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Home Fishing Report
Fishing Report

Water temperature:

71 - 75 F

JUne 4, 2018



April 11, 2018 - Special Request BG and GSF

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Attention Lake Powell Anglers
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Brigham Young University are in the process of conducting a research project to better understand the relationships and/or threats invasive mussels may have on the fishery at Lake Powell and WE NEED YOUR HELP.
In order to better understand what the future holds and what we can do to maintain the great fishing at Lake Powell we need anglers to help us catch Bluegill and Green Sunfish from locations around the lake.
All you need to do is go fishing and catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd.
YOU CAN ALSO WIN PRIZES!  For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing.
When:  May 28th through June 2nd. (10:00 am – Dark)
Where: Lake Powell (Bullfrog and Wahweap)
MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE POSTED PRIOR TO MAY 28TH

Attention Lake Powell Anglers

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Brigham Young University are in the process of conducting a research project to better understand the relationships and/or threats invasive mussels may have on the fishery at Lake Powell and WE NEED YOUR HELP.

To better understand what the future holds and what we can do to maintain the great fishing at Lake Powell we need anglers to help us catch Bluegill and Green Sunfish from locations around the lake.  All you need to do is go fishing and catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd.  

YOU CAN ALSO WIN PRIZES!  For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing.

When:  May 28th through June 2nd. (10:00 am – Dark)

Where: Lake Powell (Bullfrog and Wahweap) 

MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE POSTED PRIOR TO MAY 28TH

 

April 11, 2018 - Bass spawn imminent

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 11, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3611
Water temperature:  56 -62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Based on the extreme water clarity found in Lake Powell last week we went further uplake to see what conditions prevailed.  Crystal clear water was found in Llewellyn Gulch and Cottonwood Canyon with 25 feet of visibility at the mouth of both canyons.  As we went further back in the canyon, water clarity declined to about 15 feet.  We then went up the San Juan and found clear water as well but not as extreme as found in main channel canyons.  In Piute and Neskahi water clarity was about 15 feet. It is likely that water clarity will decrease as water temperature warms and runoff begins.  Right now, fish are more likely to be caught in canyons and location where water clarity is less than 15 feet or if the bait is fished at depths greater than 30 feet. More fish can be caught during early morning and late evening when direct sunlight is blocked by high canyon walls.
Fishing results showed that smallmouth bass were active and healthy in all canyons sampled.  Water temperature on our trip ranged from 56-62 F, which is ideal for prespawn bass activity.  Only one fresh bass nest was seen on our trip and it appeared to be very recently fanned.  Bass spawning is imminent and can be expected to begin within the next week at a water temperature between 60 and 66. Sight fishing for bedding bass will peak from April 18 to 25th.  Expect to locate bass spawning beds in 3 feet of water in small-sized rocky areas rather than on sandy substrate. Largemouth beds will be in the same locations but will be near a bush, overhang or stickup.
A wide range of bass baits that worked well for us included, Senkos, Ned rigs, double tailed grubs, Chatterbaits, and Shad Shaped Worms.   Long casts were more effective than dropping the bait near fish seen swimming near the boat.  It was fun to watch bass, look at and interact with, the bait before turning away.  It was possible to watch how bass respond to our lures and learn from that moment.
Stripers were not often seen as they seem to be moving from locations occupied over the winter.  Those fishing with anchovies in the main channel saw their catch increase slightly as a few more fish were caught by each group than during the previous week.  Healthy, robust stripers that are going to spawn this year are heading to their prespawn locations where they hangout waiting for the rapid warming that triggers spawning.  That usually begins near May 10th and may continue until the first week of June.  Spawning fish are not feeding on shad but will eat plankton to keep them alive. This is an ideal time to catch big stripers on small lures or flies.  Fly fishing for stripers peaks in May at Lake Powell.
Walleye were not caught on this trip because we did not deploy bottom bouncers or tip our bass baits with a piece of night crawler.  Walleye catch will increase each week from now until the end of May. Slow down and maintain bottom contact with you favorite walleye lure.  I find that tipping a bass jig with a one inch chunk of bait makes me fish slower and target walleye instead of bass. Walleye are numerous now and willing to hit baits that enter their holding zone on main channel points and ledges. Fish for them in low light for best results. The ideal spot is a wind or wave induced mud line that covers the clear water and gives walleye a sense of security while they wait for food to swim by.
Spring is here. It is time to go fishing for warm water fish.

Lake Powell Fish Report –April 11, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3611

Water temperature:  56 - 62 F

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

Bass Grand Slam - Sam Sherwood

sslmbsj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the extreme water clarity found in Lake Powell last week we went further uplake to see what conditions prevailed.  Crystal clear water was found in Llewellyn Gulch and Cottonwood Canyon with 25 feet of visibility at the mouth of both canyons.  As we went further back in the canyon, water clarity declined to about 15 feet.  We then went up the San Juan and found clear water as well but not as extreme as found in main channel canyons.  In Piute and Neskahi water clarity was about 15 feet. It is likely that water clarity will decrease as water temperature warms and runoff begins.  Right now, fish are more likely to be caught in canyons and location where water clarity is less than 15 feet or if the bait is fished at depths greater than 30 feet. More fish can be caught during early morning and late evening when direct sunlight is blocked by high canyon walls.  

sssmbsj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing results showed that smallmouth bass were active and healthy in all canyons sampled.  Water temperature on our trip ranged from 56-62 F, which is ideal for prespawn bass activity.  Only one fresh bass nest was seen on our trip and it appeared to be very recently fanned.  Bass spawning is imminent and can be expected to begin within the next week at a water temperature between 60 and 66. Sight fishing for bedding bass will peak from April 18 to 25th.  Expect to locate bass spawning beds in 3 feet of water in small-sized rocky areas rather than on sandy substrate. Largemouth beds will be in the same locations but will be near a bush, overhang or stickup.  

 

ssbcrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wide range of bass baits that worked well for us included, Senkos, Ned rigs, double tailed grubs, Chatterbaits, and Shad Shaped Worms.   Long casts were more effective than dropping the bait near fish seen swimming near the boat.  It was fun to watch bass, look at and interact with, the bait before turning away.  It was possible to watch how bass respond to our lures and learn from that moment.

ssbassbed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stripers were not often seen as they seem to be moving from locations occupied over the winter.  Those fishing with anchovies in the main channel saw their catch increase slightly as a few more fish were caught by each group than during the previous week.  Healthy, robust stripers that are going to spawn this year are heading to their prespawn locations where they hangout waiting for the rapid warming that triggers spawning.  That usually begins near May 10th and may continue until the first week of June.  Spawning fish are not feeding on shad but will eat plankton to keep them alive. This is an ideal time to catch big stripers on small lures or flies.  Fly fishing for stripers peaks in May at Lake Powell. 

Walleye were not caught on this trip because we did not deploy bottom bouncers or tip our bass baits with a piece of night crawler.  Walleye catch will increase each week from now until the end of May. Slow down and maintain bottom contact with you favorite walleye lure.  I find that tipping a bass jig with a one inch chunk of bait makes me fish slower and target walleye instead of bass. Walleye are numerous now and willing to hit baits that enter their holding zone on main channel points and ledges. Fish for them in low light for best results. The ideal spot is a wind or wave induced mud line that covers the clear water and gives walleye a sense of security while they wait for food to swim by. Spring is here.

It is time to go fishing for warm water fish.

 

Bass habitat:

habsjbass

 

April 4, 2018 - Clear water in South

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  52 -58 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.
It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows.
Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May.
Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.
Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.
Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.
I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.
In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.   More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel.
Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  52 -58 F

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

The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.

cromerojrChris Romero Jr

 

 

 

It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows. 

Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May. 

 

 

ccrosbyChris Crosby

 

 


Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.     

Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.       

Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.

I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.

graph4Striper School

 

 

 


In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.  More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel. 

Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

 

March 28, 2018 - Clear water fishing improves

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612.74
Water temperature:  50 -56
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek.
There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.
If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw fish on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days.
While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.
Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more.
Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.
Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April.
Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.
Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612.74

Water temperature:  50-56

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

jishsmith

 

 

 

Josh Smith with Warm Creek striper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek. 

 

 

buoy25




Buoy 25 Cove

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.  

If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw stripers on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days. 

While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.  

 

graphshad

 

 

 

Suspended shad schools 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more. 

Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.  

Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April. 

Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.    

Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:06
 

March 21, 2018 - Afternoon Warming

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 21, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3613.6
Water temperature:  50 - 54
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Water temperature today (49.6F) was essentially the same as found last week.  Therefore, it seemed the results of our weekly trip would be similar to last week while fishing in the back of a major canyon with cloudy water to find active cooperative fish. The choices heading upstream from Wahweap included, Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance, West Canyon, and Rock Creek.  All have been moderately productive recently.
The first stop was in deep water (90 feet) where a few fish traces were seen holding tight to the bottom. Spoons were deployed and one was bumped but no fish were caught, so we moved on.  Few fish were seen on the graph at bottom depth of 50-80 feet.  We then moved to the back of the canyon trolling the shoreline rocky points with Lucky Craft XD pointers in chartreuse shad and ghost colors.  Catching was slow until we crossed one rocky point where the water depth changed quickly from 40 to 25 feet.  A striper school was graphed on top of the shallow ridge with two quick hookups as our lures crossed the ridge.  The school followed the two hooked fish so spoons were dropped and more fish were caught. After that fishing was again slow as the school left the ridge and did not return. For the rest of the morning a few random stripers were caught trolling with the most productive bottom depth being 20-30 feet. After lunch 2 anglers had 15 stripers in the ice chest. Two more side canyons were trolled after lunch without success except for one random walleye caught trolling. It seemed we might as well return to Wahweap.
We returned to the first spot to tell some friends that we were returning to Wahweap. They looked at us like we were crazy. We took the hint and tried fishing the back of the canyon once more with completely different results. Stripers hit trolled lures with aggression. If the school was on the bottom, spoons were whacked with passion. When one fish was reeled in the whole school followed and more fish could be caught by casting lures in any direction.  After each fish was landed we just glanced at the graph to see where the school was holding and at what depth before choosing which lure to use next.  In the next hour our catch increased to 40 stripers.
What was the difference?  Water temperature increased from 50 in the morning to 53 in the afternoon. Warming caused a complete change in attitude from the same fish.  Temperature increase to 53 is the first hurdle but a larger increase to 57 and above is the key to catching warm water fish in the springtime.
Back at the fish cleaning station the walleye was examined and found to be prespawn. The walleye spawn is not yet over so do not expect walleye catching to pick up until mid April.
Other anglers at the cleaning station reported good afternoon fishing in Navajo and Warm Creek where stripers were caught trolling in murky water at the back of the canyon.  I was glad to hear that smallmouth bass were caught in good numbers on Yamamoto creature baits in clear water coves in Navajo. There was also a second hand report that bait fishermen had caught stripers at the dam over the weekend.
In summary, fishing results improve dramatically as the water temperature increases each day. Catching is usually better in the afternoon than morning or mid day. Water warms first on the surface so fish tend to go shallower when seeking warmth and feeding opportunities.   Expect fish movement as the day progresses.  Expect better results by fishing in the backs of canyons in greenish gray colored water rather than in clear, deep water of main channel and bays. The fish caught had empty stomachs except for smaller stripers that were eating plankton in open water.  Fish that we caught remembered what shad looked like as they ate our lures.  Bait fishing is probably working well but was not tried on this trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 21, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3613.6

Water temperature:  50 - 54

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

wgwaeps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water temperature today (49.6F) was essentially the same as found last week.  Therefore, it seemed the results of our weekly trip would be similar to last week while fishing in the back of a major canyon with cloudy water to find active cooperative fish. The choices heading upstream from Wahweap included, Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance, West Canyon, and Rock Creek.  All have been moderately productive recently.  

greengrayh20





Green Gray colored water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first stop was in deep water (90 feet) where a few fish traces were seen holding tight to the bottom. Spoons were deployed and one was bumped but no fish were caught, so we moved on.  Few fish were seen on the graph at bottom depth of 50-80 feet.  We then moved to the back of the canyon trolling the shoreline rocky points with Lucky Craft XD pointers in chartreuse shad and ghost colors.  Catching was slow until we crossed one rocky point where the water depth changed quickly from 40 to 25 feet.  A striper school was graphed on top of the shallow ridge with two quick hookups as our lures crossed the ridge.  The school followed the two hooked fish so spoons were dropped and more fish were caught. After that fishing was again slow as the school left the ridge and did not return. For the rest of the morning a few random stripers were caught trolling with the most productive bottom depth being 20-30 feet. After lunch 2 anglers had 15 stripers in the ice chest. Two more side canyons were trolled after lunch without success except for one random walleye caught trolling. It seemed we might as well return to Wahweap.

We returned to the first spot to tell some friends that we were returning to Wahweap. They looked at us like we were crazy. We took the hint and tried fishing the back of the canyon once more with completely different results. Stripers hit trolled lures with aggression. If the school was on the bottom, spoons were whacked with passion. When one fish was reeled in the whole school followed and more fish could be caught by casting lures in any direction.  After each fish was landed we just glanced at the graph to see where the school was holding and at what depth before choosing which lure to use next.  In the next hour our catch increased to 40 stripers. 

graphpm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the difference?  Water temperature increased from 50 in the morning to 53 in the afternoon. Warming caused a complete change in attitude from the same fish.  Temperature increase to 53 is the first hurdle but a larger increase to 57 and above is the key to catching warm water fish in the springtime.  

Back at the fish cleaning station the walleye was examined and found to be prespawn. The walleye spawn is not yet over so do not expect walleye catching to pick up until mid April. 

Other anglers at the cleaning station reported good afternoon fishing in Navajo and Warm Creek where stripers were caught trolling in murky water at the back of the canyon.  I was glad to hear that smallmouth bass were caught in good numbers on Yamamoto creature baits in clear water coves in Navajo.

There was also a second hand report that bait fishermen had caught stripers at the dam over the weekend.   

In summary, fishing results improve dramatically as the water temperature increases each day. Catching is usually better in the afternoon than morning or mid day. Water warms first on the surface so fish tend to go shallower when seeking warmth and feeding opportunities.   Expect fish movement as the day progresses.  Expect better results by fishing in the backs of canyons in greenish gray colored water rather than in clear, deep water of main channel and bays. The fish caught had empty stomachs except for smaller stripers that were eating plankton in open water.  Fish that we caught remembered what shad looked like as they ate our lures.  Bait fishing is probably working well but was not tried on this trip.

stgwaecooler

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:00
 


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