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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

70-74 F

September 26, 2017



May 23, 2017 - Memorial Day Report

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3614
Water Temperature: 63-66 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Lake Powell is rising rapidly. If coming over the Memorial Day weekend make sure to readjust tie lines at least once a day for boats tied to shore.  Don’t leave cars parked on low flat spots near the lake shore at Lone Rock or other camping areas where the lake could come up rapidly and cover the car while you are camping uplake.  Once the equipment is safe then you are free to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Lake Powell.
Fishing will be great as the water temperature is still in the magical 64 degree zone. However, it will take a bit of investigation to find where fish are located.  Bass and other shoreline dwellers will not move on shore as quickly as the lake comes up. Newly covered brush in shallow water may not yet be occupied as it takes fish a while to move into the new habitat. Instead look for old habitat that is 10 feet or more deep to find fish congregations. One technique that works well in rising water is to find a recently submerged island, or long point.  Cast to the shallow part of the structure and then work the bait down deeper to find the fish holding depth. Once the depth is discovered the next cast should go to the same spot without taking time to work from shallow to deep water.  I predict that you will be more successful in catching larger fish by targeting 10-25 feet of water instead of casting in water that is less than 10 feet near shore.
Walleye may be the most likely fish to catch in these conditions, particularly in the northern lake. They prefer a flat bench near shore or a shallow ridge in open water. In either habitat, walleye will be near the edge of the drop off.  Use a bottom bouncer with a worm harness trolled slowly along the ridge at 1 mph.  Make sure the bouncer weight hits bottom often and can be felt so bottom contact is known.  Trolling ‘banana lures’, like Wally Divers, is very effective in the warming water conditions.  Troll across points where bottom contact is made and fish are caught as soon as the lure breaks free from bottom structure.
Here is a word of caution when using this shallow trolling technique where quagga mussels are found.  Transitioning from shallow to deep water allows the trolling line to hit bottom slightly before the lure. Mussel shells are sharp and can cut the line before the lure hits the rocks. If a floating lure is used in this circumstance, it is possible to return to the spot where the lure grounded out and find it floating on the surface. I used one floating lure last week and recovered it twice after the line was mussel cut, before losing it for good on the third try.
Bass are still in rocky structure (bigger is better when looking for rocky structure).  Drop a plastic grub on the shady side of a rock for consistent catching.  Brown, green, and chartreuse grubs in single or double tail are working. Finding fish holding habitat is more important than choosing the right color grub. In locations where many small bass are found it is wise to keep 20 of the smallmouth to allow the remaining bass in that cove to get bigger.
Largemouth will now be in shallow water in the thickest bush they can find. Also coves that have thick floating debris may have a nice green bass hiding under the shade of the flotsam.
Striped bass are near spawning which means the big healthy fish are nocturnal and can be caught at night.  The rest of the population is moving toward the backs of canyons looking for shad. However, shad are small in numbers and size.  Stripers are still eating plankton and crayfish.  They can be targeted by trolling shallow running lures along shore at a depth of 15-25 feet. Each time a striper is caught make sure to cast lures to the same spot to find followers.
Bait fishing for stripers is picking up dramatically in the Bullfrog area. Most of the canyons above and below Bullfrog Bay will have a school of stripers holding right at the intersection of the canyon and the main channel. Chum with anchovies to get the school started and then enjoy the action for the next hour.
In the southern lake bait fishing is still working but the daily catch has declined from incredible down to 15 to 20 per trip. The standard spots near the dam and Navajo Canyon are still producing but the tall walled canyons in Last Chance, Rock Creek, Wetherill are holding a lot of fish.  If you can find one of those hungry schools the catch rate will soar.
Bluegill are near spawning and surprisingly large fish are being caught.  Channel catfish are a two weeks away from spawning and will provide great catches in June.
Overall, the fishing should be great on the Holiday weekend.  Water is clear from Wahweap to Bullfrog but muddy upstream from Cedar Canyon in the main channel and above Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3614

Water Temperature: 63-66 F

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


Lake Powell is rising rapidly. If coming over the Memorial Day weekend make sure to readjust tie lines at least once a day for boats tied to shore.  Don’t leave cars parked on low flat spots near the lake shore at Lone Rock or other camping areas where the lake could come up rapidly and cover the car while you are camping uplake.  Once the equipment is safe then you are free to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Lake Powell. 


682011groupFishing will be great as the water temperature is still in the magical 64 degree zone. However, it will take a bit of investigation to find where fish are located.  Bass and other shoreline dwellers will not move on shore as quickly as the lake comes up. Newly covered brush in shallow water may not yet be occupied as it takes fish a while to move into the new habitat. Instead look for old habitat that is 10 feet or more deep to find fish congregations. One technique that works well in rising water is to find a recently submerged island, or long point.  Cast to the shallow part of the structure and then work the bait down deeper to find the fish holding depth. Once the depth is discovered the next cast should go to the same spot without taking time to work from shallow to deep water.  I predict that you will be more successful in catching larger fish by targeting 10-25 feet of water instead of casting in water that is less than 10 feet near shore.

  
Walleye may be the most likely fish to catch in these conditions, particularly in the northern lake. They prefer a flat bench near shore or a shallow ridge in open water. In either habitat, walleye will be near the edge of the drop off.  Use a bottom bouncer with a worm harness trolled slowly along the ridge at 1 mph.  Make sure the bouncer weight hits bottom often and can be felt so bottom contact is known.  Trolling ‘banana lures’, like Wally Divers, is very effective in the warming water conditions.  Troll across points where bottom contact is made and fish are caught as soon as the lure breaks free from bottom structure. 


walleyelurewormHere is a word of caution when using this shallow trolling technique where quagga mussels are found.  Transitioning from shallow to deep water allows the trolling line to hit bottom slightly before the lure. Mussel shells are sharp and can cut the line before the lure hits the rocks. If a floating lure is used in this circumstance, it is possible to return to the spot where the lure grounded out and find it floating on the surface. I used one floating lure last week and recovered it twice after the line was mussel cut, before losing it for good on the third try.  


Bass are still in rocky structure (bigger is better when looking for rocky structure).  Drop a plastic grub on the shady side of a rock for consistent catching.  Brown, green, and chartreuse grubs in single or double tail are working. Finding fish holding habitat is more important than choosing the right color grub. In locations where many small bass are found it is wise to keep 20 of the smallmouth to allow the remaining bass in that cove to get bigger.


Largemouth will now be in shallow water in the thickest bush they can find. Also coves that have thick floating debris may have a nice green bass hiding under the shade of the flotsam. 


stevedoepke15Striped bass are near spawning which means the big healthy fish are nocturnal and can be caught at night.  The rest of the population is moving toward the backs of canyons looking for shad. However, shad are small in numbers and size.  Stripers are still eating plankton and crayfish.  They can be targeted by trolling shallow running lures along shore at a depth of 15-25 feet. Each time a striper is caught make sure to cast lures to the same spot to find followers.


Bait fishing for stripers is picking up dramatically in the Bullfrog area. Most of the canyons above and below Bullfrog Bay will have a school of stripers holding right at the intersection of the canyon and the main channel. Chum with anchovies to get the school started and then enjoy the action for the next hour.

    
In the southern lake bait fishing is still working but the daily catch has declined from incredible down to 15 to 20 per trip. The standard spots near the dam and Navajo Canyon are still producing but the tall walled canyons in Last Chance, Rock Creek, Wetherill are holding a lot of fish.  If you can find one of those hungry schools the catch rate will soar. 
Bluegill are near spawning and surprisingly large fish are being caught.  Channel catfish are a two weeks away from spawning and will provide great catches in June.

 
Overall, the fishing should be great on the Holiday weekend.  Water is clear from Wahweap to Bullfrog but muddy upstream from Cedar Canyon in the main channel and above Neskahi Canyon in the San Juan.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2017 10:08
 

May 16, 2017 - Best water temperature of the year.

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3610
Water Temperature: 63-66 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Surface water temperature today and for most of the week was 64 degrees.  End of report!
For those that need a bit more information here are the details:
Striped Bass adults prefer a temperature of 64 degrees. At this comfort level, trophy size fish, adults, and juveniles have free reign and can travel in any direction, any depth and feed anywhere. Trophy fish cannot handle warmer water and must stay in the 64 degree range.  Adult fish are found close to the warm surface layer now and can be found by shallow trolling and casting. Young stripers are near the surface and are eating plankton until they find young shad. They are also susceptible to trolling and casting.
Large and smallmouth bass spawn when water temperature is from 60-66. Male bass guard nests and are often seen in shallow water.    Females feed ravenously now as they are very active and excited about spawning.  Bass are in shallow water and very catchable on open water reefs and along the rocky shoreline.  This activity level, along with desire to feed more in warmer water, makes bass very active and easier to catch.
Crappie are nearing the end of their spawning season. Feeding has become the higher priority.  Crappie are still very active and quite catchable.
Walleye have completed spawning but are reacting to warming by feeding at a higher level.  They are known to feed early and late but this temperature range has them feeding extremely well at mid day (10 am - 2 pm).  Walleye are very active and will continue to increase in activity as water temperature increases into the low 70s. They will do even better as the water continues to warm.
Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65-70.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level has increased dramatically.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been seen recently.  Larger bluegill feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.
Even channel catfish are responding to the warming water. They spawn as the water warms into the 70s. That is a ways off but their feeding level has increased.  Catfish are now easier to catch.
In summary, the very best water temperature for spawning, feeding and activity is now available to all sport fish in the lake. This is the best time to fish in the springtime.
Therefore, it is not surprising that our fishing trip today was awesome. We motored uplake to Face Canyon and then tried trolling and casting for bass and stripers.  Our trolling lures were rattletraps, (Lucky Craft LV’s), mid depth crankbaits (Lucky Craft pointer SPs, Bevy Shad).  We trolled close to shore targeting rocky reefs and points where depth quickly fell from 10-15 down to 30-40 feet.  Trolling was very successful as we seldom went more than 5 minutes without catching a striper or smallmouth bass. Each time we hooked a fish trolling the other angler would reel in fast and then cast to the shallow shoreline to get another hookup. When we had worked over a productive shoreline and failed to get another hook up we moved on.  We found great success using this technique and moving from Face Canyon, to Buoy 25 coves and shoreline, Gregory Butte coves, mouth of West Canyon and Dove Canyon, and finally Dungeon Canyon.
Our catch included 30 stripers, 25 large and smallmouth bass, and 2 large bluegill (caught trolling).  The weather was agreeable with a mild day in between windy events, pleasant air temperature, and great satisfaction while catching many fish with short stays in many places.  Spring fishing is now at its peak. If you want to catch fish now is a good time to come to the lake.

lmbdungLake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3610

Water Temperature: 63-66 F

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


Surface water temperature today and for most of the week was 64 degrees.  End of report!

For those that need a bit more information here are the details:

Striped Bass adults prefer a temperature of 64 degrees. At this comfort level, trophy size fish, adults, and juveniles have free reign and can travel in any direction, any depth and feed anywhere. Trophy fish cannot handle warmer water and must stay in the 64 degree range.  Adult fish are found close to the warm surface layer now and can be found by shallow trolling and casting. Young stripers are near the surface and are eating plankton until they find young shad. They are also susceptible to trolling and casting.

Large and smallmouth bass spawn when water temperature is from 60-66. Male bass guard nests and are often seen in shallow water.    Females feed ravenously now as they are very active and excited about spawning.  Bass are in shallow water and very catchable on open water reefs and along the rocky shoreline.  This activity level, along with desire to feed more in warmer water, makes bass very active and easier to catch. 

Crappie are nearing the end of their spawning season. Feeding has become the higher priority. Crappie are still very active and quite catchable.

Walleye have completed spawning but are reacting to warming by feeding at a higher level.  They are known to feed early and late but this temperature range has them feeding extremely well at mid day (10 am - 2 pm).  Walleye are very active and will continue to increase in activity as water temperature increases into the low 70s. They will do even better as the water continues to warm. 

Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65-70.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level has increased dramatically.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been seen recently.  Larger bluegill feeding voraciously makes a whole new sport fishery possible in Lake Powell.  Big fish are now available in large schools in 12-25 feet of 64 degree water.

Even channel catfish are responding to the warming water. They spawn as the water warms into the 70s. That is a ways off but their feeding level has increased.  Catfish are now easier to catch.


In summary, the very best water temperature for spawning, feeding and activity is now available to all sport fish in the lake. This is the best time to fish in the springtime.

smbdungTherefore, it is not surprising that our fishing trip today was awesome. We motored uplake to Face Canyon and then tried trolling and casting for bass and stripers.  Our trolling lures were rattletraps, (Lucky Craft LV’s), mid depth crankbaits (Lucky Craft pointer SPs, Bevy Shad).  We trolled close to shore targeting rocky reefs and points where depth quickly fell from 10-15 down to 30-40 feet.  Trolling was very successful as we seldom went more than 5 minutes without catching a striper or smallmouth bass. Each time we hooked a fish trolling the other angler would reel in fast and then cast to the shallow shoreline to get another hookup. When we had worked over a productive shoreline and failed to get another hook up we moved on.  We found great success using this technique and moving from Face Canyon, to Buoy 25 coves and shoreline, Gregory Butte coves, mouth of West Canyon and Dove Canyon, and finally Dungeon Canyon.

Our catch included 30 stripers, 25 large and smallmouth bass, and 2 large bluegill (caught trolling).  The weather was agreeable with a mild day in between windy events, pleasant air temperature, and great satisfaction while catching many fish with short stays in many places.  Spring fishing is now at its peak. If you want to catch fish now is a good time to come to the lake.

 

 

bgdung

cooldung

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 17:16
 

May 9, 2017 - Walleye and Big Stripers

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danmiller-1Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2017

Lake Elevation:  3606

Water Temperature:  62-67 F

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

 

Trophy Striper Caught at Bullfrog

Dan Miller from Paonia CO caught a 29-pound striped bass near Bullfrog on May 6th.  The big fish was caught on a 4 inch Berkeley Smelt.  May is the best month to catch a trophy stripers at Lake Powell.

Bass have moved back on to the spawning beds after the cold spell that slowed things down last week..  Nests can now be seen from Bullfrog to Wahweap where visibility is still between 5-10 feet. There is no chance of sight fishing in the northern lake where visibility is 3 feet or less.

Sight fishing is unique in that nests can be seen with a male bass often hovering over the light colored circular rock depression. Usually the boat is too close to the nest when discovered to actually catch the guarding fish, but it is possible to return to the site at a later date, throw a long cast and catch the male guardian.  Larger females are usually in close proximity and can be caught by fishing the deeper water next to the nest location.  Yamamoto 5 inch senkos are working well now for nesting bass while other smallmouth can be caught on plastic grubs.  The green, watermelon and green pumpkin colors are all working well.

Walleye fishing is HOT!  There were at least 4 tagged walleye caught over the weekend which is more than were caught in 2016. The walleye contest did not start until July last year making it tough to catch large numbers of walleye, but that has now changed.  May is definitely the best walleye fishing month at Lake Powell with the water temperature in the 60s and low 70s.

billschaeferHere is a report from Jason Johnston received today: “Fished Saturday and Sunday from 7am-3pm both days. Ended up with 80 walleyes, 11 stripers and 1 smalley. Launched out of Halls and didn't go far. All fish were caught on crawler harnesses with 2-3oz bouncers in 15-45 fow. Speed was 1.2mph and orange beads with silver or gold blades produced most. “

                                                                       Bill Schaefer with his tagged walleye  

Walleye on very active now and can be caught all day long.  They are abundant from the Escalante to the Colorado River inflow. Most of the tagged fish are near Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay.  The best technique is to use a live worm or artificial bait, like Berkeley Gulp Minnows and Smelt. Maintain bottom contact while slowly moving the bait along a flat bench in the 10-30 foot range.

When filleting the walleye don’t forget to take the cheek meat for a special dinner surprise. 

Striped bass fishing is slowing down in the well know areas like the dam.  Its time to expand your range while chasing stripers to canyon walls further uplake.  There are many untouched bait fishing spots in most canyons, including Warm Creek Wall, Labyrinth Wall, Padre Canyon, Last Chance and Rock Creek. Look for the high cliff walls near the back of the canyon for best results. Just chum an area and fish for a short time to find fish.  If no fish are caught, then move to the next likely spot.

The mature stripers are preparing to spawn. They respond to rapid warming and spawn at night.  That makes them good angling targets at dusk and dawn but not easy to catch  during the day.

This is the peak of the spring fishing season with fish willing to respond to your favorite techniques.  Great results are expected through the rest of May.

 

May 1, 2017 - Walleye Season Begins

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 1, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3604
Water Temperature: 57-62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Our walleye tagging trip was challenged by cool windy weather. The water in lower Good Hope Bay was murky but fishable.  The visibility was about 3 feet which is fine for walleye but may inhibit bass and stripers from finding our baits.  Bass catch was slow, with stripers uncommon as we used bottom bouncing techniques to target walleye that are abundant in the northern lake.  Water temperature ranged from 57-62 during the day which proved to be a bit cool for these walleye.
The best walleye trips last year were at the water temperature range from 65-80 degrees.  However, we had a large group of anglers and managed to tag almost 200 walleye from Seven Mile Canyon to Red Canyon. Now that our tagging trip is done the water temperature is going to climb into the 60s which will turn on the walleye lakewide.  May is the magic month and the best time to catch a tagged fish from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay.  Here are some helpful hints.
Walleye were found most often on flat benches that averaged 20-25 feet deep. Sometimes there was a bench or flat extending from a steep cliff wall. Trolling close to the wall and over the bench will put the night crawler right along the ledge where fish are holding.  Other productive habitats included an open water ridge where the shallow peak was near 20-25 feet.  Surrounding water was much deeper often falling to 70-100 feet.  Walleye liked to park on top of the ridge and wait for food. Trolling a bottom bouncer along the ridge top was very effective. The most common technique was to just fish near shore where the underwater ledges were near 20 feet.  The lakewide message is to know the depth and fish on flat surfaces near the 20 foot mark.
The best technique during our trip was to make bottom contact with a bottom bouncer rig that weighed 1-3 ounces. Heavy rigs worked on the cliff wall bench where the weight would make a distinct thump as it contacted bottom. Each time the weight came off the bottom it would make another distinct jolt with bottom contact. This worked when fishing almost straight down (jigging) on a shallow small bench where the rig would not be as effective on the deep water side of the bench.
Lighter bottom bouncer rigs could be slow trolled over large shallow flats where the night crawler was displayed over a large flat area until contact was made with a hungry walleye. Whole night crawlers impaled on a 2 or 3 hook harness seemed to be the most successful presentation in colder water.  That may change as the water warms and walleye get more aggressive.
Other techniques that will work better in the coming warm days include trolling a walleye lure (Banana shaped crankbaits) over rocky main channel points that are 12-20 feet deep. Target the 12 foot depth so the lure hits bottom on the top of the point and then swims into open water where a waiting walleye often bites. When a walleye is caught, retrace your steps and then troll over the ridge again or cast worm harnesses or a bass grub adorned with a piece of worm to catch more fish.  Walleye tend to live in groups.  Catching one fish by any method is a sign to return to the capture site and work that area extensively to catch more fish in their gathering spot.
You must register for the contest at  http://j.mp/lp-contest before qualifying for a prize by capturing a tagged fish. When a tagged fish is caught send a picture of the tagged fish, the tag number and a fish report to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it I will then award you with a prize for catching a tagged fish.  We appreciate your efforts in helping us learn more about walleye population numbers, travel patterns and habits in Lake Powell.
Bass, stripers, bluegill and crappie have not changed their habits much from the April Fish Reports due to the cold windy weather recently experienced.  Stripers are still being caught on bait in the main channel. Locations remain the same in the southern lake and Moki wall close to the mouth of Moki Canyon is added to the hotspot list at midlake.
Healthy stripers will start looking for a spawning sites and switch over to their nocturnal spawning habits.  Expect stripers to be super aggressive before dawn and lethargic during the day.  This is the time for fly anglers to fish sinking lines and clouser minnows to catch large female stripers in deep water.
Bass have pulled off their nest sites in the cooler water but they will now return to spawn again as the water warms this week. Crappie will follow their lead. I did see annual weeds going under rising lake water on the last trip which means bass and crappie hatched in the next two weeks will have some cover to help them survive.
It is time to go fishing. Each species is reacting positively to the warming water and will be vulnerable to angling techniques in the days ahead.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 1, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3604

Water Temperature: 57-62 F

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

ericpetersonOur walleye tagging trip was challenged by cool windy weather. The water in lower Good Hope Bay was murky but fishable.  The visibility was about 3 feet which is fine for walleye but may inhibit bass and stripers from finding our baits.  Bass catch was slow, with stripers uncommon as we used bottom bouncing techniques to target walleye that are abundant in the northern lake.  Water temperature ranged from 57-62 during the day which proved to be a bit cool for these walleye.  

The best walleye trips last year were at the water temperature range from 65-80 degrees.  However, we had a large group of anglers and managed to tag almost 200 walleye from Seven Mile Canyon to Red Canyon. Now that our tagging trip is done the water temperature is going to climb into the 60s which will turn on the walleye lakewide.  May is the magic month and the best time to catch a tagged fish from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay.  Here are some helpful hints.
Walleye were found most often on flat benches that averaged 20-25 feet deep. Sometimes there was a bench or flat extending from a steep cliff wall. Trolling close to the wall and over the bench will put the night crawler right along the ledge where fish are holding.  Other productive habitats included an open water ridge where the shallow peak was near 20-25 feet.  Surrounding water was much deeper often falling to 70-100 feet.  Walleye liked to park on top of the ridge and wait for food. Trolling a bottom bouncer along the ridge top was very effective. The most common technique was to just fish near shore where the underwater ledges were near 20 feet.  The lakewide message is to know the depth and fish on flat surfaces near the 20 foot mark. 

bbouncerThe best technique during our trip was to make bottom contact with a bottom bouncer rig that weighed 1-3 ounces. Heavy rigs worked on the cliff wall bench where the weight would make a distinct thump as it contacted bottom. Each time the weight came off the bottom it would make another distinct jolt with bottom contact. This worked when fishing almost straight down (jigging) on a shallow small bench where the rig would not be as effective on the deep water side of the bench.  

Lighter bottom bouncer rigs could be slow trolled over large shallow flats where the night crawler was displayed over a large flat area until contact was made with a hungry walleye. Whole night crawlers impaled on a 2 or 3 hook harness seemed to be the most successful presentation in colder water.  That may change as the water warms and walleye get more aggressive. 

Other techniques that will work better in the coming warm days include trolling a walleye lure (Banana shaped crankbaits) over rocky main channel points that are 12-20 feet deep. Target the 12 foot depth so the lure hits bottom on the top of the point and then swims into open water where a waiting walleye often bites. When a walleye is caught, retrace your steps and then troll over the ridge again or cast worm harnesses or a bass grub adorned with a piece of worm to catch more fish.  Walleye tend to live in groups.  Catching one fish by any method is a sign to return to the capture site and work that area extensively to catch more fish in their gathering spot.

 You must register for the contest at  http://j.mp/lp-contest  before qualifying for a prize by capturing a tagged fish. When a tagged fish is caught send a picture of the tagged fish, the tag number and a fish report to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   I will then award you with a prize for catching a tagged fish.  We appreciate your efforts in helping us learn more about walleye population numbers, travel patterns and habits in Lake Powell. 

Bass, stripers, bluegill and crappie have not changed their habits much from the April Fish Reports due to the cold windy weather recently experienced.  Stripers are still being caught on bait in the main channel. Locations remain the same in the southern lake and Moki wall close to the mouth of Moki Canyon is added to the hotspot list at midlake. 
Healthy stripers will start looking for a spawning sites and switch over to their nocturnal spawning habits.  Expect stripers to be super aggressive before dawn and lethargic during the day.  

This is the time for fly anglers to fish sinking lines and clouser minnows to catch large female stripers in deep water.

Bass have pulled off their nest sites in the cooler water but they will now return to spawn again as the water warms this week. Crappie will follow their lead. I did see annual weeds going under rising lake water on the last trip which means bass and crappie hatched in the next two weeks will have some cover to help them survive. 

It is time to go fishing. Each species is reacting positively to the warming water and will be vulnerable to angling techniques in the days ahead.

 

April 19, 2017 - Bass spawning; Stripers Watching

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Lake Powell Fish Report – April 19, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3600
Water Temperature: 59-64F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Water temperatures are now up into the spawning zone. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie are on beds now. This is the first spawn and we can expect the nest guardians to spawn perhaps 2-3 more times before mid May.  Inflow continues to increase the lake level which is now officially above 3600 MSL.  Expect 40 more feet of elevation increase. Make sure to check the boat tie lines each morning if camping on the lake.  Weather is clear with no rain expected for two weeks but there will be some wind in the evenings and overnight.
Now for the angling roundup:  Fishing is pretty darn good!
Stripers are on fire at the dam and many other locations in the southern lake. Most anglers coming into the Wahweap Fish Cleaning station have 20 and sometimes many more fish to clean. Anglers are spreading out along the canyon walls and finding many new “striper honey holes”.  Most of the recent reports are coming from Buoy 3 (south wall where the lake turns left just before Antelope Canyon); Power Plant Intake (look for chain link fence on top of the south cliff wall just beyond Antelope Point Marina); Buoy 9 on south wall; East wall before arriving at Navajo Canyon.
My guess is that you can find stripers all along the main channel by searching for rocky outcroppings that offer shallower substrate than the steep perpendicular cliff walls. Just chum the chosen spot with anchovies followed by bait on hooks to excite the school.  If nothing happens within 15 minutes just move to the next likely spot on the canyon wall.
If bait fishing is not your choice then head uplake to the southern shore canyons between Labyrinth and West Canyon.  We have found willing stripers suspended in each canyon and willing to hit trolled and cast Rattletraps, Lucky Craft Pointers, Flicker Shad and other small jerk baits.  These fish are suspended and very easy to see on the graph.  Virtually all of the fish graphed today were stripers.  The difficult part is that these fish are holding in their current locations and feeding on plankton while waiting for shad to spawn. They will swim up to taste a shallow running lure but will miss a couple of times before hooking up. We caught our normal 30 fish this morning using this trolling technique.
Here is the best news flash:  Buoy 25 is loaded with fish that are just waiting for someone to bring some bait.   We caught them trolling regularly but we could see hundreds of stripers swimming in shallow water looking right back at us.  The water is crystal clear and the visual experience is awesome. These fish are located in the Mile Marker 25 Cove and not along the steep wall closer to Face Canyon. Look for the longest cove on the south wall for best fishing success.
Those seeking bass and crappie are still finding great success.  The techniques are the same as reported last week (See report for April 11, 2017 on Wayneswords.com).  Look for shallow rocky structure where green water clarity is 5-10 feet.  Green water is better than crystal clear or muddy brown. Find the good spots by going toward the back of the canyon and watching the structure and water clarity.  Bass grubs, senkos, dropshot shad-shaped worms, chatter baits, spinner baits are all working. We started catching smallmouth bass today on our trolled lures while fishing for stripers.  Bass are getting much more aggressive and reacting much earlier in the day with water temperature hitting 60 by about 9 AM.
Next week we are going to be working between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. We will tag another 500 walleye for the 2017 Walleye Contest. The best time to catch these fish will be during the month of May. The contest started last year on July 1st which is past the best walleye fishing period.  Expect the numbers of tagged walleye that are recaptured to soar in May. The best spot will be between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. It might be a worth a May fishing trip to catch many different species at Lake Powell and maybe even win a prize for catching a tagged walleye.
I am very excited about the potential fishing success over the next six weeks.  I recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy great fishing success and the beauty of Lake Powell.

Lake Powell Fish Report – April 19, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3600

Water Temperature: 59-64F

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

bassonbedWater temperatures are now up into the spawning zone. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and crappie are on beds now. This is the first spawn and we can expect the nest guardians to spawn perhaps 2-3 more times before mid May.  Inflow continues to increase the lake level which is now officially above 3600 MSL.  Expect 40 more feet of elevation increase. Make sure to check the boat tie lines each morning if camping on the lake.  Weather is clear with no rain expected for two weeks but there will be some wind in the evenings and overnight.      

Now for the angling roundup:  Fishing is pretty darn good! 

Stripers are on fire at the dam and many other locations in the southern lake. Most anglers coming into the Wahweap Fish Cleaning station have 20 and sometimes many more fish to clean. Anglers are spreading out along the canyon walls and finding many new “striper honey holes”.  Most of the recent reports are coming from Buoy 3 (south wall where the lake turns left just before Antelope Canyon); Power Plant Intake (look for chain link fence on top of the south cliff wall just beyond Antelope Point Marina); Buoy 9 on south wall; East wall before arriving at Navajo Canyon.

My guess is that you can find stripers all along the main channel by searching for rocky outcroppings that offer shallower substrate than the steep perpendicular cliff walls. Just chum the chosen spot with anchovies followed by bait on hooks to excite the school.  If nothing happens within 15 minutes just move to the next likely spot on the canyon wall. 

doepkestbIf bait fishing is not your choice then head uplake to the southern shore canyons between Labyrinth and West Canyon.  We have found willing stripers suspended in each canyon and willing to hit trolled and cast Rattletraps, Lucky Craft Pointers, Flicker Shad and other small jerk baits.  These fish are suspended and very easy to see on the graph.  Virtually all of the fish graphed today were stripers.  The difficult part is that these fish are holding in their current locations and feeding on plankton while waiting for shad to spawn. They will swim up to taste a shallow running lure but will miss a couple of times before hooking up. We caught our normal 30 fish this morning using this trolling technique.

Here is the best news flash:  Buoy 25 is loaded with fish that are just waiting for someone to bring some bait.   We caught them trolling regularly but we could see hundreds of stripers swimming in shallow water looking right back at us.  The water is crystal clear and the visual experience is awesome. These fish are located in the Mile Marker 25 Cove and not along the steep wall closer to Face Canyon. Look for the longest cove on the south wall for best fishing success.

Those seeking bass and crappie are still finding great success.  The techniques are the same as reported last week (See report for April 11, 2017 ).  Look for shallow rocky structure where green water clarity is 5-10 feet.  Green water is better than crystal clear or muddy brown. Find the good spots by going toward the back of the canyon and watching the structure and water clarity.  Bass grubs, senkos, dropshot shad-shaped worms, chatter baits, spinner baits are all working. We started catching smallmouth bass today on our trolled lures while fishing for stripers.  Bass are getting much more aggressive and reacting much earlier in the day with water temperature hitting 60 by about 9 AM.

stevestevewaeNext week we are going to be working between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. We will tag another 500 walleye for the 2017 Walleye Contest. The best time to catch these fish will be during the month of May. The contest started last year on July 1st which is past the best walleye fishing period.  Expect the numbers of tagged walleye that are recaptured to soar in May. The best spot will be between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. It might be a worth a May fishing trip to catch many different species at Lake Powell and maybe even win a prize for catching a tagged walleye.  

I am very excited about the potential fishing success over the next six weeks.  I recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy great fishing success and the beauty of Lake Powell.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 14:33
 


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