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Fishing Report

Water temperature:

78-82 F

September 5, 2019



April 4, 2018 - Clear water in South

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Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612
Water temperature:  52 -58 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.
It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows.
Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May.
Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.
Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.
Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.
I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.
In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.   More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel.
Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report –April 4, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612

Water temperature:  52 -58 F

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

The warming trend faltered this past week and afternoon water temperatures dropped slightly from 60 degrees down to 57 while early morning temps were still in the low 50s.  Cooling slowed down bass that were starting to build spawning beds.  Bass will move back up and fan some more rocks later this week as the next warming trend arrives.

cromerojrChris Romero Jr

 

 

 

It was surprising to see the impact of cooling daytime water temperatures, dropping lake levels, combined with the presence of quagga mussels as visibility in the lake became clearer than ever witnessed in my long career.  We fished for bass in Friendship Cove only to find an aquatic petting zoo where the lake bottom could be seen at 25 feet throughout the entire cove.  Bass and other fish were seen swimming under the boat but few were caught due to water clarity.  My advice is to spend more time fishing for bass in deeper water (25-30 feet) or in canyons where visibility is 15 feet of less. In clear water, throw very long casts to prevent fish from seeing the boat before they have a chance to see the lure.  Recently, under the declining full moon, the very best bass fishing success was from 5 pm to dark when shadows were on the water. That is the warmest water of the day with water clarity reduced by shadows. 

Walleye fishing has started in the northern lake.  One party captured 50 walleye over the past weekend fishing near Good Hope Bay.  Their technique was to cast Gulp minnows and Keitech swimbaits on 3/16 ounce jig heads on main lake points where bottom depth was 10-15 feet. The lures had to be retrieved very slowly for best results.  Expect walleye action to improve lakewide, each week through the rest of April and May. 

 

 

ccrosbyChris Crosby

 

 


Some crappie have been caught over the length of the lake.  They will be near a sunken bush or holding by an old cottonwood tree trunk. Brush is not abundant so it takes a lot of searching to find where they hangout.  More crappie are caught in the mid and northern lake.     

Clear water is not a problem in the northern lake where runoff is starting to muddy the water from Hite down to the Horn. The channel is getting muddy but the backs of the canyons (White, Trachyte, Scorup, etc.) remain green with good fishing for bass, walleye and stripers.       

Bait fishing is working now in the southern lake with stripers reportedly caught at the dam, power plant intake and on the first left turn after passing buoy 3 while heading up lake.  Number of stripers caught is not as many as last year when 20 or more fish were caught per boat. This year the average catch is 10 fish or less. It is important to be in the right spot where many fish can be caught while 20 yards away from the good spot no fish are caught.  Move around from spot to spot until the boat is centered over a school for best results.

I still go uplake and troll for stripers along the breaking edge of the shoreline where water depth changes quickly from 20 feet to 50 feet. Stripers can see and feel the trolled lure in the clear water and come up from 40-50 feet to hit the lure at 10 feet.  It is wise in the clear water to troll the lure at 200 feet or further to let the fish forget about the boat before seeing the lure.  This is more important in the southern clear lake than in the north where water clarity is less than 10 feet.

graph4Striper School

 

 

 


In the south, stripers are schooling in clear water along the main channel and in the murky water at the backs of canyons. The schools are now large, tight and easy to see on the graph instead of scattered in small bunches as they were over winter.   Once located, they can be caught by casting crankbaits, jigs, and spoons to their holding location.  More fish can be caught on lures uplake than on bait near the main channel. 

Expect fishing success to improve with warm weather and falter as the wind and cool temperatures return. Watch the weather reports that are fairly accurate for about 10 days out.  Go fishing on the best weather days during April, when possible, to have the best success on your trip.

 

March 28, 2018 - Clear water fishing improves

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3612.74
Water temperature:  50 -56
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek.
There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.
If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw fish on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days.
While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.
Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more.
Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.
Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April.
Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.
Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 28, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3612.74

Water temperature:  50-56

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

jishsmith

 

 

 

Josh Smith with Warm Creek striper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many are wondering if stripers have moved into the main channel and are readily responding to anchovy bait.  Reports have been few, so I made the early morning trek to the dam to get a first hand report. It was cold and breezy and the boat near the buoy line had been there for an hour without success. It was reported that they caught 5 fish yesterday.  When stripers are abundant the average catch is 20 fish or more per boat.  So far this spring, numbers of stripers caught in the main channel have been few.  Further investigation took me to Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and Buoy 9 with similar negative results.  Bait fishing gets better as the water warms but there are more stripers in the backs of canyons.  Best reports have been coming from Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance and Rock Creek. 

 

 

buoy25




Buoy 25 Cove

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a major discover with travel further uplake.  Last week the hot spots were in colored water in the backs of canyons and the bite improved with warming.  This week the water temperature was still 50 degrees in the morning but it warmed quickly to 56 in the afternoon.  Fish response was surprising as stripers could be caught in crystal clear water trolling and spooning.  Trolling along the shoreline from Face Canyon to Gregory Butte and from West Canyon to Dove Canyon produced a great catch of 2-3 pound stripers.  

If trolling, avoid the steep cliff walls with deep water near shore. Instead look for rocky points and humps and troll along the breaking edge where depth quickly changes from visible rock to deep water. Surprisingly, the water visibility was over 25 feet.  I saw stripers on the graph at 25 feet and looked over the side of the boat and saw the actual fish.  Of course, they could see me as well so the visit was short.  The positive result of clear water is that stripers holding at 40-50 feet could see our trolled lures trolled at 12 feet and come up quickly to investigate.  The Buoy 25 cove is like a nature observatory where stripers can be seen swimming at depth on some days. 

While trolling, watch the graph for striper schools holding on the bottom or swimming suspended under the boat. If the school is suspended just keep trolling because the deep fish are likely to come up and hit the shallow trolled lures. If the school is resting on the bottom (30-50 feet) then toss out a floating marker or hit the waypoint on the graph so you can return to the resting school and try spoons dropped right into the school. Both of these techniques worked well on this trip.  

 

graphshad

 

 

 

Suspended shad schools 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing success has increased significantly this week.  Warming is still the trigger to watch.  Expect water temperature to rise this week so it is important to note early morning temperature as you leave the dock and then expect fishing success to improve as the water warms 3 degrees or more. 

Fishing for bass is improving as well. On this trip a white grub tossed into clear water of a dry wash stream channel framed between two high cliff walls resulted in the catch of a 2.5 pound smallmouth bass and some smaller bass.  Bass are becoming more active and will be hiding in brushy cover for largemouth and rocky cover for smallmouth.  Bass were not caught trolling but were more likely to respond to plastic baits fished on bottom near rocky points and brush.  It is necessary to throw long casts in clear water while short casts can be effective in murky water in the backs of canyons.  

Expect bass to come shallow and start fanning nests next week if the weather continues to warm. If it stays cold then nest building will be postponed a week or two.  Historically bass spawning begins the 3rd week of April but nest building starts as early as the first week of April. 

Walleye have not turned on yet as they need another week or two to complete the spawning process. Expect walleye fishing to improve dramatically mid April.  Bluegill and catfish will spawn in May and June.    

Spring is here.  It’s time for anglers to come and enjoy great fishing and beat the summer crowds.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:06
 

March 21, 2018 - Afternoon Warming

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 21, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3613.6
Water temperature:  50 - 54
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Water temperature today (49.6F) was essentially the same as found last week.  Therefore, it seemed the results of our weekly trip would be similar to last week while fishing in the back of a major canyon with cloudy water to find active cooperative fish. The choices heading upstream from Wahweap included, Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance, West Canyon, and Rock Creek.  All have been moderately productive recently.
The first stop was in deep water (90 feet) where a few fish traces were seen holding tight to the bottom. Spoons were deployed and one was bumped but no fish were caught, so we moved on.  Few fish were seen on the graph at bottom depth of 50-80 feet.  We then moved to the back of the canyon trolling the shoreline rocky points with Lucky Craft XD pointers in chartreuse shad and ghost colors.  Catching was slow until we crossed one rocky point where the water depth changed quickly from 40 to 25 feet.  A striper school was graphed on top of the shallow ridge with two quick hookups as our lures crossed the ridge.  The school followed the two hooked fish so spoons were dropped and more fish were caught. After that fishing was again slow as the school left the ridge and did not return. For the rest of the morning a few random stripers were caught trolling with the most productive bottom depth being 20-30 feet. After lunch 2 anglers had 15 stripers in the ice chest. Two more side canyons were trolled after lunch without success except for one random walleye caught trolling. It seemed we might as well return to Wahweap.
We returned to the first spot to tell some friends that we were returning to Wahweap. They looked at us like we were crazy. We took the hint and tried fishing the back of the canyon once more with completely different results. Stripers hit trolled lures with aggression. If the school was on the bottom, spoons were whacked with passion. When one fish was reeled in the whole school followed and more fish could be caught by casting lures in any direction.  After each fish was landed we just glanced at the graph to see where the school was holding and at what depth before choosing which lure to use next.  In the next hour our catch increased to 40 stripers.
What was the difference?  Water temperature increased from 50 in the morning to 53 in the afternoon. Warming caused a complete change in attitude from the same fish.  Temperature increase to 53 is the first hurdle but a larger increase to 57 and above is the key to catching warm water fish in the springtime.
Back at the fish cleaning station the walleye was examined and found to be prespawn. The walleye spawn is not yet over so do not expect walleye catching to pick up until mid April.
Other anglers at the cleaning station reported good afternoon fishing in Navajo and Warm Creek where stripers were caught trolling in murky water at the back of the canyon.  I was glad to hear that smallmouth bass were caught in good numbers on Yamamoto creature baits in clear water coves in Navajo. There was also a second hand report that bait fishermen had caught stripers at the dam over the weekend.
In summary, fishing results improve dramatically as the water temperature increases each day. Catching is usually better in the afternoon than morning or mid day. Water warms first on the surface so fish tend to go shallower when seeking warmth and feeding opportunities.   Expect fish movement as the day progresses.  Expect better results by fishing in the backs of canyons in greenish gray colored water rather than in clear, deep water of main channel and bays. The fish caught had empty stomachs except for smaller stripers that were eating plankton in open water.  Fish that we caught remembered what shad looked like as they ate our lures.  Bait fishing is probably working well but was not tried on this trip.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 21, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3613.6

Water temperature:  50 - 54

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

wgwaeps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water temperature today (49.6F) was essentially the same as found last week.  Therefore, it seemed the results of our weekly trip would be similar to last week while fishing in the back of a major canyon with cloudy water to find active cooperative fish. The choices heading upstream from Wahweap included, Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Last Chance, West Canyon, and Rock Creek.  All have been moderately productive recently.  

greengrayh20





Green Gray colored water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first stop was in deep water (90 feet) where a few fish traces were seen holding tight to the bottom. Spoons were deployed and one was bumped but no fish were caught, so we moved on.  Few fish were seen on the graph at bottom depth of 50-80 feet.  We then moved to the back of the canyon trolling the shoreline rocky points with Lucky Craft XD pointers in chartreuse shad and ghost colors.  Catching was slow until we crossed one rocky point where the water depth changed quickly from 40 to 25 feet.  A striper school was graphed on top of the shallow ridge with two quick hookups as our lures crossed the ridge.  The school followed the two hooked fish so spoons were dropped and more fish were caught. After that fishing was again slow as the school left the ridge and did not return. For the rest of the morning a few random stripers were caught trolling with the most productive bottom depth being 20-30 feet. After lunch 2 anglers had 15 stripers in the ice chest. Two more side canyons were trolled after lunch without success except for one random walleye caught trolling. It seemed we might as well return to Wahweap.

We returned to the first spot to tell some friends that we were returning to Wahweap. They looked at us like we were crazy. We took the hint and tried fishing the back of the canyon once more with completely different results. Stripers hit trolled lures with aggression. If the school was on the bottom, spoons were whacked with passion. When one fish was reeled in the whole school followed and more fish could be caught by casting lures in any direction.  After each fish was landed we just glanced at the graph to see where the school was holding and at what depth before choosing which lure to use next.  In the next hour our catch increased to 40 stripers. 

graphpm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the difference?  Water temperature increased from 50 in the morning to 53 in the afternoon. Warming caused a complete change in attitude from the same fish.  Temperature increase to 53 is the first hurdle but a larger increase to 57 and above is the key to catching warm water fish in the springtime.  

Back at the fish cleaning station the walleye was examined and found to be prespawn. The walleye spawn is not yet over so do not expect walleye catching to pick up until mid April. 

Other anglers at the cleaning station reported good afternoon fishing in Navajo and Warm Creek where stripers were caught trolling in murky water at the back of the canyon.  I was glad to hear that smallmouth bass were caught in good numbers on Yamamoto creature baits in clear water coves in Navajo.

There was also a second hand report that bait fishermen had caught stripers at the dam over the weekend.   

In summary, fishing results improve dramatically as the water temperature increases each day. Catching is usually better in the afternoon than morning or mid day. Water warms first on the surface so fish tend to go shallower when seeking warmth and feeding opportunities.   Expect fish movement as the day progresses.  Expect better results by fishing in the backs of canyons in greenish gray colored water rather than in clear, deep water of main channel and bays. The fish caught had empty stomachs except for smaller stripers that were eating plankton in open water.  Fish that we caught remembered what shad looked like as they ate our lures.  Bait fishing is probably working well but was not tried on this trip.

stgwaecooler

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:00
 

March 13, 2018 - Warming Begins

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 13, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3614.63
Water temperature:  50-55
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Warming is slowly happening but there is a long way to go. Today the early morning water temperature finally registered at 50 F.  Temperatures have consistently been below 50 for first two weeks of March. However, on warm, calm March afternoons, water temperature may rise to 55 degrees in isolated spots which can quickly be erased with the slightest light breeze. The end result is that warm water fish are still hunkered down waiting for the 60-70 degree water they crave.
Fishing is slow in cold water but still worth it.  The bass tournament held at Bullfrog over the weekend is a good example.  Bass fishing was slow but after many casts and covering much shoreline the end results were terrific.  Bass anglers really like to catch big largemouth bass and they did. The winning weight for the team with the heaviest 10 fish in the 2-day event was 38 pounds (3.8 pounds average per fish). Individually, largemouth bass weighing 4, 5 and 6 pounds were caught.  Bass anglers pounded the shoreline and found bass on the main outside points more often than in the very backs of the coves. Colored water was better than clear water. Best baits were Yamamoto Senkos and single and double tail plastic baits fished slowly along the bottom and near brushy cover.
Stripers are acting a bit confused with warming water as well.  Schools have been in deep water resting on the bottom in 60 to 100 feet most of the winter. These deep fish were catchable on spoons but recently the schools have moved to new, unknown locations.  Some stripers have recently been found in 15-40 feet in the backs of canyons with significant water color. Shallow stripers can be caught sporadically while trolling and casting lures that dive from 7-20 feet. My best lure is the LC Pointer XD 78 in chartreuse shad color that dives 10-12 feet. Others have been successful with Norman deep divers (20 feet) in chartreuse color.  Like bass anglers, striper chasers have to cover a lot of water to catch a few fish.
While trolling we have seen many striper groups (not schools) normally resting on the breaking edge where depth quickly drops from 15 to 30 or 40 feet.  We caught stripers most consistently after retracing our trolling route back to where the first fish was caught.  The next fish often hit right where the first fish was caught near a ledge, boulder or depth change. Trolling in the back of the canyon in a circular pattern was better than trolling in a straight line in open water.  We stopped on many striper groups and dropped spoons which were ignored.
The message here is to try many different options at the beginning of the day. Eliminate those techniques that are not working and concentrate on those that catch stripers.  We graph, troll, cast and spoon in each spot trying to find the best technique for the day and then concentrate on the one that works. It is best to have different 3 rods rigged with spoons, plastic grubs and crankbaits so the terminal tackle does not have to be retied at each new cove or bay. There are many striper schools that have not been located so they may be found somewhere between the deep water where they spent the winter and the backs of canyon where more shad can be found. Please report new striper information and I will continue to report the results of my fishing events.  As of now, no reports have been received about stripers being caught on bait in the main channel.  All reported striper activity is in the backs of canyons in colored water. That may change but for now look for stripers in the canyons. The best news is that the vast majority of stripers are fat and healthy.  Those fish normally stay in the canyons while thin fish head for the channel. Fat healthy fish are harder to find and catch but are a great prize when found.
Some walleye have begun to spawn now with slight warming but the main spawning event is still to come. Expect walleye to be caught in larger numbers beginning in April. That catch will peak in May.
Largemouth bass are catchable with consistent effort on main canyon points. Smallmouth bass are still mostly dormant with a short flurry of activity on a warm afternoon when water temperature exceeds 57 degrees. Catfish and bluegill are waiting for warmer water before joining in on the fun.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 13, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3614.63

Water temperature:  50-55

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

mardiwhitniMardi, Whitni and Brett Hepworth

 

 

Warming is slowly happening but there is a long way to go. Today the early morning water temperature finally registered at 50 F.  Temperatures have consistently been below 50 for first two weeks of March. However, on warm, calm March afternoons, water temperature may rise to 55 degrees in isolated spots which can quickly be erased with the slightest light breeze. The end result is that warm water fish are still hunkered down waiting for the 60-70 degree water they crave. Fishing is slow in cold water but still worth it. 

The bass tournament held at Bullfrog over the weekend is a good example.  Bass fishing was slow but after many casts and covering much shoreline the end results were terrific.  Bass anglers really like to catch big largemouth bass and they did. The winning weight for the team with the heaviest 10 fish in the 2-day event was 38 pounds (3.8 pounds average per fish). Individually, largemouth bass weighing 4, 5 and 6 pounds were caught.  Bass anglers pounded the shoreline and found bass on the main outside points more often than in the very backs of the coves. Colored water was better than clear water. Best baits were Yamamoto Senkos and single and double tail plastic baits fished slowly along the bottom and near brushy cover. 

xdpointer_edited-1   

XD Pointer Chartruese Shad

 

Stripers are acting a bit confused with warming water as well.  Schools have been in deep water resting on the bottom in 60 to 100 feet most of the winter. These deep fish were catchable on spoons but recently the schools have moved to new, unknown locations.  Some stripers have recently been found in 15-40 feet in the backs of canyons with significant water color. Shallow stripers can be caught sporadically while trolling and casting lures that dive from 7-20 feet. My best lure is the LC Pointer XD 78 in chartreuse shad color that dives 10-12 feet. Others have been successful with Norman deep divers (20 feet) in chartreuse color. 

normandd22

Like bass anglers, striper chasers have to cover a lot of water to catch a few fish. While trolling we have seen many striper groups (not schools) normally resting on the breaking edge where depth quickly drops from 15 to 30 or 40 feet.  We caught stripers most consistently after retracing our trolling route back to where the first fish was caught.  The next fish often hit right where the first fish was caught near a ledge, boulder or depth change. Trolling in the back of the canyon in a circular pattern was better than trolling in a straight line in open water.  We stopped on many striper groups and dropped spoons which were ignored.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The message here is to try many different options at the beginning of the day. Eliminate those techniques that are not working and concentrate on those that catch stripers.  We graph, troll, cast and spoon in each spot trying to find the best technique for the day and then concentrate on the one that works. It is best to have different 3 rods rigged with spoons, plastic grubs and crankbaits so the terminal tackle does not have to be retied at each new cove or bay. There are many striper schools that have not been located so they may be found somewhere between the deep water where they spent the winter and the backs of canyon where more shad can be found. Please report new striper information and I will continue to report the results of my fishing events. As of now, no reports have been received about stripers being caught on bait in the main channel.  All reported striper activity is in the backs of canyons in colored water. That may change but for now look for stripers in the canyons. The best news is that the vast majority of stripers are fat and healthy.  Those fish normally stay in the canyons while thin fish head for the channel. Fat healthy fish are harder to find and catch but are a great prize when found.   

Some walleye have begun to spawn now with slight warming but the main spawning event is still to come. Expect walleye to be caught in larger numbers beginning in April. That catch will peak in May. 

Largemouth bass are catchable with consistent effort on main canyon points. Smallmouth bass are still mostly dormant with a short flurry of activity on a warm afternoon when water temperature exceeds 57 degrees. Catfish and bluegill are waiting for warmer water before joining in on the fun.

 

March 7, 2018 - Welcome Back!

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Lake Powell Fish Report –March 7, 2018
Lake Elevation:  3615
Water temperature:  47-52
By: Wayne Gustaveson   http://www.wayneswords.com
Welcome back to the weekly fish reports from Lake Powell. 2017 was a banner year with high water levels that covered shoreline vegetation and provided extensive habitat for both predators and prey fish. Young fish survived in big numbers and these fat healthy fish will awake and become active as soon as Lake Powell water temperature rises above the 54-57 range.  “Warm water” fish residing in Lake Powell really do like warmer water better than the 47-50 F water they are now enduring. Here is what is happening with fish in the cold conditions.
Walleye begin spawning in March, which actually makes them harder to catch because they focus on spawning instead of eating.  After the spawn is over in April walleye start to feed regularly and often.
Striped bass have been resting on the bottom in deep water but with warming they will get more active and pursue shad wherever they can find them from the 100 foot depths to the shallow shoreline. Expect lots more movement by stripers with warming water in March.
Largemouth bass get very active in March with the first hint of warming (53 F). Their cousins, smallmouth bass don’t really get active until the water temperature exceeds 57 but they will not have to wait long for that comfort zone.
Catfish, bluegill, and crappie wait until April before starting their spring feeding ritual.
As this report is written the weather forecast shows a quick warming period coming this weekend. That means most fish will respond to warming weather in a certain fashion.  Clear blue water is beautiful but does not retain the warmth of the sun as well as colored water. The first positive fish response will be in the backs of canyons where water is cloudy or murky.  Just watch the water color while heading to the back of the canyon. Do not start fishing until the clear water gives way to murky and visibility decreases to less than 5 feet.  If you can see the bottom at 20-25 feet you are in the wrong spot.
Striped bass have been the most active fish over the winter and that will continue through March. Travel to the back of any major canyon. When water color change is seen, start graphing the bottom at 100 feet or less looking for 2-3 fish traces to show.  This winter most fish seen in deep water on the graph have been stripers. Drop spoons as quickly and close as possible to the fish traces seen. Jig the spoons up about 18 inches and let them fall back to the bottom to imitate shad and entice stripers to bite. You may get lucky and catch fish on the first drop.  If not, move on to the second best technique which is trolling.
After stripers quit resting on the bottom they head to the back of the canyon looking for food.  They are seen on the graph as individuals or small groups of 5-10 fish. Note the depth and then deploy trolling lures that run close to the holding depth.  Most flat line trolling lures are only effect down to 25 feet. If fish traces are deeper, then downriggers are a better option.  If fish traces are shallower than 20 feet then casting to the shoreline may be better than trolling.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass reside in brush or rocky structure.  A good plan is to target stripers in the cool March morning and then switch to bass as water temperature rises 2 degrees or more.  Rising water temperature triggers bass activity. If water temperature is 52 at dawn and then rises to 54, bass respond.   If morning water temperature is 57 and then rises to 60, bass behave in a similar fashion. Warming is the trigger.
Look for bass by checking water temperature. Sometimes similar coves on one side of the lake may be 2-3 degrees cooler than similar coves on the other side.  Target the warmer coves. A large sandstone boulder facing the morning sun might warm the water near the rock and attract bass into the cove.
This report purposely covers general patterns rather than specific locations.  We have found during the winter that a good trip to one canyon is followed by a mediocre result on the return trip. Time of day has been important but randomly swings between morning and afternoon. Now as temperature is warming fishing results will become more predictable and dependable.  The first hour of daylight is another trigger but warming is the better indicator in March.  Afternoons and evenings are best in March.
It is my prediction that bait fishing for stripers along main channel walls (Dam, Buoy 3, Moki Wall etc.) will not be as successful as it most years. Physical condition of striped bass is exceptional now due to the strong shad crop produced in 2017.  Fat healthy stripers tend to stay in the backs of canyons rather than moving to the main channel walls looking for forage.  You may try fishing bait in an old hotspot but if it does not produce then move to the back of a nearby canyon and try trolling, spooning, and casting for a better result.
When your trip is completed please share your fishing experience with us on Wayneswords.com.  That way we can give each other hints on fishing success at this huge lake. If you share your results it helps the next person to fish in your spot.  Then when you return in a month or two you can have the same advantage by reading a fish report on where you should try as you return.

Lake Powell Fish Report –March 7, 2018

Lake Elevation:  3615

Water temperature:  47-52

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

fatstbwg

Welcome back to the weekly fish reports from Lake Powell. 2017 was a banner year with high water levels that covered shoreline vegetation and provided extensive habitat for both predators and prey fish. Young fish survived in big numbers and these fat healthy fish will awake and become active as soon as Lake Powell water temperature rises above the 54-57 range.  “Warm water” fish residing in Lake Powell really do like warmer water better than the 47-50 F water they are now enduring. Here is what is happening with fish in the cold conditions.

Walleye begin spawning in March, which actually makes them harder to catch because they focus on spawning instead of eating.  After the spawn is over in April walleye start to feed regularly and often. 

Striped bass have been resting on the bottom in deep water but with warming they will get more active and pursue shad wherever they can find them from the 100 foot depths to the shallow shoreline. Expect lots more movement by stripers with warming water in March. 

Largemouth bass get very active in March with the first hint of warming (53 F). Their cousins, smallmouth bass don’t really get active until the water temperature exceeds 57 but they will not have to wait long for that comfort zone.   

Catfish, bluegill, and crappie wait until April before starting their spring feeding ritual. 

As this report is written the weather forecast shows a quick warming period coming this weekend. That means most fish will respond to warming weather in a certain fashion.  Clear blue water is beautiful but does not retain the warmth of the sun as well as colored water. The first positive fish response will be in the backs of canyons where water is cloudy or murky.  Just watch the water color while heading to the back of the canyon. Do not start fishing until the clear water gives way to murky and visibility decreases to less than 5 feet.  If you can see the bottom at 20-25 feet you are in the wrong spot. 

Striped bass have been the most active fish over the winter and that will continue through March. Travel to the back of any major canyon. When water color change is seen, start graphing the bottom at 100 feet or less looking for 2-3 fish traces to show.  This winter most fish seen in deep water on the graph have been stripers. Drop spoons as quickly and close as possible to the fish traces seen. Jig the spoons up about 18 inches and let them fall back to the bottom to imitate shad and entice stripers to bite. You may get lucky and catch fish on the first drop.  If not, move on to the second best technique which is trolling. 

After stripers quit resting on the bottom they head to the back of the canyon looking for food.  They are seen on the graph as individuals or small groups of 5-10 fish. Note the depth and then deploy trolling lures that run close to the holding depth.  Most flat line trolling lures are only effect down to 25 feet. If fish traces are deeper, then downriggers are a better option.  If fish traces are shallower than 20 feet then casting to the shoreline may be better than trolling.       

Largemouth and smallmouth bass reside in brush or rocky structure.  A good plan is to target stripers in the cool March morning and then switch to bass as water temperature rises 2 degrees or more.  Rising water temperature triggers bass activity. If water temperature is 52 at dawn and then rises to 54, bass respond.   If morning water temperature is 57 and then rises to 60, bass behave in a similar fashion. Warming is the trigger. 

Look for bass by checking water temperature. Sometimes similar coves on one side of the lake may be 2-3 degrees cooler than similar coves on the other side.  Target the warmer coves. A large sandstone boulder facing the morning sun might warm the water near the rock and attract bass into the cove.

This report purposely covers general patterns rather than specific locations.  We have found during the winter that a good trip to one canyon is followed by a mediocre result on the return trip. Time of day has been important but randomly swings between morning and afternoon. Now as temperature is warming fishing results will become more predictable and dependable.  The first hour of daylight is another trigger but warming is the better indicator in March.  Afternoons and evenings are best in March.  

It is my prediction that bait fishing for stripers along main channel walls (Dam, Buoy 3, Moki Wall etc.) will not be as successful as it most years. Physical condition of striped bass is exceptional now due to the strong shad crop produced in 2017.  Fat healthy stripers tend to stay in the backs of canyons rather than moving to the main channel walls looking for forage.  You may try fishing bait in an old hotspot but if it does not produce then move to the back of a nearby canyon and try trolling, spooning, and casting for a better result. 

When your trip is completed please share your fishing experience with us on Wayneswords.com.  That way we can give each other hints on fishing success at this huge lake. If you share your results it helps the next person to fish in your spot.  Then when you return in a month or two you can have the same advantage by reading a fish report on where you should try as you return.

 

Dana Andrus - with 7 pound winter caught striper.

danaandrus

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 March 2018 08:52
 


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