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October 22, 2014 - Boils and Spooning

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
October 22, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 68-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Fishing Schedule - Lake Powell
Dawn to 9 AM (MST):
Bass and stripers wake up and go out for breakfast.  Shad are the only option on the menu for stripers but bass add crayfish to the list. Shad schools are no longer free to live in open water due to striper gluttony.  Now shad are moving toward the backs of canyons and coves to hide.  Somewhere along the way stripers and/or bass find the school and breakfast is served.  Surface activity is still visible most mornings but the splashes are becoming less abundant.
10 AM to 3 PM:
A daily truce is declared as stripers and shad back off and quietly coexist. Stripers hold near the bottom at 40-60 feet while threadfin shad form a suspended open water school from 20-50 feet.  Not much feeding or other activities occur unless a random shad happens to drop in on the striper school.  Stripers cannot resist a shad swimming through their peaceful surroundings and must react by eating said shad.  That makes spooning and deep water trolling the only effective mid day fishing techniques.
4 PM to Dark:
Skirmish lines are redrawn and sportfish go back into feeding mode while shad run and hide. A few stripers and bass blow up on top marking the spot where a submerged school is working. The same techniques (top water and spooning) that worked in the morning are effective once more.
Techniques:
Surface boils are the most exciting form of fishing in fresh water. There are just enough boils happening now to make them worthwhile to pursue. Always keep looking for any splash during morning and evening.  Stripers blow water up over a foot in the air.  Gizzard shad jump in open water too, but they make a smooth entry back into the lake. Make sure the splash is made by the target species.  If close enough to cast while the fish are working the surface - top water lures, rattle traps and Kastmaster spoons work very well.
The boil is great fun but the real work is done with jigging spoons. There are few fish on the surface compared to the huge school waiting below. See the splash - then look at the GRAPH.  When the school is visible at depth spoons should be dropped right on the hungry fish.  This is how big numbers of fish are caught.  The school eagerly awaits the next shad imitating spoon as most shad are now eaten at 20-60 feet.  The very best technique now is spooning where bottom depth is between 20 and 60 feet.
Trolling is not very effective but does have its purpose. If surface action is not seen then trolling while watching the graph is a good way to find fish. Troll about half way back in most canyons at  a bottom depth of 40-100 feet with a marker in hand. When the striper school is seen toss the marker and return to that spot if these fish do not respond to trolled lures.  Most stripers are found in water too deep to troll without down riggers or leaded line.
Best recent locations:
Southern Lake :  Dominguez Rock (Face Canyon), Gregory Butte, Last Chance Coves, Rock Creek mouth, Dungeon Canyon.
Northern Lake: Crystal Spring, Moki Canyon, Warm Springs.
Hint:  Do not be surprised to see largemouth and smallmouth bass boiling on shad.  Stripers and bass are often working the same shad schools.  Find any surface action and look deep to find vulnerable fish that can be caught most efficiently on spoons.
Good Luck!  Fishing is challenging but very rewarding due to the quality of fish that can be caught.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 22, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 68-72 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com


Fishing Schedule - Lake Powell 


Dawn to 9 AM (MST): Bass and stripers wake up and go out for breakfast.  Shad are the only option on the menu for stripers but bass add crayfish to the list. Shad schools are no longer free to live in open water due to striper gluttony.  Now shad are moving toward the backs of canyons and coves to hide.  Somewhere along the way stripers and/or bass find the school and breakfast is served.  Surface activity is still visible most mornings but the splashes are becoming less abundant.


bretthepfam_edited-110 AM to 3 PM
: A daily truce is declared as stripers and shad back off and quietly coexist. Stripers hold near the bottom at 40-60 feet while threadfin shad form a suspended open water school from 20-50 feet.  Not much feeding or other activities occur unless a random shad happens to drop in on the striper school.  Stripers cannot resist a shad swimming through their peaceful surroundings and must react by eating said shad.  That makes spooning and deep water trolling the only effective mid day fishing techniques.


4 PM to Dark: Skirmish lines are redrawn and sportfish go back into feeding mode while shad run and hide. A few stripers and bass blow up on top marking the spot where a submerged school is working. The same techniques (top water and spooning) that worked in the morning are effective once more. 


Techniques: Surface boils are the most exciting form of fishing in fresh water. There are just enough boils happening now to make them worthwhile to pursue. Always keep looking for any splash during morning and evening.  Stripers blow water up over a foot in the air.  Gizzard shad jump in open water too, but they make a smooth entry back into the lake. Make sure the splash is made by the target species.  If close enough to cast while the fish are working the surface - top water lures, rattle traps and Kastmaster spoons work very well.  


The boil is great fun but the real work is done with jigging spoons. There are few fish on the surface compared to the huge school waiting below. See the splash - then look at the GRAPH.  When the school is visible at depth spoons should be dropped right on the hungry fish.  This is how big numbers of fish are caught.  The school eagerly awaits the next shad imitating spoon as most shad are now eaten at 20-60 feet.  The very best technique now is spooning where bottom depth is between 20 and 60 feet. 

Trolling is not very effective but does have its purpose. If surface action is not seen then trolling while watching the graph is a good way to find fish. Troll about half way back in most canyons at  a bottom depth of 40-100 feet with a marker in hand. When the striper school is seen toss the marker and return to that spot if these fish do not respond to trolled lures.  Most stripers are found in water too deep to troll without down riggers or leaded line. 

Best recent locations:

Southern Lake:  Dominguez Rock (Face Canyon), Gregory Butte, Last Chance Coves, Rock Creek mouth, Dungeon Canyon.

Northern Lake: Iceberg, Crystal Spring, Moki Canyon, Warm Springs.

Hint:  Do not be surprised to see largemouth and smallmouth bass boiling on shad.  Stripers and bass are often working the same shad schools.  Find any surface action and look deep to find vulnerable fish that can be caught most efficiently on spoons. 

Good Luck!  Fishing is challenging but very rewarding due to the quality of fish that can be caught.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 18:11
 

October 17, 2014 - Select Spots Producing

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Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 17, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 70-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson
My week was spent from the mouth of San Juan to Rincon with a side trip up the Escalante Arm.  Striper fishing was tough with no boils seen and only 3 fish caught all week.  Bass fishing saved the day.  The main channel bass pattern was consistent.  At the corners and edges of the channel there are a few shallow slick rock islands protruding from the water.  These beautiful rock formations harbored good numbers of smallmouth bass that could be consistently caught casting and trolling with shad colored lipless vibrating lures.  It is likely that bass were running shad schools into the shallow bays and trapping them against the rocks where feeding was intense. The rocks guarding the mouth of the San Juan were a good example of the rocky habitat that provides especially good fishing.
Fishing in the backs of canyons was slow for stripers but again smallmouth bass were active in 12-25 feet of water in most canyons.
Upon returning there were many fish reports waiting.  Fishing has been challenging since full moon but is now slowly improving. The key is to find locations where fish are active and avoid the quiet spots.  The best spots this week were the San Juan Arm from Cha to Neskahi, and the mouth of Rock Creek to Gregory Butte.  There were no fresh reports from the northern lake except to say that fishing is improving after full moon. Fishing at Bullfrog was slow with the best spot in Halls Bay. There is more action in the southern lake.
The best plan of attack is to head out early and look for striper splashes as they feed individually and in small groups from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  If the surface action continues then stripers can be caught in quick small boils. The real action comes when the school dives and can be found on the graph.  Spooning over holding schools at 40-60 feet is the very best fishing technique now to catch big numbers of stripers.
Stripers were recently spooned up at the mouth of Rock Creek where small surface disturbances were seen. The school was found where bottom depth was 60 feet. It is really tough to find suspended schools where bottom depth exceeds 100 feet. Look for boils but the best work is done in deep water with spoons.  Bucktail jigs, hyper stripers and similar lures that can fished at various depths in the water column and then retrieved from the bottom to the location favored by suspended fish may be the best technique for catching fish in these challenging high-forage conditions.
Tips for Graph Use:  Those new to using a graph to locate fish commonly turn on the fish ID which shows computer generated fish pictures on the graph. Fishing is not a video game.  Actual fish are best seen by using raw data.  This can best be tested on cliff walls and at the mouth of canyons.  Here the sonar sound bounces of the cliff wall then the bottom before returning to the graph.  The fish ID shows these “bounces” as fish when they are not.
Learn to use the graph in open water where bottom depth is between 40 and 60 feet.  Look for individual fish and schools where the bottom is distinct for best results. Graphing in the main channel only works when the graph is zoomed in to show a selected area. Choose the depth where most fish traces are seen for best results.
Fishing is slower than usual but warm days and cool nights are very comfortable.  The Lake Powell scenery is even better than ever in these late summer days.

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

brmygirlbassMy week was spent from the mouth of San Juan to Rincon with a side trip up the Escalante Arm.  Striper fishing was tough with no boils seen and only 3 fish caught all week.  Bass fishing saved the day.  The main channel bass pattern was consistent.  At the corners and edges of the channel there are a few shallow slick rock islands protruding from the water.  These beautiful rock formations harbored good numbers of smallmouth bass that could be consistently caught casting and trolling with shad colored lipless vibrating lures.  It is likely that bass were running shad schools into the shallow bays and trapping them against the rocks where feeding was intense. The rocks guarding the mouth of the San Juan were a good example of the rocky habitat that provides especially good fishing.

 
Fishing in the backs of canyons was slow for stripers but again smallmouth bass were active in 12-25 feet of water in most canyons.

Upon returning there were many fish reports waiting.  Fishing has been challenging since full moon but is now slowly improving. The key is to find locations where fish are active and avoid the quiet spots.  The best spots this week were the San Juan Arm from Cha to Neskahi, and the mouth of Rock Creek to Gregory Butte.  There were no fresh reports from the northern lake except to say that fishing is improving after full moon. Fishing at Bullfrog was slow with the best spot in Halls Bay. There is more action in the southern lake. 

The best plan of attack is to head out early and look for striper splashes as they feed individually and in small groups from Wahweap to Rock Creek.  If the surface action continues then stripers can be caught in quick small boils. The real action comes when the school dives and can be found on the graph.  Spooning over holding schools at 40-60 feet is the very best fishing technique now to catch big numbers of stripers. 

Stripers were recently spooned up at the mouth of Rock Creek where small surface disturbances were seen. The school was found where bottom depth was 60 feet. It is really tough to find suspended schools where bottom depth exceeds 100 feet. Look for boils but the best work is done in deep water with spoons.  Bucktail jigs, hyper stripers and similar lures that can be fished at various depths in the water column and then retrieved from the bottom to the location favored by suspended fish may be the best technique for catching fish in these challenging high-forage conditions. 

graphgw3Tips for Graph Use:  Those new to using a graph to locate fish commonly turn on the fish ID which shows computer generated fish pictures on the graph. Fishing is not a video game.  Actual fish are best seen by using raw data.  This can best be tested on cliff walls and at the mouth of canyons.  Here the sonar sound bounces of the cliff wall then the bottom before returning to the graph.  The fish ID shows these “bounces” as fish when they are not. 

Learn to use the graph in open water where bottom depth is between 40 and 60 feet.  Look for individual fish and schools where the bottom is distinct for best results. Graphing in the main channel only works when the graph is zoomed in to show a selected area. Choose the depth where most fish traces are seen for best results.

Fishing is slower than usual but warm days and cool nights are very comfortable.  The Lake Powell scenery is even better than ever in these late summer days.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 17 October 2014 07:36
 

October 8, 2014 - Hunting for Stripers

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
October 8, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 72-74 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
October is hunting season.  It’s time to put on the blaze orange sweatshirt, load some weapons and get in the boat.  The weapons should be transported fully loaded because the game appears quickly and then runs off even faster.  If fully ready and very observant there is time to get one shot off before the game slips out of range.  This is not a road hunt but rather a very exciting fishing trip.  The critters being pursued are surface feeding striped bass and smallmouth bass. The weapons are fishing reels fine tuned to cast very far with great accuracy and they are loaded with heavy, long-casting lures that resemble shad.   Yes – Fishing striper boils in the fall is more like hunting than fishing.
Our quarry this morning was found in the same range as reported last week but there were some subtle differences.  Early morning fishing during the full moon is not as productive as it is under dark night skies. We headed out at first light but did not see any surface action until we reached Rock Creek.  Even then the action included only a few stripers jumping here and a couple over there. We eased over to the spots where the last splash was seen. If another fish or two came up they were easy to catch when the boat was in casting range. Stripers in pursuit of shad are single minded and will bite just about anything that wiggles.  But once they dive and start looking for another school they are hard to catch.
For two hours we chased single splashes and rolling turbulent waters which were big stripers feeding just under the surface.  These fish were working individually since shad numbers are high enough to allow stripers this luxury.  Usually the striper school has to surround shad and hold them in place before feeding.  Not now!  Shad are numerous making stripers a bit more challenging to capture.
After 8 AM surface boils began holding more fish and the action persisted a little longer.  We caught stripers at the mouth of Rock Creek by running a circle around the big bay looking for splashes.  Big splashes usually mean stripers are feeding but we also caught smallmouth as they boiled in two locations.
Next we headed down lake to look at Last Chance again. It had been calm and quiet early in the morning but this time through there were more aggressive small boils with an exciting climax of one big boil that stayed up for 5 minutes.  The big boil came up at 10 AM.
That’s a good summary of how to catch stripers now.  They are easy to snare when hitting the surface and hard to find when not on top.  The very best way to catch fish now is to find a school on the graph and drop spoons to catch a lot of fish in a short time.  But the schools holding on the bottom are just as hard to find as the fish boiling on the surface.  Trolling is the last resort as both chasing boils and spooning are more productive.
The best time to fish now is the last few hours in the evening.  The best location is in the main channel from Padre Bay to Trachyte. The best recent report came from the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.
All of the stripers caught had threadfin shad in their stomachs.  These shad are open water fish while small gizzard shad are found close to shore. I suspect that stripers are selectively pursuing threadfin shad in open water and will save the gizzard shad in coves and backs of canyons for later in the year.
Fishing in these high forage conditions is more challenging than when stripers are really hungry.  But catching fish now is more rewarding as these fish are in abnormally prime physical condition seldom seen on Lake Powell. Catching 10 stripers now makes a successful trip. Catching 20 or more is like fishing in Shangri-La.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

October 8, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606  (One foot higher than last 3 weeks)

Water Temperature 72-74 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

October is hunting season.  It’s time to put on the blaze orange sweatshirt, load some weapons and get in the boat.  The weapons should be transported fully loaded because the game appears quickly and then runs off even faster.  If fully ready and very observant there is time to get one shot off before the game slips out of range.  This is not a road hunt but rather a very exciting fishing trip.  The critters being pursued are surface feeding striped bass and smallmouth bass. The weapons are fishing reels fine tuned to cast very far with great accuracy and they are loaded with heavy, long-casting lures that resemble shad.   Yes – Fishing striper boils in the fall is more like hunting than fishing. 

johnsuzieOur quarry this morning was found in the same range as reported last week but there were some subtle differences.  Early morning fishing during the full moon is not as productive as it is under dark night skies. We headed out at first light but did not see any surface action until we reached Rock Creek.  Even then the action included only a few stripers jumping here and a couple over there. We eased over to the spots where the last splash was seen. If another fish or two came up they were easy to catch when the boat was in casting range. Stripers in pursuit of shad are single minded and will bite just about anything that wiggles.  But once they dive and start looking for another school they are hard to catch. 

                                                                                                                 John and Suzie

 


For two hours we chased single splashes and rolling turbulent waters which were big stripers feeding just under the surface.  These fish were working individually since shad numbers are high enough to allow stripers this luxury.  Usually the striper school has to surround shad and hold them in place before feeding.  Not now!  Shad are numerous making stripers a bit more challenging to capture. 

After 8 AM surface boils began holding more fish and the action persisted a little longer.  We caught stripers at the mouth of Rock Creek by running a circle around the big bay looking for splashes.  Big splashes usually mean stripers are feeding but we also caught smallmouth as they boiled in two locations. 

Next we headed down lake to look at Last Chance again. It had been calm and quiet early in the morning but this time through we saw another boat near Gregory Butte and went over to get a fish report. Lou and Tony told us they just saw their first boil.... and then the fish came up again and we all went back to fishing.  These were the best, most aggressive boils of the morning followed by an exciting climax of one big open-channel boil that stayed up for 8 minutes.  The big boil came up at 10 AM.  

wg10814That’s a good summary of how to catch stripers now.  They are easy to snare when hitting the surface and hard to find when not on top.  The very best way to catch fish now is to find a school on the graph and drop spoons to catch a lot of fish in a short time.  But the schools holding on the bottom are just as hard to find as the fish boiling on the surface. Trolling is the last resort as both chasing boils and spooning are more productive. 

The best time to fish now is the last few hours in the evening.  The best location is in the main channel from Padre Bay to Trachyte. The best recent report came from the main channel just upstream from the mouth of the San Juan.  All of the stripers caught had threadfin shad in their stomachs.  These shad are open water fish while small gizzard shad are found close to shore. I suspect that stripers are selectively pursuing threadfin shad in open water and will save the gizzard shad in coves and backs of canyons for later in the year.  

Fishing in these high forage conditions is more challenging than when stripers are really hungry.  But catching fish now is more rewarding as these fish are in abnormally prime physical condition seldom seen on Lake Powell. Catching 10 stripers now makes a successful trip. Catching 20 or more is like fishing in Shangri-La.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:33
 

September 30, 2014 - Lid comes off -Stripers Boil!

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
September 30, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temperature 74-78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Stripers just blew the hot water lid off of Lake Powell. The long hot summer kept the surface temperature above 80 degrees until the rainy cold front arrived this past weekend. Now instead of daytime air temperatures reaching 90 degrees the temperature is now a much more comfortable 70 degrees.  Morning air temperature is now in the 50s.
We put on our coats and headed out at first light this morning.  We saw no boils in Warm Creek so we headed uplake. There were no boils at the mouth of Gunsight so we kept driving.
This was getting depressing because I was sure the cooler water temperature would allow stripers to attack shad that had been peacefully feeding on the surface.  On calm evenings for the past two weeks hundreds of schools of shad could be seen feeding in the open water of the main channel with only an occasional game fish rising up to chase them. It was amazing to see that many shad with no stripers in attendance.
Next we rounded the corner of Gregory Butte trying to decide whether to go to Rock Creek or Last Chance when a school of big stripers attacked a shad school right in front of us.  In early September we had been catching stripers smaller than 16 inches on top in the warm surface water. But these fish were different. The first two fish hooked were both over 3 pounds and so strong we could not get them in the boat before the school went down.  We just had to play these fish and watch the rest boil while we reeled them in.  The school came up quickly 2 more times and we caught more big fish each time they surfaced. The largest striper weighed 4.5 pounds. That was worth the trip but we weren’t done.
We headed into a nearby Last Chance cove and found the yearlings boiling.  They were easier to catch and land quickly so we caught another 10 on top.  When they went down we followed them with spoons between 40-60 feet and caught more.
At 9 AM this action stopped so we headed back down lake. Back at Gregory Butte the big fish boiled in the main channel twice more and we caught 2 out of each boil.
Fall fishing has officially arrived. Stripers are boiling from dawn to 10:30 AM.  There were reports of more 3-4 pound boiling fish in Rock Creek during the same time that we were catching fish in Last Chance.  We caught plenty of smallmouth bass on top water and shallow running cranks that were feeding right with the stripers in the coves. It is likely that random boils continued through the day and then build again during the last hour of daylight.
The cooler surface temperature is what the stripers have been waiting for.  If planning a trip for boiling stripers now is the time.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

September 30, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water Temperature 74-78 F

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

wg4lbs930Stripers just blew the hot water lid off of Lake Powell. The long hot summer kept the surface temperature above 80 degrees until the rainy cold front arrived this past weekend. Now instead of daytime air temperatures reaching 90 degrees the temperature is now a much more comfortable 70 degrees.  Morning air temperature is now in the 50s. 


We put on our coats and headed out at first light this morning.  We saw no boils in Warm Creek so we headed uplake. There were no boils at the mouth of Gunsight so we kept driving.

 
This was getting depressing because I was sure the cooler water temperature would allow stripers to attack shad that had been peacefully feeding on the surface.  On calm evenings for the past two weeks hundreds of schools of shad could be seen feeding in the open water of the main channel with only an occasional game fish rising up to chase them. It was amazing to see that many shad with no stripers in attendance.

 
Next we rounded the corner of Gregory Butte trying to decide whether to go to Rock Creek or Last Chance when a school of big stripers attacked a shad school right in front of us.  In early September we had been catching stripers smaller than 16 inches on top in the warm surface water. But these fish were different. The first two fish hooked were both over 3 pounds and so strong we could not get them in the boat before the school went down.  We just had to play these fish and watch the rest boil while we reeled them in.  The school came up quickly 2 more times and we caught more big fish each time they surfaced. The largest striper weighed 4.5 pounds. That was worth the trip but we weren’t done. 


We headed into a nearby Last Chance cove and found the yearlings boiling.  They were easier to catch and land quickly so we caught another 10 on top.  When they went down we followed them with spoons between 40-60 feet and caught more.

 
At 9 AM this action stopped so we headed back down lake. Back at Gregory Butte the big fish boiled in the main channel twice more and we caught 2 out of each boil.

  
Fall fishing has officially arrived. Stripers are boiling from dawn to 10:30 AM.  There were reports of more 3-4 pound boiling fish in Rock Creek during the same time that we were catching fish in Last Chance.  We caught plenty of smallmouth bass on top water and shallow running cranks that were feeding right with the stripers in the coves. It is likely that random striper boils continued through the day and then build again during the last hour of daylight. 


The cooler surface temperature is what the stripers have been waiting for.  If planning a trip for boiling stripers now is the time.

 

sr93014

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 18:46
 

September 26, 2014 - Interim Report

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September 26, 2014 -  Interim Fish Report
As we cruised uplake on Monday it was pleasing to see one quick boil in the main channel between West and Friendship Cove.  It was over before I could even turn the boat in hopes of getting close enough for a cast.  Perhaps stripers were just taunting us and wanted to get our hopes up.  From then on we saw no more boils.
There was not much time to fish as the electrofishing survey occurred at sundown and traveling between stations consumed about 4 hours per day. Free time was mid afternoon when air temperature exceeded 90 degrees making lake temperature over 80 degrees. This is not the best time to fish because fish are most active at twilight.  So we learned more about fish populations and not as much about how and where to catch fish on rod and reel.
The quick report on fish populations is that smallmouth, largemouth, stripers, bluegill, catfish and sunfish all had great spawns and good survival of young.  More detail will happen after we analyze data.
We did learn some fish facts.
1. On an early morning run from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte we found single individual fish hitting the surface. Some of these splashes were massive as water soared over two feet in the air. If close enough the splash it was possible to catch a striper on a spoon or a jig.  Spoons can be worked down through the water column and they retrieved up again trying to find that feeding fish.  Stripers are looking for an easy meal so when they are on the prowl they can be caught near their splash.  But the chances are better of catching a fish within one minute of the splash.
2. On the return down lake we trolled across the flat on the downstream side of Castle Butte. A fat 3 pound striper hit the shad rap.  We turned to retrace the trolling course when we were distracted by 5 fish splashing frantically on the shoreline. Quick casts proved that these fish were smallmouth bass feeding aggressively on shad in the brush line. I was surprised because the splashes were huge and striper-like.
3.  Over the length of the lake in the evening shad come to the surface and feed on top. Schools of 100 to 1000 shad cover the main channel during the last hour of daylight.  Surface temperature is over 80 degrees which is uncomfortable for stripers that have attained larger size.  I think shad are in a protected sauna with striper lurking below ready to feed when shad return to the depths.
4. In one cove in Good Hope Bay we saw small fish boiling. We downsized to small pointers and found these fish were again not stripers but 6-10 inch largemouth bass. Later while sampling we found a record high number of largemouth at this sampling station. Bass survival was tremendous in 2014. There is a grand population growing up for next year.
Finally fish are small but fat and healthy. There are huge numbers of shad and record high numbers of bass, stripers, catfish, and sunfish which are the only ones vulnerable to this survey. The future of fishing in Lake Powell is in the excellent to superb range for the next 3 years.

As we cruised uplake on Monday it was pleasing to see one quick boil in the main channel between West and Friendship Cove.  It was over before I could even turn the boat in hopes of getting close enough for a cast.  Perhaps stripers were just taunting us and wanted to get our hopes up.  From then on we saw no more boils. 

There was not much time to fish as the electrofishing survey occurred at sundown and traveling between stations consumed about 4 hours per day. Free time was mid afternoon when air temperature exceeded 90 degrees making lake temperature over 80 degrees. This is not the best time to fish because fish are most active at twilight.  We learned more about fish populations and not as much about how and where to catch fish on rod and reel.  The quick report on fish populations is that smallmouth, largemouth, stripers, bluegill, catfish and sunfish all had great spawns and good survival of young.  More detail will happen after we analyze data. 

We did learn some fish facts. 

1. On an early morning run from Good Hope Bay to Trachyte we found single individual fish hitting the surface. Some of these splashes were massive as water soared over two feet in the air. If close enough the splash it was possible to catch a striper on a spoon or a jig.  Spoons can be worked down through the water column and they retrieved up again trying to find that feeding fish.  Stripers are looking for an easy meal so when they are on the prowl they can be caught near their splash.  But the chances are better of catching a fish within one minute of the splash. 

2. On the return down lake we trolled across the flat on the downstream side of Castle Butte. A fat 3 pound striper hit the shad rap.  We turned to retrace the trolling course when we were distracted by 5 fish splashing frantically on the shoreline. Quick casts proved that these fish were smallmouth bass feeding aggressively on shad in the brush line. I was surprised because the splashes were huge and striper-like.

3.  Over the length of the lake in the evening shad come to the surface and feed on top. Schools of 100 to 1000 shad cover the main channel during the last hour of daylight.  Surface temperature is over 80 degrees which is uncomfortable for stripers that have attained larger size.  I think shad are in a protected sauna with striper lurking below ready to feed when shad return to the depths. 

4. In one cove in Good Hope Bay we saw small fish boiling. We downsized to small pointers and found these fish were again not stripers but 6-10 inch largemouth bass. Later while sampling we found a record high number of largemouth at this sampling station. Bass survival was tremendous in 2014. There is a grand population growing up for next year. 

Finally fish are small but fat and healthy. There are huge numbers of shad and record high numbers of bass, stripers, catfish, and sunfish which are the only ones vulnerable to this survey. The future of fishing in Lake Powell is in the excellent to superb range for the next 3 years.

 

September 17, 2014 - Successful new techniques

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
September 17, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temperature 75-79 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Fishing is improving over the length of the lake. More striper boils are seen each day and bass are being caught with more regularity.
Striper boils were confined to a few specific spots last week but now boils are seen almost daily.  The best locations in the southern lake include the main channel near the mouth of Navajo Canyon, Gunsight Canyon main channel, Last Chance coves about half way up the canyon and main channel from West Canyon to Wetherill. These boils follow the lakewide pattern of being most active during the first 2 hours in the morning and the last hour in the evening.  Stripers come up quickly to feed and then go down to regroup before surfacing once more.   This week the boils moved closer to the walls as stripers try to corral shad and trap them in places where there is no escape and feeding is easier for the predators.
At mid lake the best spots are in the San Juan near the mouth and then again from Cha Canyon bay to Neskahi bay. Here the boils are up a bit longer but still the best time is early morning and late evening.
In the northern lake the best action is from the Horn to Trachyte Canyon.  Again early and late are the best times to find surface feeding fish.
During the rest of the day there are still fish to be caught.  It takes a bit more work than stopping near a boil but in the end more fish can be caught deep than on the surface.  To start, chase a boil and then when they quit start trolling and graphing the bottom structure.  Graphing does not work well in the main channel where bottom depth is greater than 100 feet. But in the backs of canyons and coves look for suspended shad schools surrounded by other fish traces.  Toss out a floating marker and continue to troll hoping for a hookup. If no fish are caught trolling, return to the marker and drop spoons, bucktail jigs or plastic grubs to the bottom.  With the tremendous number of shad now available game fish are schooled near large shad schools.  It is possible to catch both bass and stripers under shad schools. Bass will be in large groups instead of randomly scattered along the shoreline.
On some days trolling mid range lures like Shad Raps or Pointers is the best option. On other days the Kastmaster may be the best bet.   Keep changing lures until the favored pattern for the day is discovered.  Trolling might work well or fishing the bottom in likely spots seen on the graph may be best.  The choice is up to the fish and as anglers we have to respond to what the fish are doing if we want a successful catch.
It is gratifying to see the fisheries respond to improved habitat and forage. Over the last 2 years the lake level declined, brush was eliminated, and the fish populations downsized. But now a new younger generation of bass and stripers is responding to the resurgence in lake conditions.  Brush is in the shallow water, shad are at a 10 year peak in abundance, and young game fish are growing fast while enjoying the luxury.
Fishing is more challenging in these conditions when fish do not have to work to eat, but the satisfaction of catching fish now is very rewarding. Do not just use the same techniques in the same comfort zone that has been engrained over the years.  Try a new approach of using a variety of lures and fishing techniques to find what the fish want.  You will be surprised at your reward at the end of the day.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

September 17, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water Temperature 75-79 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

markcounter_edited-1Fishing is improving over the length of the lake. More striper boils are seen each day and bass are being caught with more regularity.

 
Striper boils were confined to a few specific spots last week but now boils are seen almost daily.  The best locations in the southern lake include the main channel near the mouth of Navajo Canyon, Gunsight Canyon main channel, Last Chance coves about half way up the canyon and main channel from West Canyon to Wetherill. These boils follow the lakewide pattern of being most active during the first 2 hours in the morning and the last hour in the evening.  Stripers come up quickly to feed and then go down to regroup before surfacing once more.   This week the boils moved closer to the walls as stripers try to corral shad and trap them in places where there is no escape and feeding is easier for the predators.

 
At mid lake the best spots are in the San Juan near the mouth and then again from Cha Canyon bay to Neskahi bay. Here the boils are up a bit longer but still the best time is early morning and late evening. 


In the northern lake the best action is from the Horn to Trachyte Canyon.  Again early and late are the best times to find surface feeding fish.

During the rest of the day there are still fish to be caught.  It takes a bit more work than stopping near a boil but in the end more fish can be caught deep than on the surface.  To start, chase a boil and then when they quit start trolling and graphing the bottom structure.  Graphing does not work well in the main channel where bottom depth is greater than 100 feet. But in the backs of canyons and coves look for suspended shad schools surrounded by other fish traces.  Toss out a floating marker and continue to troll hoping for a hookup. If no fish are caught trolling, return to the marker and drop spoons, bucktail jigs or plastic grubs to the bottom.  With the tremendous number of shad now available game fish are schooled near large shad schools.  It is possible to catch both bass and stripers under shad schools. Bass will be in large groups instead of randomly scattered along the shoreline.

On some days trolling mid range lures like Shad Raps or Pointers is the best option. On other days the Kastmaster may be the best bet.   Keep changing lures until the favored pattern for the day is discovered.  Trolling might work well or fishing the bottom in likely spots seen on the graph may be best.  The choice is up to the fish and as anglers we have to respond to what the fish are doing if we want a successful catch. 

It is gratifying to see the fisheries respond to improved habitat and forage. Over the last 2 years the lake level declined, brush was eliminated, and the fish populations downsized. But now a new younger generation of bass and stripers is responding to the resurgence in lake conditions.  Brush is in the shallow water, shad are at a 10 year peak in abundance, and young game fish are growing fast while enjoying the luxury.  

Fishing is more challenging in these ideal conditions when fish do not have to work to eat, but the satisfaction of catching fish now is very rewarding. Do not just use the same old techniques in the same comfort zone that has been engrained over the years.  Try a new approach of using a variety of lures and fishing techniques to find what the fish want.  You will be surprised at your reward at the end of the day.

 

 

spoons

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:06
 

September 10, 2014 - Boils morning and evening

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
September 10, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3605
Water Temperature 75-79 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Striper fishing has settled into a predictable pattern over the length of Lake Powell.  Each morning striper schools come to the surface chasing shad schools.  The trigger is first light which makes shad form into tight schools following a night of happy wandering as individuals.  Shad feed on plankton after dark but do not maintain the school mentality in low light.  When visibility improves in the morning each shad wants to be in the middle of the school while those shad on the outer edge of the school bear the brunt of attacking game fish.
This daily ritual helps explain why shad like to swim in big schools.  It also explains why stripers feed at such high speed.  Stripers don’t have to be real fast – just fast enough to get to food before their school mates. Stripers often race each other during the feeding process. That is why a striper school can be within casting distance one minute and over 100 yards away the next.
We were surprised to see impressive striper boils this morning despite the full moon.  The need to feed on shad is more important to stripers than the unexplainable weirdness that generally goes with bright nights when the moon is at its peak.
The lakewide pattern is very specific.  Stripers attack the first shad school found in morning light.  That could be as early as 5:30 AM (MST) but more typically at 6 AM. The skirmishes tend to be in the same locations each morning.  Each boil is very quick and may last for only 1-2 minutes with a strong boil staying up for 5-10 minutes. The key is to run at full throttle until a splash is seen.  When in casting range drop off plane and cast as quickly as possible over and as close as possible to the swirling fish.  Each time the lure enters the feeding school it will be whacked by attacking stripers.  When the school sounds the fun is over and it is time to hit the throttle while looking for the next boil.  There are usually many quick boils in a favored area so the run is not that far.
The feeding intensity is strongest from 6-7:30 AM and then it goes silent. The next daily feeding activity is at supper time as stripers come back to the top during the last hour of daylight. It gets dicey when the sun sets and stripers are still feeding. Hopefully you can camp near the action. If not, make sure to have a GPS bread crumb trail on the graph to increase the odds of the boat returning to the right spot after dark.
Those favored feeding areas include the main channel from the mouth of Warm Creek to Antelope Point Marina, Cha Canyon to Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan, Escalante main channel, Rincon to Slick Rock Canyon, and Castle Butte to Fourmile Canyon.  I am sure there are many other boiling stripers that we do not know about, but these are the areas where recent morning and evening boils have been reported.
The best lures this week were shallow running crankbaits with a white background and a chartreuse stripe on the side.  We did well with a Luck Craft Pointer in chartreuse shad and a Shad Rap in Helsinki shad color.
Top water lures are so much fun and they get stroked and petted while in the boil. But only occasionally do the stripers actually get hooked up on a surface lure.  The opposite result occurs when a white Rattlin’ Rap or a ghost Lucky Craft LV 100 swims into the school.  Shallow runners are worker much better than surface lures.
Striper boils are really just getting started.  They are expected to improve each week in November and continue through mid October.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

September 10, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3605

Water Temperature 75-78 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

bretthepflyStriper fishing has settled into a predictable pattern over the length of Lake Powell.  Each morning striper schools come to the surface chasing shad schools.  The trigger is first light which makes shad form into tight schools following a night of happy wandering as individuals.  Shad feed on plankton after dark but do not maintain the school mentality in low light.  When visibility improves each morning individual shad want to be in the middle of the school while those shad on the outer edge of the school bear the brunt of attacking game fish.  

This daily ritual helps explain why shad like to swim in big schools.  It also explains why stripers feed at such high speed. Stripers don’t have to be real fast – just fast enough to get to food before their school mates. Stripers often race each other during the feeding process. That is why a striper school can be within casting distance one minute and over 100 yards away the next. 

We were surprised to see impressive striper boils this morning despite the full moon.  The need to feed on shad is more important to stripers than the unexplainable weirdness that generally goes with bright nights when the moon is at its peak.   

The lakewide pattern is very specific.  Stripers attack the first shad school found in morning light.  That could be as early as 5:30 AM (MST) but more typically at 6 AM. The skirmishes tend to be in the same locations each morning.  Each boil is very quick and may last only 1-2 minutes with a strong boil staying up for 5-10 minutes. The key is to run at full throttle until multiple splashes are seen.  When in casting range drop off plane and cast as quickly as possible over and as close as possible to the swirling fish.  Each time the lure enters the feeding school it will be whacked by attacking stripers. When the school sounds the fun is over and it is time to hit the throttle while looking for the next boil.  There are usually many quick boils in a favored area so the run is not that far.

stbusy_edited-1The feeding intensity is strongest from 6-7:30 AM and then it goes silent. The next daily feeding activity is at supper time as stripers come back to the top during the last hour of daylight. It gets dicey when the sun sets and stripers are still feeding. Hopefully you can camp near the action. If not, make sure to have a GPS bread crumb trail on the graph to increase the odds of the boat returning to the right camp spot after dark.  

Those favored feeding areas include the main channel from the mouth of Warm Creek to Antelope Point Marina, Cha Canyon to Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan, Escalante main channel, Rincon to Slick Rock Canyon, and Castle Butte to Fourmile Canyon.  I am sure there are many other boiling stripers that we do not know about, but these are the areas where recent morning and evening boils have been reported.  

The best lures this week were shallow running crankbaits with a white background and a chartreuse stripe on the side.  We did well with a Lucky Craft Pointer in chartreuse shad and a Shad Rap in Helsinki shad color.Topwater lures are so much fun and they get stroked and petted while in the boil. But only occasionally do the stripers actually get hooked up on a surface lure.  The opposite result occurs when a white Rattlin’ Rap or a ghost Lucky Craft LV 100 swims into the school.  Shallow runners are worker much better than surface lures.    

Striper boils are really just getting started.  They are expected to improve each week from now until mid October.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 12:16
 

September 3, 2014 - Boils Improving

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
September 3, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 75-79 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Navajo Canyon continues to be the best spot for striper boils in the southern lake. Lacking any other reports we headed back to Navajo to glean additional information for this week’s report.  No surface action was seen in Wahweap or Warm Creek but as soon as we saw the mouth of Navajo Canyon there were small groups of stripers hitting the top.
That is where it got frustrating. The surface lure (Lucky craft Sammy) hit the water and stripers pushed the lure around but would not hook up. It was fun to see the swirls and splashes around the lure but we wanted to catch some fish.  We took off the topwater lures and cranked down with shad raps, rattletraps, and pointers.  No fish were seen when we were ready to cast again so we trolled where the last small boil was seen.  We caught two stripers right away but then it was over.  We quit trolling and ran back from the mouth of Navajo toward Warm Creek looking for the next school.
Good choice!  We found larger schools working the surface as the sun hit the water but sometimes had to run a mile to find them.  When we got in casting range, and stopped in range, but not too close, then made good casts we could catch 2 stripers out of each pod of stripers.  After they went down (usually less than a minute) we would run again.  We stayed busy running in the main channel and casting from 6-8 AM.  As the action died in the main channel we went up Navajo Canyon looking for boils in the shade of the steep cliffs.  We found a few more boils and caught more fish.  We ended up with 23 stripers in 3 hours which is the best we have done this fall.  Boil fishing is getting better.  It looks like it will continue to improve each day due to the strength of the threadfin shad population.
The best reports this week featured the San Juan from Wilson Creek to Neskahi Bay. Stripers continue to boil in good numbers there both morning and evening then randomly throughout the day.  No reports came from the northern lake but the size of the shad population makes it seem likely that boils are happening early morning there as well.  We found surface action from first light to 8 AM MST.  It is quite likely that the early morning boil pattern occurs lakewide.
Bass fishing continues to improve as well.  Just remember that bass are feeding on shad along with stripers.  That means they are more likely to be on rocky main channel points than in the backs of coves.  When shad move out of the channel to avoid stripers then bass fishing will change accordingly.  Right now white or silver crankbaits, white flukes and D-shad and white plastic grubs are good shad imitations.  Shad stay near the surface so work the flukes and shad imitators near the top early morning and then deeper during the bright light of day.
It has been a rough couple of years with the declining lake level, loss of habitat and downsizing of fish populations.  Now that is behind us and all fish species are rebuilding. Threadfin shad had a banner year and provide the bulk of open water forage. Bass, stripers, walleye are all eating their fill and growing FAT and sassy.  Fall fishing will be outstanding

Lake Powell Fishing Report

September 3, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 75-79 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson

http://www.wayneswords.com

sr9314Navajo Canyon continues to be the best spot for striper boils in the southern lake. Lacking any other reports we headed back to Navajo to glean additional information for this week’s report.  No surface action was seen in Wahweap or Warm Creek but as soon as we saw the mouth of Navajo Canyon there were small groups of stripers hitting the top.


That is where it got frustrating. The surface lure (Lucky craft Sammy) hit the water and stripers pushed the lure around but would not hook up. It was fun to see the swirls and splashes around the lure but we wanted to catch some fish.  We took off the topwater lures and cranked down with shad raps, rattletraps, and pointers.  No fish were seen when we were ready to cast again so we trolled where the last small boil was seen.  We caught two stripers right away but then it was over.  We quit trolling and ran back from the mouth of Navajo toward Warm Creek looking for the next school. 


Good choice!  We found larger schools working the surface as the sun hit the water but sometimes had to run a mile to find them.  When we got in casting range, and stopped in range, but not too close, then made good casts we could catch 2 stripers out of each pod of stripers.  After they went down (usually less than a minute) we would run again.  We stayed busy running in the main channel and casting from 6-8 AM.  As the action died in the main channel we went up Navajo Canyon looking for boils in the shade of the steep cliffs.  We found a few more boils and caught more fish.  We ended up with 23 stripers in 3 hours which is the best we have done this fall.  Boil fishing is getting better.  It looks like it will continue to improve each day due to the strength of the threadfin shad population.


rattlinrapThe best reports this week featured the San Juan from Wilson Creek to Neskahi Bay. Stripers continue to boil in good numbers there both morning and evening then randomly throughout the day.  No reports came from the northern lake but the size of the shad population makes it seem likely that boils are happening early morning there as well.  We found surface action from first light to 8 AM MST.  It is quite likely that the early morning boil pattern occurs lakewide. 

Bass fishing continues to improve as well.  Just remember that bass are feeding on shad along with stripers.  That means they are more likely to be on rocky main channel points than in the backs of coves.  When shad move out of the channel to avoid stripers then bass fishing will change accordingly.  Right now white or silver crankbaits, white flukes and D-shad and white plastic grubs are good shad imitations.  Shad stay near the surface so work the flukes and shad imitators near the top early morning and then deeper during the bright light of day.                Rattlin Rap

 
It has been a rough couple of years with the declining lake level, loss of habitat and downsizing of fish populations. Now that is behind us and all fish species are rebuilding. Threadfin shad had a banner year and provide the bulk of open water forage. Bass, stripers, walleye are all eating their fill and growing FAT and sassy.  Fall fishing will be outstanding!

dallintrotterDallin Trotter

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:03
 

August 27, 2014 - Fishing is Much Better!

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
August 27, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temperature 77-80 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Reports of stripers feeding on the surface really had me invigorated this morning.  We took off for Navajo Canyon at first light and studied clam water at the mouth of the canyon where boiling stripers had been caught in big numbers the day before.  A few fish broke the surface but we could not identify any stripers.  The next decision was to wait for the action to start or to travel up canyon.  I waited about 10 seconds and then decided to go uplake because patience is not one of my virtues.
It seemed like a good choice as scattered stripers were breaking the surface just past the double islands. My first cast to a surfacing fish was rewarded with my first striper caught on top water this month.  Stripers were surfacing all around the bay but were not bunched up. They appeared to be feeding individually instead of in a school.  Since these stripers were lacking school mentality we decided to troll and caught a few more fish on Shad Raps and Bevy Shad. We saw a few more individual splashes as we traveled to the Big Sand Dune where we turned around.
On the way back down the canyon we trolled near shore by rocky points and rock piles.  Smallmouth bass were obviously feeding on shad as each rock pile paid off in at least 2 bass and occasionally in another striper.  Our largest bass was almost 2 pounds.
The next stop was the mouth of Warm Creek on the shoals marked by white buoys. We trolled there and found more bass ready and willing but the average size was smaller than those caught in Navajo.  We picked up one larger striper while trolling the shoals which was 19 inches and 3 pounds. These stripers are very fat! That bodes well for fall fishing ahead.
Upon my return it was reported that the boils at the mouth of Navajo were strong between 8-9 AM.
Oh Well! That’s fishing!
The northern lake is still the best striper fishing location with The Horn being the most consistent spot.  But reports from Escalante and Rincon were received this week.  I think the whole lake is now fishing well with small quick boils occurring for the first 2 hours of daylight and last 2 hours at evening.  If more than 5 fish are breaking the surface attack them with surface lures and shallow runners. If only one fish is seen, then troll in the area of the splash with medium runners that dive 12 feet.
Bass fishing has improved dramatically with the drop in surface water temperature into the 70s. Bass are hanging on the deep water edge of rock piles extending into the main channel.  They will hit surface lures early and late but may be caught more frequently on plastic grubs in shad colors all day long.
Fishing had definitely improved.  Looks like it is time to plan the fall fishing trip to Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

August 27, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3606

Water Temperature 77-79 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

nob82714Reports of stripers feeding on the surface really had me invigorated this morning.  We took off for Navajo Canyon at first light and studied calm water at the mouth of the canyon where boiling stripers had been caught in big numbers the day before.  A few fish broke the surface but we could not identify any stripers.  The next decision was to wait for the action to start or to travel up canyon.  I waited about 10 seconds and then decided to go uplake because patience is not one of my virtues.

 
It seemed like a good choice as scattered stripers were breaking the surface just past the double islands. My first cast to a surfacing fish was rewarded with my first striper caught on top water this month.  Stripers were surfacing all around the bay but were not bunched up. They appeared to be feeding individually instead of in a school.  Since these stripers were lacking school mentality we decided to troll and caught a few more fish on Shad Raps and Bevy Shad. We saw a few more individual splashes as we traveled to the Big Sand Dune where we turned around. 

On the way back down the canyon we trolled near shore by rocky points and rock piles.  Smallmouth bass were obviously feeding on shad as each rock pile paid off in at least 2 bass and occasionally in another striper.  Our largest bass was almost 2 pounds. 

The next stop was the mouth of Warm Creek on the shoals marked by white buoys. We trolled there and found more bass ready and willing but the average size was smaller than those caught in Navajo.  We picked up one larger striper while trolling the shoals which was 19 inches and 3 pounds. These stripers are very fat! That bodes well for fall fishing ahead. 

Upon my return it was reported that the boils at the mouth of Navajo were strong between 8-9 AM. Oh Well! That’s fishing!

btmfam2The northern lake is still the best striper fishing location with The Horn being the most consistent spot.  But reports from Escalante and Rincon were received this week.  I think the whole lake is now fishing well with small quick boils occurring for the first 2 hours of daylight and last 2 hours at evening.  If more than 5 fish are breaking the surface attack them with surface lures and shallow runners. If only one fish is seen, then troll in the area of the splash with medium runners that dive 12 feet. 

Bass fishing has improved dramatically with the drop in surface water temperature into the 70s. Bass are hanging on the deep water edge of rock piles extending into the main channel.  They will hit surface lures early and late but may be caught more frequently on plastic grubs in shad colors all day long. 

Fishing has definitely improved.  Looks like it is time to plan the fall fishing trip to Lake Powell.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 13:46
 

August 20, 2014 - Fish are where you find them

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Lake Powell Fishing Report
August 20, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3607
Water Temperature 78-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Powell fish are getting fatter.  That is a good thing coming off a difficult year with low water and very little brushy habitat. Our studies show that the shad population is nearing a peak not seen in this decade. Lakewide shad numbers from our first shad trawl in July are well above average from Wahweap to Good Hope with Bullfrog showing the most shad of all stations. The August trawl sample next week will determine the strength of this year shad class. The large shad population probably has much to do with the challenging fishing results found over much of the lake.
Fishing is best in the northern lake. Stripers are still boiling from Bullfrog all the way to Horn (Buoy 129).  The boils are much quicker than found two weeks ago but they are consistent.  Stripers are feeding both in the bays and in the backs of canyons.  It takes patience but those that search aggressively are finding boils and catching a respectable number of stripers.  These stripers will hit topwater lures or shallow running crankbaits or medium sized spoons.
In the southern lake finding fish is less certain.  There are few fish reports with lots of recreational boaters still wake boarding and tubing.  An early start is recommended to avoid boat traffic and wakes.  I headed through the Castle Rock Cut at first light and saw a splash on the Warm Creek side.  As the boat slowed to a stop a surface lure was ready to cast but no other splash followed.  However, the graph showed a fish school at 45 feet so a spoon was dropped instead. A fish hit the spoon on the first hop and quickly came to the boat.  To my surprise the expected striper turned out to be a walleye.  The spoon was deployed again and another fish caught. This one was a catfish!  Both fish were eating shad.  It turned out to be one of those crazy days.
Trolling and graphing for stripers turned into a smallmouth catching experience. The best trolling lure this day was the Bomber Flat A in shad color. The habitat bass chose was near a gentle sloping brushy shoreline where bottom depth was 15-20 feet. Smallmouth stomachs were empty except for an occasional crayfish.
Fishing in the southern lake is still a mystery. A solid pattern has not been identified. The most consistent striper spot is Navajo Canyon but stripers are moving up and down the canyon and changing feeding times.  One day small boils will be found at dawn near the canyon mouth while the next day small boils will occur at 11 AM near the big sand dune. This sums up the fishing pattern.  Fish are where you find them.  I will try to make more sense out of this by next week.

Lake Powell Fishing Report

August 20, 2014

Lake Elevation: 3607

Water Temperature 78-83 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson  

http://www.wayneswords.com

gbheron820Lake Powell fish are getting fatter.  That is a good thing coming off a difficult year with low water and very little brushy habitat. Our studies show that the shad population is nearing a peak not seen in this decade. Lakewide shad numbers from our first shad trawl in July are well above average from Wahweap to Good Hope with Bullfrog showing the most shad of all stations. The August trawl sample next week will determine the strength of this shad year class. The large shad population probably has much to do with the challenging fishing results found over much of the lake.

 
Fishing is best in the northern lake. Stripers are still boiling from Bullfrog all the way to Horn (Buoy 129).  The boils are much quicker than found two weeks ago but they are consistent.  Stripers are feeding both in the bays and in the backs of canyons.  It takes patience but those that search aggressively are finding boils and catching a respectable number of stripers.  These stripers will hit topwater lures or shallow running crankbaits or medium sized spoons. 


In the southern lake finding fish is less certain.  There are few fish reports with lots of recreational boaters still wake boarding and tubing.  An early start is recommended to avoid boat traffic and wakes.  I headed through the Castle Rock Cut at first light and saw a splash on the Warm Creek side.  As the boat slowed to a stop a surface lure was ready to cast but no other splash followed.  However, the graph showed a fish school at 45 feet so a spoon was dropped instead. A fish hit the spoon on the first hop and quickly came to the boat.  To my surprise the expected striper turned out to be a walleye.  The spoon was deployed again and another fish caught. This one was a catfish!  Both fish were eating shad.  It turned out to be one of those crazy days.

fraug20wcat 
Trolling and graphing for stripers turned into a smallmouth catching experience. The best trolling lure this day was the Bomber Flat A in shad color. The habitat bass chose was near a gentle sloping brushy shoreline where bottom depth was 15-20 feet. Smallmouth stomachs were empty except for an occasional crayfish.


Fishing in the southern lake is still a mystery. A solid pattern has not been identified. The most consistent striper spot is Navajo Canyon but stripers are moving up and down the canyon and changing feeding times.  One day small boils will be found at dawn near the canyon mouth while the next day small boils will occur at 11 AM near the big sand dune.

This sums up the fishing pattern.  Fish are where you find them.  I will try to make more sense out of this by next week.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:27
 
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