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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

70-74 F

September 26, 2017



March 8, 2017 - Largemouth Bass Take Off!

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 8, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3594
Water Temperature: 49-54 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Walleye and Largemouth Fishing Begins
Springtime for Lake Powell fish effectively arrives today.  Air temperature at Lake Powell will climb into the 60s today and soar to the 70s later in the week.  Water temperature will rise from the high 40s to the mid 50s by the weekend. Warm water fish will take immediate notice of the warming water.
Smallmouth bass don’t really get in gear until the early morning water temperature is 57 degrees or above.  Largemouth bass are the first to respond.  With warming this week, largemouth will get more active, look for an easy meal of crayfish, sunfish or shad, and be much more interested in bass jigs. Expect the afternoon water temperature to climb to the 60’s by the weekend. I am an early morning fishermen and often reap the rewards of getting out early, but that does not really matter when pursuing largemouth bass this week.  Afternoon fishing in warming water will be better than morning fishing in cool water.
Largemouth enjoy cover. At the current low lake levels, flooded brush is hard to find. If you see a submerged tumbleweed pile, a bush with thick branches, or some other cover that may hold a bass, cast to the cover. It is wise to use a weedless lure and a slow presentation when fishing for largemouth.  When cover is completely lacking find the warmest water and fish there. If there is no brush then find large rock structure with a bit of shade where bass wait to ambush a shad or sunfish.
This is the time to catch big, heavy bass before the spawn when large females are full of eggs.  Expect to find more bass in the backs of canyons where water is green or murky.  Clear water is not as “bassy”.
Due to low water and lack of brush, largemouth bass are not as numerous as smallmouth bass. I recommend that all largemouth bass that are caught be released so they can successfully spawn and increase bass numbers lake wide.  Surprisingly, if you want to harvest a bass then the females are the ones to keep.  Males guard the nest and tend the kids.  Next month, when sight-fishing for bass, males are the bass seen guarding the nests. These little guys are the ones that must be released.  If you want to keep a bass then make sure it is a smallmouth bass. They are available in large numbers and great for a fish dinner. You can keep up to 20 smallmouth bass each day.
Walleye are more excited about warming water than largemouth bass because warming triggers walleye spawning. Reports are starting to come in from the northern lake that walleye have been captured on spoons in 60-80 feet of water. These prespawn walleye aggregations will turn their focus from feeding to spawning which occurs at night on submerged rockslides. That means walleye will be harder to catch now but they will be post-spawn hungry and ready to provide an epic fishing experience in April and May in the northern lake. Put that on your calendar.
Striped bass are still quite catchable.  The question now is when will stripers show up at the dam or other locations in the main channel and provide great fishing for all that use bait.  No reports of bait fishing success have been received yet. Fishing success is still solid for those using the troll/cast/spoon techniques that have worked all winter long.  Stripers are still finding shad in the backs of canyons and can be caught by trolling shad imitating crankbaits that run from 8-25 feet in the murky water in the backs of canyons.  My fishing success has dropped off during the last few trips.  The weekly trip tally has dropped from 75, to 55, to only 30 stripers caught yesterday. I know, no one is going to feel sorry for me bringing in 30 stripers, but it just means that conditions are changing and I have to look in other locations as stripers are on the move.
Good striper reports are coming in from murky water in the backs of Navajo Canyon, Lone Rock Canyon, Warm Creek, Padre Canyon, Last Chance, and Rock Creek.  Trolling and casting works best.  Spoons are still working periodically with the silver Kastmaster lures working better than the standard jigging spoons.
It is exciting to see spring fishing take off again.  It makes we want to go fishing at Lake Powell!

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 8, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3594

Water Temperature: 49-54 F

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

Walleye and Largemouth Fishing Begins

kipbennettSpringtime for Lake Powell fish effectively arrives today.  Air temperature at Lake Powell will climb into the 60s today and soar to the 70s later in the week.  Water temperature will rise from the high 40s to the mid 50s by the weekend. Warm water fish will take immediate notice of the warming water. 

Smallmouth bass don’t really get in gear until the early morning water temperature is 57 degrees or above.  Largemouth bass are the first to respond.  With warming this week, largemouth will get more active, look for an easy meal of crayfish, sunfish or shad, and be much more interested in bass jigs. Expect the afternoon water temperature to climb to the 60’s by the weekend. I am an early morning fishermen and often reap the rewards of getting out early, but that does not really matter when pursuing largemouth or smallmouth bass this week.  Afternoon fishing in warming water will be better than morning fishing in cool water. 

matthewlmbLargemouth enjoy cover. At the current low lake levels, flooded brush is hard to find. If you see a submerged tumbleweed pile, a bush with thick branches, or some other cover that may hold a bass, cast to the cover. It is wise to use a weedless lure and a slow presentation when fishing for largemouth.  When cover is completely lacking find the warmest water and cast there. If there is no brush then find large rocky structure with a bit of shade where bass wait to ambush a shad or sunfish. 

This is the time to catch big, heavy bass before the spawn when large females are full of eggs.  Expect to find more bass in the backs of canyons where water is green or murky.  Clear water is not as “bassy”. 

Due to low water and lack of brush, largemouth bass are not as numerous as smallmouth bass. I recommend that all largemouth bass that are caught be released so they can successfully spawn and increase bass numbers lake wide. Surprisingly, if you want to harvest a bass then the females are the ones to keep.  Males guard the nest and tend the kids.  Next month, when sight-fishing for bass, males are the bass seen guarding the nests. These little guys are the ones that must be released.  If you want to keep a bass then make sure it is a smallmouth bass. They are available in large numbers and great for a fish dinner. You can keep up to 20 smallmouth bass each day.

ssww2Walleye are more excited about warming water than largemouth bass because warming triggers walleye spawning. Reports are starting to come in from the northern lake that walleye have been captured on spoons in 60-80 feet of water. These prespawn walleye aggregations will turn their focus from feeding to spawning which occurs at night on submerged rockslides. That means walleye will be harder to catch now but they will be post-spawn hungry and ready to provide an epic fishing experience in April and May in the northern lake. Put that on your calendar.

Striped bass are still quite catchable.  The question now is when will stripers show up at the dam or other locations in the main channel and provide great fishing for all that use bait.  No reports of bait fishing success have been received yet. Fishing success is still solid for those using the troll/cast/spoon techniques that have worked all winter long.  Stripers are still finding shad in the backs of canyons and can be caught by trolling shad imitating crankbaits that run from 8-25 feet in the murky water in the backs of canyons.  My fishing success has dropped off during the last few trips.  The weekly trip tally has dropped from 75, to 55, to only 30 stripers caught yesterday. I know, no one is going to feel sorry for me bringing in 30 stripers, but it just means that conditions are changing and I have to look in other locations as stripers are on the move. 

Good striper reports are coming in from murky water in the backs of Navajo Canyon, Lone Rock Canyon, Warm Creek, Padre Canyon, Last Chance, and Rock Creek.  Trolling and casting works best.  Spoons are still working periodically with the silver Kastmaster lures working better than the standard jigging spoons. 

It is exciting to see spring fishing take off again.  It makes we want to go fishing at Lake Powell!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 March 2017 11:11
 

March 2, 2017 - First regular Fish report

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Lake Powell Fish Report – March 2, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3594
Water Temperature: 48-50 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
Water temperature this morning was a cold 48 degrees, but March is coming in like a peaceful little pussy cat. Weather is warming with little wind predicted for the coming week.  That means fishing success will improve with each passing day until the next storm front.  Expect rising water temperatures to reach 57 degrees in the afternoon by the end of next week. That temperature really wakes up Lake Powell fish.  Here is what to expect for each species.
Largemouth Bass:  Bass hover over, reside in, and do not like to leave cover. They like to share their bush with sunfish. Rent is extremely expensive for the individual sunfish eaten each day but the others peacefully coexist until meal time the next day. To catch largemouth, fish in, over, and around that bush.  It’s too cold for topwater so the lure must be placed in or really close to the bush, so a weedless presentation is often best. Brush is limited now at this low lake level so look for bass in large rocky structure as well. Use a slow presentation so a cold bass has time to view the bait before deciding to take a bite.
Crappie:  Like largemouth, crappie really want to live in a bush. When brush is absent crappie tend to seek a certain water depth, hover over a ledge or dropoff, or find colored water where they can eat small fish by ambushing them in low visibility water.   At the current water level, crappie will be hard to locate.  Look in the backs of canyons where water depth is 12-25 feet with green to muddy water color.  I use an eighth ounce crappie jig, either hair jig or plastic, to search for crappie in the backs of canyons.
Smallmouth Bass: These bass use rock structure for cover so it is easier to locate them with plastic grubs fished on rocky shelves, in boulder fields, or at the edge of drop-offs and other shallow water areas from 30 feet deep to the shallow shoreline. The key to springtime bass fishing is to find the warmest water available.  Often a tall rock, facing the mid day sun, will heat a cove slightly warmer than the surrounding water. Fishing in that cove will be better than a cove in the shade or without a warming rock. Use the thermometer for best fishing results.
Walleye: It is spawning season for these toothy critters.  The boys are totally focused on finding the girls so they are not caught as well during March. They really turn on in April and May. Large females are still actively eating shad and can be located in green to muddy water in the backs of canyons. If shad are present and swimming in open water, big female walleye can be caught trolling and casting. We caught a 3-pound female last week in open water while trolling for stripers with shad imitating baits.  If trolling for walleye, it is always best to fish at a water depth where the lure occasionally hits bottom.  The most effective trolling lure may be a bottom bouncer that can hit bottom at various depths.  Walleye are bottom oriented so the overall most effective technique may be to hook a piece of worm to a bass jig and slowly inch that along the bottom structure.  Troll to find the walleye aggregation then cast to catch more fish.
Striped Bass:  Stripers swim in schools, so finding the school really increases catch rate.  I troll to find a school, then cast or spoon while hovering over the school.  One striper eating a lure will encourage the rest of the school mates to join in.  After catching one striper, quickly get the lure back in the water to entice following fish.  Watch the graph to see if the school follows and appears under the boat.
The springtime question is:  Will stripers be in the backs of canyons chasing lures or in deep water of the main channel eating bait?  Right now I have found more stripers in the backs of canyons because that is where I have been looking.  My prediction is that there will be an equal number of stripers that come to the main channel looking for bait.  That prediction won’t be fully answered until April.  I promise to keep looking until that is fully defined. Stay tuned.

Lake Powell Fish Report – March 2, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3594

Water Temperature: 48-50 F

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

lmb12
Water temperature this morning was a cold 48 degrees, but March is coming in like a peaceful little pussy cat. Weather is warming with little wind predicted for the coming week.  That means fishing success will improve with each passing day until the next storm front.  Expect rising water temperatures to reach 57 degrees in the afternoon by the end of next week. That temperature really wakes up Lake Powell fish.  Here is what to expect for each species.

 
Largemouth Bass:  Bass hover over, reside in, and do not like to leave cover. They like to share their bush with sunfish. Rent is extremely expensive for the individual sunfish eaten each day but the others peacefully coexist until meal time the next day. To catch largemouth, fish in, over, and around that bush.  It’s too cold for topwater so the lure must be placed in or really close to the bush, so a weedless presentation is often best. Brush is limited now at this low lake level so look for bass in large rocky structure as well. Use a slow presentation so a cold bass has time to view the bait before deciding to take a bite. 


dankennedycrappie2Crappie:  Like largemouth, crappie really want to live in a bush. When brush is absent crappie tend to seek a certain water depth, hover over a ledge or dropoff, or find colored water where they can eat small fish by ambushing them in low visibility water.   At the current water level, crappie will be hard to locate.  Look in the backs of canyons where water depth is 12-25 feet with green to muddy water color.  I use an eighth ounce crappie jig, either hair jig or plastic, to search for crappie in the backs of canyons. 

Smallmouth Bass: These bass use rock structure for cover so it is easier to locate them with plastic grubs fished on rocky shelves, in boulder fields, or at the edge of drop-offs and other shallow water areas from 30 feet deep to the shallow shoreline. The key to springtime bass fishing is to find the warmest water available.  Often a tall rock, facing the mid day sun, will heat a cove slightly warmer than the surrounding water. Fishing in that cove will be better than a cove in the shade or without a warming rock. Use the thermometer for best fishing results. 

walleyecaughttubeWalleye: It is spawning season for these toothy critters.  The boys are totally focused on finding the girls so they are not caught as well during March. They really turn on in April and May. Large females are still actively eating shad and can be located in green to muddy water in the backs of canyons. If shad are present and swimming in open water, big female walleye can be caught trolling and casting. We caught a 3-pound female last week in open water while trolling for stripers with shad imitating baits.  If trolling for walleye, it is always best to fish at a water depth where the lure occasionally hits bottom.  The most effective trolling lure may be a bottom bouncer that can hit bottom at various depths.  Walleye are bottom oriented so the overall most effective technique may be to hook a piece of worm to a bass jig and slowly inch that along the bottom structure.  Troll to find the walleye aggregation then cast to catch more fish.  

Striped Bass:  Stripers swim in schools, so finding the school really increases catch rate.  I troll to find a school, then cast or spoon while hovering over the school.  One striper eating a lure will encourage the rest of the school mates to join in. After catching one striper, quickly get the lure back in the water to entice following fish.  Watch the graph to see if the school follows and appears under the boat.  The springtime question is:  Will stripers be in the backs of canyons chasing lures or in deep water of the main channel eating bait?  Right now I have found more stripers in the backs of canyons because that is where I have been looking.  My prediction is that there will be an equal number of stripers that come to the main channel looking for bait.  That prediction won’t be fully answered until April.  I promise to keep looking until that is fully defined. Stay tuned.

 

February 23, 2017 - You Won't Believe This?

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Lake Powell Fish Report – February 23, 2017
Lake Elevation: 3594
Water Temperature: 40-54 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com
February has been an excellent month for great fishing results in the southern lake. We have found great spooning results in early February with a fish count of 75 stripers.  Then later in the month we caught 38 stripers while trolling and casting. Spoons did not work on that trip.  When we headed uplake to see how conditions had changed this week we were prepared to give the stripers any presentation they wanted.  The fish did not disappoint us, in fact, we were amazed at what happened.
Following reports from the previous day we went to the back of the canyon and started spooning when a few shad or striper traces were seen on the graph.  Our spoon were ignored by the stripers seen on the graph.  We went looking for cooperative fish by trolling while watching the graph.  In short order 12-14 inch (plankton eating) stripers were caught randomly on Lucky Craft XD78 pointers in ghost and chartreuse shad colors.  There was no real pattern or many fish seen on the bottom but the small (best eating size) fish were caught regularly.  After 1.5 hours we had 10 fish in the cooler and we moved on.
Another boat was found in the distance so we pulled up close to get a fish report. They were hovering over a striper school trying to spoon them up so we joined in.  In short order the school responded and we hooked 2-3 pound stripers regularly.  Action was quick and intense while the school was active.  Occasionally we saw a single threadfin shad come to the surface and swim quickly away to avoid predation. The striper school was actively attacking a shad ball and we were lucky enough to be there for the action. After 15 minutes the deep schools moved on and catching on spoons quit but not before we placed another 15 large stripers in the cooler.
The other boat left to search for the striper school but those shad swimming along the surface made me pick up the spinning rod and toss Pointers to shallow chasing stripers. There were a few stripers near the surface and an occasional catch was made with a long cast and a stop and go retrieve.  We even did the “figure 8 musky retrieve” with the lure near the boat and caught a few trailing stripers within 5 feet of the boat. That was awesome to see them attack the lure within plain sight.
While all this was going I heard random splashes in the distance and thought gizzard shad must be jumping in the water that had warmed to 56 degrees in the back of the canyon. Another big splash sounded behind me and my focus switched from stripers swimming under the boat to the shoreline.  I looked up in time to see a pod of shad jump out of the water followed by a 3-pound striper within 2 feet of the shoreline. I could not believe my eyes. I had just witnessed a striper ‘boil’ in February. Unbelievable!  Later, I added up the events and realized that the school of shad the stripers were chasing below the boat, went shallow with the striper school close behind. We moved 20 yards closer to shore and cast the same lures to the bank. Stripers hit the lures on every cast and hooked up half the time.  We were in the perfect spot with the right lures and caught lots of fish.  I could not stand it any longer and put on a top water lure. I really wanted to catch a topwater fish in February. After 20 casts I knew it was not going to happen so I changed back and caught more stragglers on shallow running crankbaits.  The action slowed and we were “reely” tired from reeling in so many fish in a short time.   The weather forecast was for wind to blow in the afternoon and we were completely satisfied with an amazing fishing day, so we headed in. We filleted 55 stripers at the cleaning station.
Data for this report was collected on the last sunny, warm day before a cold winter storm arrived.  It was the lull before the storm. Wait for the wind to stop blowing and temperature to rise again before trying to duplicate the events reported here.
Fishing at Lake Powell is incredible.

Lake Powell Fish Report – February 23, 2017

Lake Elevation: 3594

Water Temperature: 49-54 F

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

 

February has been an excellent month for great fishing results in the southern lake. We have found great spooning results in early February with a fish count of 75 stripers.  Then later in the month we caught 38 stripers while trolling and casting. Spoons did not work on that trip.  When we headed uplake to see how conditions had changed this week we were prepared to give the stripers any presentation they wanted.  The fish did not disappoint us, in fact, we were amazed at what happened.

Following reports from the previous day we went to the back of the canyon and started spooning when a few shad or striper traces were seen on the graph.  Our spoon were ignored by the stripers seen on the graph.  We went looking for cooperative fish by trolling while watching the graph.  In short order 12-14 inch (plankton eating) stripers were caught randomly on Lucky Craft XD78 pointers in ghost and chartreuse shad colors.  There was no real pattern or many fish seen on the bottom but the small (best eating size) fish were caught regularly.  After 1.5 hours we had 10 fish in the cooler and we moved on. 

Another boat was found in the distance so we pulled up close to get a fish report. They were hovering over a striper school trying to spoon them up so we joined in.  In short order the school responded and we hooked 2-3 pound stripers regularly.  Action was quick and intense while the school was active.  Occasionally we saw a single threadfin shad come to the surface and swim quickly away to avoid predation. The striper school was actively attacking a shad ball and we were lucky enough to be there for the action. After 15 minutes the deep schools moved on and catching on spoons quit but not before we placed another 15 large stripers in the cooler. 

The other boat left to search for the striper school but those shad swimming along the surface made me pick up the spinning rod and toss Pointers to shallow chasing stripers. There were a few stripers near the surface and an occasional catch was made with a long cast and a stop and go retrieve.  We even did the “figure 8 musky retrieve” with the lure near the boat and caught a few trailing stripers within 5 feet of the boat. That was awesome to see them attack the lure within plain sight. 

While all this was going I heard random splashes in the distance and thought gizzard shad must be jumping in the water that had warmed to 56 degrees in the back of the canyon. Another big splash sounded behind me and my focus switched from stripers swimming under the boat to the shoreline.  I looked up in time to see a pod of shad jump out of the water followed by a 3-pound striper within 2 feet of the shoreline. I could not believe my eyes. I had just witnessed a striper ‘boil’ in February. Unbelievable!  Later, I added up the events and realized that the school of shad the stripers were chasing below the boat, went shallow with the striper school close behind. We moved 20 yards closer to shore and cast the same lures to the bank. Stripers hit the lures on every cast and hooked up half the time.  We were in the perfect spot with the right lures and caught lots of fish.  I could not stand it any longer and put on a top water lure. I really wanted to catch a topwater fish in February. After 20 casts I knew it was not going to happen so I changed back and caught more stragglers on shallow running crankbaits.  The action slowed and we were “reely” tired from reeling in so many fish in a short time.   The weather forecast was for wind to blow in the afternoon and we were completely satisfied with an amazing fishing day, so we headed in. We filleted 55 stripers at the cleaning station.

Data for this report was collected on the last sunny, warm day before a cold winter storm arrived.  It was the lull before the storm. Wait for the wind to stop blowing and temperature to rise again before trying to duplicate the events reported here. 

Fishing at Lake Powell is incredible.

 

February 16, 2017 - Conditions Change each week

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We returned to our fishing spot one week later to find conditions completely different than the week before.  This is not unusual and the reason that fishing reports are put out on a weekly basis.  Conditions change, fish react and anglers must do the same.
Last week stripers were deep and spoons were the best option to catch fish on the bottom at 60 feet.  This time there were no fish found in deep water so went looking toward the back of the canyon to see where the schools had moved.
We trolled while graphing in case there were shallow plankton eating fish high in the water column where they may not be seen on the graph.  The first striper was caught before any marks were seen on the graph. As that fish was played the marks on the graph increased. Another striper was caught while casting behind the troll caught fish.  The only technique that did not work was dropping the spoon to the bottom when deep fish were seen under the boat.
After this first fish encounter our plan changed to trolling and casting.  We found lots of shad schools along a 200 yard stretch of shoreline in 20-35 feet of water. Each pass resulted in another striper and sometimes a second fish was caught while casting the same Lucky Craft pointer XD 78 in ghost color. Good fishing continued from 9-11 AM.  We hit a few more spots on the way back without catching more fish.
We filleted 25 stripers at the fish cleaning station and talked with other anglers that had been fishing.  Stripers were caught in Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and Rock Creek. I caught my first smallmouth bass of the year while casting for stripers.
One walleye was caught on a spoon in Last Chance.  This is the time of year to catch big walleye as they are in prespawn mode. Large females are feeding on crayfish and shad. The spawn occurs as water temperature climbs above 53-55 degrees which is usually during the month of March.  Male walleye are totally focused on spawning and do not feed much in these conditions. The best time to catch walleye is from April 15 - June 15th and the best location is from Bullfrog upstream. Don’t forget the tagged walleye contest which is still happening and will be in full swing during the peak fishing season this year.  Register on line on the main Wayneswords page before fishing for walleye.

graphnoneWe returned to our fishing spot one week later to find conditions completely different than the week before.  This is not unusual and the reason that fishing reports are put out on a weekly basis.  Conditions change, fish react and anglers must do the same. 

No Marks on Graph

Last week stripers were deep and spoons were the best option to catch fish on the bottom at 60 feet.  This time there were no fish found in deep water so went looking toward the back of the canyon to see where the schools had moved.

We trolled while graphing in case there were shallow plankton eating fish high in the water column where they may not be seen on the graph.  The first striper was caught before any marks were seen on the graph. As that fish was played the marks on the graph increased. Another striper was caught while casting behind the troll caught fish.  The only technique that did not work was dropping the spoon to the bottom when deep fish were seen under the boat.  

graphschoolAfter this first fish encounter our plan changed to trolling and casting.  We found lots of shad schools along a 200 yard stretch of shoreline in 20-35 feet of water. Each pass resulted in another striper and sometimes a second fish was caught while casting the same Lucky Craft pointer XD 78 in ghost color. Good fishing continued from 9-11 AM.  We hit a few more spots on the way back without catching more fish.

Shad school seen with one striper.

We filleted 25 stripers at the fish cleaning station and talked with other anglers that had been fishing.  Stripers were caught in Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and Rock Creek. I caught my first smallmouth bass of the year while casting for stripers.  

graphshad

 

Lots of shad with a few striper fish marks = resulted in good trolling

 

 

One walleye was caught on a spoon in Last Chance.  This is the time of year to catch big walleye as they are in prespawn mode. Large females are feeding on crayfish and shad. The spawn occurs as water temperature climbs above 53-55 degrees which is usually during the month of March.  Male walleye are totally focused on spawning and do not feed much in these conditions. The best time to catch walleye is from April 15 - June 15th and the best location is from Bullfrog upstream. Don’t forget the tagged walleye contest which is still happening and will be in full swing during the peak fishing season this year.  Register on line on the main Wayneswords page before fishing for walleye.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2017 12:01
 

February 9, 2017 - Early Spring Striper Techniques

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I made my first trip on Lake Powell since before my vacation and after the weather moderated.  It seems all the little fish were lined up in a row making this a grand start for the 2017 striper fishing year. There have been good/interesting reports about striper fishing in the southern lake including Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and Rock Creek.  If you go, here are the techniques that work when stripers are in the mood.
We motored to the back of the canyon and started graphing where water depth was 70 feet. Stripers are easier to find now in the backs of canyons because the depth changes quickly and various strata can be examined in short order.  It helps that I have had much experience in all canyons in the southern lake so I know where the fish were found last time.  That usually saves me time in finding fish but sometimes my past experience prevents me from finding fish in new locations.
This time a few fish marks were seen on the graph near the spot where many we caught on the last trip in January.  Spoons were deployed and two fish were hooked but the big school did not show up.  We graphed shallower and then deeper before finding a nice sized school in 68 feet of water. It sometimes takes a while to find fish but this time of year it seems that all the traces seen on the graph in open water are stripers or shad.   Hint:  Just keep graphing in the back of the canyon until fish traces appear and then deploy spoons right into the middle of the school.
This time the striper school exploded into activity and many fish were caught over the next 2 hours. We located the school about 9 AM and they followed the boat and our spoons until 10:45 AM on a calm day.  These deep fish are usually within 10 feet of the bottom. They will rise following a hooked fish on the way to the surface. We saw one hooked fish that was followed by another striper all the way to surface.  The friendly companion was close enough to touch the hooked fish and concentrated on the spoon in the other fish’s mouth.  We flipped a spoon right by the follower and he took the spoon but did not hook up. I really wish I had the GoPro in hand instead of the fishing rod while that event was transpiring.
It was a nice warm day and water temperature rose to 52 degrees. When the deep school lost interest we still had a small top layer of cooler space available so we went to the back of the canyon looking for shallow fish. We trolled LC XD 78 pointers while graphing and soon hooked a small striper on the ghost color lure. The depth was 25 feet but this fish was hooked as the lure went over a shallow (12 ft) ridge.  Stripers really like drop-offs as hiding points.  We cast lures back to the ridge and hooked 3 other fish in the same spot.  When we had about 3 unproductive casts we trolled again, hooked up, and cast again to get 3-5 more fish on each trolling stop.  The cooler space was soon gone and when one fish was put in, two jumped out.  That is the definition of a full cooler so at noon we headed back to the marina.
On the way out we passed another mile long canyon and I headed in just to see if the same action was going in most of the deep water canyon arms. We got to the back (80 Feet) and started trolling. That did not last long as a striper quickly hit the trolled lure. Then they hit the lures cast to followers. Then a school moved right under the boat and gobbled spoons.  We had no room to keep any more fish so we left them wondering where the spoons went?
Back at the cleaning station we counted 75 stripers of which all but 5 were healthy and provided great fillets. What a great day in clear calm weather.
I spent more time here on technique instead of location because I know that this pattern is repeatable lakewide.  Find your own secret canyon, repeat these techniques and return as possible as you can.
It’s going to be a great year for spring striper fishing in the backs of canyons with shad. Find a good weather day and come find your honey hole.

I made my first trip on Lake Powell since before my vacation and after the weather moderated.  It seems all the little fish were lined up in a row making this a grand start for the 2017 striper fishing year. There have been good/interesting reports about striper fishing in the southern lake including Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance and Rock Creek.  If you go, here are the techniques that work when stripers are in the mood. 

We motored to the back of the canyon and started graphing where water depth was 70 feet. Stripers are easier to find now in the backs of canyons because the depth changes quickly and various strata can be examined in short order.  It helps that I have had much experience in all canyons in the southern lake so I know where the fish were found last time. That usually saves me time in finding fish but sometimes my past experience prevents me from finding fish in new locations.  

This time a few fish marks were seen on the graph near the spot where many were caught on the last trip in January.  Spoons were deployed and two fish were hooked but the big school did not show up.  We graphed shallower and then deeper before finding a nice sized school in 68 feet of water. It sometimes takes a while to find fish but this time of year it seems that all the traces seen on the graph in open water are stripers or shad. 

 Hint:  Just keep graphing in the back of the canyon until fish traces appear and then deploy spoons right into the middle of the school.  

 This time the striper school exploded into activity and many fish were caught over the next 2 hours. We located the school about 9 AM and they followed the boat and our spoons until 10:45 AM on a calm day.  These deep fish are usually within 10 feet of the bottom. They will rise following a hooked fish on the way to the surface. We saw one hooked fish that was followed by another striper all the way to surface.  The friendly companion was close enough to touch the hooked fish and concentrated on the spoon in the other fish’s mouth.  We flipped a spoon right by the follower and he took the spoon but did not hook up. I really wish I had the GoPro in hand instead of the fishing rod while that event was transpiring. 

It was a nice warm day and water temperature rose to 52 degrees. When the deep school lost interest we still had a small top layer of cooler space available so we went to the back of the canyon looking for shallow fish. We trolled Lucky Craft XD 78 pointers while graphing and soon hooked a small striper on the ghost color lure. The depth was 25 feet but this fish was hooked as the lure went over a shallow (12 ft) ridge.  Stripers really like drop-offs as hiding points.  We cast lures back to the ridge and hooked 3 other fish in the same spot.  When we had about 3 unproductive casts we trolled again, hooked up, and cast again to get 3-5 more fish on each trolling stop.  The cooler space was soon gone and when one fish was put in, two jumped out.  That is the definition of a full cooler so at noon we headed back to the marina.

On the way out we passed another mile long canyon and I headed in just to see if the same action was going in most of the deep water canyon arms. We got to the back (80 Feet) and started trolling. That did not last long as a striper quickly hit the trolled lure. Then others hit the lures cast to followers. Then a school moved right under the boat (40 feet) and gobbled spoons.  We had no room to keep any more fish so we left them wondering where the spoons went?

Back at the cleaning station we counted 75 stripers of which all but 5 were healthy and provided great fillets. What a great day in clear calm weather. 

I spent more time here on technique instead of location because I know that this pattern is repeatable lakewide.  Find your own secret canyon, repeat these techniques and return as possible as you can.  It’s going to be a great year for spring striper fishing in the backs of canyons with shad. Find a good weather day and come find your own honey hole.

P.S. I had a run of great luck while jigging the spoon off the bottom.  The fish were thick and close to the bottom.  I let the spoon rest on bottom for a quick pause and then jerked it up one foot.  Twice in a row I snagged a striper in the tail and hauled it in the boat. I have done this before, but this is the first time I did it on 2 consecutive casts. 

tailspoon

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2017 09:51
 


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