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July 26, 2016 - Go North for Topwater

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 26, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3619 

Water Temperature: 79 - 86F

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

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

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

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

These southern spots produced big catches recently: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

July 19, 2016 - Summertime tips

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 19, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3620 

Water Temperature: 77 - 83F

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2016 10:41
 

July 13, 2016 - Tagged Walleye Caught

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 13, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3621 (Lake has Topped out)

Water Temperature: 77 - 83F

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

jaredbeckmanJared Beckman

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 July 2016 09:37
 

July 6, 2016 - Another Day at the Office

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 6, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3621

Water Temperature: 79-83F

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catfish are commonly caught while using bait to catch stripers. 

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

Thanks for going along on another day at the office.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2016 12:58
 

June 28, 2016 - Water rising - Conditions Changing

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

 

walleye-sectionheader02

Lake Powell Fish Report - June 28, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3619

Water Temperature: 79-83F

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wahweap to Rock Creek fishing schedule:

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

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

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

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

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

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 08:41
 

June 21, 2016 - Slurps are consistent

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 21, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3616

Water Temperature: 76-82F

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

 

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

 


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

June 14, 2106 - Early is Best

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 14, 2016
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temperature: 63-67 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
The inflow to Lake Powell over the past 5 days has exceeded 100,000 acre feet. The lake is still rising and will end up at the highest level recorded since 2012.  Fish are excited because the lake is now flooding into green brush and trees.  Bass and crappie really like brush habitat.  Shad love brush because it helps them avoid the constant barrage of predators that have their eye on them. 2016 has been a wonderful fishing year so far and it will continue through the summer in to fall.
I have one fishing tip this week that will be the most helpful suggestion to all that use it.  Are you ready?  The best time to go fishing is at dawn!  OK, that is usually the case but it is really important now.   Our fish are early risers and most active during the first hour of daylight.  They stay energized each morning until about 9 AM (MST) after which they tend to dose off until dusk when another surge in fishing excitement occurs. Go early for best results.
Stripers can be caught all day long on bait. The standard locations in the main channel are still providing some action but the time between active schools coming under each boat is increasing.  Fish are caught more quickly be actively searching for a school in the backs of canyons and coves. Newly reported hot spots include the back of Rock Creek and the cove just north of the floating restroom at the mouth of Rock Creek.
My standard method of locating striper schools is working well right now. Troll a medium diving crankbait and graph the bottom contour from 25 – 50 feet.  When a fish is hooked or a school seen on bottom, throw a floating marker (or hit a waypoint on the graph) so the school can be relocated quickly. Return to hover over the school, chum with anchovies and get ready to catch a bunch of fish.
Small stripers are slurping on the surface in the midlake areas from Last Chance Canyon to the murky water downstream from Good Hope Bay.  Slurpers are catchable when casting to the leading fish that change direction and leave the main group.  Fish size is usually small but the eating quality of small stripers is superb.  Bigger stripers will be working near the smaller fish as the summer progresses.
The other group of stripers which have been ostracized and left the schools are found in shallow water while bass fishing.  These fish are long but thin.  These fish should be harvested and disposed of to reduce competition among the massive striper population that exists right now.
Smallmouth bass are still biting like crazy with small fish making up the majority of the bites.  You can find bigger bass in 20-25 feet of water about the same distance out from the shoreline.
Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of MURKY water.  Look for the mud lines in clear water to select walleye habitat.  Then use your favorite technique to catch them.  Walleye numbers are large in the mid to northern lake. Techniques include worm harness that are cast or towed behind slow trolled bottom bouncer rigs; single or double tail grubs with or without a piece of live night crawler attached, that are inched along the bottom; or mid range crankbaits trolled in murky water along the 12-20 feet bench.
There are so many choices while visiting this incredible lake. It is so beautiful to cruise Lake Powell while skiing, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or sight-seeing. Do not forget to go fishing during the early and late periods of the day to make your trip complete.

Lake Powell Fish Report - June 14, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3611

Water Temperature: 73-79 F

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

sharonhunt3
The inflow to Lake Powell over the past 5 days has exceeded 100,000 acre feet each day. The lake is still rising and will end up at the highest level recorded since 2012.  Fish are excited because the lake is now flooding into green brush and trees.  Bass and crappie really like brush habitat.  Shad love brush because it helps them avoid the constant barrage of predators that have their eye on them. 2016 has been a wonderfully successful fishing year, so far, and it will continue through the summer into fall.

I have one fishing tip this week that will be the most helpful suggestion to all that use it.  Are you ready?  The best time to go fishing is at dawn!  OK, that is usually the case but it is really important now.   Our fish are early risers and most active during the first hour of daylight.  They stay energized each morning until about 9 AM (MST) after which they tend to dose off until dusk when another surge in fishing excitement occurs. Go early for best results. 

chris-steve1Stripers can be caught all day long on bait. The standard locations in the main channel are still providing some action but the time between active schools coming under each boat is increasing.  Fish are caught more quickly by actively searching for a school in the backs of canyons and coves. Newly reported hot spots include the back of Rock Creek and the cove just north of the floating restroom at the mouth of Rock Creek.

 My standard method of locating striper schools is working well right now. Troll a medium diving crankbait and graph the bottom contour from 25 – 50 feet.  When a fish is hooked or a school seen on bottom, throw a floating marker (or hit a waypoint on the graph) so the school can be relocated quickly. Return to hover over the school, chum with anchovies and get ready to catch a bunch of fish. 

Small stripers are slurping on the surface in the midlake areas from Last Chance Canyon to the murky water downstream from Good Hope Bay.  Slurpers are catchable when casting to the leading fish that change direction and leave the main group.  Fish size is usually small but the eating quality of small stripers is superb.  Bigger stripers will be working near the smaller fish as the summer progresses. 

The other group of stripers which have been ostracized and left the schools are found in shallow water while bass fishing.  These fish are long, but thin.  These fish should be harvested and disposed of in deep water to reduce competition among the massive striper population that exists right now. 

ssprav3Smallmouth bass are still biting like crazy with small fish making up the majority of the bites.  You can find bigger bass in 20-25 feet of water about the same distance out from the shoreline. Both singletail and doubletail plastic grubs are working well. Green watermelon, pumpkin, smoked and chartreuse colored grubs are working equally well.

Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of MURKY water.  Look for the mud lines along shore in otherwise clear water to select walleye habitat.  Then use your favorite technique to catch them.  Walleye numbers are large in the mid to northern lake. Techniques include worm harness that are cast or towed behind slow trolled bottom bouncer rigs; single or double tail grubs with or without a piece of live night crawler attached, that are inched along the bottom; or mid range crankbaits trolled in murky water along the 12-20 feet bench.

A tagged walleye contest will begin on July 1, 2016.  You must sign up to be eliglible to win a prize when a tagged fish is caught.  Sign up here:    http://wildlife.utah.gov/lake-powell-tagged-fish-contest.html

There are so many choices while visiting this incredible lake. It is so beautiful to cruise Lake Powell while skiing, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or sight-seeing. Do not forget to go fishing during the early and late periods of the day to make your trip complete.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:42
 

June 7, 2016 - Slurps Begin!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 7, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature: 72-76 F

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


Slurps Start!


Lake Powell rose 3 more feet in the past week with more runoff yet to come. Surface water is muddy in Good Hope Bay all the way to the inflowing river.  Downstream from Good Hope the water is stained but fishable. There is floating debris lake wide that has been set adrift by rising water so be alert for floating wood.


slurps622b 

 

 

 

The big news this week is the beginning of striper surface action.  “Slurps” have begun as small stripers have found the very small, newly hatched baby shad.  Stripers have been subsisting by eating plankton, which is the only readily available food source.   Now that plankton also contains small fish that are growing larger each day, much to the delight of hungry stripers.







 

The slurpers are mostly yearling striped bass 9-12 inches long. They are catchable each morning and evening and then randomly seen throughout the day. The key to catching them is to cast small flies into the line of slurpers or to find the leaders that change direction and look for a new food source after the shad school runs out.  These fish that are looking for more food can be caught on spoons (Kastmasters) and small bass jigs while the main school eating small shad are totally focused on the job at hand and spook when a large lure splashes nearby.



Do not be surprised when larger fish suddenly join the small feeding stripers.  The warm surface layer is thin and larger fish living in deeper cool water will investigate the feeding action and rise to the occasion. Visible slurps can be a target for anglers that want to fish for bigger fish by dropping spoons under the surface action.


Bait fishing for stripers is not over. Many new schooling areas have been reported this week. The standard spots in the main channel at Moki Canyon, Lake Canyon, Navajo and many more are still producing.  The new spots are at the mouth of the San Juan and Nasja, and in the in the back of Rock Creek, Last Chance, Deep Canyon and Gunsight. The best fishing time is morning and evening.  Look for striper schools on the shade line near rock outcroppings suspended at 30-40 foot depths in 60 feet of water.


Juvenile smallmouth bass are still on fire along shallow rocky terrain over the length of the lake.  Larger bass are found in 20-30 feet of water at the same distance away form the shore.  Sometimes casting parallel to the bank works better to catch the larger bass. Lake Powell has an abundant supply of all species of fish this spring.  Please keep a 20 fish limit of 9-12 inch smallmouth bass for a great meal while camping on the lake shore.


Walleye are being caught early and late in low light conditions while trolling and casting medium to deep diving lures in 12 to 25 feet of water. Dragging bottom bouncers along a smooth slick rock bench works well, particularly where the worm trailer rig falls over a breaking edge into deeper water.  Lake Powell predators really like to be on the edge of deep water waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey.


Fishing conditions are changing with rising water and warmer temperatures, but the catch of fish continues to be off the charts for a wide variety of sport fish.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 June 2016 07:34
 

June 1, 2016 - Lake conditions changing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 1, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3603

Water Temperature: 67-72 F

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

 

 

Lake Powell conditions are changing each day with rising water and temperature.  The lake came up another 4 feet since the last report.  Many weed beds that were high and dry are now getting wet once more.  Individual weeds, driftwood and debris are now floating which makes trolling more challenging.  It is great to see barren flats being covered by water and the brush line getting closer to going under each day.

 

Fishing success is changing as well.  Catching is still really good particularly for stripers and smallmouth bass.  Bass are easy to find on isolated rockslides in the main canyons and bays.  Look for a small but dense rock mass along the sheer canyon walls for quick results.   Rockslides that stretch for hundreds of yards take a lot more searching to find the bass honey hole.  Small rockslides make for easy fishing success.  Main channel alcoves with a shallow rock pile surrounded by deep water also have an abundant bass crop,

 

These areas have mostly small but eager bass that can delight youngsters that have not caught a lot of fish.  Use a simple single tail plastic grub on a 3/16th ounce jig head.  Grub color is not that important as all colors from chartreuse to pumpkin to smoke seemed to work fine.  It is more about finding the shallow rock formation than having the right color lure.  Fishing is FAST for feisty bass.

 

Larger bass are down deeper in the 20-foot zone.  Use drop shot rigs or heavier lead head jigs to get down to fishing depth quickly.  Bass are hitting top water lures early and late.  Pounding the shoreline with squarebill cranks, shaky head rigs and spinner baits are also effective.

 

Stripers are still hanging out along the canyon walls but they are on the move.  It is just as likely to find a willing school in the back of the canyon as it is in the main channel.  Bait fishing is still the easiest way to find and catch.  Recent reports have come from the back of Rock Creek, West Canyon and Gunsight in the southern lake.

 

Midlake hotspots were found in the Escalante, Iceberg , Lake Canyon and Bullfrog areas. The north lake is still muddy with catchable fish in the backs of canyons where water is stained but not straight mud.  In summary, it is possible to find a willing school of stripers just about anywhere. Chum a spot and see if they will come. If not, move to the next likely spot and try again.  Try 4 or 5 different spots  to find the one holding fish that day.

 

Walleye are the bonus fish all over the lake.  They can be caught while fishing for bass on rockslides or stripers along canyon walls. Target them along any shoreline where stained water appears along the 20-30 foot deep shoreline.  Troll a bottom bouncer with night crawler or a 15-foot running lure that hits bottom occasionally.  When one walleye is found spend more time fishing in that area to find others from the same congregation.

 

Catfish, bluegill, green sunfish, largemouth and crappie are all active now but found in isolated locations. Catch one of these fish and then repeat using the same lure in the same spot to catch more. Bass and crappie are searching for weed beds.  Many stranded tumbleweed coves are now going under water. Look for bass and crappie in the weeds and under floating debris pushed into a cove by a breeze.

 

In short fishing remains quite good but conditions change daily and fishing spots change with lake level.

 

 

jknorr12

 

Jeff Knorr family found stripers willing to hit bait in the back of Rock Creek this week. 


Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:47
 

May 24, 2016 - Lake rising and full moon

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 24, 2016

Lake Elevation: 3599

Water Temperature: 63-67 F

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

trophyreleased

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:18
 
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