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October 17, 2017 - Fall Fishing Report

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Lake Powell Fish Report – October 17, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3627
Water Temperature:  65-68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Fall Fishing
The 10 day weather forecast is for calm water and perfect daytime temperatures in the 70s. Fishing success has been mixed recently with wind, dropping temperatures and finicky fish.  My prediction is that that last two weeks of October will provide some excellent fishing success.
First the challenges:  Recent tough fishing has resulted from abundant cover and forage which allowed all sport fish species to eat on their own schedules or not at all.  These fish are now accustomed to eating at their leisure with plenty of forage, a luxury usually not found in this lake with the normal over population of predators always seeking after prey. Windy conditions resulted in rapidly dropping water temperature which was a problem that confused fish and put them off feed at times. Hopefully those negative points are now past history.
The new events include:  Stable water temperature (mid 60s) that is favored by most predators as the most consistent feeding and activity conditions of the entire year. An abundant shad and sunfish population that is still readily available.  Water levels will decline slowly which forces shad to leave the brush sanctuaries and encourages feeding from all the predators.
Here is what to expect during the last two weeks of October:
Striped Bass:  Right now shad are hiding in the shallow brushy coves.  By November shad will migrate into deeper water as water temperature drops. Threadfin shad need stable temperatures and do not like cold water.  They seek constant temperature in 30-60 feet of water. Stripers will react to this migration by forming bigger and tighter schools which will make them easier to see on the graph and catch on spoons.  As they make that transition from foraging in small pods in the brush to their normal large school mentality, fishing success will improve dramatically.
Until that happens they can best be found by trolling a shad imitating crankbait while watching the graph looking for small schools and individual stripers.  In the northern lake, surface action may happen anytime as more shad are available for stripers to chase.
Smallmouth Bass: Bass are the best angling target now as they are abundant and feeding prolifically at their favorite water temperature.  Both large and smallmouth bass love brush that houses the bluegill and sunfish forage that is so abundant in this high water year.  Water temperature will remain at the peak bass activity level during the pleasant days forecast for the remainder of October.   Start searching for bass on the prominent points and coves at the mouth of the canyon instead of the shallow water in the back of the cove. There is more shad forage swimming in deeper water (15-25 feet) than in the back of the canyon. Bass are currently holding in that deeper water but may move shallower as lake level and water temperature drops. Bass really like surface lures right now but will always eat plastic grubs bouncing along the bottom and dancing through the brush piles.  Fast moving buzz baits are fun to throw over the brushy shoreline.  Treat bass just as if it were springtime by fishing for them in the afternoon as water warms.
Walleye:  These toothy critters are back on the bite now with many being caught in the northern lake on spoons fished at 15-25 feet, bottom bouncers trolled slowly at the same depth, and nightcrawlers fished slowly on worm harnesses over main channel points.  The magic depth for trolling across treetops or main channel points is 12 feet. Let the walleye diving lure hit bottom at 12 ft and then catch a fish as it bounces into deeper water.
Crappie:  Expect crappie catch rate to increase dramatically as water temperature continues to decline.  Normally the first two weeks of November provide the best crappie fishing of the year. Some crappie are being caught now and that catch rate will increase over the next 3 weeks. The most important factor is finding the school. With brush being abundant, look in the back of the canyons where water depth is 12-20 feet deep. Drive the boat right into the brushy thicket and then drop crappie jigs straight down below the boat to prevent snagging as the jig is moved slowly up and down.  It is also possible to fish from the old river channel where brush begins. Drop jigs to the bottom at the edge of brush where crappie can see the lure and still be in the brushy confines that they love.  Expect to catch a few bluegill while fishing specifically for crappie.  Tip the jig with a small worm to target bluegill.
Catfish: can be caught by placing bait on the bottom near the sandy beach behind the boat near camp.
This will be the last regular report for the year.  I will be gone on vacation for 10 days but will keep up with the fishing action by reading the reports on Wayneswords.  Annual netting starts October 30 and continues through November 10th.  I will post random reports on the website through the winter as something good happens. The only time fishing at Lake Powell is not good is when we don’t go. I will fish all winter and keep you advised of the fishing excitement.
Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell Fish Report – October 17, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3627

Water Temperature:  65-68 F

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

Fall Fishing:

The 10 day weather forecast is for calm water and perfect daytime temperatures in the 70s. Fishing success has been mixed recently with wind, dropping temperatures and finicky fish.  My prediction is that that last two weeks of October will provide some excellent fishing success.

First the challenges:  Recent tough fishing has resulted from abundant cover and forage which allowed all sport fish species to eat on their own schedules or not at all.  These fish are now accustomed to eating at their leisure with plenty of forage, a luxury usually not found in this lake with the normal over population of predators always seeking after prey. Windy conditions resulted in rapidly dropping water temperature which was a problem that confused fish and put them off feed at times. Hopefully those negative points are now past history.

The new events include:  Stable water temperature (mid 60s) that is favored by most predators as the most consistent feeding and activity conditions of the entire year. An abundant shad and sunfish population that is still readily available.  Water levels will decline slowly which forces shad to leave the brush sanctuaries and encourages feeding from all the predators.

Here is what to expect during the last two weeks of October:

Striped Bass:  Right now shad are hiding in the shallow brushy coves.  By November shad will migrate into deeper water as water temperature drops. Threadfin shad need stable temperatures and do not like cold water.  They seek constant temperature in 30-60 feet of water. Stripers will react to this migration by forming bigger and tighter schools which will make them easier to see on the graph and catch on spoons.  As they make that transition from foraging in small pods in the brush to their normal large school mentality, fishing success will improve dramatically.
Until that happens they can best be found by trolling a shad imitating crankbait while watching the graph looking for small schools and individual stripers.  In the northern lake, surface action may happen anytime as more shad are available for stripers to chase. 

randyokuba2Smallmouth Bass: Bass are the best angling target now as they are abundant and feeding prolifically at their favorite water temperature.  Both large and smallmouth bass love brush that houses the bluegill and sunfish forage that is so abundant in this high water year.  Water temperature will remain at the peak bass activity level during the pleasant days forecast for the remainder of October.   Start searching for bass on the prominent points and coves at the mouth of the canyon instead of the shallow water in the back of the cove. There is more shad forage swimming in deeper water (15-25 feet) than in the back of the canyon. Bass are currently holding in that deeper water but may move shallower as lake level and water temperature drops. Bass really like surface lures right now but will always eat plastic grubs bouncing along the bottom and dancing through the brush piles.  Fast moving buzz baits are fun to throw over the brushy shoreline.  Treat bass just as if it were springtime by fishing for them in the afternoon as water warms.  

Walleye:  These toothy critters are back on the bite now with many being caught in the northern lake on spoons fished at 15-25 feet, bottom bouncers trolled slowly at the same depth, and nightcrawlers fished slowly on worm harnesses over main channel points.  The magic depth for trolling across treetops or main channel points is 12 feet. Let the walleye diving lure hit bottom at 12 ft and then catch a fish as it bounces into deeper water. 

Crappie:  Expect crappie catch rate to increase dramatically as water temperature continues to decline.  Normally the first two weeks of November provide the best crappie fishing of the year. Some crappie are being caught now and that catch rate will increase over the next 3 weeks. The most important factor is finding the school. With brush being abundant, look in the back of the canyons where water depth is 12-20 feet deep. Drive the boat right into the brushy thicket and then drop crappie jigs straight down below the boat to prevent snagging as the jig is moved slowly up and down.  It is also possible to fish from the old river channel where brush begins. Drop jigs to the bottom at the edge of brush where crappie can see the lure and still be in the brushy confines that they love.  Expect to catch a few bluegill while fishing specifically for crappie.  Tip the jig with a small worm to target bluegill.

spraz4

 

Catfish: can be caught by placing bait on the bottom near the sandy beach behind the boat near camp.
This will be the last regular report for the year.  I will be gone on vacation for 10 days but will keep up with the fishing action by reading the reports on Wayneswords.  Annual netting starts October 30 and continues through November 10th.  I will post random reports on the website through the winter as something good happens.

The only time fishing at Lake Powell is not good is when we don’t go. I will fish all winter and keep you advised of the fishing excitement.   

 
Wayne Gustaveson

Last Updated on Monday, 16 October 2017 10:29
 

October 11, 2017 - 2-4 PM is Best

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Lake Powell Fish Report – October 11, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3628.12
Water Temperature:  68-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
We fished the Escalante early this week with mixed results. Our camp was in 50 Mile Canyon and we fished the canyons near there.
Fishing was slow Monday afternoon but we did find two schools of stripers and identified a pattern. The location was in the main Escalante River Channel between Three Roof Ruin and Explorer Canyon.  Water depth was 20-30 feet in the channel.  We fished on points sticking out from shore into the channel.  Striper schools were small and appeared to be laying right on the bottom. As we graphed the point from a depth of 25 feet toward the shoreline we found a small group of fish marks at 17 feet.  If we dropped spoons right into the school we caught a few fish.  If the spoon missed the school none were caught. We then ventured further up the channel toward Explorer and saw another point and found the second school by graphing up slope. Again at 17 feet, we saw a tight school on bottom, dropped spoons and caught a few more fish.
No striper boils were seen or reported in the past week.
We had more time to fish on Tuesday. We looked at the sights including La Gorce Arch and Cathedral in the Desert, both were awesome sights.  A few bass were caught on topwater in the brushy treetops in the backs of the canyons at a channel depth of 9-15 feet.  Then as the sun got higher in the sky the bass quit. Fishing was tough in some very good habitat and locations.  We ran down lake as far as Cottonwood Canyon without catching a fish. We headed back toward the Escalante and began trolling and casting along a big rockslide near Hole in the Rock. We caught stubby smallmouth all along the rocky shoreline on a variety of lures.  We checked another rocky shoreline to see if this was the only spot they were hitting. No, smallmouth bass turned on everywhere we tried from 2-4 PM.  Fish caught immediately went from none to too many.
This reminds me so much of springtime bass fishing when they will not bite at all in the cool morning and then turn on like crazy as the water warms in the afternoon. With temperatures now in the high 60s, bass behavior is much like prespawn fish. Afternoon angling was definitely best for us but that feeding period may enlarge as weather continues to stabilize and the full moon continues to “wayne”.
Back at camp we learned that stripers exhibited the same behavior. They did not bite in the morning but when the same rocky points were tried after 2 PM the stripers took off and 30 fish were landed.
It seems the pattern right now is up to the fish. It is not about the best lure or the best spot.  Many different types of spoons, bucktail jigs and medium running crankbaits worked when stripers were active while none worked when they were inactive. Topwater, shallow square bill cranks, rattletraps all caught bass in the afternoon prime time.
I suspect the same timing pattern will apply to catching fish over the length of the lake this week. If you can only fish for a short time, make sure it is in the afternoon.  I feel that fishing success will improve in the next few days as the weather warms and the lake remains calm.  Wind tends to mix warm water from the surface with cool water in the depths.  That drops the water temperature and slows fishing success.  Warming then makes the fishing better just as it does in the springtime.
We saw fishing success increase dramatically in one afternoon.  Hopefully that magic 2 hour period will get longer and finally reach all day. When fishing is tough just look up and see the beauty and majesty of Lake Powell. It is worth it!

Lake Powell Fish Report – October 11, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3628.12

Water Temperature:  68-70 F

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


We fished the Escalante early this week with mixed results. Our camp was in 50 Mile Canyon and we fished the canyons near there.  

rcolby322Fishing was slow Monday afternoon but we did find two schools of stripers and identified a pattern. The location was in the main Escalante River Channel between Three Roof Ruin and Explorer Canyon.  Water depth was 20-30 feet in the channel.  We fished on points sticking out from shore into the channel.  Striper schools were small and appeared to be laying right on the bottom. As we graphed the point from a depth of 25 feet toward the shoreline we found a small group of fish marks at 17 feet.  If we dropped spoons right into the school we caught a few fish.  If the spoon missed the school none were caught. We then ventured further up the channel toward Explorer and saw another point and found the second school by graphing up slope. Again at 17 feet, we saw a tight school on bottom, dropped spoons and caught a few more fish.  

No striper boils were seen or reported in the past week. 

We had more time to fish on Tuesday. We looked at the sights including La Gorce Arch and Cathedral in the Desert, both were awesome sights.  A few bass were caught on topwater in the brushy treetops in the backs of the canyons at a channel depth of 9-15 feet.  Then as the sun got higher in the sky the bass quit. Fishing was tough in some very good habitat and locations.  We ran down lake as far as Cottonwood Canyon without catching a fish. We headed back toward the Escalante and began trolling and casting along a big rockslide near Hole in the Rock. We caught stubby smallmouth all along the rocky shoreline on a variety of lures.  We checked another rocky shoreline to see if this was the only spot they were hitting. No, smallmouth bass turned on everywhere we tried from 2-4 PM.  Fish caught immediately went from none to too many.

wgstb5This reminds me so much of springtime bass fishing when they will not bite at all in the cool morning and then turn on like crazy as the water warms in the afternoon. With temperatures now in the high 60s, bass behavior is much like prespawn fish. Afternoon angling was definitely best for us but that feeding period may enlarge as weather continues to stabilize and the full moon continues to “wayne”.

Back at camp we learned that stripers exhibited the same behavior. They did not bite in the morning but when the same rocky points were tried after 2 PM the stripers took off and 30 fish were landed. 

It seems the pattern right now is up to the fish. It is not about the best lure or the best spot.  Many different types of spoons, bucktail jigs and medium running crankbaits worked when stripers were active while none worked when they were inactive. Topwater, shallow square bill cranks, rattletraps all caught bass in the afternoon prime time. 

I suspect the same timing pattern will apply to catching fish over the length of the lake this week. If you can only fish for a short time, make sure it is in the afternoon.  I feel that fishing success will improve in the next few days as the weather warms and the lake remains calm.  Wind tends to mix warm water from the surface with cool water in the depths.  That drops the water temperature and slows fishing success.  Warming then makes the fishing better just as it does in the springtime. 

We saw fishing success increase dramatically in one afternoon.  Hopefully that magic 2 hour period will get longer and finally reach all day. When fishing is tough just look up and see the beauty and majesty of Lake Powell. It is worth it!

lcsunrise

 

October 4, 2017 - Recovering from cold weather

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Lake Powell Fish Report – October 4, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3628
Water Temperature:  68-73 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Fishing success has been well below Lake Powell standards lately due to cold weather, wind, and dropping water temperatures. Weather is now stabilizing with calm mornings and breezy afternoons.  Hopefully the 80 degree temperatures forecast for today and tomorrow will stabilize the water temperature and bring bass, shad and stripers back to the surface.
Shad schools are hiding in shallow brushy water close to shore.  Stripers are looking for shad in shallow water so it is more likely to see boils blow up near shore instead of the open bay.  That makes it harder to find surface activity over the 2000 miles of shoreline instead of the 150 miles of main channel water.
The most consistent method for finding stripers recently has been graphing and spooning.  There are lots of shad balls showing up on the graph in the backs of canyons and in open water layered at about 50 feet.  These tight packed fish schools are not stripers.  A striper school usually shows a bit of separation between individual fish.
In Neskahi Canyon this week, stripers were found as individual fish were marked as a group of 10 fish or less.  A spoon dropped right into the striper squad resulted in a hookup of one or as many as four fish before the group moved on.  The highlight of the trip was a very large group of stripers that showed up as widespread individual fish that were very aggressively chasing shad and spoons.  Many stripers were caught by anglers in 3-6 boats working over the schools at the mouth of Piute Canyon.  Hundreds of stripers were caught on September 28-30.  I am not sure if the huge school is still there as we left the fish still biting on Saturday.
Good Hope Bay to Hite has been slow due to weather but I expect stripers there to boil and attack spoons as the weather improves.  Launching is still possible at the Primitive Hite ramp. That makes for a short run to find active stripers.
Good fishing was also reported from Bullfrog at Stanton Creek. Shore fishing was best during windy weather and the desire for stripers to chase shad hiding close to shore.  Fishing will also improve mid lake as the weather stabilizes.
Smallmouth bass are the most dependable target species right now.  They have also been impacted by cold weather. Seek after them just as you would in the springtime.  Wait until water starts to warm mid day and then switch to smallmouth fishing techniques.  Plastic grubs and shad shaped worms fished on the breaking edge of a rapid drop off work very well.  High lake level still hides some brush and rock piles in slick rock canyons. Dropping plastic baits down to these typical bass sanctuaries results in quick bites from some very nice sized bass.  Topwater lures fished during early morning and late evening hours were bass magnets.  I have had some of my best bass memories recently as large bass have attacked my surface lures in the backs of canyons in the southern lake where the water was calm and placid.  The big bass jumped well out of the water and then tried to grab the lure on the way down. This experience is actually more memorable if the bass does not get hooked.  Surface fishing is fun!
I am sure fishing success will be better during the next two weeks than it was the last windy week of September.  Water temperature is still hovering around 70 degrees which is a very favorable fishing temperature.  Stripers and smallmouth bass are the best choices now but walleye, catfish, and sunfish are also available in the right place at the right time.

Lake Powell Fish Report – October 4, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3628

Water Temperature:  68-73 F

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


graphshadFishing success has been well below Lake Powell standards lately due to cold weather, wind, and dropping water temperatures. Weather is now stabilizing with calm mornings and breezy afternoons.  Hopefully the 80 degree temperatures forecast for today and tomorrow will stabilize the water temperature and bring bass, shad and stripers back to the surface.

Shad schools on left and some stripers on right:

Shad schools are hiding in shallow brushy water close to shore.  Stripers are looking for shad in shallow water so it is more likely to see boils blow up near shore instead of the open bay.  That makes it harder to find surface activity over the 2000 miles of shoreline instead of the 150 miles of main channel water.  

The most consistent method for finding stripers recently has been graphing and spooning.  There are lots of shad balls showing up on the graph in the backs of canyons and in open water layered at about 50 feet.  These tight packed fish schools are not stripers.  A striper school usually shows a bit of separation between individual fish.  

In Neskahi Canyon this week, stripers were found as individual fish were marked as a group of 10 fish or less.  A spoon dropped right into the striper squad resulted in a hookup of one or as many as four fish before the group moved on.  The highlight of the trip was a very large group of stripers that showed up as widespread individual fish that were very aggressively chasing shad and spoons.  Many stripers were caught by anglers in 3-6 boats working over the schools at the mouth of Piute Canyon.  Hundreds of stripers were caught on September 28-30.  I am not sure if the huge school is still there as we left the fish still biting on Saturday. 

 

graphstb

Good Hope Bay to Hite has been slow due to weather but I expect stripers there to boil and attack spoons as the weather improves.  Launching is still possible at the Primitive Hite ramp. That makes for a short run to find active stripers. 

Active stripers on graph:

Good fishing was also reported from Bullfrog at Stanton Creek. Shore fishing was best during windy weather and the desire for stripers to chase shad hiding close to shore.  Fishing will also improve mid lake as the weather stabilizes.

Smallmouth bass are the most dependable target species right now.  They have also been impacted by cold weather. Seek after them just as you would in the springtime.  Wait until water starts to warm mid day and then switch to smallmouth fishing techniques.  Plastic grubs and shad shaped worms fished on the breaking edge of a rapid drop off work very well.  High lake level still hides some brush and rock piles in slick rock canyons. Dropping plastic baits down to these typical bass sanctuaries results in quick bites from some very nice sized bass.  Topwater lures fished during early morning and late evening hours were bass magnets.  I have had some of my best bass memories recently as large bass have attacked my surface lures in the backs of canyons in the southern lake where the water was calm and placid.  The big bass jumped well out of the water and then tried to grab the lure on the way down. This experience is actually more memorable if the bass does not get hooked.  Surface fishing is fun!  

I am sure fishing success will be better during the next two weeks than it was the last windy week of September.  Water temperature is still hovering around 70 degrees which is a very favorable fishing temperature.  Stripers and smallmouth bass are the best choices now but walleye, catfish, and sunfish are also available in the right place at the right time.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 10:13
 

September 26, 2017 - Electrofishing Results

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 26, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3628
Water Temperature:  70-74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Last week we sampled young fish production in Lake Powell with electrofishing techniques. Windy weather reduced our catch some but we did learn about the general success of most fish species.  With lots of submerged brush it was expected that brush-loving fish like bluegill, crappie and largemouth would be the most abundant species sampled.  As expected, bluegill were the most abundant species captured. Black crappie had a strong showing in the northern lake and the San Juan.  Smallmouth bass were well represented lakewide and largemouth bass catch was steady over the length of the lake. The brushy cover that is still submerged in Lake Powell has been very beneficial in rebuilding the populations of those fish that anglers really appreciate.  Striped bass are more of an open water fish even at a young age so they are not captured as well as bass and crappie during the shoreline sampling in September.
Windy conditions over the past week have slowed fishing success considerably. It was not easy to fight the waves and catch fish while the wind was blowing hard. Strong winds reduced water temperature from 77 (last report) to 70 degrees this morning. Catching success dropped during the windy weather.  September is going out like a lion with some more wind and rain forecast.  As the weather settles down in October, fishing success will rebound once more even with cooler weather. The best fishing in the spring is at a water temperature from 62-72. That is repeated in the fall.
For this week, expect best success by graphing bottom structure looking for striper schools.  Shad have been hiding in the backs of canyons protected by brush shelters.  Stripers are moving in that direction. Open water boils have slowed considerably.  Expect to find striper schools in 40-80 feet toward the backs of canyons.  They periodically come up to feed on shad and can be seen pushing shad schools along the canyon wall.  Use surface lures to catch them when visibly chasing shad, but the most effective striper lures this week will be spoons.  Expect to find schools at a common depth. In past years the best depth to find them has been 60-70 feet. When a school is found, remember the depth and look for them at the same depth in other bays or canyons.   When found a striper school will be very willing to chase your spoons.
Smallmouth bass may be easier to find and catch than stripers.  They are in shallower water (10-25 ft) holding near the brushy points where tamarisk trees are becoming more visible as the lake level declines. Smallmouth bass are excited about all the tasty little bluegill that we found while electrofishing and are close to their brushy sanctuaries. Bass are running in packs so when one fish is found there may be a bunch more in the same spot. Shad shaped worms are working very well either wacky rigged on a drop shot rig or impaled on a lead head jig. Bass can be caught along the entire shoreline of Lake Powell.
Walleye are starting up again and can be caught in the daytime occasionally while fishing for bass and stripers.
Bluegill hide in the submerged treetops and can be seen in the brush near shore.  Find a good sized bluegill and feed it a live night crawler or Berkeley gulp minnow.  Youngsters will really enjoy catching sunfish off the back of a houseboat.
Catfish are feeding steadily along the bottom in 10-15 feet of water. They like table scraps and will provide a lot of excitement as they join your party at dusk on the sandy beach.
October is often the best weather to cruise and camp at Lake Powell. Crowds have diminished, water is calm and cool. It might be the best time to camp and fish in 2017.

Lake Powell Fish Report – September 26, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3628

Water Temperature:  70-74 F

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

Last week we sampled young fish production in Lake Powell with electrofishing techniques. Windy weather reduced our catch some but we did learn about the general success of most fish species.  With lots of submerged brush it was expected that brush-loving fish like bluegill, crappie and largemouth would be the most abundant species sampled.  As expected, bluegill were the most abundant species captured. Black crappie had a strong showing in the northern lake and the San Juan.  Smallmouth bass were well represented lakewide and largemouth bass catch was steady over the length of the lake. The brushy cover that is still submerged in Lake Powell has been very beneficial in rebuilding the populations of those fish that anglers really appreciate.  Striped bass are more of an open water fish even at a young age so they are not captured as well as bass and crappie during the shoreline sampling in September. 

zanetysonWindy conditions over the past week have slowed fishing success considerably. It was not easy to fight the waves and catch fish while the wind was blowing hard. Strong winds reduced water temperature from 77 (last report) to 70 degrees this morning. Catching success dropped during the windy weather.  September is going out like a lion with some more wind and rain forecast.  As the weather settles down in October, fishing success will rebound once more even with cooler weather. The best fishing in the spring is at a water temperature from 62-72. That is repeated in the fall. 

For this week, expect best success by graphing bottom structure looking for striper schools.  Shad have been hiding in the backs of canyons protected by brush shelters.  Stripers are moving in that direction. Open water boils have slowed considerably.  Expect to find striper schools in 40-80 feet toward the backs of canyons.  They periodically come up to feed on shad and can be seen pushing shad schools along the canyon wall.  Use surface lures to catch them when visibly chasing shad, but the most effective striper lures this week will be spoons.  Expect to find schools at a common depth. In past years the best depth to find them has been 60-70 feet. When a school is found, remember the depth and look for them at the same depth in other bays or canyons.   When found a striper school will be very willing to chase your spoons.

Smallmouth bass may be easier to find and catch than stripers.  They are in shallower water (10-25 ft) holding near the brushy points where tamarisk trees are becoming more visible as the lake level declines.  Smallmouth bass are excited about all the tasty little bluegill that we found while electrofishing and are close to their brushy sanctuaries. Bass are running in packs so when one fish is found there may be a bunch more in the same spot. Shad shaped worms are working very well either wacky rigged on a drop shot rig or impaled on a lead head jig. Bass can be caught along the entire shoreline of Lake Powell. 

Walleye are starting up again and can be caught in the daytime occasionally while fishing for bass and stripers. 

bgcolorBluegill hide in the submerged treetops and can be seen in the brush near shore.  Find a good sized bluegill and feed it a live night crawler or Berkeley gulp minnow.  Youngsters will really enjoy catching sunfish off the back of a houseboat.  

Catfish are feeding steadily along the bottom in 10-15 feet of water. They like table scraps and will provide a lot of excitement as they join your party at dusk on the sandy beach. 

October is often the best weather to cruise and camp at Lake Powell. Crowds have diminished, water is calm and cool. It might be the best time to camp and fish in 2017.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 10:18
 

September 21, 2017 - Take 3 Rods

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 21, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3629
Water Temperature:  76-79 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell fishing results are always amazing.  While working on the lake this week my goal was to get to Good Hope Bay to repeat the fantastic boils experienced on my previous trip. Wind complicated fishing results all week.  My first stop was the San Juan where a few striper boils were expected. We did not expect the magnum boils that developed along the north wall of Neskahi Bay on the morning of September 19. Active stripers were leaping high out of the water and hitting our surface lures consistently. If they went down for a few minutes we just dropped spoons and caught more until they returned to the top. We had to leave them boiling to head uplake for the Good Hope Bay experience.
More wind greeted us at Good Hope Bay but only one short small boil was found.  The next morning we ran all the way to White Canyon and did not see anything but a few single stripers hitting the surface. Very few boils were seen from September 16 to 20.
What does this mean for boils in the coming week? There will be boils lakewide but timing and location are not assured. Stripers are very fat, aggressive and constantly chasing shad but much of that now occurs in deeper water.  Now, instead of just scanning the surface it is more important to watch the graph to find deep resting striper and shad schools. These fish can be caught in 30-90 feet of water on spoons, down rigger trolling and even on bait.
My plan for the rest of the 2017 fishing season is take 3 rods. Attach a surface lure to one, a spoon on the next and finally a plastic shad shaped worm on the 3rd rod. With this combination fish can be caught in any location of any canyon on Lake Powell. Stripers will hit surface lures and spoons depending on their depth/location while smallmouth bass will crush the plastic bait.
My goal for the rest of the year will be to always look for surface action, but it is fine to catch bass and stripers while scanning for a boil. Here is what to expect over the length of the lake:
Southern Lake:  Spoons will be the most effective striper lure from Wahweap to Rainbow. Stripers are moving toward the backs of canyons. Rock Creek has the best recent reports from the backs of the 3 canyons.  Bass are hitting well on the breaking edge of brushy points where the depth quickly falls from 12-25 feet.
San Juan:  Expect striper boils in Cha, Wilson Creek and Neskahi Bay and uplake to the Great Bend.  Spoons will work consistently in most canyons from the mouth of the side canyon to about half way back.  Bass fishing in the San Juan is unsurpassed lakewide.
Escalante:  Striper boils and spooning will be best from 50 Mile Canyon to Cow Canyon. Smallmouth fishing is very predictable on every rock slide in the main canyon.
Bullfrog: Spooning is the best striper technique. Start at Dome Rock in Bullfrog Bay and travel as far as Iceberg and Slick Rock downstream or Moki to Hansen Creek upstream.  Rincon is awesome for bass fishing.
Good Hope Bay to Hite:  Boils will start up again but the start date is not known. Until then use spoons to catch lots of stripers. Trachyte Canyon to White is my best guess but the water color is murky. It may be better to spoon in clear water from Good Hope downstream. I wish I could pin this down better but I did not find a consistent pattern while there for one day this week.   I did see my best boil in Popcorn Canyon across from Ticaboo.
Have fun fishing now that Summer is over and Autumn has arrived.  There will be some monster boils occurring at random days and time lakewide, but more stripers will be caught from deep schools graphed on the bottom while waiting for the lake to boil.sjboilshore

sjboilshore

 

 

Lake Powell Fish Report – September 21, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3629

Water Temperature:  76-79 F

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

Lake Powell fishing results are always amazing.  While working on the lake this week my goal was to get to Good Hope Bay to repeat the fantastic boils experienced on my previous trip. Wind complicated fishing results all week.  My first stop was the San Juan where a few striper boils were expected. We did not expect the magnum boils that developed along the north wall of Neskahi Bay on the morning of September 19. Active stripers were leaping high out of the water and hitting our surface lures consistently. If they went down for a few minutes we just dropped spoons and caught more until they returned to the top. We had to leave them boiling to head uplake for the Good Hope Bay experience. 

More wind greeted us at Good Hope Bay but only one short small boil was found.  The next morning we ran all the way to White Canyon and did not see anything but a few single stripers hitting the surface. Very few boils were seen from September 16 to 20.

graphstbWhat does this mean for boils in the coming week? There will be boils lakewide but timing and location are not assured. Stripers are very fat, aggressive and constantly chasing shad but much of that now occurs in deeper water.  Now, instead of just scanning the surface it is more important to watch the graph to find deep resting striper and shad schools. These fish can be caught in 30-90 feet of water on spoons, down rigger trolling and even on bait. 

My plan for the rest of the 2017 fishing season is take 3 rods. Attach a surface lure to one, a spoon on the next and finally a plastic shad shaped worm on the 3rd rod. With this combination fish can be caught in any location of any canyon on Lake Powell. Stripers will hit surface lures and spoons depending on their depth/location while smallmouth bass will crush the plastic bait. 

My goal for the rest of the year will be to always look for surface action, but it is fine to catch bass and stripers while scanning for a boil. Here is what to expect over the length of the lake:

Southern Lake:  Spoons will be the most effective striper lure from Wahweap to Rainbow. Stripers are moving toward the backs of canyons. Rock Creek has the best recent reports from the backs of the 3 canyons.  Bass are hitting well on the breaking edge of brushy points where the depth quickly falls from 12-25 feet. 

San Juan:  Expect striper boils in Cha, Wilson Creek and Neskahi Bay and uplake to the Great Bend.  Spoons will work consistently in most canyons from the mouth of the side canyon to about half way back.  Bass fishing in the San Juan is unsurpassed lakewide.     

Escalante:  Striper boils and spooning will be best from 50 Mile Canyon to Cow Canyon. Smallmouth fishing is very predictable on every rock slide in the main canyon.

Bullfrog: Spooning is the best striper technique. Start at Dome Rock in Bullfrog Bay and travel as far as Iceberg and Slick Rock downstream or Moki to Hansen Creek upstream.  Rincon is awesome for bass fishing.Good Hope Bay to

Good Hope Bat to Hite: Boils will start up again but the start date is not known. Until then use spoons to catch lots of stripers. Trachyte Canyon to White is my best guess but the water color is murky. It may be better to spoon in clear water from Good Hope downstream. I wish I could pin this down better but I did not find a consistent pattern while there for one day this week.   I did see my best boil in Popcorn Canyon across from Ticaboo.    

Have fun fishing now that Summer is over and Autumn has arrived.  There will be some monster boils occurring at random days and time lakewide, but more stripers will be caught from deep schools graphed on the bottom while waiting for the lake to boil.

 

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September 12, 2017 - Boils, Boils, Boils

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 12, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3629

Water Temperature:  78-81 F

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

I had the pleasure of fishing with Adam Eakle who hosts hunting and fishing videos for KSL TV (Channel 5) in Salt Lake City.  He wanted to make a Lake Powell video of striper boil fishing. We agreed to fish in the northern lake on September 7th.  The preparation for the event was simple.  Stripers were not boiling well in the southern lake so I asked those fishing in the northern lake on Wayneswords.com to give quick fish reports. I received this information:

Boils were consistently seen in the northern lake from Good Hope Bay to White Canyon. The best time to see surfacing fish was from 7-9 AM and 4-6 PM.  After the boils ceased stripers could still be caught on spoons in the vicinity of the boil.

wcboilsWith this information to guide us, we launched from Bullfrog at dawn and headed uplake scanning for boils as we cruised.  We saw a nice sunrise at Buoy 110.  A few minutes later near Buoy 113 we saw our first boil. It was small and widespread but the first stripers were caught.  Around the next corner (Buoy 114) we found the first big boil and caught stripers on top for the next 40 minutes. We cruised uplake looking for more and saw them near the left hand wall just past the floating restroom. We caught boiling fish constantly for the next 45 minutes.  When they went down five anglers quickly filleted over 100 stripers with electric knives on the boat. With the fillets cooling down in the ice chest we resumed our trip to White Canyon. We were not disappointed to see a quick boil as we neared Battleship Rock. These fish did not stay up long so we used spoons to catch a few more. Then we turned around to head back down lake and ran right into another boil at 10:20 AM.  Total count from White Canyon was 30 more stripers bringing the morning striper total to 130 fish. Not a bad day.  The breeze increased so we headed in.

The Lake Powell striper boil video will air on KSL.com on September 30th at 6:30 PM.

Today we launched at Wahweap Stateline and passed through the Castle Rock Cut.  Stripers were reportedly caught on the Warm Creek side of Castle Rock the previous day on spoons with a few hitting the surface.  We saw a few fish come up behind Castle Rock so we headed for the splash rings but no more fish surfaced. A quick look at the graph changed our attitude from surface to deep water spoons. Spoons were deployed and the stripers jumped into the boat for the next half hour. When the sonar screen went blank we saw stripers breaking the surface near shore.  We grabbed the surface lures and rushed toward shore where another 10 fish were caught in wide spread boils.  With 30 fish in the cooler we headed toward the back of Warm Creek but were delayed near the floating restroom by a bigger and tighter boil. Twenty more stripers were caught on surface lures.  The surface action quit by 9 AM.   At the fish cleaning station we counted 55 stripers caught in less than 3 hours.

This week’s report is simple.  Look for surface action for the first 3 hours in the morning. Cast surface lures to boiling fish. After they go down find them on the graph and drop spoons to the bottom to catch many more. Striper fishing is hot. Expect this to continue through the rest of September and into October. Boil time is the first 3 hours after daylight and then the last 2 hours before dark. They also come up randomly during the day.

Smallmouth bass have been reportedly boiling with stripers on the San Juan.  Stripers chase shad which run toward the shore where they can hide in the brush line.  Bass wait in the brush for shad to swim by and ambush them.  Near shore this morning we caught some nice 2-pound smallmouth on surface lures while casting to stripers.

Fishing success is heading for a fall peak that has not been seen for a very long time. Don’t leave home without a surface lure and a spoon close at hand.

sr91217

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 14:16
 

September 5, 2017 - Gearing up for Fall Fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 5, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3630.5
Water Temperature:  81-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell was busy over the Labor Day weekend. Weather was warm and winds were calm. Many enjoyed camping in the warm and beautiful summer conditions.  There will be another week or two of warm weather and then the cooler fall weather will arrive. Right now the lake is capped with 80F+ water temperature which is a bit warm for really good fishing.  In the spring time the best fishing occurs when the water warms into the 60s.  Right now we are waiting for the temperature to drop into the 70s.  When that happens here is what to expect.
Striped Bass: Small stripers are accustomed to feeding in really warm water.  The quick boils seen this weekend featured 8-13 inch stripers. Stripers that have boiled the last 2 months have done very well. They are two inches longer, fat and strong. Few reports about larger stripers feeding on top were received this week which means that the bigger fish were too hot to boil, or the lake was too busy or shad were moving away from main channel spots that were hot fishing a week ago. It really does not matter why there were less boils because there are still huge schools of shad in the backs of the canyons.  Stripers will now move out of the main channel and work toward the backs of the canyon. The next boil period will likely erupt as soon as stripers make the transition to searching the canyons instead of the man channel and find shad in side canyons lakewide.  I predict that fall top water fishing will begin mid September and boils will be large and long lasting. Expect boils to be near shore instead of in the middle of the channel. Look for giant splashes in the backs of canyons.
It has been difficult to see stripers on the graph recently because the schools are wide spread chasing individual shad near the surface.  When the schools become tighter and are found in shallower water it will be easier to identify a striper school.  In the fall always have a top water lure ready to cast but when the school is seen on the fish finder catching fish is easiest when suing a spoon.
Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth are found in deeper water when the surface water is so warm.  Recently the best technique has been to visibly locate a submerged brushy reef near shore.  Move to the breaking edge of the reef and fish on the next drop off where water depth is 15-30 feet deep.  Smallmouth are grouped in schools in the deeper water. It is possible to see these groups of fish holding near the bottom.  Once over the school drop plastic grubs on lead head jigs or dropshot rigged shad shaped worms into the school. Right now bass fishing is a lot like striper fishing where bass can be located on the graph rather than just looking for the right structure and bottom depth.
I have found the best bass schools by trolling a mid depth crankbait along the breaking edge of the reef. When a bass is caught check for curious followers and cast plastic grubs to them as they chase the hooked fish right up to the boat. Bass fishing has been quite good using this method.  Catch bass until they leave the spot or the boat drifts away, and then troll again to find another hungry group.
Bluegill:  Adult bluegill have grown quite large and are found in deepest brushy water available. With the lake going down those brush piles are getting shallower and are visible in the clear water.  Drop meal worms or Gulp minnows down to the tops of the brush to catch some very colorful feisty fish.
Channel catfish:   Catfish are active in the evening near camp. Use some leftovers from dinner right behind the houseboat on a sandy beach about 10-15 feet deep.  Catfish really like the murky water near the end of the canyon where good campsites are found.
Fishing is still really good at the lake but will get even better in the weeks to come

Lake Powell Fish Report – September 5, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3630.5

Water Temperature:  81-85 F

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

Lake Powell was busy over the Labor Day weekend. Weather was warm and winds were calm. Many enjoyed camping in the warm and beautiful summer conditions.  There will be another week or two of warm weather and then the cooler fall weather will arrive. Right now the lake is capped with 80F+ water temperature which is a bit warm for really good fishing.  In the spring time the best fishing occurs when the water warms into the 60s.  Right now we are waiting for the temperature to drop into the 70s.  When that happens here is what to expect.

andrewtiptonStriped Bass: Small stripers are accustomed to feeding in really warm water.  The quick boils seen this weekend featured 8-13 inch stripers. Older stripers that have boiled the last 2 months have done very well. They are two inches longer, fat and strong. Few reports about larger stripers feeding on top were received this week which means that the bigger fish were too hot to boil, or the lake was too busy or shad were moving away from main channel spots that were hot fishing a week ago. It really does not matter why there were less boils because there are still huge schools of shad in the backs of the canyons.  Stripers will now move out of the main channel and work toward the backs of the canyon. The next boil period will likely erupt as soon as stripers make the transition to searching the canyons instead of the man channel and find shad in side canyons lakewide.  I predict that fall top water fishing will begin mid September and boils will be large and long lasting. Expect boils to be near shore instead of in the middle of the channel. Look for giant splashes in the backs of canyons.

It has been difficult to see stripers on the graph recently because the schools are wide spread chasing individual shad near the surface.  When the schools become tighter and are found in shallower water it will be easier to identify a striper school.  In the fall always have a top water lure ready to cast but when the school is seen on the fish finder catching fish is easiest when using a spoon. 

Smallmouth Bass:   Smallmouth are found in deeper water when the surface water is so warm.  Recently the best technique has been to visibly locate a submerged brushy reef near shore.  Move to the breaking edge of the reef and fish on the next drop off where water depth is 15-30 feet deep.  Smallmouth are grouped in schools in the deeper water. It is possible to see these groups of fish holding near the bottom.  Once over the school drop plastic grubs on lead head jigs or dropshot rigged shad shaped worms into the school. Right now bass fishing is a lot like striper fishing where bass can be located on the graph rather than just looking for the right structure and bottom depth. 

coldren2I have found the best bass schools by trolling a mid depth crankbait along the breaking edge of the reef. When a bass is caught check for curious followers and cast plastic grubs to them as they chase the hooked fish right up to the boat. Bass fishing has been quite good using this method.  Catch bass until they leave the spot or the boat drifts away, and then troll again to find another hungry group. 

Bluegill:  Adult bluegill have grown quite large and are found in deepest brushy water available. With the lake going down those brush piles are getting shallower and are visible in the clear water.  Drop meal worms or Gulp minnows down to the tops of the brush to catch some very colorful, feisty fish.

Channel catfish:   Catfish are active in the evening near camp. Use some leftovers from dinner right behind the houseboat on a sandy beach about 10-15 feet deep.  Catfish really like the murky water near the end of the canyon where good campsites are found.

Fishing is still really good at the lake but will get even better in the weeks to come.

 

August 30, 2017 - Right Place Wrong Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 29, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3631

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

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Upon returning from a week’s vacation there were a number of exciting fish reports waiting. Striper boils were reported to be much closer to my home port at Wahweap. Normally large boils require traveling to the San Juan or Good Hope Bay. The reported boils were a short boat ride away at Castle Rock, Warm Creek and Navajo.  With great anticipation we loaded up and headed out this morning before dawn.

The sunrise was absolutely beautiful as we crossed Wahweap Bay on perfectly calm water.  We saw single fish splashing near Castle Rock but headed uplake looking for a larger fish concentration.  As we turned the corner heading to the main channel the wind came up which prevented us from going to the mouth of Navajo.  We fought the wind all the way to Gunsight, then Labyrinth, Face and finally stopped at Gregory Butte. No boils were seen through the white caps. The wind finally quit as we headed back down lake to Labyrinth.

zolsensmIn flat water we finally saw stripers hitting the surface.  These stripers were in wide spread, small pods of 3-6 fish covering a large cove.  A fat, healthy striper was caught each time our topwater lures landed near a surfacing fish but only one fish was caught from each pod with lots of chasing. These were not the large striper boils we were looking for. So we moved on.

Zane Olsen unhooking a Rebel "Jumpin Minnow"

One report indicted a consistent boil in the main channel between bouy 13 and 15. We found that school mid morning but they went down before we could get to them. We caught one fish blind casting a large surface lure to the vacated spot.   We saw a quick boil at Labyrinth wall but they went down before we could cast.

In short, stripers did not welcome me back with open fins.  The wind kept the stripers down during morning prime time and when it quit stripers stayed deep. My striper boil report is a recap of reports received recently from anglers that did catch a lot of stripers in boils in the southern lake.   In the past few days striper boils were seen at Castle Rock (Warm Creek side), mouth of Navajo, main channel between buoys 13 and 15, Gunsight, and Face Canyon.

Some of these reported boils were huge and lasted a long time.  Stripers could be boiling right now at the spots visited this morning.  In fact, when at the fish cleaning station we met anglers who caught boiling stripers at Castle Rock at 7 AM. If we had gone down toward the dam instead of through the Castle Rock Cut this morning we would have witnessed an hour long boil in the cove halfway between Wahweap Marina and Buoy 1. Then more evening boils were reported recently near Buoy 9 just uplake from Antelope Point Marina. In short boils are where you find them but it is best to look morning and evening.

Uplake, strong boils were found in the back of Halls Creek. It seems the spots that were boiling strong last week are quiet right now.  Each time I make this report those old boil spots take off again so don’t be afraid to return to your spot that has recently boiled.

We stopped and trolled in a few spots this morning and found smallmouth bass and an occasional striper willing to hit crankbaits near rocky reefs or long primary points.  The best and biggest bass were caught in the early morning shadows, particularly in the area just vacated by surface feeding stripers.  In the bright midday sunlight, the size of smallmouth caught declined dramatically.  Smallmouth bass anglers were not doing well as we talked with them mid morning. I suggest trolling to find a good bass spot and then using dropshot rigs with shad shaped worms at that spot.

Fishing was tough for us this morning due to the wind. When that happens, stripers often feed mid day or again in the evening.  Wait! I think I will go out again right now.  Catching stripers on top water lures is most exciting fishing that happens in fresh water.

 

 

August 15, 2017 - Stripers and Smallmouth Fishing Good

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 15, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3633
Water Temperature:  79-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is still warm on the surface (79-84F) with active stripers boiling sporadically lakewide and smallmouth fishing improving dramatically.
Here are the details.  Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. Boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. It is common to find many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often.  Sometimes they come up out of range but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time.  Reports continue to come in of one group of anglers catching over 100 stripers in a morning of fishing.
Be aware that stripers often take a day off.  They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don’t show up, spend time looking for another active group.  Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict.  When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to spot where first seen.  It is wise to have a travel pattern between spots where boils were previously seen. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago.
The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake with the exception that boils are less abundant, quicker and fish take more days off.  On my trips uplake I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I catch 10-20 fish instead of 50-100.
The Great News lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and easy to catch.  They were missing in action during the first part of the month.  The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and stay put.  Their prime location now is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush.  It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the tree tops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (Live Target 2.5 inch, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass.
Trolling over tree tops is a great way to find walleye as well.  It is best to fish for walleye at first and last light now that shad are abundant. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions but they are fat and healthy and can be caught trolling and casting.
Catfish are another night prowler that is easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where the houseboat is parked for the night.  Use some table scraps on a (#4) circle hook behind the boat for fun fishing action.
Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade.  Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a Gulp Minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish.  There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 15, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3633

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

sjboilshoreLake Powell is still warm on the surface (79-84F) with active stripers boiling sporadically lakewide and smallmouth fishing improving dramatically. Here are the details.

 Striped bass are boiling over the length of the lake. Boils are larger and last longer from the mouth of the San Juan to Hite. It is common to find many schools that come to the surface and feed on shad for extended periods occurring both morning, mid day and evening. When stripers are actively feeding on top, it is possible for anglers to stay within casting range of the schools as they pop up and down often.  Sometimes they come up out of range but other times they are close enough to make a short cast and catch many fish in a short time.  Reports continue to come in of one group of anglers catching over 100 stripers in a morning of fishing.  

Be aware that stripers often take a day off.  They can boil prolifically in one spot two days in a row and then be missing completely on the third day. When they don’t show up, spend time looking for another active group.  Heading north from Bullfrog may be the best way to find another active school, but boils occur randomly and can be hard to predict.  When stripers do not come to the surface as expected, keep a rod ready to cast while traveling up or down the lake. When the fish start to boil, get in range quickly and cast to the feeding fish. They will go down quickly and then pop back up close to spot where first seen.  It is wise to have a travel pattern between spots where boils were previously seen. Stripers can miss a day and then come back up in the same spot where they were found a few days ago. 

The boil pattern in the southern lake is very similar to that reported uplake with the exception that boils are less abundant, quicker and fish take more days off.  On my trips uplake I often see a few quick boils in only a spot or two. I catch 10-20 fish instead of 50-100.      

jake2bass2The Great News lakewide is that smallmouth bass are feeding actively and easy to catch.  They were missing in action during the first part of the month.  The declining lake level has allowed them to find the habitat and forage they like and stay put.  Their prime location now is along a shallow shoreline covered with brush.  It is possible to find smallmouth along the tall main channel walls or in rocky coves but the most consistent spot is along sandy flats with brush. I took my young grandson fishing and trolled along the brushy shoreline of West Canyon and Neanderthal with a lure that ran at 12 feet over the brushy bottom at 20 feet. Smallmouth were holding near the tree tops and were very excited to attack my shad lure (Live Target 2.5 inch, Threadfin Shad Silver Bronze) as it swam past their bush. He caught a lot of bass. 

Trolling over tree tops is a great way to find walleye as well.  It is best to fish for walleye at first and last light now that shad are abundant. Walleye prefer to feed at night in summer conditions but they are fat and healthy and can be caught trolling and casting.  

Catfish are another night prowler that is easy to catch off a sandy beach near camp or where the houseboat is parked for the night.  Use some table scraps on a (#4) circle hook behind the boat for fun fishing action. 

Bluegill and green sunfish are active now and often use a parked houseboat for shade.  Take the kids to the back of the houseboat. Put a Gulp Minnow or small worm on a tiny hook and catch some sunfish.  There are still lots of things to do at Lake Powell.

 

August 9, 2017 - Water level declines, Fishing good

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3633.9
Water Temperature:  79-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake level is declining slowly.  It would be great if the lake stayed at or above the current level forever, but there are some advantages of declining water in the late summer and fall.  First, the flotsam the rushed downstream with the huge runoff will be stranded on shore making boating much safer. Next, clean sandy beaches will be increasingly available for shore camping and daily visits to the lake.
Most important to me with my total focus on fishing success, is that fish habitat is much easier for anglers to find and identify which fish should be in each type of habitat.  Bass anglers are habitat oriented as they search for the best structure that holds the fish they want to catch. Largemouth bass are often in thick brush in relatively shallow water.  Smallmouth bass will be prowling along the edges of a brushy ridge or cove. As the water declines those habitats will be easier to find and then successfully catch fish.
This week the common smallmouth habitat was rocky points that extend out into the bay (Primary points) separated by a cove or indented shoreline.  Smallmouth bass were consistently holding on the points and ignoring the coves. Once this is discovered it is easy to just fish the primary points, ignore the coves and shoreline, and catch lots of bass.  I caught a few nice smallmouth bass while fishing open water reefs looking for striper boils.
Stripers are also starting to follow the rules established over the last many years.  Normally stripers chase shad to the surface at first light in the morning and go quiet after about 9 AM.  We left Stateline ramp at first light, ran uplake, and found boiling stripers in Warm Creek, Face Canyon, Gregory Butte main channel, and mouth of Rock Creek. We did not stay long at any one spot as we tried to see how far uplake the boils persisted.
We found stripers were still feeding quickly and stayed on top less than a minute.  We quickly ran to the feeding spot and hoped to be close enough to catch fish when the school resurfaced. If in range we caught fish, if not we repositioned and hoped for them to come back up in range. Our best success came when the boat was in range for the second uprising and not many stripers were caught when trying for the third boil from the same school. Surface lures worked better than shallow runners and spoons. Remember that as soon as the school leaves the surface it dives for deeper water. If the school appears on the graph, more fish can be caught by dropping a small, heavy spoon to the depth indicated on the graph.  White or speckled Bomber slab spoons (1ounce) have been working well to catch fleeing stripers.
Stripers in the southern lake are still feeding closer to the main channel than the back of the canyon.  There are many more shad schools holding in the backs of the canyons but stripers are gradually working toward the back and seem content to stay in open water until the shad disappear at which time they will head further back in the canyon. For now, stripers are in the bays and can be seen from the main channel and main canyon mouths.
The best boil reports this week came from the main channel between the Escalante Arm and Halls Creek.  The San Juan was great as well.  Very few reports were received from the northern lake so the results were inconclusive.  I would not be afraid to head north to Good Hope to find boiling stripers.
The only other successful fishing technique that works lakewide is down rigger trolling. Stripers quit boiling at 9 AM and can start up again anytime they want. When they are not boiling they are holding at 30-50 feet.  Down riggers can deliver a shad shaped lure to stripers at their holding depth and keep the catching going all day long while waiting for next boil.  Afternoon wind prevents boils but downriggers can overcome that as well.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 9, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3633.9

Water Temperature:  79-83 F

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

ashtonLake level is declining slowly.  It would be great if the lake stayed at or above the current level forever, but there are some advantages of declining water in the late summer and fall.  First, the flotsam the rushed downstream with the huge runoff will be stranded on shore making boating much safer. Next, clean sandy beaches will be increasingly available for shore camping and daily visits to the lake.

Most important to me with my total focus on fishing success, is that fish habitat is much easier for anglers to find and identify which fish should be in each type of habitat.  Bass anglers are habitat oriented as they search for the best structure that holds the fish they want to catch. Largemouth bass are often in thick brush in relatively shallow water.  

Smallmouth bass will be prowling along the edges of a brushy ridge or cove. As the water declines those habitats will be easier to find and then successfully catch fish. This week the common smallmouth habitat was rocky points that extend out into the bay (Primary points) separated by a cove or indented shoreline.  Smallmouth bass were consistently holding on the points and ignoring the coves. Once this is discovered it is easy to just fish the primary points, ignore the coves and shoreline, and catch lots of bass.  I caught a few nice smallmouth bass while fishing open water reefs looking for striper boils. 

Stripers are also starting to follow the rules established over the last many years.  Normally stripers chase shad to the surface at first light in the morning and go quiet after about 9 AM.  We left Stateline ramp at first light, ran uplake, and found boiling stripers in Warm Creek, Face Canyon, Gregory Butte main channel, and mouth of Rock Creek. We did not stay long at any one spot as we tried to see how far uplake the boils persisted. 

We found stripers were still feeding quickly and stayed on top less than a minute.  We quickly ran to the feeding spot and hoped to be close enough to catch fish when the school resurfaced. If in range we caught fish, if not we repositioned and hoped for them to come back up in range. Our best success came when the boat was in range for the second uprising and not many stripers were caught when trying for the third boil from the same school. Surface lures worked better than shallow runners and spoons.

bomberslabRemember that as soon as the school leaves the surface it dives for deeper water. If the school appears on the graph, more fish can be caught by dropping a small, heavy spoon to the depth indicated on the graph.  White or speckled Bomber slab spoons (1.25 ounce) have been working well to catch fleeing stripers.  

Stripers in the southern lake are still feeding closer to the main channel than the back of the canyon.  There are many more shad schools holding in the backs of the canyons but stripers are gradually working toward the back and seem content to stay in open water until the shad disappear at which time they will head further back in the canyon. For now, stripers are in the bays and can be seen from the main channel and main canyon mouths.

The best boil reports this week came from the main channel between the Escalante Arm and Halls Creek.  The San Juan was great as well.  Very few reports were received from the northern lake so the results were inconclusive.  I would not be afraid to head north to Good Hope to find boiling stripers. 

The only other successful fishing technique that works lakewide is down rigger trolling. Stripers quit boiling at 9 AM and can start up again anytime they want. When they are not boiling they are holding at 30-50 feet.  Down riggers can deliver a shad shaped lure to stripers at their holding depth and keep the catching going all day long while waiting for next boil.  Afternoon wind prevents boils but downriggers can overcome that as well.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:21
 
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