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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

70-75 F

June 13, 2019

May 25, 2011

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 25, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3619            
Water Temperature 60-68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

jenninixRunoff is now adding a foot of water every two days.  If camping overnight be sure to retie the boat each morning. Do not leave camp unattended for any extended amount of time. Rapidly rising water makes it harder to fish the shoreline as bass are now at least 10-15 feet deep in the vicinity of the nests they built when spawning started a month ago.  It is better strategy to fish where the shoreline is steep rather than flat. Fish at least 10 feet deep to start and ignore the shallow flats.

kristinFishing success for stripers is overdue at Bullfrog. Only a few stripers are being caught by bait fishermen uplake. Fortunately bass, crappie and walleye fishing is good. Water is murky from Bullfrog upstream.  It is not recommended that anyone fish the Hite area due to high runoff, muddy water and floating debris. The backs of the canyons in the northern lake are fishable but no reports are coming from that area.  

perezbcAnglers in the southern lake have big smiles as they congregate at the fish cleaning station each afternoon to process their 20-50 fish catch for the day. Hungry stripers are caught on cut anchovy bait in the main channel from the dam to many locations upstream. Some of the most consistent spots are Dam, Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon (points protruding into channel), Gunsight, Last Chance Rock Creek.

There was one group of anglers that were not smiling as they caught only one striper after two days of fishing. They showed me their fishing rigs including braided line without any leader and snelled hooks on 20 pound test monofilament. Stripers are sight feeders. They can see braided line and heavy monofilament. Finesse fishing (bait) success increases dramatically when using fluorocarbon line or light test monofilament leader above the baited hook. Reaction fishing with straight braid works but bait fishing with this handicap brings poor results.

raynopattyWe found it interesting this week that our anchovy bait on a ¼ ounce jig head was being hammered unmercifully near the surface on a trip to Navajo Canyon but only a few small fish were caught. Most of the time the bait was knocked off the hook and no fish were caught. We changed our technique to accommodate the smaller fish and went crappie fishing….for stripers. We downsized to 1/8 ounce crappie jigs with a 2" chartreuse grub tipped with a tiny piece of bait. Little stripers (10-18 inches) were then caught every cast for 2 hours.  If the bait came off, stripers ate the swimming grub almost as well.   This was a neat change of pace that targeted stripers in the best condition. Of the 70 fish caught 10 were adults and 60 juveniles.  Larger stripers are not as prime and the little fish are easier to fillet and better to eat. Remember to put harvested fish on ice now. Don't leave them on a stringer in the warm water as condition deteriorates in a hurry in warm weather.  

Walleye and crappie are still being caught.  Pick your spot. Striper fishing is better at Wahweap while bass and walleye success rate is higher at Bullfrog/Halls.

May 18, 2011 - Mixed bag

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 18, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3616            
Water Temperature 59 - 68 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

brianbarsnessLake level is rising 2 feet per week now but that will soon grow to 4-5 feet per week.  Runoff is coming at high levels and will continue to run strong from now though July. Expect to see the lake rise to the highest level in this decade by mid summer. The Castle Rock Cut is now open to all boats. This short cut on the southern end saves boaters headed uplake much time and gas.

Anglers are having great success over the length of the lake. At Wahweap the fish cleaning station looks like a rock concert each afternoon with anglers standing in line to process hundreds of striped bass. These hungry fish are caught on cut anchovy bait and scented plastic lures fished in the main channel from the dam to many locations upstream. Some of the most consistent spots are Buoy 1, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon (points protruding into channel), Gunsight, Last Chance Rock Creek, Forbidding Canyon (first canyon on the left).

dennisThe million dollar fish contest is in full swing as 15 tagged stripers continue to swim waiting to be captured and turned in for prizes.  The first tagged fish was captured on May 16 in the main channel near Buoy 3.

Walleye are garnering much attention. These fish are hard to catch most of the time but are vulnerable in May due to warming water and low forage conditions. Trolling black and white Wally diver crank baits is very effective in 8-15 feet of colored water near the back of the canyon or on wind washed banks and coves.

bassman9Largemouth spawning is complete but large bass still frequent the brush piles. It helps that the rising lake is covering much more brush allowing more largemouth habitat to get wet.  Look for largemouth in any thick brush pile. Use weedless lures that can be retrieved in brush for best results.

Smallmouth are very active now with fish of all sizes found along rocky points, ledges and terraces. Plastic tubes and grubs are preferred baits fished along the bottom in 3 to 30 feet of water.  

Crappie are in the thickest brush found in the backs of the canyons. Pull the boat into the thicket and drop a crappie jig straight down through the limbs to contact hungry crappie just completing the spawning act.  

ryancrappieThe beauty of fishing in May is the ability to use one lure, such as a plastic grub or tube, and catch largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, walleye, stripers, sunfish and catfish along one shoreline expanse. Fishing is at its spring peak. Shad are now spawning which will provide more food for the myriad of predators that now swim in the largest reservoir in the West. If fishing is on the list of things to do this year, now would be a good time to make that excursion to Lake Powell.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 07:33

May 12, 2011 - There is still time!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 12, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3613            
Water Temperature 57 - 64 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

scottmcconnellFishing at Lake Powell coincides with the weather report.  Warm and sunny days grouped together bring fantastic fishing results. Cold and blustery days make catching fish a bit more work.  Yesterday was a perfect example of spring weather on the lake. A cold wind breeze blew all night lowering the water temperature back to 57 degrees after it valiantly struggled to get into the 60s the day before.  At dawn it was calm, then every hour or two after the weather alternated between dead calm and thunderstorm whitecaps. The good news is that when the 3 day calm warm weather hit last week, fishing success was off the charts.  The better news is that it will be clam and hot this weekend. Fishing will be likewise.

smstringThe biggest news all spring has been the relentless striper bite in the southern lake. Bait anglers have filled coolers and live wells full of stripers on a daily basis.  There appears to be no let up in the number of fish to be caught. Anglers have done best at Buoy 3 which is the main channel corner just downstream from the mouth of Antelope Canyon.   Unfortunately boat traffic makes the steep walled area very rough and uncomfortable after the tour boats start their daily trips. By next week all boats will be going through Castle Rock cut as the lake is now rising rapidly. Then Buoy 3 will be calm and fish will still be biting.

Other locations in the lower lake are just as good.  Chum a shallow ledge on the edge of the cliff channel with cut up anchovies and return in an hour to catch stripers. That works from the dam to Rainbow Bridge.  Stripers are congregated in the back of canyon where water depth shallows from 60 to 45 feet. Bait fishing in the ends of canyon is hot as well. Use some bait and fish will come.

chasbigbassFor those that prefer other fish and methods will not be disappointed. Walleye fishing is hitting its peak in the northern lake between Bullfrog and Good Hope Bay. Big largemouth bass exceeding 7 pounds continue to be caught each week. Smallmouth are coming alive on every rocky point lakewide. Crappie fishing improves each time the water warms to the mid 60s. This weekend will be another chance to have the best fishing trip of a lifetime. It may be as good or better than last weekend and that was as good as it gets.

Some breaking news about the NEW Million Dollar Fish Contest: Cabelas is sponsoring a nationwide fishing contest where tagged fish are released in many different lakes across the country. The lucky angler who catches one of the tagged fish from May 14th to July 14th will win a prize with the largest prize potential of $2 Million.  Fifteen of those tags are attached to striped bass in Lake Powell.  You must register to be eligible to win.  Find more information online at www.cabelas.com/fishformillions.

May 4, 2011 - It's Time!

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Lake Powell Fish Report - May 4, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3612            
Water Temperature 55 - 62 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson 

wipernobAll the variables are now falling into place.  The best spring fishing of the year will happen in the next 10 days. Water temperature will now rise as warmer days without wind are in the forecast. Bass that have tried to spawn but were thwarted by cooling will be able to complete the task in earnest. Stripers kept at bay by cool temperatures will break loose in the middle portion of the lake where bait fishing action has been slower. Lake Powell is warming, rising and fishing success will follow suit.  The only caution is to react quickly.  Runoff that has been slow to come will now flow downstream in gushes. Rapidly rising water will make shoreline fishing more difficult within the coming weeks.  So come now. It's time.

stbpicJust returned from Good Hope Bay and am happy to report that although the water is stained from Castle Butte to Bullfrog fishing has not been negatively impacted. Water discoloration begins at Bullfrog and gets progressively darker (greenish-brown) from Bullfrog to Good Hope.   At Castle Butte water color changes to brown and then turns to muddy color further upstream.  There was no floating debris on the water at Good Hope. The main channel from Bullfrog to Wahweap is crystal clear.

wiperinjectWe targeted stripers at Good Hope Bay looking for ripe fish to be parents of hybrid striped bass or wipers. Sterile hybrid wiper populations exist at Willard Bay and New Castle Reservoir from UDWR hatchery efforts.  Wipers may now be created in Utah as disease concerns with out-of-state procurement places that program in jeopardy. This was our first attempt to create wipers using Utah fish exclusively.

spermsyringeRipe stripers were collected by trolling deep diving crankbaits that ran 20-25 feet deep along the talus slopes and rocky points in Good Hope Bay. Fishing was slow but steady for 2-5 pound fish in prespawn condition.  We found no pattern or feeding schools but rather small groups of isolated individual fish.  Pre-spawning stripers were not tightly schooled as feeding stripers would be. They still responded to bait in close proximity to their mouth but they were more interested in spawning than feeding.

Once captured fish were injected to hurry the maturation process and then held overnight.  The next day striper sperm was collected to take to Utah Lake where eggs from white bass could be fertilized to create the new hybrid fish.  

wipernetMy best fishing pattern was discovered by accident. While trolling toward the back of a canyon the channel curved around a rock island. There was just enough room to troll in a semi circle around the island.  While halfway around the island my line tangled around the rod tip as the rod was pumped to give the lure more action.  I paused to clear the tangle and when the boat moved forward again a ripe female striper was caught.  Then we turned around and retraced our path complete with a pause next to the island.  Another ripe female was caught right after the pause. We duplicated this effort 15 times.  Casting and spooning to the same locations produced no fish. Trolling was the only thing that worked. Guess we will call that trolling technique the "jerk-bait" pattern.

Stripers are still being caught in big numbers near Wahweap by anglers chumming and bait fishing along the canyon walls. Some fish have been caught on bait near Moki Wall out of Bullfrog.  Expect stripers to be caught there in big numbers next week.

escalanteBass and crappie fishing will be hot in the next 10 days as water temperature increases to 65 degrees.  Look for beds as long as visibility allows. Rapidly rising water will reduce visibility and sight-fishing success soon.   Crappie will be in the thickest brush available in the backs of the canyons where bottom depth is 10-15 feet. Stained water is usually better for crappie than clear water.  Walleye fishing will improve and peak toward the end of May. 

Use bottom bouncers with a night crawler harness slow trolled along flat sandy bottom to specifically target walleye.  Or use plastic grubs and cast to muddy wind washed coves to get walleye and bass. You can now use your favorite fishing technique to catch your favorite fish.  The action starts this weekend as the weather and fishing gets much hotter.


April 27, 2011

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Lake Powell Fish Report - April 27, 2011
Lake Elevation: 3611            
Water Temperature 55 - 60 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson  

                                                      Mark Gustaveson and Cooper Sparks
markcoopTypical April weather has everyone confused.  The only constant is change.  Balmy delightful mornings are often followed by windy afternoons.  Despite the uncertainty, early morning water temperature now exceeds 55 degrees.  That allows warming to reach the magical 60 degree range by afternoon. Warmwater fish respond to warming with renewed activity and vigor. Spiking temperatures trigger hormone release, forcing bass and crappie into spawning mode. Subsequent cooling pulls bass back out of the shallows as they sulk in deeper water near spawning flats waiting for the next warm period. These bass can still be caught by fishing slightly deeper water adjacent to spawning flats.






markbassSpawning is in full gear in some lake locations. Fishing success was hot last weekend on the San Juan but then faltered with the recent cold front. The next warming trend will bring that same fishing success to most of Lake Powell. Find water temperature exceeding 65 degrees and fishing should be super.  Look in the backs of canyons for best success this week. Murky colored water heats up faster than clear water and provides comfortable habitat in unsettled times.  Bass are stacked up in these comfort zones so keep searching until the hot spot is located.  

It may be best to avoid the Hite area as inflow has now increased to over 59,000 acre feet per day.  Cold inflowing water reduces temperature, water clarity and deposits debris in the lake making navigation difficult.  Fishing in the backs of canyons without the influence of river current is a better plan when fishing near Hite.  The mud line, where inflowing sediment settles out of main channel flow, is found near Castle Butte in Good Hope Bay and near Spencers Camp on the San Juan.





thomcatgCathy from Sandy, UT

Striper fishing is still red hot in the southern lake as hungry fish prowl along steep canyon walls from Navajo Canyon to Glen Canyon Dam. Most anglers are catching 30 plus fish per trip while fishing anchovy bait over shallow ledges protruding from steep cliffs along the edge of the main channel. Stripers return to spots where the school found     food in the form of chummed bait on a previous trip.  Take lots of bait and chum often to excite a school of stripers into activity under your boat. Chum a spot and return to fish it later in the day. The reward is a memorable fishing trip.  Catch and keep as many stripers as possible.  Stripers in the channel are excess fish that should be harvested to help balance populations of predator and prey fish as new generations of each are produced this spring.  

markcrappieStriper fishing will improve in the Bullfrog/Halls area with the next warming trend. Anglers coming this weekend will have improved catches of stripers along the canyon walls from Moki to Halls Creek to compliment fish now caught trolling in the backs on the canyons. Expect to catch fish on bait at the mouth of Lake Canyon, Hansen Creek, and Knowles.

Crappie fishing will peak in the next two weeks.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 April 2011 15:15

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