore, or the edge of a drop off, or even in open water in the middle of the bay.  Watch for splashes in the back of the canyon and cast in that direction.  Those splashes could be bass or stripers or gizzard shad.  Any of these are worth targeting. It is fun to catch bass and stripers while gizzard shad tend to attract sport fish so they are worth targeting with surface lures.
On my fishing trip this week, the first random cast with an Ima Skimmer surface lure resulted in a 2-pound striper, followed by 4 smallmouth bass over 2 pounds and one largemouth bass.  As the sun started to break over the high cliff wall we noticed a small surface disturbance in the middle of the bay in deeper water. After seeing one fish jump we confirmed that these were slurping stripers and we headed toward the school.
The trick is to get the boat close enough to cast but not close enough to spook the school. On this day we had more schools spook and go down before we could make a good cast that landed just beyond the school so we could work our surface lures back over the feeding fish. It is definitely best to come up behind the school so the fish are swimming away from the boat.  We had way too many schools that were coming toward us and spooked before we could get a good cast off. It is worth it to take an extra turn or two and approach the school from the side or from the rear.
Surface lures work well with a perfect cast and a great retrieve.  Watching fish hit the topwater is almost as fun as catching them. You can probably catch more fish on a white jig or grub that is closer to the size of the tiny shad stripers are eating. These slurps only stay up for a few minutes at best. Once they go down, the school often goes right under the boat and can be caught on spoons or other fast falling lures like a heavy rattletrap. The school is in range for less than a minute so react quickly when the graph lights up with 30 or more fish.
In the southern lake striper slurps were found in Padre Bay near Dominguez Rock, Gregory Butte, Dove Canyon, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake slurps were seen in Bullfrog Bay, Halls Creek, Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay and Red Canyon.  This is a lakewide event but with more shad in the northern lake the best place to try is from Bullfrog to Trachyte Canyon.
Smallmouth bass fishing is great in the early morning on surface lures lakewide and later in the day on plastic grubs and senkos near isolated rock slides and along rocky shorelines where water depth is 10-20 feet.  Larger bass are deeper at 20-35 feet.
Walleye are being caught trolling, and casting in cloudy water.  Wind is forecast to blow in the afternoon this week. When the wind comes up try trolling along windy points and flat ledges with a bottom depth of 10-30 feet.  Catch one walleye and return to that spot to catch more. You can cast for walleye using a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm attached and a slow retrieve while maintaining bottom contact.  Walleye group together. Catch one and more are likely to be found in the same spot.
Blue gill and green sunfish are quite visible now as they are nesting in shallow water. Look for a 12-inch circular nest on the bottom and drop a tiny plastic jig on to the nest and watch the bluegill come over to remove it. Set the hook when he picks it up. Male, nest guarding,  bluegill are the most colorful fish in the lake.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 13, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  72  - 75 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Striper slurps continue over the length of the lake.  Typically slurping stripers begin feeding when the sun hits the water.  If in a shaded canyon just randomly throw surface lures toward the shore in areas where bottom depth is about 25 feet.  Stripers, smallmouth and largemouth bass respond well in low light to a surface lure hitting near shore, or the edge of a drop off, or even in open water in the middle of the bay.  Watch for splashes in the back of the canyon and cast in that direction.  Those splashes could be bass or stripers or gizzard shad.  Any of these are worth targeting. It is fun to catch bass and stripers while gizzard shad tend to attract sport fish so they are worth targeting with surface lures.

On my fishing trip this week, the first random cast with an Ima Skimmer surface lure resulted in a 2-pound striper, followed by 4 smallmouth bass over 2 pounds and one largemouth bass.  As the sun started to break over the high cliff wall we noticed a small surface disturbance in the middle of the bay in deeper water. After seeing one fish jump we confirmed that these were slurping stripers and we headed toward the school.  

The trick is to get the boat close enough to cast but not close enough to spook the school. On this day we had more schools spook and go down before we could make a good cast that landed just beyond the school so we could work our surface lures back over the feeding fish. It is definitely best to come up behind the school so the fish are swimming away from the boat.  We had way too many schools that were coming toward us and spooked before we could get a good cast off. It is worth it to take an extra turn or two and approach the school from the side or from the rear. 

Surface lures work well with a perfect cast and a great retrieve.  Watching fish hit the topwater is almost as fun as catching them. You can probably catch more fish on a white jig or grub that is closer to the size of the tiny shad stripers are eating. These slurps only stay up for a few minutes at best. Once they go down, the school often goes right under the boat and can be caught on spoons or other fast falling lures like a heavy rattletrap. The school is in range for less than a minute so react quickly when the graph lights up with 30 or more fish. 

In the southern lake striper slurps were found in Padre Bay near Dominguez Rock, Gregory Butte, Dove Canyon, and Rock Creek. In the northern lake slurps were seen in Bullfrog Bay, Halls Creek, Cedar Canyon to Good Hope Bay and Red Canyon.  This is a lakewide event but with more shad in the northern lake the best place to try is from Bullfrog to Trachyte Canyon.

Smallmouth bass fishing is great in the early morning on surface lures lakewide and later in the day on plastic grubs and senkos near isolated rock slides and along rocky shorelines where water depth is 10-20 feet.  Larger bass are deeper at 20-35 feet.

Walleye are being caught trolling, and casting in cloudy water.  Wind is forecast to blow in the afternoon this week. When the wind comes up try trolling along windy points and flat ledges with a bottom depth of 10-30 feet.  Catch one walleye and return to that spot to catch more. You can cast for walleye using a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm attached and a slow retrieve while maintaining bottom contact.  Walleye group together. Catch one and more are likely to be found in the same spot.  

Blue gill and green sunfish are quite visible now as they are nesting in shallow water. Look for a 12-inch circular nest on the bottom and drop a tiny plastic jig on to the nest and watch the bluegill come over to remove it. Set the hook when he picks it up. Male, nest guarding,  bluegill are the most colorful fish in the lake.

 

June 6, 2018 - Slurps Begin

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 6, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  72  - 75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Stripers Slurps Begin:
Stripers have now completed spawning and they are really hungry! Shad have started to spawn and tiny larval shad are found near the lake’s surface. Stripers are now looking up in search of a school of larval shad. Once located stripers feed carefully on these tiny fish.  It takes intense concentration to slurp in these tender morsels that are only a quarter to a half inch long.  Stripers line up and feed shoulder to shoulder through the tiny shad gathering.  Occasionally a striper gets frustrated and jumps out of the water while the rest of the fish swim just below the surface as they try to find some food.
From the boat this feeding action looks like a mild surface disturbance. Look for the 2 or 3 fish that jump and then join back into the small wave created by the slurping fish.  Get in casting range and then throw surface lures well beyond the striper school and work it back through the surface feeding stripers; or use a small white jig or grub and reel it right under the surface; or use a small spoon and reel it through the surfacing stripers.
Of course, as soon as any cast is made the striper school tends to dive for safety. The usually pop back up within a minute but just out of casting range. When they reappear cast again as described above or watch the graph when they dive down again. They usually descend to 25-40 feet and glide right under the boat.
If this sounds confusing that’s because it is. The end result is that a few stripers will be hooked on topwater, and some on shallow grubs and spoons.  A few more fish will be caught on spoons fishing in deep water under the boat. There is no one right way to do this. The best method is to be prepared for all circumstances.  You will catch fish but not on the same scale as fishing summer striper boils. That comes later. For now chasing slurps is fun and some fish are caught. Perhaps the best slurp lure is a white crappie jig.
Slurps have been found in the main channel at the mouth of Rock Creek and Last Chance and in Dove Canyon.  Uplake they were found in Bullfrog Bay, Moki Canyon, the back of Halls Creek and in open water at Buoy 102.  The biggest and most consistent slurps are found in the morning.
Back at the fish cleaning station we found one striper with quagga mussels and crayfish in his stomach.  The other fish had the grey ooze of decomposing tiny shad.
Smallmouth bass are still the most commonly caught fish and found on various rocky structures over the length of the lake.  Best bets include: Plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, and shad shaped worms. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.
Bluegill and green sunfish are actively spawning now. They can be seen near blocky rocks or where woody stickups or tumbleweeds are congregated. The water is not as clear as it has been but these sunfish nests can be seen very well in 5-10 feet of water.   The nest is a small depression about a foot in diameter with the male bluegill guarding.  A small jig with a piece of worm attached can be dropped on the nest.  Wait for the male bluegill to pick it up to move it off the nest and then set the hook.  These bluegill are some of the brightest colored fish that swim in Lake Powell.
The added bonus while fishing for bluegill is that largemouth bass share the same habitat and can be caught right alongside the bluegill school.
Walleye are still being caught in good numbers over the length of the lake with the northern lake from Escalante, to Bullfrog, to Good Hope Bay being the best spots to try.

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 6, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  72  - 75 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Striper Slurps Begin:

Stripers have now completed spawning and they are really hungry! Shad have started to spawn and tiny larval shad are found near the lake’s surface. Stripers are now looking up in search of a school of larval shad. Once located stripers feed carefully on these tiny fish.  It takes intense concentration to slurp in these tender morsels that are only a quarter to a half inch long.  Stripers line up and feed shoulder to shoulder through the tiny shad gathering.  Occasionally a striper gets frustrated and jumps out of the water while the rest of the fish swim just below the surface as they try to find some food.  

From the boat this feeding action looks like a mild surface disturbance. Look for the 2 or 3 fish that jump and then join back into the small wave created by the slurping fish.  Get in casting range and then throw surface lures well beyond the striper school and work it back through the surface feeding stripers; or use a small white jig or grub and reel it right under the surface; or use a small spoon and reel it through the surfacing stripers. 

Of course, as soon as any cast is made the striper school tends to dive for safety. They usually pop back up within a minute but just out of casting range. When they reappear cast again as described above or watch the graph when they dive down again. They usually descend to 25-40 feet and glide right under the boat.

If this sounds confusing that’s because it is. The end result is that a few stripers will be hooked on topwater, and some on shallow grubs and spoons.  A few more fish will be caught on spoons fishing in deep water under the boat. There is no one right way to do this. The best method is to be prepared for all circumstances.  You will catch fish but not on the same scale as fishing summer striper boils. That comes later. For now chasing slurps is fun and some fish are caught. Perhaps the best slurp lure is a white crappie jig. 

Slurps have been found in the main channel at the mouth of Rock Creek and Last Chance and in Dove Canyon.  Uplake they were found in Bullfrog Bay, Moki Canyon, the back of Halls Creek and in open water at Buoy 102.  The biggest and most consistent slurps are found in the morning. 

Back at the fish cleaning station we found one striper with quagga mussels and crayfish in his stomach.  The other fish had the grey ooze of decomposing tiny shad. 

Smallmouth bass are still the most commonly caught fish and found on various rocky structures over the length of the lake.  Best bets include: Plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, and shad shaped worms. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening. 

Bluegill and green sunfish are actively spawning now. They can be seen near blocky rocks or where woody stickups or tumbleweeds are congregated. The water is not as clear as it has been but these sunfish nests can be seen very well in 5-10 feet of water.   The nest is a small depression about a foot in diameter with the male bluegill guarding.  A small jig with a piece of worm attached can be dropped on the nest.  Wait for the male bluegill to pick it up to move it off the nest and then set the hook.  These bluegill are some of the brightest colored fish that swim in Lake Powell.  

The added bonus while fishing for bluegill is that largemouth bass share the same habitat and can be caught right alongside the bluegill school. 

Walleye are still being caught in good numbers over the length of the lake with the northern lake from Escalante, to Bullfrog, to Good Hope Bay being the best spots to try.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2018 14:58
 

May 30, 2018 - Bluegill Prizes Awarded this Week.

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 30, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  67-74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell continues to rise with inflow doubling outflow right now. Rising water is having a positive effect on fishing success.  Bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish all search for brushy structure.  We hope the lake level continues to rise and reaches the next plateau where a significant amount of submerged cover is created.
The most commonly caught fish right now are smallmouth bass.  They love rocks!  Look for them on shallow rocky points stretching out perpendicularly from the shoreline or on a rocky point where a ridge enters the water.  Bass have recently occupied another habitat which is a small isolated rock slide in the main channel or main canyon.   Look for a rock slide less than 100 yards in width with steep cliffs on either side.  Bass congregate in the rocky cover with the small fish anywhere from 5-15 feet deep.  Larger bass are deeper in the 20-30 foot strata. Bass are eating crayfish and small sunfish.  The best bottom bouncing baits are plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, shad shaped worms and chatterbaits.  Square bill crankbaits are working as well. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening.
Bluegill and sunfish are biting well and are found in the same rocky habitat shared with smallmouth bass.   The slight difference is bluegill will be on a quick drop off near shore where boulders are piled up to provide the habitat needed.  If tumbleweeds have floated in and sunk near the boulders that structure is even better. Water clarity is only 15 feet this week but that is enough to allow visual sightings of sunfish schools hanging out near shore. Once sighted these tasty fish are easy to catch if you are prepared with a live worm. Green sunfish have a large mouth for their size and really like worms. Bluegill have a small mouth so it is important to downsize the hook to a trout size of number 8 or smaller.   We caught lots of sunfish on a worm under a bobber, and on a small plastic bluegill jig on a 1/16th ounce jig head.  Then we tried a tiny ice jig with a ¼ inch worm attached and caught sunfish like crazy.
Remember that Utah Wildlife and BYU are collecting sunfish this week at the fish cleaning stations at Wahweap and Bullfrog.  If you catch a sunfish, please keep it and bring it to the cleaning station where it will be used to understand sunfish food habits and how important quagga mussels are in their diet.  Please remember where the sunfish were caught and let us know that detail when the fish is turned in. You can fillet bluegill and keep the meet. The carcass and stomach is enough for the study.   If you bring in a sunfish you will be entered in a fishing contest where tackle is awarded to the lucky winner in a prize drawing.    The Prize Drawing will take place after June 2, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.
Walleye are caught on bottom bouncers with worms, on plastic baits retrieved close to the bottom, and on lures trolled across rocky points.  The number of walleye caught per hour increases as you head north.  Walleye are caught randomly in the southern lake but can be caught in large numbers in the north.  Walleye fishing will remain good over the next 3 weeks.
Striped bass are in the final stages of spawning. They are randomly caught along main channel walls and in side canyons by bait fishermen, but the hotspots tend to move around each day.   Random stripers are caught while trolling he shoreline particularly where water is murky toward the back of the canyon. Yearling fish that eat plankton near the surface can be caught while trolling and casting. Stripers will come back to the surface in mid June when spawning is done and as larval shad are found near the surface. Stripers that are missing in action now will be back in large numbers as they slurp the tiny shad near the surface. Look for striper slurps to start mid June.
On the fish report trip this week we caught 36 bluegill and sunfish, 1 striper, 1 walleye, and 40 smallmouth bass. The Lake Powell Slam is a great goal to shoot for this week!

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 30, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  67-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Lake Powell continues to rise with inflow doubling outflow right now. Rising water is having a positive effect on fishing success.  Bass, crappie, bluegill and sunfish all search for brushy structure.  We hope the lake level continues to rise and reaches the next plateau where a significant amount of submerged cover is created.

The most commonly caught fish right now are smallmouth bass.  They love rocks!  Look for them on shallow rocky points stretching out perpendicularly from the shoreline or on a rocky point where a ridge enters the water.  Bass have recently occupied another habitat which is a small isolated rock slide in the main channel or main canyon.   Look for a rock slide less than 100 yards in width with steep cliffs on either side.  Bass congregate in the rocky cover with the small fish anywhere from 5-15 feet deep.  Larger bass are deeper in the 20-30 foot strata. Bass are eating crayfish and small sunfish.  The best bottom contact baits are plastic jigs, senkos, ned rigs, shad shaped worms and chatterbaits.  Square bill crankbaits are working as well. The most fun is found throwing topwater baits at low light morning and evening. 

Bluegill and sunfish are biting well and are found in the same rocky habitat shared with smallmouth bass.   The slight difference is bluegill will be on a quick drop off near shore where boulders are piled up to provide the habitat needed.  If tumbleweeds have floated in and sunk near the boulders that structure is even better. Water clarity is only 15 feet this week but that is enough to allow visual sightings of sunfish schools hanging out near shore. Once sighted these tasty fish are easy to catch if you are prepared with a live worm. Green sunfish have a large mouth for their size and really like worms. Bluegill have a small mouth so it is important to downsize the hook to a trout size of number 8 or smaller.   We caught lots of sunfish on a worm under a bobber, and on a small plastic bluegill jig on a 1/16th ounce jig head.  Then we tried a tiny ice jig with a ¼ inch worm attached and caught sunfish like crazy.

bghabitat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that Utah Wildlife and BYU are collecting sunfish this week at the fish cleaning stations at Wahweap and Bullfrog.  If you catch a sunfish, please keep it and bring it to the cleaning station where it will be used to understand sunfish food habits and how important quagga mussels are in their diet.  Please remember where the sunfish were caught and let us know that detail when the fish is turned in. You can fillet bluegill and keep the meat. The carcass and stomach is enough for the study.   If you bring in a sunfish you will be entered in a fishing contest where fishing tackle is awarded to the lucky winner in a prize drawing.    The Prize Drawing will take place after June 2, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

Walleye are caught on bottom bouncers with worms, on plastic baits retrieved close to the bottom, and on lures trolled across rocky points.  The number of walleye caught per hour increases as you head north.  Walleye are caught randomly in the southern lake but can be caught in large numbers in the north.  Walleye fishing will remain good over the next 3 weeks. 

Striped bass are in the final stages of spawning. They are randomly caught along main channel walls and in side canyons by bait fishermen, but the hotspots tend to move around each day.   Random stripers are caught while trolling the shoreline particularly where water is murky toward the back of the canyon. Yearling fish that eat plankton near the surface can be caught while trolling and casting. Stripers will come back to the surface in mid June when spawning is done and as larval shad are found near the surface. Stripers that are missing in action now will be back in large numbers as they slurp the tiny shad near the surface. Look for striper slurps to start mid June. 

On the fish report trip this week we caught 36 bluegill and sunfish, 1 striper, 1 walleye, and 40 smallmouth bass. The Lake Powell Slam is a great goal to shoot for this week!

 

nwbg

 

May 23, 2018 - Great Fishing and Prizes!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  65-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.
Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now.
Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June.
Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake.
Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.   Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.
We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery.
Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark.
YOU CAN WIN PRIZES! For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing for fishing tackle.
Details:
Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient.
You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement.
Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.
All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  65-72 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.

Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now. 

Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June. 

Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake. 

Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.  Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.

We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery. 

Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark. 

YOU CAN WIN PRIZES! For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing for fishing tackle. 

Details: Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient. You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement. Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

 

Note:  Pictures for this report are found on Wayneswords.net> Fish Report.  It is much easier to post picutres on the new website. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:19
 

May 16, 2018 - Striped bass are Spawning

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable.
My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.
Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.
Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.
Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch.
Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

stbvisualStriped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable. 

 

 

 

 

My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.

Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.

Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.

 

russkid1pg

Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:49
 

May 9, 2018 - Grand Slam fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate brown color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.
This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion.
The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.
Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.
Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids.
Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel fishing spots. These fish eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success.
We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch.
Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch a walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake.
Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.

This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion. 

The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of structure and habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.

Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.

Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids. 

Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel bait fishing spots. These stripers eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success. 

bgfemale


















        Bluegill = Newcomer to the front stage at Lake Powell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch. 

Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake. 

blemonsis        Bob Lemons 

 

 

 

 

Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 18:18
 

May 2, 2018 - All species now available

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  59 - 64 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
It’s typically springtime weather with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect.
Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a fish trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.
The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.
Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.
Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away.
Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.
Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught recently.  Larger bluegill feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.
Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  59 - 64 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

It’s typically springtime weather now with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect. 

Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a small school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a striper trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.

stb2hungry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.

Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.

 

rscrappie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away. 

waemouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.

walleyelureworm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught recently.  Larger bluegill, feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.

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Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:45
 

April 25, 2018 - Surface feeding stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 25, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  58 - 64 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

 

Lake level is still declining with 16,000 acre feet of water flowing into the lake while 24,000 acre feet flows out.  Water temperature is climbing with early morning temperature now at 59 F. Hopefully the warming air temperature will allow the runoff to increase and allow the lake to rise. Water clarity is still crystal clear in the southern lake. It is possible to see the bottom in 30 feet of water in some locations.

These warming conditions have ushered in the expected behavioral change in adult striped bass that are waiting to spawn. Each spring adult stripers migrate back to where they were spawned, similar to salmon running upstream to their nursery location.  Stripers spawn at night so they are not that easy to find during the day.   Stripers spawn on the surface so there are no nests to mark the location of the spawning event. The evidence of the spawning location is the early morning presence of large schools of stripers swimming on the surface as they wait for the 10 degree temperature spike which is the trigger that allows spawning to occur. That trigger would be an early morning water temperature of 62-64 degrees which increases to 74 or above in the afternoon.  While waiting for the temperature increase, the striper schools pass the time by swimming aimlessly near the surface, slurping up tiny microscopic plankton in the early morning hours. When the morning sun hits the water the school drops down to 40 feet or more and waits for that spawning trigger.  Usually spawning occurs between May 10 and June 10.

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Plankton Slurping Stripers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years we have found some of those spawning locations.  Some pre-spawn holding locations are marked by high canyon walls on the east side of the lake which offer extended shady periods. The sun now comes up about 6:30 AM (MDT).  The eastern sky begins to lighten about 30-45 minutes earlier.  The events described here occur between 5:45 to 8 AM or when the sunlight hits the water in different locations.

As we checked out a spawning location in Padre Bay yesterday, my heart skipped a beat as a school of stripers was seen slurping plankton on the surface.  A number of fishing techniques were deployed to see what would be most effective. We trolled over the school with small crank baits trailed way behind the boat. The school sounded and then returned to the surface about the time our lures were in range and a few 3 pound stripers were caught.   We fast trolled Clouser Minnow flies just under the surface and caught a few fish.  We stopped in casting range of the feeding school and cast jigs, small crankbaits and flies and caught a few fish. When the school left the surface, we dropped spoons down to the fish seen on the graph at 40-80 feet and caught a few fish. It was intense, breath taking and very satisfying to be back interacting with spawning stripers again.  The sun hit the water way too soon and the morning action was over.   A few more spots were checked by trolling in the backs of canyons at a water depth of 25 feet in murky water. We ended up with 34 stripers back at the fish cleaning station.

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Many were seen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those fishing bait in the main channel came in about the same time and most had 10-20 stripers for the morning trip. Fishing has picked and will continue to be good to great for all of the month of May.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass were seen guarding many nests in the southern lake.  Those anglers seeking spunky bass were smiling as well.  Fish size and health is great right now. Walleye fishing is heating up in the northern lake.

Spring spawning season is here with the daily air temperatures in the 70-80 range.  There will be some afternoon winds so the best fishing will be in the early morning over the next 10 days.

 

425graph

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:04
 

April 18, 2018 - Spawning Begins

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 18, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  53 -60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Spawning Season
The bass spawn has been postponed due to cool windy weather.  It seems this happens every spring with bass moving shallow in early April only to be chased back into deep water as the water surface temperature cools back down with the next cold front. The forecast now is for warm weather to arrive this weekend and persist for the entire week. Therefore bass spawning will occur over the entire lake from April 20-27.  Crystal clear water is found over most of the main lake which will make sight fishing for bedding bass an amazing event. Expect to see male bass protecting a light colored fanned spot, 3 feet under the surface, on the green or brown lake bottom.  Once eggs are laid on the small rocks the male bass will protect those eggs from all predators including plastic baits.  On the first day or two after the spawn the guarding bass is overly aggressive, challenging everything that swims within sight. He will pick up plastic baits that settle on the rocks within the nest boundary and move it off the nest and drop it.  He can be caught many times and becomes less aggressive with time. The eggs hatch in about 5 days and the bass body guard stays with the bass fry that hatch and swim above the rocky nest site.
The bass protector leaves the swimming fry and lets then swim away after a few days and goes back to the nest.  He then finds another ripe female, spawns again and starts the process over once more.  A male bass may bring off 4 or 5 successful spawns with 2-3,000 young bass per nest.
It is a good idea to release all bass caught off nests until spawning season is over (June) so the next generation of bass can be propagated for the future.  The lake has not yet started to rise and remains amazingly clear.  It will be interesting to watch the natural spawning cycle even if you are not a fisherman.  Look for bass on primary and secondary points and in coves near the backs of canyons.
Walleye have now completed their early spring spawning season making them more available to be caught by anglers.  With such clear water it is best to target walleye during low light periods, morning and evening.  Standard walleye baits include bottom bouncers and worm harnesses and a live night crawler.  It is also possible to use a regular double or single tail bass plastic grub. The secret for success is to make sure that lure maintains bottom contact. Gently lift it off the bottom and then make sure it touches bottom again after each jigging motion. Walleye are found in increasingly higher numbers with distance traveled uplake starting at Padre Bay.  Good Hope Bay is the best spot as long as there is some visibility in the muddy runoff water coming downstream.
Stripers are being caught on bait in the main channel starting at Buoy 3 and proceeding further uplake.  Pre-spawn stripers can be found in the backs of canyons where there is some color in the water. These fish can be caught on bait or by trolling, spooning and casting.  As spawning time gets closer, expect stripers to move from the backs of canyons out to main canyon walls where they will spawn on the surface after dark.  Over most of the lake, stripers can still be caught trolling. Locate a school on the graph and make repeated passes over the school holding at 30-40 feet deep.  Smaller lures (3-4 inches) work better in the south where few shad are found while 4-5 inch lures work where shad are more abundant. It is best to troll lures that run 10-15 feet deep or use down riggers at the same depth the school is seen on the graph.
Expect fishing to improve significantly as the weather warms and the wind quits this weekend.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 18, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  53-60 F

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

 

poolpano

 

 

 

 

Spawning Season

The bass spawn has been postponed due to cool windy weather.  It seems this happens every spring with bass moving shallow in early April only to be chased back into deep water as the water surface temperature cools back down with the next cold front. The forecast now is for warm weather to arrive this weekend and persist for the entire week. Therefore bass spawning will occur over the entire lake from April 20-27.  Crystal clear water is found over most of the main lake which will make sight fishing for bedding bass an amazing event. Expect to see male bass protecting a light colored fanned spot, 3 feet under the surface, on the green or brown lake bottom.  Once eggs are laid on the small rocks the male bass will protect those eggs from all predators including plastic baits.  On the first day or two after the spawn the guarding bass is overly aggressive, challenging everything that swims within sight. He will pick up plastic baits that settle on the rocks within the nest boundary and move it off the nest and drop it.  He can be caught many times and becomes less aggressive with time. The eggs hatch in about 5 days and the bass body guard stays with the bass fry that hatch and swim above the rocky nest site.

bassonbed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bass protector leaves the swimming fry and lets then swim away after a few days and goes back to the nest.  He then finds another ripe female, spawns again and starts the process over once more.  A male bass may bring off 4 or 5 successful spawns with 2-3,000 young bass per nest. 

It is a good idea to release all bass caught off nests until spawning season is over (June) so the next generation of bass can be propagated for the future.  The lake has not yet started to rise and remains amazingly clear.  It will be interesting to watch the natural spawning cycle even if you are not a fisherman.  Look for bass on primary and secondary points and in coves near the backs of canyons.

Walleye have now completed their early spring spawning season making them more available to be caught by anglers.  With such clear water it is best to target walleye during low light periods, morning and evening.  Standard walleye baits include bottom bouncers and worm harnesses and a live night crawler.  It is also possible to use a regular double or single tail bass plastic grub. The secret for success is to make sure that lure maintains bottom contact. Gently lift it off the bottom and then make sure it touches bottom again after each jigging motion. Walleye are found in increasingly higher numbers with distance traveled uplake starting at Padre Bay.  Good Hope Bay is the best spot as long as there is some visibility in the muddy runoff water coming downstream. 

Stripers are being caught on bait in the main channel starting at Buoy 3 and proceeding further uplake.  Pre-spawn stripers can be found in the backs of canyons where there is some color in the water. These fish can be caught on bait or by trolling, spooning and casting.  As spawning time gets closer, expect stripers to move from the backs of canyons out to main canyon walls where they will spawn on the surface after dark.  Over most of the lake, stripers can still be caught trolling. Locate a school on the graph and make repeated passes over the school holding at 30-40 feet deep.  Smaller lures (3-4 inches) work better in the south where few shad are found while 4-5 inch lures work where shad are more abundant. It is best to troll lures that run 10-15 feet deep or use down riggers at the same depth the school is seen on the graph. 

Expect fishing to improve significantly as the weather warms and the wind quits this weekend.

 
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