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September 1, 2015 - Boils are Best!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – September 1, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3609

Water Temperature 79 - 82 F

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

 

The number of striper boils in the southern lake is increasing each day.  This morning boils were seen at Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Buoy 9, mouth of Navajo, Padre Bay (Padre Butte and east wall), mouth of Last Chance and mouth of Rock Creek.  I am sure there were more but after working these schools I needed a rest!

 

There are some established rules to follow.

 

superspookBoils start at 6 AM and continue until 7:30 AM. After that boils are seen randomly throughout the day with no schedule, time or place.  Evenings boils start up at 6 PM and continue until dark at the same location and with the same aggression seen in the morning.

 

Surface lures may be the best bait to start with when approaching a new boil.  You will know it is the right lure if stripers attack the lure as soon as it hits the water.  After a short time boiling fish tend to chase shad in opposite directions as the surface action widens.  When a surface lure is chased but missed a few times it may be time to change to a shallow running lure like a rattletrap or flat rap or Kastmaster.  Finally when the school goes down, drop a spoon to the bottom where they were last seen. Speed reel the lure up to catch a few more.  When they quit hitting spoons move on to find the next boil and repeat the lure sequence.  Fishing is intense from 6 – 7:30 AM.

 

unknownFinally, stripers caught this morning were stuffed with 3-inch threadfin shad.  We need some more anglers out there catching and keeping stripers so the shad population will last longer.  They are being decimated at a high rate now.

 

At midlake stripers have quit boiling but can be caught readily by graphing the 20-40 foot contour and dropping spoons to any stripers schools seen.  This technique worked great this week in the back of Bullfrog Bay.

 

In the northern lake boils continue from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte Canyon.  The morning and evening time periods are best here as well.

 

Bass are caught near shore as the striper boils go down.  Big largemouth and lots of smallmouth bass are following shad schools and become energized as stripers push shad toward shore.

 

The boils season now happening is the best boil action we have seen for a very long time.   If you like to fish topwater there is no better place than at Lake Powell in September 2015.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 September 2015 14:09
 

August 25, 2015 - Spoons are Best!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 21, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3610
Water Temperature 80-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Stripers are changing their schedule and location.  As soon as we get them figured out they do something else.  The big boils on the San Juan last week turned into little boils over the weekend.  San Juan is still a good place to go but the successful fishing technique is different.
Let me explain by sharing our experience from this morning.  Reports of boils uplake took us to Rock Creek early this morning.  We looked in the main channel between Rock Creek and Dungeon Canyon well before the sun came up. When no surfacing fish were seen on top we began a large circular path around the mouth of Rock Creek.  We soon saw tiny but numerous splashes against a canyon wall. These fish would swirl on our surface lures but not hookup.  When I finally caught one, we discovered that these fish were yearlings happily chasing shad but our full size surface lures were too big for them to consume.
The choice then was to downsize our lures to catch the little surface feeders or to fish deeper water looking for larger fish.  Jigging spoons, bucktail jigs and Kastmasters were deployed and immediately 2-4 pound stripers were being hoisted into the boat.  Catching continued for the next hour with big fish hitting our deep spoons anywhere from 20 to 60 feet deep.  We just followed the little surface feeders and fished under the surface action to catch some really nice fish in a very short time. We ended up with 36 stripers caught in one hour.
Let me explain what’s happening right now.  The water surface temperature has climbed back into the 80s with the recent hot weather.  Larger stripers cannot stay in water warmer than 80 degrees for more than a minute or two. If they exert lots of energy in the warm surface water they build up lactic acid in their muscles and cramp up, or worse, die from the exertion.   These big stripers watch the yearling stripers feed on top and follow them hoping that a wounded shad sinks or an escapee runs into deeper water.
Right now the small stripers mark the location of the larger fish.  The big fish are easy prey to a lure resembling a dying or wounded shad. The very best lure is a heavy slab spoon that sinks quickly to deep cool water where big fish are waiting. A heavy white bucktail jig or a heavy Kastmaster spoon work well also.  Find the school of big fish on the graph.   Drop the spoon to the bottom if they are deep or stop the lure at mid depth if the school is suspended. Perhaps the easiest technique is to drop the spoon to the bottom, jig it up twice and then speed reel it back to the surface. I stop the spoon and jig it once or twice before speed reeling again. Stop it at 20 foot intervals to convince the following stripers to eat the fleeing shad (spoon) as it starts to swim once more.
Spooning under surface feeding yearlings works lake wide. Spooning is the best technique now even if boils are not seen.  Graph the bottom contour looking for big striper schools. When a school is seen, mark the spot and drop spoons into the school. Best time is early morning. Second best time is evening.
New boil spots are being reported.  Buoy One, Mouth of Navajo Canyon, Rock Creek, San Juan, Escalante, Good Hope Bay and beyond are still experiencing boils.  Most of these are from small fish so look for large fish in deeper water. Over the rest of the lake, locate striper schools on the graph and then spoon to catch many fish.  This is working in Last Chance, Moki Canyon and 100 other spots.
Finally there were big stripers caught on bait down by the dam at the buoy line this morning. Fishing is picking up but the weather is changing from hot to rainy.  It will be interesting to see what changes are in store for Lake Powell fishermen in the coming week.   I will track the changes and report next week.

spoons

 

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 21, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3610

Water Temperature 80-85 F

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

Stripers are changing their schedule and location.  As soon as we get them figured out they do something else.  The big boils on the San Juan last week turned into little boils over the weekend.  San Juan is still a good place to go but the successful fishing technique is different.  

Let me explain by sharing our experience from this morning.  Reports of boils uplake took us to Rock Creek early this morning.  We looked in the main channel between Rock Creek and Dungeon Canyon well before the sun came up. When no surfacing fish were seen on top we began a large circular path around the mouth of Rock Creek.  We soon saw tiny but numerous splashes against a canyon wall. These fish would swirl on our surface lures but not hookup.  When I finally caught one, we discovered that these fish were yearlings happily chasing shad but our full size surface lures were too big for them to consume.   

ethanstb2The choice then was to downsize our lures to catch the little surface feeders or to fish deeper water looking for larger fish.  Jigging spoons, bucktail jigs and Kastmasters were deployed and immediately 2-4 pound stripers were being hoisted into the boat.  Catching continued for the next hour with big fish hitting our deep spoons anywhere from 20 to 60 feet deep.  We just followed the little surface feeders and fished under the surface action to catch some really nice fish in a very short time. We ended up with 36 stripers caught in one hour.

Let me explain what’s happening right now.  The water surface temperature has climbed back into the 80s with the recent hot weather.  Larger stripers cannot stay in water warmer than 80 degrees for more than a minute or two. If they exert lots of energy in the warm surface water they build up lactic acid in their muscles and cramp up, or worse, die from the exertion.   These big stripers watch the yearling stripers feed on top and follow them hoping that a wounded shad sinks or an escapee runs into deeper water.

Right now the small stripers mark the location of the larger fish.  The big fish are easy prey to a lure resembling a dying or wounded shad. The very best lure is a heavy slab spoon that sinks quickly to deep cool water where big fish are waiting. A heavy white bucktail jig or a heavy Kastmaster spoon work well also.  Find the school of big fish on the graph.   Drop the spoon to the bottom if they are deep or stop the lure at mid depth if the school is suspended. Perhaps the easiest technique is to drop the spoon to the bottom, jig it up twice and then speed reel it back to the surface. I stop the spoon and jig it once or twice before speed reeling again. Stop it at 20 foot intervals to convince the following stripers to eat the fleeing shad (spoon) as it starts to swim once more.

dallintrotterSpooning under surface feeding yearlings works lake wide. Spooning is the best technique now even if boils are not seen.  Graph the bottom contour looking for big striper schools. When a school is seen, mark the spot and drop spoons into the school. Best time is early morning. Second best time is evening. 

New boil spots are being reported.  Buoy One, Mouth of Navajo Canyon, Rock Creek, San Juan, Escalante, Good Hope Bay and beyond are still experiencing boils.  Most of these are from small fish so look for large fish in deeper water. Over the rest of the lake, locate striper schools on the graph and then spoon to catch many fish.  This is working in Last Chance, Moki Canyon and 100 other spots. 

Finally there were big stripers caught on bait down by the dam at the buoy line this morning. Fishing is picking up but the weather is changing from hot to rainy.  It will be interesting to see what changes are in store for Lake Powell fishermen in the coming week.   I will track the changes and report next week.

 

August 18, 2015 - Boils in remote locations

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 18, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temperature 79-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Striper boils reported last week were visited by more happy anglers this week.  Stripers did not disappoint – if the proper rules were followed.  Stripers feed on their own schedule when in these bonus days of high shad numbers. The prime feeding time over the length of the lake was the last two hours of daylight.  Major feeding events were described by lucky anglers as “covering 20 surface acres, continuing for hours, full of big fish, and totally satisfying”.  Those that fished the big evening boils caught more big stripers than thought possible.
The best locations were Trachyte Canyon and Cha Canyon in the evening.  Other locations that were also good were the main channel from Oak Canyon to the mouth of San Juan, and Good Hope Bay from Ticaboo to the Horn and Piute Canyon to the Great Bend on the San Juan. There was a large morning boil in the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan but it did not repeat the next day.
Boils are the crown jewel of freshwater fishing but stripers could be caught during the day by trolling and much faster by graphing and spooning. Once the large schools leave the surface they are still in the same area usually hovering around the 40-foot depth range.  Hundreds of stripers swimming together at mid-depth are quite easy to find and identify on modern electronics.  Jigging spoons dropped into the large suspended schools were consistently ingested by eager stripers.
The unusual occurrence is that shad schools are more abundant in areas removed from intense boiling activity.  My guess is that these wandering schools of large stripers will work over the shad supply in Cha Canyon and Trachyte and not leave until the shad have been depleted or run away.  These stripers like their current schedule of feeding each night and randomly throughout the day.  They are getting enough to eat so they stay. When shad numbers decline, stripers will then move up or downstream to find another feeding bonanza where they will stay as long as forage is available.
As expected, bass fishing is good in these striper feeding zones. As shad flee from aggressive stripers they soon find large and smallmouth bass waiting for a meal near shore.  Bass are harder to catch in areas where shad are abundant and “the living is easy”.  Bass do not have to work hard to get a shad meal and get pretty fussy about only eating shad when they are so common.
This is one of those unusual years where striper boils will continue into October and November.  For now the best piece of knowledge is “location”.  The inflow areas (San Juan and Trachyte) will consistently provide boiling stripers but other lake areas will periodically have boils erupt in canyons like Navajo, Last Chance, Wetherill, Escalante, Rincon, Halls and so on. We can help each other by reporting striper boil locations to me at Wayneswords.com.  I will then put the information out to the public so we can join together to harvest as many stripers as possible right now.  Each striper caught this fall will save over 1000 shad during the next year.  These numbers get large in a hurry. Catch 1000 stripers and save 1 million shad.  Those that read this report can easily catch that many stripers from now through the end of October.

9lbscampbellLake Powell Fish Report – August 18, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3611

Water Temperature 79-85 F

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

Striper boils reported last week were visited by more happy anglers this week.  Stripers did not disappoint – if the proper rules were followed.  Stripers feed on their own schedule when in these bonus days of high shad numbers. The prime feeding time over the length of the lake was the last two hours of daylight.  Major feeding events were described by lucky anglers as “covering 20 surface acres, continuing for hours, full of big fish, and totally satisfying”.  Those that fished the big evening boils caught more big stripers than thought possible.  The best locations were Trachyte Canyon and Cha Canyon in the evening.  Other locations that were also good were the main channel from Oak Canyon to the mouth of San Juan, and Good Hope Bay from Ticaboo to the Horn and Piute Canyon to the Great Bend on the San Juan. There was a large morning boil in the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan but it did not repeat the next day. 

Boils are the crown jewel of freshwater fishing but stripers could be caught during the day by trolling and much faster by graphing and spooning. Once the large schools leave the surface they are still in the same area usually hovering around the 40-foot depth range.  Hundreds of stripers swimming together at mid-depth are quite easy to find and identify on modern electronics.  

Jigging spoons dropped into the large suspended schools were consistently ingested by eager stripers.   The unusual occurrence is that shad schools are more abundant in areas removed from intense boiling activity.  My guess is that these wandering schools of large stripers will work over the shad supply in Cha Canyon and Trachyte and not leave until the shad have been depleted or run away.  These stripers like their current schedule of feeding each night and randomly throughout the day.  They are getting enough to eat so they stay. When shad numbers decline, stripers will then move up or downstream to find another feeding bonanza where they will stay as long as forage is available. 

2bassAs expected, bass fishing is good in these striper feeding zones. As shad flee from aggressive stripers they soon find large and smallmouth bass waiting for a meal near shore.  Bass are harder to catch in areas where shad are abundant and “the living is easy”.  Bass do not have to work hard to get a shad meal and get pretty fussy about only eating shad when they are so common.  

This is one of those unusual years where striper boils will continue into October and November.  For now the best piece of knowledge is “location”.  The inflow areas (San Juan and Trachyte) will consistently provide boiling stripers but other lake areas will periodically have boils erupt in canyons like Navajo, Last Chance, Wetherill, Escalante, Rincon, Halls and so on. We can help each other by reporting striper boil locations to me at Wayneswords.com.  I will then put the information out to the public so we can join together to harvest as many stripers as possible right now.  Each striper caught this fall will save over 1000 shad during the next year.  These numbers get large in a hurry. Catch 1000 stripers and save 1 million shad.  

Those that read this report can easily combine to catch more than 1000 stripers from now through the end of October.

 

August 11, 2015 - Boils in San Juan

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 12, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temperature 76 - 78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The Gold King Mine toxic water spill into the Animas River and then into the San Juan River led me to the inflow of the San Juan into Lake Powell to take baseline data of water chemistry and sediment data before the toxic water arrived at Lake Powell.  There was no obvious change in water color or chemistry so it seemed consistent that the toxic water was not yet in the headwaters.
We were also tasked with collecting a 60 fish sample for baseline data of heavy metal concentrations in Lake Powell striped bass before the toxic water arrived.  This is where it gets interesting.  On the way uplake on Monday evening we started seeing a few slurps and scattered boils in the main channel beginning at Dangling Rope and continuing to Oak and Anasazi Canyon.  Early the next morning we got an early start from our camp at the mouth of the San Juan and headed upstream to complete our mission.
The first big striper boil was on the corner leading into Cha Canyon.  The boils downstream consisted of smaller fish but the San Juan boils were composed of large, aggressive 2-4 pound fish.   We had a lot of fish to catch to meet our quota so it was nerve wracking to play the super strong stripers while their boil mates were still feeding in tight groups.  I broke off 3 topwater lures while trying to horse large fish into the boat so I could quickly unhook it and catch another one. But the boils stayed up and came back up often enough for us to put a lot of fish in the cooler.
When these boils subsided we headed uplake until we found another concentration of surface feeding stripers near the mouth of Piute Canyon.  We repeated the catching process and put another slug of big fish in the cooler.  At the end of the day 3 anglers caught 60 stripers all in boils or blind casting where boils had been.
It is interesting how the boils wax and wane in certain areas of the lake.  Strong boils reported last week in the Good Hope Bay area are now occurring less often.  Slurps in the southern lake have gone quiet.  The best spot right now is from Dangling Rope to the San Juan (as described) and to the Escalante.  But just when we think we have it figured out stripers tend to quit in one spot and start up in a new location.
The best news is that shad numbers are still strong. Small shad are most common in the main channel where most of the boiling action occurs.  That means there will be larger shad left over for September boils that will occur in coves and side canyons.  This has been an exceptional year for catching fish and it looks like it will continue into fall and winter.
Bass anglers can also take advantage of smallmouth bass boils that will happen in the same shad-rich areas where striped bass are seen breaking the surface.
It is boil time at Lake Powell. I cannot think of a more exciting place and time to go fishing. Stripers blow up on the surface and it takes a while to get the boat in casting range.  Then when a big striper comes up you know that if you can cast to within 3 feet of the splash ring that fish will hit your lure.  It is an adrenaline pumping experience.

bjwiper

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 12, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3611

Water Temperature 76 - 78 F

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


The Gold King Mine toxic water spill into the Animas River and then into the San Juan River led me to the inflow of the San Juan into Lake Powell to take baseline data of water chemistry and sediment data before the toxic water arrived at Lake Powell.  There was no obvious change in water color or chemistry so it seemed consistent that the toxic water was not yet in the headwaters. We were also tasked with collecting a 60 fish sample for baseline data of heavy metal concentrations in Lake Powell striped bass before the toxic water arrived.  This is where it gets interesting.  On the way uplake on Monday evening we started seeing a few slurps and scattered boils in the main channel beginning at Dangling Rope and continuing to Oak and Anasazi Canyon.  

calgrandsonEarly the next morning we got an early start from our camp at the mouth of the San Juan and headed upstream to complete our mission. The first big striper boil was on the corner leading into Cha Canyon.  The boils downstream consisted of smaller fish but the San Juan boils were composed of large, aggressive 2-4 pound fish.   We had a lot of fish to catch to meet our quota so it was nerve wracking to play the super strong stripers while their boil mates were still feeding in tight groups.  I broke off 3 topwater lures while trying to horse large fish into the boat so I could quickly unhook it and catch another one. But the boils stayed up and came back up often enough for us to put a lot of fish in the cooler. 

When these boils subsided we headed uplake until we found another concentration of surface feeding stripers near the mouth of Piute Canyon.  We repeated the catching process and put another slug of big fish in the cooler.  At the end of the day 3 anglers caught 60 stripers all in boils or blind casting where boils had been. 

It is interesting how striper boils wax and wane in certain areas of the lake. Strong boils reported last week in the Good Hope Bay area are now occurring less often.  Slurps in the southern lake have gone quiet.  The best spot right now is from Dangling Rope to the San Juan (as described) and to the Escalante.  But just when we think we have it figured out stripers tend to quit in one spot and start up in a new location.  

The best news is that shad numbers are still strong. Small shad are most common in the main channel where most of the boiling action occurs.  That means there will be larger shad left over for September boils that will occur in coves and side canyons.  This has been an exceptional year for catching fish and it looks like it will continue into fall and winter. 

cooperpapaBass anglers can also take advantage of smallmouth bass boils that will happen in the same shad-rich areas where striped bass are seen breaking the surface. It is boil time at Lake Powell.

I cannot think of a more exciting place and time to go fishing. Stripers blow up on the surface and it takes a while to get the boat in casting range.  Then when a big striper comes up you know that if you can cast to within 3 feet of the splash ring that fish will hit your lure.  It is an adrenaline pumping experience.

 

August 4, 2015 - Full Moon and Boils

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Lake Powell Fish Report – August 4, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3612
Water Temperature 78 - 82 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The last fish report announced great striper boil fishing with most of the action in the middle and upper reaches of Lake Powell. Then the full moon hit which coincided with a shutdown of boiling activity in the southern lake but seemed to make boils stronger in the northern lake.  On my southern lake fishing trip today (Wahweap to Rock Creek) we failed to catch even one striper, which is a first for me this year. We trolled, cast and spooned without success.  The only technique that worked today was bait fishing in deep water.
Further north, full blown boils with big stripers continued in grand fashion. In the San Juan Arm the epicenter of boil activity was the bay in front of Cha Canyon.  These boils began early morning and then took a break before erupting again in the afternoon and evening.
Boils were seen occasionally in the main channel from the mouth of the San Juan all the way to Good Hope Bay and beyond.  Afternoon and evening boils were the under full moon conditions. The Escalante arm was consistent with many boils reported. Rincon to Buoy 88 was productive, as was the Buoy Field at Halls Crossing.
Uplake the epicenter of boiling action was the bay in front of Red Canyon in Good Hope Bay but boils were seen all the way to Trachyte.  Good Hope Bay striper boils persisted because the runoff is over which allows the water clarity to improve. Stripers can now find adult threadfin shad that had previously been hiding in muddy water. As shad schools were located, boils blew up as large stripers were able to surface and quickly forage on shad before diving back down to cool water.  After a quick rest, striper schools came right back up to the top again to eat more shad.
In the coming week expect striper boils to continue in the northern areas.  Southern stripers will be best caught on bait in deep water at 40-60 feet.
We caught lots of bass today while trolling and casting for stripers.  The little 5-12 inch bass were most active but a few one pound and better smallmouth were roaming in open water looking for small shad. We caught them near the surface when trolling shallow running crankbaits and rattletraps.
Other fish were active in shallow brushy water.  Bluegill and green sunfish were easily seen near shore and around flooded brush on reefs. They were best caught on live worms threaded on small bait hooks.  Channel catfish were very active in the evening on sandy beaches where houseboats could park.  Use live worms, shrimp, hotdog rounds or other table scraps on a size 2-4 single bait hook.  Walleye can also be caught at night in 12-15 feet of water on plastic bass grubs worked slowly along the bottom.  It helps to tip the grub with a one-inch chunk of night crawler.
Fishing is still great at Lake Powell but much more productive in the middle and northern channels and bays.

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 4, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3612

Water Temperature 78 - 82 F

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


stbusy_edited-1The last fish report announced great striper boil fishing with most of the action in the middle and upper reaches of Lake Powell. Then the full moon hit which coincided with a shutdown of boiling activity in the southern lake but seemed to make boils stronger in the northern lake.  On my southern lake fishing trip today (Wahweap to Rock Creek) we failed to catch even one striper, which is a first for me this year. We trolled, cast and spooned without success.  The only technique that worked today was bait fishing in deep water.


Further north, full blown boils with big stripers continued in grand fashion. In the San Juan Arm the epicenter of boil activity was the bay in front of Cha Canyon.  These boils began early morning and then took a break before erupting again in the afternoon and evening. 


Boils were seen occasionally in the main channel from the mouth of the San Juan all the way to Good Hope Bay and beyond.  Afternoon and evening boils were more common under full moon conditions. The Escalante arm was consistent with many boils reported. Rincon to Buoy 88 was productive, as was the Buoy Field at Halls Crossing.

 
Uplake the epicenter of boiling action was the bay in front of Red Canyon in Good Hope Bay but boils were seen all the way to Trachyte.  Good Hope Bay striper boils persisted because the runoff is over which allows the water clarity to improve. Stripers can now find large schools of adult threadfin shad that had previously been hiding in muddy water. As shad schools were located, boils blew up as large stripers were able to surface and quickly forage on shad before diving back down to cool water.  After a quick rest, striper schools came right back up to the top again to eat more shad.   
In the coming week expect striper boils to continue in the northern areas.  Southern stripers will be best caught on bait in deep water at 40-60 feet. 


smyersmbWe caught lots of bass today while trolling and casting for stripers.  The little 5-12 inch bass were most active but a few one pound and better smallmouth were roaming in open water looking for small shad. We caught them near the surface when trolling shallow running crankbaits and rattletraps. 


Other fish were active in shallow brushy water.  Bluegill and green sunfish were easily seen near shore and around flooded brush on reefs. They were best caught on live worms threaded on small bait hooks.  Channel catfish were very active in the evening on sandy beaches where houseboats could park.  Use live worms, shrimp, hotdog rounds or other table scraps on a size 2-4 single bait hook.  Walleye can also be caught at night in 12-15 feet of water on plastic bass grubs worked slowly along the bottom.  It helps to tip the grub with a one-inch chunk of night crawler.

 
Fishing is still great at Lake Powell but much more productive in the middle and northern channels and bays.

 

July 28, 2015 - Stripers boiling in the Channel

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wncstbLake Powell Fish Report – July 28, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3613

Water Temperature 77 - 83 F

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

 

Summer heat has returned and the lake level is dropping.  Striped bass are still boiling and juvenile smallmouth bass are incredibly easy to catch.  This would be a great time to bring your kids to the lake and teach them how to catch bass.

Last week we found larger shad hiding out in the backs of many main channel short canyons and coves.  Small larval shad were still common in the main channel.  Smallmouth bass were near the larger shad schools and very actively pursuing small trolled or cast shad raps or plastic grubs cast to the shoreline and worked into deeper water. If a shad school was seen in the back of a cove it was almost impossible to keep the smallmouth off the hook.

Stripers were a bit inconsistent being caught like crazy one day and then missing in action the next, only to return on a different day and time. There were some hotspots that would be a great starting point if heading out looking for boils. 

The best spot this past week was the Horn just upstream from Good Hope Bay. All sizes of stripers boiled from the mouth of Red Canyon all the way up to the Horn and then beyond to Trachyte Canyon.  When one school would go down it was possible to just look for the next school - rush over to that one and catch more fish.  If cruising from Red Canyon to Trachyte, fishable boils could be seen in abundance.

The next best hotspot was the Escalante Arm from the mouth all the way back to 50 Mile Canyon and beyond. Schools were not as large here as in Red Canyon and the Horn, but they were very catchable on full size surface lures, crankbaits and spoons. There was more downtime when no boils were seen but the school would soon erupt once more and catching would begin all over again.

mthshprefelctDownstream from Bullfrog the channel from Annies Canyon to Buoy 88 was very productive. Upstream the main channel from Knowles to Good Hope Bay was consistently producing striper boils.

Do not overlook the Halls Buoy field.  Some anglers ran down to the Escalante Arm and were disappointed only to return to Halls and find boils going near the houseboats.

In summary, there are boils occurring over the length of the lake. Surface action is more likely to occur in the main channel.  The best time is still morning and evening but from Rincon to Good Hope, boils may be seen all day long. Many small shad and small stripers are working the main channel with bigger stripers joining in more often in mid to northern lake canyons and bays.

I have wondered about the San Juan and why there are no reports coming from that direction.  But as I write this report the following report just came in. 

“Many large boils in Cha Canyon area of San Juan.  Almost all boils were in the early morning.  Not much activity in the afternoons.  Lots of shad were seen in the area.”

If you like to catch stripers in boils now is the time to come give it a try.  The chances of finding boiling stripers are high.  This good surface fishing should continue through August and into September.  Looks like shad will continue to provide food for boiling stripers for the short term.  Now our job as anglers is to go out and save some shad by catching striped bass
 

July 22, 2015 - Bullfrog/Halls for BOILS

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 22, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3614
Water Temperature 76 - 80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Our trawling crew just completed shad sampling with a midwater trawl for the month of July.  The trawl has a 10-foot square opening that leads into a 50-feet long funnel-like net culminating in a plankton bucket where shad are captured before being counted and measured. This survey has been done every summer since 1976 which gives a long history of how shad have fared over the last 40 years. The survey also indicates much about how striped bass behave as they pursue shad throughout the lake.
Bullfrog was the winner among trawl sampling sites with over 400 shad of various sizes collected in each sample.  Good Hope Bay was second with 170 shad collected. Wahweap came in last with only 50 larval shad per trawl tow. Now when we compare fishing success for stripers, it makes more sense that the best fishing is found midlake where shad numbers are greatest.  Likewise the least number of stripers are caught in the southern lake where shad are low in number.
Here is the fishing report.  Stripers are boiling along the surface from early morning to late evening from Oak Canyon to Good Hope Bay.  In the midlake trawl samples we found shad of all sizes from tiny half-inch larval fish to 3-inch adults.  Midlake boils consisted of small stripers mixed in with large adults up to 5-pounds.  Larger stripers come up more regularly when shad are big enough for a quick meal. Then big stripers dive quickly to deeper cool water.
In the southern lake there are a few slurps with yearling stripers feeding on a small number of tiny shad. The good news here is that shad will grow and boils will occur in August when the tiny shad now living in turbid water in the backs of canyons swim into open water where larger stripers can find them.   Southern stripers can still be caught but it requires trolling, or spooning, or bait fishing to get down to the striper holding level.
For now, go north to Bullfrog/Halls and then look upstream or down for serious boils action that occurs in the main channel very early in the morning and repeats regularly throughout the day and into the evening when winds are calm.  These stripers will take full size surface lures, swim baits, spoons and crankbaits.  It’s your choice.  Catch them and keep as many as you can use or give away.
These fish are healthy and strong. All you have to do is keep them on ice immediately after capture and vacuum pack them if they are not eaten fresh within 3 days in the refrigerator.
NEVER – NEVER - NEVER put striped bass on a stringer and tow them around for hours in 80 degree water.  The water in your live well is also 80 degrees.  If stripers are put in the live well do not allow water to circulate.  Replace water with crushed ice where stripers will stay fresh.   Treat stripers like ice cream. Always keep them cold.  You will thank me for this chastisement later if you take my advice and fry up striper fillets that never got warm. Do your own taste test to rediscover how good eating fresh striped bass can be.
Smallmouth bass are still at it.  While searching for stripers in the southern lake by casting and trolling and spooning we caught 11 stripers and over 25 smallmouth bass – without even trying. Bass were on 45 degree angle sloping shorelines with brush along the edge. Crankbaits cast toward the shore were viciously attacked by smallmouth from 8 inches to 2 pounds.  We could have targeted bass and caught 100 fish.  But we kept looking for the elusive stripers and did not have time, on a one day trip, to run to midlake where the boiling action starts.



trawliinggbLake Powell Fish Report – July 22, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3614

Water Temperature 76 - 80 F

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


Our trawling crew just completed shad sampling with a midwater trawl for the month of July.  The trawl has a 10-foot square opening that leads into a 50-feet long funnel-like net culminating in a plankton bucket where shad are captured before being counted and measured. This survey has been done every summer since 1976 which gives a long history of how shad have fared over the last 40 years. The survey also indicates much about how striped bass behave as they pursue shad throughout the lake.

Bullfrog was the winner among trawl sampling sites with over 400 shad of various sizes collected in each sample.  Good Hope Bay was second with 170 shad collected. Wahweap came in last with only 50 larval shad per trawl tow. Now when we compare fishing success for stripers, it makes more sense that the best fishing is found midlake where shad numbers are greatest.  Likewise the least number of stripers are caught in the southern lake where shad are low in number. 

stb2hungryHere is the fishing report.  Stripers are boiling along the surface from early morning to late evening from Oak Canyon to Good Hope Bay.  In the midlake trawl samples we found shad of all sizes from tiny half-inch larval fish to 3-inch adults.  Midlake boils consisted of small stripers mixed in with large adults up to 5-pounds.  Larger stripers come up more regularly when shad are big enough for a quick meal. Then big stripers dive quickly to deeper cool water. 

In the southern lake there are a few slurps with yearling stripers feeding on a small number of tiny shad. The good news here is that shad will grow and boils will occur in August when the tiny shad now living in turbid water in the backs of canyons swim into open water where larger stripers can find them.   Southern stripers can still be caught but it requires trolling, or spooning, or bait fishing to get down to the striper holding level.  

For now, go north to Bullfrog/Halls and then look upstream or down for serious boil action that occurs in the main channel very early in the morning and repeats regularly throughout the day and into the evening when winds are calm.  These stripers will take full size surface lures, swim baits, spoons and crankbaits.  It’s your choice.  

Catch them and keep as many as you can use or give away.These fish are healthy and strong. All you have to do is keep them on ice immediately after capture and vacuum pack them if they are not eaten fresh within 3 days in the refrigerator. 

NEVER – NEVER - NEVER put striped bass on a stringer and tow them around for hours in 80 degree water.  The water in your live well is also 80 degrees.  If stripers are put in the live well, do not allow water to circulate.  Replace water with crushed ice where stripers will stay fresh.   Treat stripers like ice cream. Always keep them cold.  You will thank me for this chastisement later if you take my advice and fry up striper fillets that never got warm. Do your own taste test to rediscover how good eating fresh striped bass can be.

 Smallmouth bass are still at it.  While searching for stripers in the southern lake by casting and trolling and spooning we caught 11 stripers and over 25 smallmouth bass – without even trying. Bass were on 45 degree angle sloping shorelines with brush along the edge. Crankbaits cast toward the shore were viciously attacked by smallmouth from 8 inches to 2 pounds.  We could have targeted bass and caught 100 fish.  But we kept looking for the elusive stripers and did not have time, on a one day trip, to run to midlake where the boiling action starts.

bevysmb1

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 08:55
 

July 14, 2015 - Southern striper pattern

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 14, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3614.23
Water Temperature 76 - 81 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
What a great day spent learning about striped bass behavior, attitudes, and preferences.  It was time well spent. We headed out from Wahweap as the sky began to glow in the east.  We made it to the mouth of Navajo before sunrise in hopes of seeing the slurping stripers encountered there last week.  I am not good at waiting so we trolled while hoping for the first slurps to appear.  That went well as we caught a 3-pound striper trolling a Lucky Craft Bevy Shad at 4 mph.
As that fish was undergoing hook removal the slurpers came up in range and we caught 2 more small stripers casting Lucky Craft Pointers 78 beyond the surfacing fish and then reeling back through the school.
This is where it got interesting. Stripers were coming to the top and slurping shad but there was not much schooling behavior.  It was more like every fish for himself as they were feeding individually on small pods of larval shad. Two to five fish would hit the surface near the same time but we could not get to them quick enough to cast before they went down.    We knew from last week’s experience that we could catch them trolling near the surface disturbance so we did that and hooked one or two fish each time we got close enough to the surfacing fish.   We chased these fish for an hour and then moved on.
The next stop was at the intersection of the main channel and mouth of Gunsight Canyon. Here we saw widely scattered surface action.  But we knew just what to do and started trolling near the 2-5 fish that came to the top.  Again we caught fish when our lures were trolled close enough to the feeding fish. The difference was slightly larger fish that were more aggressive.   We also caught a couple more 3-pound fish that were feeding with the juveniles. We later discovered that shad size here was larger than downlake.
After an hour the surface action quit and we headed further uplake. Surface action ceased at 8:30 AM. At this point we could either continue to troll or use bait in deeper water to target larger stripers.  We chose to troll.  At Buoy 25 another 3-pound striper was caught. Then we went to the mouth of West Canyon and trolled the shallow brushy shoreline.
We soon discovered that schools of juvenile stripers were holding at 25 feet on the breaking edge of structure that quickly declined to 45 feet.   These small fish had previously been slurping on the top just as the fish we had mingled with downlake.  But at this time of day they were holding in large schools that were easy to see on the graph. As the boat passed over the school we were able to count down until our lures passed over the school at which time we hooked up with 2 fish. We could turn around and pass over the school once more and catch two more fish.  That worked about two times and then the school would move on.  We graphed three different schools with the same successful results.
Lessons learned included the knowledge that shad numbers were declining where stripers have been slurping for the past few weeks. Small stripers and bass could still be caught trolling and casting near surface activity. Juvenile stripers were on the surface and in shallow water but larger stripers were deeper and required a change in tactics to interact with them.
Back at the fish cleaning station we talked with fishing guide Danny Woods and found that he had used bait after catching the small fish on top using Kastmasters.   He found shaded walls near shore and dropped anchovies down 25-40 feet where bottom depth was 60 feet. His total catch was about the same as ours (25 stripers of mixed size and 5 bass).  After the surface action is over trolling and bait fishing are both good techniques.
The best place to fish this week is north of Bullfrog.  There are still patches of floating debris but the water color has cleared and stripers are very active morning and evening. Bass fishing remains solid. Bluegill and catfish are active along the shallow brushy shoreline.

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 14, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3614.23

Water Temperature 76 - 81 F

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


bretthepd1What a great day spent learning about striped bass behavior, attitudes, and preferences.  It was time well spent. We headed out from Wahweap as the sky began to glow in the east.  We made it to the mouth of Navajo before sunrise in hopes of seeing the slurping stripers encountered there last week.  I am not good at waiting so we trolled while hoping for the first slurps to appear.  That went well as we caught a 3-pound striper trolling a Lucky Craft Bevy Shad at 4 mph. 

As that fish was undergoing hook removal the slurpers came up in range and we caught 2 more small stripers casting Lucky Craft Pointers 78 beyond the surfacing fish and then reeling back through the school. 

This is where it got interesting. Stripers were coming to the top and slurping shad but there was not much schooling behavior.  It was more like every fish for himself as they were feeding individually on small pods of larval shad. Two to five fish would hit the surface near the same time but we could not get to them quick enough to cast before they went down.    We knew from last week’s experience that we could catch them trolling near the surface disturbance so we did that and hooked one or two fish each time we got close enough to the surfacing fish.   We chased these fish for an hour and then moved on.   

The next stop was at the intersection of the main channel and mouth of Gunsight Canyon. Here we saw widely scattered surface action.  But we knew just what to do and started trolling near the 2-5 fish that came to the top.  Again we caught fish when our lures were trolled close enough to the feeding fish. The difference was slightly larger fish that were more aggressive.   We also caught a couple more 3-pound fish that were feeding with the juveniles. We later discovered that shad size here was larger than downlake.  After an hour the surface action quit and we headed further uplake. Surface action ceased at 8:30 AM. At this point we could either continue to troll or use bait in deeper water to target larger stripers.  We chose to troll.  At Buoy 25 another 3-pound striper was caught. Then we went to the mouth of West Canyon and trolled the shallow brushy shoreline.

dungeestb3We soon discovered that schools of juvenile stripers were holding at 25 feet on the breaking edge of structure that quickly declined to 45 feet.   These small fish had previously been slurping on the top just as the fish we had mingled with downlake.  But at this time of day they were holding in large schools that were easy to see on the graph. As the boat passed over the school we were able to count down until our lures passed over the school at which time we hooked up with 2 fish. We could turn around and pass over the school once more and catch two more fish.  That worked about two times and then the school would move on.  We graphed three different schools with the same successful results.  

Lessons learned included the knowledge that shad numbers were declining where stripers have been slurping for the past few weeks. Small stripers and bass could still be caught trolling and casting near surface activity. Juvenile stripers were on the surface and in shallow water but larger stripers were deeper and required a change in tactics to interact with them. 

Back at the fish cleaning station we talked with fishing guide Danny Woods and found that he had used bait after catching the small fish on top using Kastmasters.   He found shaded walls near shore and dropped anchovies down 25-40 feet where bottom depth was 60 feet. His total catch was about the same as ours (25 stripers of mixed size and 5 bass).  After the surface action is over trolling and bait fishing are both good techniques.    

The best place to fish this week is north of Bullfrog.  There are still patches of floating debris but the water color has cleared and stripers are very active morning and evening. Bass fishing remains solid. Bluegill and catfish are active along the shallow brushy shoreline.

 

July 7, 2015 - Slurps Continue

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 7, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3613.89
Water Temperature 77 - 83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
There are still lots of yearling stripers (8-14 inches) slurping up larval shad each morning and evening.  The most consistent location is the main channel.  That seems like a redundant report but it is accurate. This means that larval shad are in the main channel and little stripers can live right there with them and eat at their convenience.    Small surface feeding stripers are a bit finicky when in surface mode.
We tried some well placed casts with top water lures which were ignored.  A small ¼ ounce Kastmaster spoon worked half the time.  The most effective method was to troll past the slurp location with a bluegill colored Shad Rap (SR5). That worked well if we arrived at the site of the last surface activity within one minute of when stripers went down. I did not have the opportunity to cast the Shad Rap (SR5) into the slurp but suspect that would work very well.
There was a clue given at Antelope Point Marina as we headed uplake from Wahweap.  We trolled through the wakeless area at morning prime time and hooked the biggest fish of the day.  At the fish cleaning station we found a 1.5 inch shad in the stomach.  This means that larger stripers are feeding on larger forage in deeper water.  Larger stripers are forced into the depths as they mature.  They can no longer stay in warm surface water so they go deep.  Big stripers are out there and feeding. It is just a matter of finding them and offering them the right enticement. Probably the best method is the old standard anchovy.  Do not expect large schools of stripers to run along the canyon walls as they do in years when shad numbers are low.  Stripers now must be approached as if the anchovy bait is a precision lure cast to the right spot and right depth at the right time.  The right spot is a slick rock point. The right depth is 25-40 feet. The right time is early morning and late evening.  Night fishing under a green light is also prime right now.
It is easier to catch smallmouth bass. When we trolled for stripers and got near a brushy shoreline or ran over a shallow reef, a one-pound smallmouth was hooked with the small shad rap. Bass fishing continues to be the best way to catch fish right now.  They can be caught on surface lures morning or evening.  They eat plastic grubs cast to the shoreline or open water reefs all day long.   This is a perfect time to teach kids how to catch fish.  Put on a small Shad Rap and let them reel it back to the boat in 8-12 feet of brushy water.  It is easy to tell if in the right spot by looking at the submerged brush. If small sunfish and bluegill are in the brush then bass can be caught.
Catfish are really doing well on sandy beaches at dusk right behind the parked houseboat. Use a slice of hot dog, night crawler, shrimp or leftovers from dinner. Just put a bait hook on the spinning rod. Thread the leftovers onto the hook and cast it out into 12 feet of water behind the boat. Then let the bait rest on the bottom and wait for the catfish to come. It won’t take long.
Walleye are still biting on plastic grubs with a piece of night crawler attached. Best time is first light and just after dusk. They can be caught during the day by trolling over a 15-foot bench with a lure that runs 12 feet deep.
Expect quick boils from bigger stripers in late July and August as shad size increases.

slurps622b

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 7, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3613.89

Water Temperature 77 - 83 F

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

There are still lots of yearling stripers (8-14 inches) slurping up larval shad each morning and evening.  The most consistent location is the main channel.  That seems like a redundant report but it is accurate. This means that larval shad are in the main channel and little stripers can live right there with them and eat at their convenience.    

Small surface feeding stripers are a bit finicky when in surface mode.  We tried some well placed casts with top water lures which were ignored.  A small ¼ ounce Kastmaster spoon worked half the time.  The most effective method was to troll past the slurp location with a bluegill colored Shad Rap (SR5). That worked well if we arrived at the site of the last surface activity within one minute of when stripers went down. I did not have the opportunity to cast the Shad Rap (SR5) into the slurp but suspect that would work very well.

There was a clue given at Antelope Point Marina as we headed uplake from Wahweap.  We trolled through the wakeless area at morning prime time and hooked the biggest fish of the day.  At the fish cleaning station we found a 1.5 inch shad in the stomach.  This means that larger stripers are feeding on larger forage in deeper water.  Larger stripers are forced into the depths as they mature.  They can no longer stay in warm surface water so they go deep.  Big stripers are out there and feeding. It is just a matter of finding them and offering them the right enticement.

Probably the best method is the old standard anchovy.  Do not expect large schools of stripers to run along the canyon walls as they do in years when shad numbers are low.  Stripers now must be approached as if the anchovy bait is a precision lure cast to the right spot and right depth at the right time.  The right spot is a slick rock point. The right depth is 25-40 feet. The right time is early morning and late evening.  Night fishing under a green light is also prime right now. 

ssshanesmbIt is easier to catch smallmouth bass. When we trolled for stripers and got near a brushy shoreline or ran over a shallow reef, a one-pound smallmouth was hooked with the small shad rap. Bass fishing continues to be the best way to catch fish right now.  They can be caught on surface lures morning or evening.  They eat plastic grubs cast to the shoreline or open water reefs all day long.  

This is a perfect time to teach kids how to catch fish.  Put on a small Shad Rap and let them reel it back to the boat in 8-12 feet of brushy water.  It is easy to tell if in the right spot by looking at the submerged brush. If small sunfish and bluegill are lurking in the brush then bass can be caught. 

Catfish are really doing well on sandy beaches at dusk right behind the parked houseboat. Use a slice of hot dog, night crawler, shrimp or leftovers from dinner. Just put a size 2 or 4 bait hook on the spinning rod. Thread the leftovers onto the hook and cast it out into 12 feet of water behind the boat. Then let the bait rest on the bottom and wait for the catfish to come. It won’t take long.  

Walleye are still biting on plastic grubs with a piece of night crawler attached. Best time is first light and just after dusk. They can be caught during the day by trolling over a 15-foot bench with a lure that runs 12 feet deep.     

Expect quick boils from bigger stripers in late July and August as shad size increases.

annabass

 

June 30, 2015 - It's HOT!

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

Lake Powell Fish Report – June 24, 2015

Lake Elevation: 3613

Water Temperature 82 - 85 F

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

Lake Powell is Red Hot!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 14:37
 
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