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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

65-69 F

October 18, 2018



May 23, 2018 - Great Fishing and Prizes!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3610
Water temperature:  65-72 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.
Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now.
Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June.
Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake.
Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.   Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.
We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery.
Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark.
YOU CAN WIN PRIZES! For every fish you bring us we will put your name into a drawing for fishing tackle.
Details:
Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient.
You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement.
Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.
All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 23, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  65-72 F

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

Lake Powell actually came up a foot last week. The runoff was welcome but all fish are still anxiously waiting for the lake water to cover the brush on the shoreline.  That has not happened yet but the water is moving in the right direction this week.  After a cool week the days are now getting warmer and water temperature will rise once more.  All of these are positive events when considering how fish will respond in the coming week.

Striped bass are actively spawning now.  The cooling temperature slowed down the process because the females are motivated to spawn by rapidly warming water.  We noticed a few stripers on the surface during our weekly fishing investigation. They came to the top as the morning sky began to lighten in the east. Numbers seen were much less than the previous week.  We were able to catch a few stripers while fly fishing, casting surface lures, and even jigging with bass lures at 10-20 feet. The action was sporadic as stripers rolled on top in small groups from first light until the sun cleared the horizon.   In full sunlight, striper action was done for the day along the spawning wall.  There were reports of good striper catching in the stained water in the backs of the canyons with trolling lures. Some stripers are still being caught with bait along the main channel walls and in the canyons but striper fishing is good instead of great right now. 

Our sampling shows that both gizzard and threadfin shad spawned this week.  The tiny shad will grow and reside near the surface.  In due time striper schools will finish spawning, find small shad, and begin feeding on the surface.  Then fishing will improve from good to great as stripers start to slurp shad from the surface. Expect these changes to occur the first week of June. 

Smallmouth bass are the hot item in the lake this week. They continue to spawn in shallow water, feed actively on crayfish and sunfish, and provide constant action for anglers. They are found in great numbers in 10-25 feet of water along the shoreline where large rocks are available for cover.  We drifted along rocky shorelines yesterday in Padre Bay and found active groups of bass on small rocky points jutting out from the shoreline. Expect this pattern to hold over the length of the lake. 

Bass will hit topwater lures early and late. The most versatile lure is a single tail plastic grub which works all day long. Chartreuse and various shades of green were the best colors. Bass size ranged from small to 2.5 pounds. Number of bass caught ranged from 30-50 for each group of anglers that we checked with.  Largemouth bass were less abundant but were caught right alongside the smallmouth throughout the day.

We found that adding a one inch piece of night crawler to the single tail grub increased the catch considerably. While fishing the rocky shoreline (10-25 feet deep) we also caught green sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and walleye.  This mixed bag of game fish really makes fishing the shoreline exciting.  The rising water has had a small impact on the extreme water clarity as well.  It is now possible to see the bottom in clear water areas at a depth of 15 feet but there is a green tinge to the water as well which is encouraging for the productivity of the fishery. 

Finally, we are continuing our study of food habits of those fish that might eat quagga mussels. We ask for your help with that study.   Simply catch bluegill and sunfish and bring them to the fish cleaning stations at Bullfrog or Wahweap from May 28th through June 2nd from 10 AM to dark. 

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

Details: Please bring fish to cleaning stations separated by location caught.  Example: Good Hope Bay or Moki Canyon, is sufficient. You can take filets from fish if you want them – we need the carcass with stomach intact and the ability to get a length measurement. Every person donating fish will be entered into a drawing for each fish donated.  Drawing will take place after June 2nd, 2018 and prizes will be mailed to winners.

All current fishing regulations will be enforced:  Daily limit for bluegill and green sunfish (a combined total of 50).

 

Note:  Pictures for this report are found on Wayneswords.net> Fish Report.  It is much easier to post picutres on the new website. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:19
 

May 16, 2018 - Striped bass are Spawning

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Striped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable.
My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.
Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.
Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.
Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch.
Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 16, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

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

stbvisualStriped bass are now actively spawning.  Unlike bass, stripers do not build nests on the gravel bottom or protect the young.  Male stripers have been ready to spawn since the first of April. Females are now experiencing the spawning trigger which is a rapid water temperature rise. Stripers spawn on the surface which makes a surface disturbance similar to a striper boil, but the event occurs after dark when no one is there to see it. Having witnessed a few of these night time spawning events I can attest that the experience is unforgettable. 

 

 

 

 

My first spawning event occurred on the Warm Creek side of the Castle Rock Cut in 1984.  We located a dormant striper school there in the afternoon and returned on a moonless night. When the night sky was fully dark, we cast white bucktail jigs into the spawning cove, which was 30 feet deep and about 50 yards long.  Striped bass males are extremely aggressive when spawning.  It was not possible to reel in the jig without getting hit or catching a fish. Occasionally a large female was also hooked.  We harvested over 150 stripers weighing 3-4 pounds with a few larger females, including the biggest which weighed in at 22 pounds.

Striped bass spawning will continue for the next two weeks over the length of the lake.  It is now possible to see visible striper schools during the day in the clear water. We have seen schools at Buoy 25, and along the east wall of Padre Bay, Last Chance and Rock Creek.   They tend to move around so I suggest trolling the shoreline at dusk. Mark the spot where a large concentration of fish is found and return there after dark to find the spawners.  We recently tried to locate a spawning school before the sun came up by trolling in 12-25 feet with Lucky Craft pointers.  When the first fish was caught (4:30 AM MST) we immediately cast randomly around the boat and caught male stripers on every cast until the sky began to lighten up (5 AM).  No more fish were caught after light intensity increased at 5:30 AM.    These spawning events can be found over the length of the lake.

Bass fishing continues to be the best target for daytime anglers. Smallmouth bass are found over the length of the lake along sloping slick rock shorelines with broken rock habitat.  Common holding depth is 3 to 20 feet.  They can be caught on green or smoked color plastic jigs, either single or double tail, Senkos, and Ned rigs.  It is fun to throw topwater lures at first light and again in the evening. There are still many shorelines that have clear water which makes it necessary to throw very long casts to prevent spooking bass prematurely.

 

russkid1pg

Largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill will be near any submerged brush pile. Since that is not common at the current water level, look for shaded areas with rock habitat.  Use the same lures as listed for smallmouth bass. When trying for bluegill, downsize the bait and add a piece of night crawler to increase the catch. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are now at their feeding peak for the year. They will be caught more often now, in the next two weeks, than over the rest of the summer. Walleye congregate in shallow, murky coves following a wind event or a tour boat wake in the main channel. They can be caught now by trolling across a main channel point with a diving lure that hits bottom at about 12 feet.  It is wise to troll a floating lure as quagga mussels may cut the line as the lure hits bottom.  If it is a floater, you can double back and find it on the surface and use it again. Slowly dragging a single tail grub with a night crawler attached along the bottom can be very effective.  Using a bottom-bouncing rig with a night crawler harness, slow trolled along a level bottom works as well. Walleye are one of the best fish to eat fish found in Lake Powell. Keep walleye and stripers to help balance the population.  There is no limit on these species so keep all you can catch or give away.

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 10:49
 

May 9, 2018 - Grand Slam fishing

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  63-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate brown color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.
This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion.
The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.
Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.
Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids.
Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel fishing spots. These fish eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success.
We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch.
Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch a walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake.
Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 9, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  63-70 F

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


Lake Powell has stabilized with just a bit more water flowing in than going out.  Without a large muddy inflow, the crystal clear water remains in more than half of the lake.  In the main channel and half way back in most canyons, the visibility is close to 25 feet.  There is a mudline in the main channel right at Castle Butte (Red Canyon – Buoy 124).  Some side canyons have clear water despite the milk chocolate color in the main channel. Clear water is unusual in May and is caused by a combination of factors.  Quagga mussels are the biggest culprit as they constantly siphon and filter lake water on a regular basis.  Lower than normal spring water temperatures slowed down plankton production.  Lack of rapidly rising water has prevented sand bank sloughing that muddies the water each spring.  For now the water is clear except in the backs of some canyons.

This week expect to find many different species of cooperative fish.  Many anglers are reporting catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, stripers, and catfish on a single trip. This is the Lake Powell Grand Slam!   The best technique is to use a single tail plastic grub on a leadhead jig.  Adding a piece of live worm or a gulp minnow for scent seems to entice more walleye and sunfish to participate in your fishing excursion. 

The best place to fish is half way back in the side canyons where water color changes from clear to slightly stained. Look for large boulder rocks or rocky coves with lots of structure and habitat in about 25 feet of water. It seems that there are more active fish grouped up in the “hot spot” for each canyon than in the back or at the mouth. Catch the first fish and then concentrate on that spot to find more.

Smallmouth bass are the fish species most caught this week. Again, try a variety of habitats in your chosen location. Once a smallmouth is caught work that area over hard to catch many more.  Reports this week indicated that slick rock outcroppings held more fish than isolated rock slides in the channel. After the spawn in over bass will move to the rock slides but during spawning season look for shallow areas where nest building is detected.

Largemouth bass follow the same pattern but they like to be near a tree or submerged bush. If they can’t find that, bass will use a rock for protective cover. We found a 3 pound largemouth guarding a nest under an overhanging rock.  We could see his snout peeking out from under the rock and dropped numerous jigs to the spot. Mister Bass swept away the grub numerous times before finally picking it up and then joining us in the boat. We admired him for a moment and then put him back to protect the kids. 

Stripers are still in prespawn mode and active at night and early morning. They are harder to find during the day.  Bait fishing is not as successful as normally found in May because the majority of striped bass are in spawning condition which means they are less likely to be in the normal main channel bait fishing spots. These stripers eat plankton and wait for the spawning trigger which is getting closer now with the hot weather experienced this week. Stripers can be caught trolling in stained water over the length of the lake. Use medium to deep running lures that get down to 15 feet for best success. 

bgfemale


















        Bluegill = Newcomer to the front stage at Lake Powell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a new fish entering the picture in big numbers this year. Bluegill are bigger and much more numerous than ever before. Large schools have been reported this week hanging out behind the floating rest room in Good Hope Bay.  They can be caught using a small hook with a piece of worm.  We were able to see bluegill schools in clear water and enjoyed watching them interact with our small jigs and worms.   The big males with the bright orange chest are impressive to catch. 

Walleye can be caught bottom bouncing or dragging a plastic jig with attached night crawler along the bottom in 20-40 feet of water.  The next three weeks will be the best time to fish for and catch walleye over the length of the lake.  Fifty walleye were caught using these angling techniques and then tagged in Good Hope Bay this week as part of a migration study to learn more about fish movement in the upper lake. 

blemonsis        Bob Lemons 

 

 

 

 

Lake water is clear but a wide variety of fish are still being caught in good numbers. The secret is to find one of the thousands of “honey holes” or locations where the schools reside and then fish that spot on a regular basis.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 May 2018 18:18
 

May 2, 2018 - All species now available

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Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3609
Water temperature:  59 - 64 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net
It’s typically springtime weather with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect.
Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a fish trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.
The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.
Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.
Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away.
Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.
Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught 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.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.
Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 2, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3609

Water temperature:  59 - 64 F

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

It’s typically springtime weather now with some warm days followed by cooling and windy conditions.  Water temperature has been in the mid 60s but then drops back into the high 50s when the wind blows.  Inflow and outflow at Lake Powell are getting closer but there is still more water flowing out than coming in.  Water in the southern lake is still amazingly clear. Conditions in May are generally warmer, calmer and conducive to catching a wide variety of fish species.  Here is what to expect. 

Striped bass are spread between the main channel and the main canyons. Fish in spawning condition will be in the big bays and main canyons. They will be most active at night. Look for them in the shade of the tall canyon walls at first light in the morning. They will eat plankton close to the surface but their main purpose is to wait for the rapid warming spawning trigger that happens when surface water temperature increases almost 10 degrees in one day. The best fishing method is trolling and graphing until a small school or a few individuals are seen.  Catch a striper trolling and then watch the graph to see following fish below the boat which may be caught on spoons.

stb2hungry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other striped bass contingent is found in the main channel looking for food. These are fish that can be caught on bait at 30 - 50 feet. Schools are wide spread now over the length of the channel from the dam to Dangling Rope and beyond.  The best spots change on a daily basis as the schools rove up and down the channel.  Keep moving along the channel walls until a feeding school is found.

Large and smallmouth bass are actively spawning now. Their shallow guarded nests can be seen in crystal clear water at depths from 3-10 feet. Sight fishing is super now with male bass moving back on their nests after the wind cooled the water and caused the nests to be abandoned. Bass fishing will be excellent throughout the month of May.

 

rscrappie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crappie are spawning now but without much brush they are more likely to use rocky structure and murky water as spawning habitat. Male crappie make a nest on the bottom and behave much like male bass as they guard the nest until the fry hatch and swim away. 

waemouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walleye are most active and catchable during the month of May.  They are usually nocturnal but during May they can be caught both day and night. Low light is the best fishing time both at dusk and dawn but they will congregate under mud lines caused by wind or wave action.  With high water clarity right now, fishing at deeper depths (30 feet or more) may invite more walleye to participate in the southern lake.  In the north, find murky water leading toward the mudline and you will find walleye holding there.  Some productive techniques include:  Trolling close to a steep cliff wall, particularly if there is a submerged ledge where walleye can hang out in their preferred habitat.  Walleye like to park on a ridge or ledge where they wait for food to swim by. Dragging a bottom bouncer and worm harness is often effective on humps, ledges and flat bottoms.  Casting a double or single tail plastic bass jig, then maintaining bottom contact is also effective.  It works even better if a piece of live worm is attached to the hook. The most productive depth to catch walleye is 15-35 feet.

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Bluegill and green sunfish increase their feeding behavior as water warms to 65F.  It takes only a few more degrees before spawning occurs.  Bluegill activity level is now increasing.  Fish size has also increased recently (perhaps due to mussels in their diet?) as many larger size bluegill have been caught 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.  Look for a submerged bush near shore or a large rock pocket to find a school of bluegill.

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Catfish are getting more active and will spawn in late May.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2018 13:45
 

April 25, 2018 - Surface feeding stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 25, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3610

Water temperature:  58 - 64 F

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

 

Lake level is still declining with 16,000 acre feet of water flowing into the lake while 24,000 acre feet flows out.  Water temperature is climbing with early morning temperature now at 59 F. Hopefully the warming air temperature will allow the runoff to increase and allow the lake to rise. Water clarity is still crystal clear in the southern lake. It is possible to see the bottom in 30 feet of water in some locations.

These warming conditions have ushered in the expected behavioral change in adult striped bass that are waiting to spawn. Each spring adult stripers migrate back to where they were spawned, similar to salmon running upstream to their nursery location.  Stripers spawn at night so they are not that easy to find during the day.   Stripers spawn on the surface so there are no nests to mark the location of the spawning event. The evidence of the spawning location is the early morning presence of large schools of stripers swimming on the surface as they wait for the 10 degree temperature spike which is the trigger that allows spawning to occur. That trigger would be an early morning water temperature of 62-64 degrees which increases to 74 or above in the afternoon.  While waiting for the temperature increase, the striper schools pass the time by swimming aimlessly near the surface, slurping up tiny microscopic plankton in the early morning hours. When the morning sun hits the water the school drops down to 40 feet or more and waits for that spawning trigger.  Usually spawning occurs between May 10 and June 10.

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Plankton Slurping Stripers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years we have found some of those spawning locations.  Some pre-spawn holding locations are marked by high canyon walls on the east side of the lake which offer extended shady periods. The sun now comes up about 6:30 AM (MDT).  The eastern sky begins to lighten about 30-45 minutes earlier.  The events described here occur between 5:45 to 8 AM or when the sunlight hits the water in different locations.

As we checked out a spawning location in Padre Bay yesterday, my heart skipped a beat as a school of stripers was seen slurping plankton on the surface.  A number of fishing techniques were deployed to see what would be most effective. We trolled over the school with small crank baits trailed way behind the boat. The school sounded and then returned to the surface about the time our lures were in range and a few 3 pound stripers were caught.   We fast trolled Clouser Minnow flies just under the surface and caught a few fish.  We stopped in casting range of the feeding school and cast jigs, small crankbaits and flies and caught a few fish. When the school left the surface, we dropped spoons down to the fish seen on the graph at 40-80 feet and caught a few fish. It was intense, breath taking and very satisfying to be back interacting with spawning stripers again.  The sun hit the water way too soon and the morning action was over.   A few more spots were checked by trolling in the backs of canyons at a water depth of 25 feet in murky water. We ended up with 34 stripers back at the fish cleaning station.

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Many were seen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those fishing bait in the main channel came in about the same time and most had 10-20 stripers for the morning trip. Fishing has picked and will continue to be good to great for all of the month of May.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass were seen guarding many nests in the southern lake.  Those anglers seeking spunky bass were smiling as well.  Fish size and health is great right now. Walleye fishing is heating up in the northern lake.

Spring spawning season is here with the daily air temperatures in the 70-80 range.  There will be some afternoon winds so the best fishing will be in the early morning over the next 10 days.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 09:04
 


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