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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

70-75 F

June 13, 2019

June 29, 2011-

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 29, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3647            
Water Temperature 74-78 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

slurptightFrom this point forward many of the reports will be about surface feeding by striped bass.   Here are some terms that will make it easier for you to understand my reports. "Slurps" are defined as surface feeding by stripers of all sizes on very small larval shad. Tiny shad are poor swimmers. There is not much chance of them eluding stripers that line up with open mouths and skim the surface sucking in shad as they go. The scrimmage line moves along at high speed (3-5 mph). Slurpers go down when the boat gets in range but then resurface in random directions. If they come up near the boat stripers are easier to catch. If they surface well out of range the boat must be quickly repositioned to get in casting range again.

slurpsplashSlurping stripers can be fussy eaters because their prey is so small. The feeding school can move in just about any direction as larval shad are commonly found in most open water areas. Fishing success in slurps requires precision casting. A lure tossed into the scrimmage line will spook the whole school or be ignored by fish looking straight ahead. But a lure cast well in front of the first fish and worked back into the scrimmage line will be seen and sometimes eaten.  

slurpdirectionSlurps have begun lakewide but colder water temperatures have delayed catching success.  Slurps are seen each day from Wahweap to Bullfrog.  Wind erases the trail making it difficult to find slurpers but in calm periods keep an eye out for the small surface disturbance that marks a feeding school.  

peterfullertonLarger stripers may slurp but it is more likely to find them very deep (60-90 feet) in the same areas they have occupied all spring.  Look along the main channel walls from the dam to Bullfrog.  Fish much deeper then was necessary in May and June using copious chum to get the school going.

Bass fishing is getting better.  Largemouth are in the green brush just being flooded by increasing lake levels.  Go flippin' for best results . That entails nosing the boat into a brush thicket and working the bait vertically instead of horizontally to keep the lure from grabbing a limb instead of a fish.  Big bass are in the brush from the shoreline to 25 feet.

Smallmouth are on the rocky terraces and ledges also at 20-25 feet.  Tubes, grubs and senkos are working well now when the bait gets in the correct depth zone.  Try to keep the bait at last 20 feet deep for best results.  Black and watermelon green colors are working well for bass.

gauneyeWalleye are the surprise fish for this time of year.  Slow warming has kept walleye active longer than normal.  The best way to find walleye is to work the shoreline where brush is evident.  Look for the deep slot leading to the cove.  Fish plastic grubs or live night crawlers slowly along the deep slot where walleye are stationed scanning for food moving from one side of the brush canyon to the other.

Catfish have taken off and will be caught each evening on the sandy beach near your camp.  Bluegills are in the brush along the shoreline.   The lake level continues to increase in dramatic fashion.  The big inflow and flooded brush means there will be good survival of small fish which leads to good fishing for the coming years.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:16

June 22, 2011 - Summer Changes

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 22, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3642            
Water Temperature 70-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

gofish2It's now summer and big changes are happening. The lake level is increasing about one foot per day. Water temperature is climbing with an early morning base of 70 degrees which is the warmest water of the year. Not surprisingly fishing is changing right along with the other elements.

The biggest news is about striped bass. Bait fishing has taken a nose dive this past week. The fish cleaning station at Wahweap which used to resemble a stadium crowd during a big game is now lonely and quiet.  Really this great change is more about fishermen leaving and water skiers arriving, but the end result is not many fish being processed.  Bait fishing in the morning is very slow.  It is not until mid day that striper schools return to the cliff walls that have produced some many great catches in previous weeks.

kobyhubbs2Stripers have found a food source in the backs of canyons and are exploiting the little shad that are now large enough to attract a major following. Slurps and small boils are seen each morning and evening.  Bait fishing during midday still works because stripers return to favored holding spots after the morning foray into shallow shad water.  But the savvy angler is going to chase the surface action now to reap the biggest reward.

Look for surface feeding events near locations that have produced well all spring.  Good catches of stripers at Bullfrog, Halls and Lake Canyon are still correct but the location has changed.  Lake Canyon mouth was previously hot for bait fishing. Now those same fish are being caught in the back of the canyon feeding on larval shad.

matthewlmbAt Wahweap slurping action is found in Navajo, Rock Creek, Last Chance and in the main channel bertween Buoys 28-32. In reality the shad - striper confrontation is happening in almost every canyon.  It's subtle and may not be recognized by those that have not seen a slurping event.  The easiest explanation is to watch for a small boat wake where no boat is present. Look closely and see if fish are pushing the wall of water. If so, cast shad imitating crankbaits over and to the front of the leading fish to make contact with stripers from 12 inches to 4 pounds.

Watch this video for an idea of what to look for.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsvLbKClvfM&feature=youtu.be

Bass, walleye and crappie fishing is less productive for the same reasons listed above. Topwater fishing early in the morning may be the best bet as bass are aware of the new shad crop just like stripers.   Bass will drop back to the bottom (22-35 feet) after chasing shad in the early morning. Use crayfish imitating (green and black) plastic lures during the day.

flat_rapSince all fish are looking up and boils are often hard to approach, trolling rattletraps and flat raps may be a good way to catch a few fish while waiting for the next surface event.  After the boil, drop spoons or shad imitating Gulp minnows down to 20-30 feet to pick up a few more fish.

Fishing patterns have changed dramatically with warming and filling but success is still excellent when tuned into current events.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 09:27

June 15, 2011 - First Boils!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 15, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3635           
Water Temperature 67-73 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

682011groupMy weekly fishing report trip was extremely informative.  It began by trying to duplicate some great fishing reports for striper schools from the Rock Creek area.  The dawn trip from Wahweap to Rock Creek was magical with ultra calm water, clear warm water and glowing red rocks basking in the sun's first light.  Turned out that was the only redeeming factor as we found no willing fish of any species in main Rock Creek.  The first fish was caught about 9:30 AM when a walleye took a dropshot senko at 30 feet.  Shortly there after a nice striper was caught trolling in the back of Dry Rock Creek.  This morning lull was a mystery to me until last night when the huge full moon came up, reminding me that fish prowl at night during the full moon and take the next morning off. Fishing success increases throughout the day and peaks in the evening. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that fishing expertise is trumped by more important events (like full moon or weather fronts) happening in the fish world. There was some great fishing that occurred in predawn hours but I only learned about that after the fact.

andrewAt first light yesterday the first striper boils of the year were seen in Navajo Canyon. The big event occurred at the back of the canyon in muddy water where bottom depth was 15-20 feet.  A second boil event was later seen about noon near the big sand dune in clear water. Stripers were caught on surface lures, spoons and rattletraps in both surface feeding events. Boil season is now open for business and will happen sporadically lakewide for the rest of the summer.  For now look in the backs of canyons at dusk, middday and dawn where most shad spawning occurs and small shad are present in large numbers. Both boils and slurps were seen with large fish caught in both events on spoons and rattletraps fished under the surface action.

connerOn my return from the non event in Rock Creek we found fishing success gradually improved as we got closer to Wahweap. As moon effect lessened fish were more eager to respond. Smallmouth bass yearlings were holding on deep water edges on open water reefs.  Bass were consistently found on the main channel side of the reef and absent from the side closer to shore.

dtribbleboysOur fishing prowess improved dramatically as we arrived at the power plant intake.  A bit of chum ignited a school and many stripers were caught in short order in shallow water.  My best technique in this situation was to use a circle hook with no weight allowing the bait to sink to 12-15 feet before the next fish hit.




Moved on to Buoy 3 and found stripers catchable but at a much slower rate than at the intake. Fish were deeper here and the short shanked jig head with a small grub tipped with anchovy bait was very effective. The big difference between the two spots was the condition of fish. Many fish caught at the intake were thin with only an occasional fat fish. It seemed that the last month of constant catching has removed most of the thin fish from Buoy 3 while many remain in spots less popular.  Boat traffic made holding position near the intake difficult while Buoy 3 was a calm experience except for one tour boat wake. We finished up at Buoy 1 by chumming a few chunks of bait and catching another 6 fish in short order.

Our trip was typical. We went out expecting a certain outcome and came back with a report much different than expected.  There are always fish to catch on this beautiful lake. On some days it just takes longer to find them.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 July 2011 19:07

June 8, 2011 - Transiiton Time

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 8, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3628            
Water Temperature 64-70 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

bryanbecksteadLake Powell has risen 6 feet since last weeks report.  Water temperature has gone up 5 degrees.  These massive changes really impact fishing success. Its not that fish quit biting but rather the changing lake makes fish more difficult to locate each day. They change position daily to find the right combination of temperature, light and depth. The good news is that once found, fish are very cooperative.  It just takes some effort and understanding to get on the same wavelength with the fish.

danowellStriped bass are still hanging out along main channel canyon walls from Wahweap to Bullfrog and beyond. They are a bit more hesitant to bite so it takes much more chumming with anchovies to get a school going and to keep them under the boat. Catch has diminished to 20-30 fish per trip instead of the 100 fish trips reported earlier in the year. Trolling success has declined as fish are deeper than they were making it necessary to troll in deeper water.

Cooler spring temperatures have kept stripers in the main channel and the 30-60 foot strata at the backs of canyons where they will remain until shad schools entice them to come to the surface later in the month. There has been a noticeable change in school structure as school size is increasing with fewer scattered fish seen. That makes finding striper schools on the graph easier but it makes it more important to find the school before investing large amounts of chum.  Continue to fish at the dam, Buoy 3, Navajo Canyon, shallow rocky ledges jutting into the main channel, Lake Canyon, and Red Canyon.

braydenBass fishing is still about finding the right habitat and depth. My best advice is to search the shoreline for bassy looking structure such as chunk rock, trees or points.  The key difference is to get near the habitat but instead of casting to shore drop the bait directly under the boat to a depth of 25-30 feet. Let the bait rest on bottom or drift slowly with the boat.  Bass will pause while looking at the stationary bait and then hit after thorough investigation.  It's hard to fish slowly enough. The best rigging techniques are drop-shot and Carolina rigs which feature a free floating bait suspended just above the bottom.

shellywaeOne of the best ways to catch fish now is to use a large night crawler or plastic bait on a drop shot rig at 30-40 feet. Walleye are deeper but still being caught in good numbers.  Work the worm slowly along the bottom early in the morning or late in the evening to capture these tasty but elusive fish. Slow trolling with a bottom bouncing weight and worm harness with night crawler attached is working very well lakewide.  

Live worms on small hooks used along steep rocky shorelines are a good way to catch the underutilized bluegill and green sunfish that are abundant but seldom caught.  Sunfish are fun to catch for kids of all ages and provide a tasty meal. They will often use a houseboat for shade. Sunfish get excited about eating when the prop wash from a boat maneuvering to park stirs up the bottom. Give sunfish a try near your camp. Catfish are there too just waiting to come to dinner.

June 1, 2011 - Bullfrog Stripers Start!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - June 1, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3622            
Water Temperature 60-65 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  


kobybigThe big news this week is that stripers are now being caught in big numbers at the mouth of Lake Canyon.  Stripers have been slow to start this spring in the mid lake area but now it appears that has changed.  It is likely that the mouth of other canyons including Annies, Slick Rock and Iceberg would have similar concentrations of large stripers willing to hit bait. In other late developing years stripers have been found along the walls downstream from Halls Creek all the way to Lake Canyon.  Catch rate is increasing just inside the mouth of Moki where the canyon intersects with the main channel.  Smaller stripers are being caught in Halls Creek using crappie jigs near the surface in open water.

kobyposeAnglers are catching hundreds of fish using standard bait fishing techniques that have worked so well at Wahweap this spring. It has just taken longer for stripers near Bullfrog to move to the main channel and then be located by anglers.  But the wait is now over and striper fishing midlake is heating up fast. We expected striper fishing to begin later uplake but had no idea it would be June before it exploded.  

Striper fishing in the southern lake continues to amaze us with the volume of fish that are being caught on a daily basis - weather permitting.  High winds over Memorial Day weekend made fishing success marginal because calm spots were hard to find. But the seas have now calmed and fishing is picking up right where it left off. Striper fishing is excellent from Wahweap to Bullfrog.

kobylmbBass fishing continues to be good but not along the shoreline. The rapid increase in lake level floods new shoreline each day.   Smallmouth bass are now 20 feet deep making it necessary to fish deeper water. Old standard plastic grubs fished along the bottom are still very effective for catching good numbers of bass.  Largemouth are shallower. When trees are available largemouth will not leave the cover.  Each day more brush is covered allowing bass to move back into the thickets that they occupied when water was higher.

Walleye fishing continues to be exceptional.  Slow-trolled bottom bouncers weights with attached worm harness are very effective while fast trolling with diving crankbaits is working as well. Casting into murky water often produces walleye along with bass and stripers. Walleye are being caught from Good Hope Bay to Wahweap. This may be the yearly peak for walleye fishing so give it a try before success rate declines.  

perezbcCrappie fishing is winding down as spawning is now complete.  Some crappie can still be caught on small jigs trolled slowly with an electric motor or wind drift. Target the deep water side of brush thickets to find a suspended school of elusive panfish.  

Catfish are now starting to bite on a beach near your camp. Share your dinner with them and they will provide great fun for kids of all ages.  Fishing is not as fast as it was in May but the variety and chance of catching a large number of fish still exists.

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