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Fishing Report


May 15, 2019 - It is Spawning Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 15, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3577
Water temperature:  65-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

 The water temperature this morning was 65 degrees, which has spawning implications for Lake Powell fish.  Some species have already spawned: walleye, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  Walleye completed their spawn by April 1st and are now easier to catch with warming water temperatures.  Bass are not done spawning since they can continue to build nests and raise broods for another two weeks.  Bass may make as many as 5 separate nests and successfully hatch that many broods of fry during April and May.  Spawning beds are visible in clear water and provide anglers with good targets for catching male bass that guard the nests. Please return nest-guarding fish to the lake so they can complete their spawning duties.

Lake Powell fish now entering the spawning season are blue gill and green sunfish. They are close cousins to bass and abide by the same rules. Male sunfish guard the nests, protect the young brood, and make more nests after the first hatchlings are released on their own recognizance. Bluegill are amazing in that they build giant nests compared to their small size. Find a nest and drop a small “ice fly” with a small piece of worm attached to catch a bright colored bluegill. Take a picture of the fish quickly as the color fades from super bright orange to more subtle colors in less than a minute.

Striped bass are next to spawn.  Male stripers are very patient and have been waiting for this opportunity since April. They wait each day for the females to join the spawning party, which has not happened yet.   Females control the spawning event based on water temperature.  Stripers do not build nests but spawn on the surface at night when water temperature increases about 8-10 degrees from early morning to late evening. Yesterday the temperature rose from 65 in the morning to 75 at dusk.  Some spawning may have occurred but it is more likely that the spawn will be triggered by surface temperature rising from 70-80F.  A cold front scheduled for tomorrow will delay any further spawning until the next great warming trend.

Finding a school of actively spawning stripers is an amazing fishing experience.  The fish roll and boil on the surface but are still ready to eat whatever swims by.  Large females join the group of 3-pound males making it possible to catch a large fish on any cast. On one occasion, we found a spawning school near Castle Rock and caught 150 fish that ranged in size from 3 pounds to 22 pounds while fishing from 9 PM until midnight.

The best way to find an actively spawning school is to head out at dusk and troll and cast to points at the mouths of coves that are only 30 feet deep.  Lively males will hit your lures and mark the spot where they are waiting for the larger females to arrive. If you are lucky enough to find an actively spawning school you will remember it forever.

You can also look for spawning coves by searching along the shade line of tall east walls first thing in the morning.  Striper males are hungry after a long night and will sip plankton off the surface. Their heads will poke out of the water and be visible and reminiscent of carp feeding on the surface. Try casting a fly to the slurping fish and do not be surprised to catch some very nice, healthy stripers in the process.

Carp used the same warming spawning trigger (65-75F ) as stripers and were seen actively spawning during the day over the length of the lake.  It is possible to hear them splash in the backs of canyons as groups of 10-15 spawning carp race in pods along the surface while spawning.

The last fish to spawn are channel catfish as they wait for 80-degree water.  They are the most secretive spawners as they hide their nests in small caves or crevices in the rocks along the shore.  Noodling for catfish may be possible at Lake Powell during their spawning season.

 

 

May 1, 2019 - Cool temperatures- Trophy Smallmouth

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 1, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3571
Water temperature: 58-60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell water level is on the rise.   The inflowing water (64,000 AF) has doubled and lake level came up 2 feet this week.  Expect that inflowing water rate to increase even more during May.  This requires caution while shoreline camping. Expect to move or retie the boat each day.


Rising water is helpful for fishing success because tumbleweeds that have collected along the shoreline will now be covered by water and provide more fish habitat. The weather was cooler this week, which slowed down angling success for bass.  Water temperature dropped from the mid 60s down to 58.   This happens all the time in the spring. If planning a fishing trip to Lake Powell just watch the weather report and come as the air and water temperature rises again.  That temperature boost immediately enhances bass fishing success.


Big news this week is the capture of the largest smallmouth bass ever caught in Lake Powell.  On April 26, Richard Dickinson from Strawberry AZ was fishing for bass along the primary points in Wahweap Bay.  He was using a Texas Rig Baby Craw.  The big fish was hooked at 29 feet and played for a long time before finally surrendering. The huge bass weighed 6.1 pounds and measured 21 inches long.  Richard decided to release the big female that was still full of eggs. Since the fish was not weighed on certified scales, it does not qualify for the Lake Powell record smallmouth bass.  However, it was measured before release. The length of the fish was 21 inches which is 2 inches longer than the current Lake Powell record smallmouth bass caught in 2001, by Eric Inman which weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces and measured 19 inches long.  Richard Dickinson now holds the “Catch and Release” record for smallmouth bass in Lake Powell.


Bait fishing for stripers was still great over the length of the lake despite the recent cold weather.  The main channel from the dam to Navajo Canyon was steady. On our weekly uplake sampling trip we found willing stripers in Buoy 25 Cove but did not find the school in Grotto Canyon. I suspect they were there but we did not spend enough time to locate the school.


We left Grotto and went to Rock Creek where we found stripers willing to hit trolled lures.  Shallow stripers in the backs of canyons will hit rattletraps, Lucky Craft Pointers, and other baits that run 8-12 feet deep.  Stripers willing to chase the shallow running baits are usually the fat, young male fish.  While fishing with bait, a wide variety of stripers were caught that ranged from skinny to healthy.  Stripers caught trolling were healthier but less in number.


May is walleye month at Lake Powell.  Take some night crawlers along and drag plastic baits, tipped with a piece of worm, very slowly along the bottom in 10-25 feet of water.  When a walleye is caught, continue to work that specific spot to catch more of the tasty, toothy fish. Walleye congregate in the same location. Find one walleye and there should be others close by.


May is the best month to catch all species of fish in Lake Powell.

 

April 24, 2019 - Fishing is Excellent

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 24, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3569
Water temperature: 57-64 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell is on the move.  The inflowing water (31,000 AF) now exceeds the outflow (24,000 AF) enough to allow the lake to rise (3569 MSL).   More importantly, the afternoon lake water temperature is rising into the 60s, which is the spawning trigger for largemouth and smallmouth bass.  Bass nest building has begun and spawning is imminent.

Our weekly trip took us through the Maytag straits, which is not bad in the early morning but slow and bumpy on the return. Our first stop was the east wall in Padre Canyon. My favorite striper spot is now a rocky peninsula, well out of the water, so we moved on to Buoy 25 Cove.  We saw stripers in high numbers all over the cove.  However, they wanted bait and I did not bring any.  This led to my first discovery.  I changed from trolling to casting in the back of the canyon.  A green plastic Creature Bait on a 3/16 ounce leadhead jig was immediately inhaled, by a fat, 2-pound smallmouth bass.  Each cast produced another smallmouth until the stripers moved in and started grabbing the bait before a bass could hit it. We caught 10 bass and 10 stripers in the cove on plastic baits.

This discovery is very logical because most predator fish in Lake Powell prefer to eat shad.  If shad are not available then the second most consumed bait species is crayfish. These bottom dwelling creatures are greenish brown in color.  A wide variety of plastic baits that resemble crayfish, fished on the rocky bottom at 10-25 feet are the most effective lures in these conditions.

As we fished other locations we found that virtually all the rocky coves with submerged rocky structure from 10-30 feet were hotspots for smallmouth bass, The many sandy coves and peninsulas were not prime fishing spots as bass were near rocky coves and structures where crayfish were found.  We saw a few spawning beds but it seems the main bass spawning event still appears to be a week out. These great bass-catching conditions will hold on for another week. Smallmouth bass are waiting for you in all canyons with narrow coves and rocky habitat over the length of the lake.

We traveled to Last Chance and began trolling again to locate fat, healthy stripers. Small fat stripers (plankton eaters) were bunched up in one of the side canyons. Each trolling pass produced another striper. The best lures were 4 inch, LC Bevy Shad, Pointers, and small rattletraps.  When a school was located, striper fishing was great.  There were other spots where no fish were found.   Move quickly between spots in the backs of canyons (Lakewide) to find willing school fish.

Bait fishing for stripers is still producing amazing numbers of fish per trip.  Good striper spots include the Dam, Buoy 3, Navajo Canyon (2 points just past the double islands, and the back of the canyon), Buoy 25, Grotto Canyon, Lake Canyon mouth, and Moki Wall.

There are hundreds of spots to catch stripers on bait.  Select a spot, chum with anchovies or striper meat, cast out 50 feet from the boat and let the bait descend.  Give the bait a soft jerk periodically to attract the attention of schooling stripers that are waiting for the bait to arrive.

Lake Powell fishing is amazing right now for bass, stripers, walleye, catfish and an occasional crappie. Expect great fishing conditions to continue during the remainder of April and through the month of May.

It is time to go fishing!

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 10:47
 

April 10, 2019 - Bass Spawning update- Bait fishing for stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 10, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3568
Water temperature: 54-60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

The warm, calm weather that we have recently enjoyed was blown away by the strong two-day windstorm with cool temperatures. Before the wind, morning water temperature was as high as 60F. Now the lake temperature is back to the mid 50s which slows down the highly anticipated bass spawn. Expect to wait another week before bass go shallow and start making spawning beds. Bass spawning should peak from the last week of April through early May.

Bass fishing is solid as reported by the participants from the weekend bass tournament held at Wahweap. The winning weight (5 fish) was 16 pounds on Saturday and 18 pounds on Sunday. Most of the fish were caught in Wahweap, Navajo or Warm Creek. Some tournament anglers ran further uplake and caught more fish but they were of smaller size.

Crappie and walleye are being caught more often but they must be specifically targeted. Crappie are found in shallow muddy water and hit small jigs or grubs. Walleye are on the bottom at 10-20 feet and will hit
s-l-o-w-l-y moving, dark colored, Ned Rigs. (Check out a discussion of Ned Rigs on the Fishing Forum at Wayneswords.com.)

Crappie will follow the same schedule. Hopefully some tumbleweeds blew into the water with the recent wind storm to give both bass and crappie some more spawning structure.

Striper schools are on the move. They can be in the backs of the canyons in 10-20 feet of water in the morning and then move out to deeper water later in the day. Once in deep water they are prone to come up from the depths to check out shallower humps looking for forage. A 40-foot hump in deep water can be a trolling target. Use shallow running rattletraps and crankbaits for shallow stripers, then switch to 20-foot deep running lures (Deep Thunderstick) when the stripers are in deeper water. When the hotspot is located, retrace the route each time instead of trolling in a long straight line. Stripers are schooling fish and there will usually be more than the one fish caught on the trolling rod, interested in the same bait. Repeat the trolling path to catch more fish. Cast lures in the general area while the hooked fish by trolling fights behind the boat.

Bait fishing is taking off. There have been many stripers caught at the Dam (West side near 3rd barricade), Buoy 3 (south side, on corner before reaching Antelope Canyon), and Navajo Canyon (first point on left after passing the double islands). These locations are very familiar areas where stripers have been caught in previous years. There are many visible stripers swimming in shallow water in the back of West Canyon. These can be caught on bait.

Bait fishing uplake in the Bullfrog area usually peaks a week or two later than in the southern lake.

If you have found a productive bait fishing spots in a previous year it would be worth a try again now as striper schools are on the move.
 

March 20, 2019 - Fish moving shallow

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 20, 2019

Lake Elevation: 3570

Water temperature: 49 – 53 F

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

 

Cold, windy weather has been replaced by beautiful, calm, warming spring weather. My fishing results the first two weeks of March in the cold water were not stellar so I hoped for much better success for the 3rd weekly fishing trip. In preparation for that trip I reviewed my archived fish reports - both the recent reports on Wayneswords.net, and the older reports on Wayneswords.com. The old reports are still insightful and I found one that resonated with the current conditions faced this week. The water has been cold and is now warming so what is the fish response to the change in temperature? I found several reports from mid-March but one really stood out to me. Briefly, the report stated that stripers moved from deep water to very shallow water and were receptive to fast moving, shallow running crank baits.

The old reports were from Last Chance and Rock Creek, but I find that a fishing pattern is likely to work over the length of the lake instead of in one isolated canyon. With that in mind, we headed uplake and tried some of the deep water spots that had been productive in previous reports. On one trip we caught 80 stripers on spoons along with one 20-pound striper. We stopped at that spot and saw no fish on the graph. We went further back to shallower water and saw no fish on the graph.

It was time to try the pattern given in the old fish report. Water temperature in the morning held steadily at 49 degrees in the clear water of the main channel, but as we moved to the back of the canyon the temperature rose to 52, and finally to 53 degrees in the slightly turbid water. There were many unfamiliar islands showing up with the recent decline in lake level. We started trolling, at 3.5 mph, in 15 feet of water, seeing no fish on the graph. (Remember the visible graph cone size is very small when graphing in shallow water.)

The first striper hit our trolled Lucky Craft Bevy Shad, and XD pointers at a depth of 11 feet. We stopped to reel in the fish, then started to cast at that spot and were rewarded with constant catching of willing, very healthy stripers, from 12 inches to 3 pounds. We were surrounded by single splashes of jumping fish, which were eventually identified as gizzard shad. We had found the warm spot where many different species of fish were enjoying the sunshine and frolicking in the warmer water. The shallowest fish caught was in 2 feet of water and the deepest was at 14 feet.

Back at the fish cleaning station we found the vast majority of stripers were males that will spawn this year. These precocious males are the most likely stripers to catch in abundance each spring. They are usually in shallower water and much more aggressive than pre-spawn females. They are very fun fish to catch.  They all had empty stomachs so they were happy to see our lures.

Bass fishing is turning on due to the same warming triggers mentioned for stripers. Find shallow murky water that is warmer than the clear water in the main channel. Fish plastic grubs, senkos and jerk baits around rocky structure. Bass will be grouped up. Sometimes you find a regular point that has many bass, while other similar points are vacant. Pound the shoreline and catch a decent amount of bass each day.

The winning weight of the Utah BASS Nation State Team Qualifier held at Bullfrog last weekend was 10 bass with a total weight of 32 pounds.  Overall, 64 anglers caught and released 396 bass (300 largemouth and 96 smallmouth). Largemouth prime time is right now at Lake Powell.

(Pictures on wayneswords.net)

 

 

March 13, 2019 - Cold, wet and windy

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 13, 2019

Lake Elevation: 3570

Water temperature: 47 – 53 F

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



The snow and rain continues providing the moisture and eventually the runoff needed to allow the lake to rise back to the levels needed to have safe passage and enjoyable fishing trips over the length of the lake. Lake Powell water level is slowly declining due to the continued stormy and cool weather that we all have experienced lately. The lake has been holding near 3571 (MSL) during March, until today when if dipped down to 3570.90.  Lake level will continue to slowly decline until the runoff starts with melting snow and more rainstorms, which is good news for those planning to come to the lake this year.  We hope for a large rise in lake elevation as the weather warms.


My weekly trip was on a rare calm sunny day. The water temperature was 47 F degrees at launch and did not change much until the afternoon with a high near 53 F.  Last week I only got one bite in Navajo Canyon so this time I went all out, to the back of Last Chance.  The water was clear on the way into the canyon.  Visibility in the water was over 10 feet deep at most main channel locations.  Near the back of Last Chance, there is a distinct color change from clear to murky.  Visibility changed from 10 feet down to 2 feet.  In Navajo, the back of the canyon was muddy because there is an inflowing stream. Visibility there was only a few inches.  Last Chance only gets storm runoff so it is not as murky.  This concept is the same over the length of the lake. Canyons with inflowing streams have lower visibility.


In most years, I fish in the last arm on the right. This time that arm was very shallow due to low water levels. Striper schools in February were found on the bottom at 60 feet or deeper. After graphing for a while and not seeing any deep schools, I switched to trolling with a Lucky Craft XD pointer (Chartreuse Shad color).   It took about 20 minutes before I hooked the first striper.  It was gratifying to land that fish after being skunked the week before.  It took another 30 minutes to catch striper number 2.  It was disappointing to get one more bite and have that fish just rattle the lure but miss the hook. Two hours of trolling resulted in 2 stripers which was 200% better than experienced last week.


The water temperature increased so I switched to bass fishing. This time of year, bass fishing is better in the afternoons with warming water. There are some great bass spots in the back of Last Chance.   I went to a few of my favorite spots and fished rocky structure, sandy flats, and tumbleweed piles.  Despite my expertise, warming colored water and calm conditions, neither bass, crappie, nor bluegill responded.  I finally got the message and departed back to Wahweap.  Two hours later, I was safely off the lake.  I am sure the fish were giddy with excitement as they saw me leave, but I will be back and catching will be a lot better as the water warms into the 60s.


The best is yet to come!  Significant warming will result in much better catching results.  Watch the weather and plan future trips during calm warming periods that continue for at least 3 days.

 

February 3, 2019 - Lots of stripers plus a trophy

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Lake Powell Fish Report – February 13, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3574

Water temperature: 45 F

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

 

My last fish report suggested a pattern for finding striper schools by cruising toward the back of a major canyon while watching the graph for a quick depth change from deep water to a consistent depth range of 65-85 feet. On Feb.12th there was finally a small break in the weather where the sun was out with no wind blowing. We loaded the open boat with no windshield, put on ski goggles and headed to Warm Creek. Normally the trip to Warm Creek takes 10 minutes from Wahweap but with low water the Castle Rock Cut is closed and the 15-mile ride is closer to an hour.

We finally completed the long journey, saw the anticipated depth change, slowed down and started graphing for fish traces. It helped my confidence to see a huge school of grebes hovering over the 65-foot deep bottom. Amazingly, we graphed a couple of fish traces within the first two minutes and then saw a hump on the bottom that could have been a rock. Rocks are usually irregular in shape while fish traces are smooth and blend into the bottom. This looked like fish so we dropped spoons quickly to the bottom.

It only took about two minutes of bouncing slab spoons on the bottom before the first striper was hooked. With three anglers in the boat, there were plenty of spoons to imitate a shad school and the fish responded aggressively.  Within 15 minutes the cooler was half full of 2-3 pound stripers. The fish were in good shape and were squeezing out shad as the stripers were quickly lifted off the bottom, and brought to the surface.

Fishing could not have been much better, but then that changed as well. Nob Wimmer was using his homemade 1.5 ounce spoon and consistently tossing stripers in the cooler.  The he said “I’ve got a big one”.  He said the same thing on a trip to Warm Creek on December 12, 2017 and eventually put a 30-pound striper in the boat. I looked at his spinning rod bent over double, watched the line going out and knew we were about to see another trophy striper.  The time was 10:15 AM and the fish finally turned over on the surface at 10:30.  I grabbed it by the jaw and brought it into the boat.  The fish was 38 inches long but we did not know the weight until we placed it on certified scales back at the office. This fish weighed 20 pounds (officially 19.45 lbs).

We ended up fishing for 90 minutes following the same school for the entire time. We counted 80 small stripers and one trophy fish at the fish cleaning station.  We had a calm ride back through the main channel and Antelope Point Marina before returning to Wahweap Main Ramp.  It was a great day of fishing that makes me want to go again next week.

 

(See pictures on wayneswords.net)

 

January 30, 2019 - Spooning for Stripers

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Find this report on Wayneswords.net > Fish Reports

 

Jigging for stripers in the southen lake with spoons. 

 

Click on the link in the left menu that reads:  Waynes Words Message Boards.  Then go to Waynes fish reports.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:12
 

October 25, 2018 - Gill Net sampling

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Lake Powell Fish Report – October 25, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3591
Water temperature:  66 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
We will be sampling fish with gill nets at Good Hope Bay and Rincon from Monday through Friday next week.  Therefore, this will be the last regular weekly report for 2018.  Each year we do gill net studies to document changes in fish populations, health indexes, and to help us understand how the fishery is doing compared to previous years. The gill netting sites include Wahweap, San Juan (Piute), Rincon and Good Hope Bay (Red Canyon). Gill netting data dates back to 1973 so there is a long history of netting data for comparison.
This week we placed nets in the San Juan from Piute Canyon toward the Great Bend. The most numerous fish species collected were gizzard shad (from 4 to 20 inches) and striped bass. Smallmouth bass numbers were below average but that may have more to do with the stormy weather or changing habitat encountered. Results from the other 3 stations will help us understand that more fully.
We did have some volunteers show up to help us pick fish out of a couple of nets.
We politely told the two otters to leave the fish in the nets and to stop eating the tails off the smallmouth bass which seemed to be their preferred fish.  They looked quizzically at us and then went on their way to a new spot.
After the netting was completed we went fishing along the large wall on the right side before entering the Great Bend. We caught a couple of stripers trolling and a few more on spoons but catching was not fast enough. We went up the Great Bend and saw two fishing boats with anglers willing to give us fish reports. The first report indicated good smallmouth fishing along the canyon walls. The second report of a striper boil caused us to turn around and head back downstream to where the water depth in the Great Bend was 30-40 feet.  Stripers were not boiling on the sunny side of the channel where they had been reported in the morning but we saw splashes in the shade of the afternoon sun.  We chased splashes and caught 20 stripers on surface lures, crank baits and spoons.  They moved quickly over a half mile area but each time we saw a splash we caught a few more fish. It was a great way to finish our last trip to the San Juan this year.
Reports from Good Hope Bay indicated slow fishing which improved with distance traveled upstream. The mudline near Trachyte produced stripers caught trolling and spooning with the best habitat being quick drop-offs where the depth quickly changed from 10 to 25 feet. The best trolling lures were purple Flicker Shad and Rattletraps and a black-backed jointed Rapala.
The crazy weather lately is very unusual for late October where calm weather is more normal.  As those normal fall weather conditions return and stabilize expect
fishing success to improve for all species.
For now, the best option is to target the 30-40 foot depth strata when looking for stripers near the back of a canyon.  Trolling is the best way to find fish now but as the water cools stripers will seek deeper water and spooning will be the best technique.

Lake Powell Fish Report – October 25, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3591

Water temperature:  66 F

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


We will be sampling fish with gill nets at Good Hope Bay and Rincon from Monday through Friday next week.  Therefore, this will be the last regular weekly report for 2018.  Each year we do gill net studies to document changes in fish populations, health indexes, and to help us understand how the fishery is doing compared to previous years. The gill netting sites include Wahweap, San Juan (Piute), Rincon and Good Hope Bay (Red Canyon). Gill netting data dates back to 1973 so there is a long history of netting data for comparison.

This week we placed nets in the San Juan from Piute Canyon toward the Great Bend. The most numerous fish species collected were gizzard shad (from 4 to 20 inches) and striped bass. Smallmouth bass numbers were below average but that may have more to do with the stormy weather or changing habitat encountered. Results from the other 3 stations will help us understand that more fully. 

We did have some volunteers show up to help us pick fish out of a couple of nets. We politely told the two otters to leave the fish in the nets and to stop eating the tails off the smallmouth bass which seemed to be their preferred fish.  They looked quizzically at us and then went on their way to a new spot. 

After the netting was completed we went fishing along the large wall on the right side before entering the Great Bend. We caught a couple of stripers trolling and a few more on spoons but catching was not fast enough. We went up the Great Bend and saw two fishing boats with anglers willing to give us fish reports. The first report indicated good smallmouth fishing along the canyon walls. The second report of a striper boil caused us to turn around and head back downstream to where the water depth in the Great Bend was 30-40 feet.  Stripers were not boiling on the sunny side of the channel where they had been reported in the morning but we saw splashes in the shade of the afternoon sun.  We chased splashes and caught 20 stripers on surface lures, crank baits and spoons.  They moved quickly over a half mile area but each time we saw a splash we caught a few more fish. It was a great way to finish our last trip to the San Juan this year. 

Reports from Good Hope Bay indicated slow fishing which improved with distance traveled upstream. The mudline near Trachyte produced stripers caught trolling and spooning with the best habitat being quick drop-offs where the depth quickly changed from 10 to 25 feet. The best trolling lures were purple Flicker Shad and Rattletraps and a black-backed jointed Rapala. 

The crazy weather lately is very unusual for late October where calm weather is more normal.  As those normal fall weather conditions return and stabilize expect fishing success to improve for all species. 

For now, the best option is to target the 30-40 foot depth strata when looking for stripers near the back of a canyon.  Trolling is the best way to find fish now but as the water cools stripers will seek deeper water and spooning will be the best technique.

 

October 17, 2018 - Temp Drops- Fishing improves

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Lake Powell Fish Report – October 17, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3591.64
Water temperature:  66-69 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
For one more week the lake level remains at 3591 MSL.  It is a couple inches lower today but that is so much better than losing a foot or two each week. Lake level has only declined 6 inches during October thanks to the welcome rain.
Smallmouth bass provide the best fishing with lots of action along the rocky shoreline from the dam all the way to the inflowing rivers.  Rocks are the prime habitat used by bass as they search for crayfish in cracks and crevices. Sometimes bass will be holding on the tops of shelves from 5-15 feet or off the sides of shelves at 17-22 feet.   If you want larger bass, then fish deeper structure. Smaller fish are really dependable to catch in shallower water and that is a good place for new anglers or small kids to start fishing.
Try weightless wacky-rigged senkos early in the day and then switch to drop-shot rigs with shad shaped worms in deeper water midday to keep the catch going all day long.  Double and single tailed plastic grubs work dependably as well.
Striped bass in the southern lake have moved toward the backs of the canyons.  Schools that were holding along the main channel walls are now closer to the backs of major canyons where they spend the winter.  It seems stripers are following shad that are also moving toward the backs of canyons as the water temperature declines.
The most recent angler reports suggest that striper schools have been found recently in 80-100 feet of water in major canyons: Last Chance, Rock Creek, Navajo and Oak.  Graph towards the back of the canyon looking for large schools holding on the bottom. Stop over the school and drop spoons to the bottom.  Some of the stripers will react to spoons, but the lack of shad in the southern lake makes spooning slower than normal. The way to fill the fish cooler is to chum the school and then drop bait to the bottom.  The school will respond aggressively to bait and they will follow hooked fish toward the surface.  The school that was seen at 80 feet will soon be right under the boat as more fish are caught and brought to the surface.
The northern lake has more shad and striper schools react differently.   Striper schools will likely be shallower as they search for shad.   The holding depth is usually 20-40 feet.  Some schools will still be holding along the main channel walls where trolling deep divers and casting will work after a striper is caught trolling. Other schools will be moving toward the backs of canyons where shallow trolling and casting will be the best method for finding active stripers. It is possible to find an active striper boil in the early morning or late evening from Bullfrog to Good Hope.
Walleye, bluegill, green sunfish and catfish are still active in the 60 F water.
They all really like night crawlers and can be caught by tipping a bass grub, jigging spoon, or your favorite lure with a piece of worm.  Sometimes that little piece of worm makes all the difference in catching fish on a day when fishing is slow.

Lake Powell Fish Report – October 17, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3591.64

Water temperature:  66-69 F

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


For one more week the lake level remains at 3591 MSL.  It is a couple inches lower today but that is so much better than losing a foot or two each week. Lake level has only declined 6 inches during October thanks to the welcome rain.

Smallmouth bass provide the best fishing with lots of action along the rocky shoreline from the dam all the way to the inflowing rivers.  Rocks are the prime habitat used by bass as they search for crayfish in cracks and crevices. Sometimes bass will be holding on the tops of shelves from 5-15 feet or off the sides of shelves at 17-22 feet.   If you want larger bass, then fish deeper structure. Smaller fish are really dependable to catch in shallower water and that is a good place for new anglers or small kids to start fishing. 

Try weightless wacky-rigged senkos early in the day and then switch to drop-shot rigs with shad shaped worms in deeper water midday to keep the catch going all day long.  Double and single tailed plastic grubs work dependably as well. 

Striped bass in the southern lake have moved toward the backs of the canyons.  Schools that were holding along the main channel walls are now closer to the backs of major canyons where they spend the winter.  It seems stripers are following shad that are also moving toward the backs of canyons as the water temperature declines.

The most recent angler reports suggest that striper schools have been found recently in 80-100 feet of water in major canyons: Last Chance, Rock Creek, Navajo and Oak.  Graph towards the back of the canyon looking for large schools holding on the bottom. Stop over the school and drop spoons to the bottom.  Some of the stripers will react to spoons, but the lack of shad in the southern lake makes spooning slower than normal. The way to fill the fish cooler is to chum the school and then drop bait to the bottom.  The school will respond aggressively to bait and they will follow hooked fish toward the surface.  The school that was seen at 80 feet will soon be right under the boat as more fish are caught and brought to the surface. 

The northern lake has more shad and striper schools react differently.   Striper schools will likely be shallower as they search for shad.   The holding depth is usually 20-40 feet.  Some schools will still be holding along the main channel walls where trolling deep divers and casting will work after a striper is caught trolling. Other schools will be moving toward the backs of canyons where shallow trolling and casting will be the best method for finding active stripers. It is possible to find an active striper boil in the early morning or late evening from Bullfrog to Good Hope. 

Walleye, bluegill, green sunfish and catfish are still active in the 60 F water. They all really like night crawlers and can be caught by tipping a bass grub, jigging spoon, or your favorite lure with a piece of worm.  Sometimes that little piece of worm makes all the difference in catching fish on a day when fishing is slow.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:10
 


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