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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

78-82 F

September 5, 2019

July 3, 2019

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Lake Powell Fish Report – July 3, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3613
Water temperature: 75-85 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Rapidly rising water levels have really had an impact on fishing success and fish behavior. Many annual and perennial weeds are now under water, which provides cover for small, recently hatched fish. The most beneficial aspect is cloudy water gives small minnows a place to hide. We need these small fish to grow and become the future generation of adult fish in the coming months and years. When the lake level was lower and water was clear, sport fish fed on many small shad and other minnows. Additional cover makes it possible for shad and minnows to find refuge and grow larger. Bigger forage fish will provide more food for all predators in the months to come. 

Stripers are still slurping in the south each calm morning and throughout the day. Slurps are slowing down up north. Slurping striper schools line up on the surface and chase shad pods in quick bursts that last less than a minute. They are up and down often but also quick enough to avoid anglers who are just out of casting range. They go down quickly as a boat gets close but then they resurface nearby often in casting range. The average catch is one striper out of 10 slurps. It is a bit frustrating but also gratifying when a fat healthy striper hits a surface lure, spoon, Steelshad or small white jig.

Charlie Jorgensen caught his first striper at Lake Powell

Slurps cease when the wind comes up. Hungry stripers then go deeper and hang out at about 30 feet where the water temperature is just right. Bait fishing is now productive as the striper schools go deep to rest up. Anchovies or striper meat draws their attention back to eating and the action continues. Look for striper schools along canyon walls and hovering over bottom structure. Cast the bait out 30-40 feet and let the bait descend slowly as you work it back to the boat. Casting usually works better than just lowering the bait 30-40 feet below the boat.

Rapidly rising water is having an unusual impact on fishing success. Young bass and other minnows are swimming in the backs of coves where the water is turbid and brush is present. Shallow coves in the end of canyons have higher water temperatures (78-85 degrees) which limit access from adult stripers. However, the back of cove with a 12-20 foot deep canyon is a gathering spot for fish of all sizes. We found some productive fishing areas last trip where detritus was floating on the surface, minnows were swimming around and bass and young stripers were right there with the forage fish. We could fish from shore in the back end of narrow canyons and catch a variety of sport fish. If looking for bass, go the back of the canyon. That is the current gathering spot.

Boating traffic is at a summer peak right now. If fishing is on your Lake Powell to do list make sure you get up with the sun and go fishing before boat traffic hits the lake.

Happy 4th of July!

June 26, 2019

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 26, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3608
Water temperature: 72-76 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell continues to rise over a foot per day, for the second week in a row. The lake is up about 2 inches short of seven feet since the last report.


Early morning provides the best fishing. Striper slurps last all day long but in the early morning there are fewer boat wakes and more aggressive slurps. That makes it easier to approach the feeding school. Slurps tend to stay up for less than a minute. The school runs through the small shad school quickly, then dives and regroups and looks for another small shad school. When shad are seen the slurpers come right back up. They may be just out of range or right under the boat. React quickly by casting your lure 2 feet in front of the leading fish. If the lead fish are actively slurping (head out of the water) as your lure lands in the right spot, just in front of the lead fish, there is a 50% chance of catching a fish. If it lands too far in front or behind the slurping group, reel in fast and try again. After the slurp goes down watch for the next group to resurface, judge direction of travel and then cast to the sweet spot to catch more fish.

The best chance of catching a striper out of a slurp occurs on the first cast. As they go down a time or two, they are less likely to hit your lure. After they surface for the third time, they avoid your lures. Quickly move on to the next school. This morning we saw slurping schools just about every quarter mile between Wahweap and Last Chance. The biggest concentrations were in Warm Creek, Labyrinth Canyon mouth, Dominguez Rock Cove, and Buoy 25 cove. 

The best lures were slender surface lures similar to an Ima Skimmer. Other reports indicate good catches on an eighth-ounce white crappie jig. I like the thrill of the fish hitting the surface lure and can cast over the feeding school at long distance so I use that. If the slurping school is close then light crappie jigs may be best. Your personal preference is your best choice. 

Slurps are dependable lakewide on calm days. It is possible to see slurps in Moki Canyon, Lost Eden, Halls Creek Lake Canyon, Annie’s Canyon to Rincon, and Hole in the Rock to the San Juan. Slurps are happening lakewide.

Stripers slurp on very small shad (less than an inch) which makes them challenging to catch.


Smallmouth bass were reluctant to hit our lures. We cast to a few spots and trolled along shorelines that have usually been good for bass without success. They still seem to be looking for their old familiar rocky coves, but cannot find them due to the rapidly rising water. Largemouth bass are doing great in the backs of brushy coves and flooded crevasses where new tumbleweeds provide the brushy cover needed by bass and crappie.

Enjoy an early morning fishing trip and then find time for water sports on beautiful Lake Powell.

June 19, 2019 - Go Early for best results.

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 19, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3600
Water temperature: 71-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net

Lake Powell rose an amazing 10 feet since the last fish report. That is the largest one week rise I can remember since the turn of the century in 2000. Inflow still exceeds 100,000 acre feet each day so the lake will continue to rise as much as a foot per day. Make sure to check mooring lines often when boat camping on the lake. All of the main launch ramps (Castle Rock Cut, Antelope Public launch ramp, Bullfrog Main, Halls Crossing) are open due to the rising water level.

The best fishing occurs in the early morning despite the full moon. Get out early to find bass and stripers. After 9-10 AM the lake is busy with boaters, skiers and wake boats. Go fishing early to find striper slurps and surface feeding bass. Use topwater lures to catch a variety of fish. Rico poppers, Ima Skimmers, Buzz baits, whopper ploppers, Hula poppers and many other surface lures will work well.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass will hit topwater. Largemouth will be in recently flooded coves that have submerged tumbleweeds and other brushy cover. Smallmouth are still lost and wandering as their favorite rock piles change on a daily basis. Both bass species will hit topwater lures at first light in the morning. Later in the day, break out the Ned Rigs, green plastic grubs and fish deeper water bouncing the rig on the bottom at 15-20 feet.

Working in the back of the brushy canyon will add more largemouth, while fishing along a cliff wall with a ledge at 15-20 feet will add more smallmouth bass to the livewell. Do not be surprised when a walleye hits one of the deeper rigs. They are still active and available from 15 to 50 feet in the low light periods of morning or evening.

Slurping stripers continue to hit the surface early in the morning before the wind comes up and the boat wakes start. The best slurp reports are coming from Bullfrog down to the Escalante. Do not be surprised to see a slurp anywhere on the lake. In the Southern lake look for slurps at the mouth of Warm Creek, Navajo Canyon, and Rock Creek to Rainbow Bridge. The San Juan and Escalante have many slurps as well. A very small lure placed in front of a group of slurping fish will consistently produce results.

One angler reported great success using a mini Steel Shad. The color of the Steel Shad did not make much difference but the size, flash, and shallow running seemed to trigger the strike. It seems like a good shallow running slurp lure. As shad grow bigger, expect the surface lure bite to improve as well. 

The last species of fish to spawn in Lake Powell this spring is the channel catfish. Spawning temperature is between 70 and 84 degrees. They will be moving into rocky crevices where the male catfish will guard the eggs for at least a week before hatching. Males will be hard to catch but larger female catfish will still be active at night and can be caught from shore or off the back of a houseboat using anchovies, crayfish, hot dogs or night crawlers.

Fishing is still great at Lake Powell!


June 12, 2019 - Slurping stripers

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Lake Powell Fish Report – June 12, 2019
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water temperature:  70-75 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson http://www.wayneswords.com or Wayneswords.net


We went to Bullfrog on Monday to complete a work assignment, which was to collect 200 surface feeding striped bass.  These captured fish are destined to be brood fish used to create hybrid stripers. We chose this date months ago, based on previous fish reports, which indicated slurping stripers would begin feeding on the surface during the first week of June.   The report strategy worked great as we caught 100 surface feeding (slurping) stripers from dawn until 10 AM on Monday and Tuesday.

Stripers find small schools of shad (less than inch long) on the surface in areas where gizzard shad spawn.  These small shad, bunch up, are surrounded and attacked by hungry stripers. The event is names “slurps” because tiny shad cannot swim fast enough to elude the attacking fish. Schooling stripers surround the shad school and leisurely gulp down as many shad as possible.  Anglers observing the shad feast only see a small surface disturbance and an occasional fish head skimming the surface.

Binging stripers are prone to eat something larger than a tiny shad. If a “large shad” swims by (small rattletrap, spoon, or surface lure), the closest striper can be distracted and hit your lure. The trick is to cast just beyond the feeding school and reel the lure back through the skirmish line.  Usually only one fish is caught from a slurp. Two fish is a bonus.  That is not a problem because the stripers go down, regroup and come right back up under another shad school. On our trip, the wait was often less than a minute with the school coming up again, not very far away.  We ran the big motor close enough to get off another cast and catch another fish. This is an exciting way to catch stripers.  Surprisingly the little foreheads seen sticking out of the water belonged to very healthy 2-3 pound stripers.

Slurps were found uplake as far as Moki Canyon. We did not go uplake further due to a heavy mudline with lots of floating debris. There were slurps in the main channel all day long from Moki Canyon to Rock Creek.  The heaviest concentration of slurping fish were found at Annies Canyon to Rincon where another water color change occurred from murky to clear.  The next giant concentration of stripers was at the mouth of the San Juan. Slurping schools were seen as far downlake as Rock Creek, Dove Canyon, and Dominguez Butte (floating restroom).

Smallmouth Bass fishing is still slower than usual with smallmouth holding on rocky habitat found a week ago, that is now over 20 feet deep.  Largemouth bass are doing fine hiding in the newly submerged tumbleweeds in the backs if canyons and coves. Walleye are deeper than usual because of the fast rising water levels.

The good news is that the Castle Rock Cut is almost 10 feet deep.  Antelope Point public launch ramp will be open soon, The inflowing river water exceeds 134,000 acre feet. Perhaps the best news for anglers is that the Wahweap Fish Cleaning Station is now open.

Life is good at Lake Powell!



New Wayneswords.net

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There are still many of the long term members that read this fish report that are not signed up on the New Wayneswords.net website. I talked to a fisherman this week who said the new webiste is very confusing. Nothing is in order and it is really hard to find anything.  

The answer to that is you need to be signed in and become a member before the new site makes sense.  After joining (which is simple and easy) then the posts are in order and information easy to find.  Each day you come back you can start where you left off and see new posts that were added and which threads are actively being updated.  The fishing information and pictures are great! Simply ask a question and get many replies.


If you are houseboating and not fishing then look on the Recreation page.

Go through the table of contents on the front page by clicking on Forums and see what is offerred.  

Please give the new site another look.  I suspect that we have over 2000 previous members to WW.com that have not yet signed up. You can read the fish report on the old site but there is so much more. Give it a try. It will be worth it.  




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