Have you made a recent fishing trip to Lake Powell? If you have, please let us know how you did. Post your fishing report on the Fishing Message Board or send it to Wayne Gustaveson (
) via E-mail. Please include who you are and where you are from, dates fished, location, tackle used, species and number of fish caught and any other information you would like to pass on to other anglers.
Our goal here is to save shad by encouraging harvest of striped bass. If we do that then all fisheries benefit from the effort.
Keep the reports coming. I send out high resolution pictures to the media with my weekly fish reports. If you have a good photo and would like it to be displayed in newspapers and magazines then send it to me. Be aware that your photo may be used in other locations.
If possible send, first and last name, and hometown. The media likes pictures of kids (include age) and fishergirls. Be creative when taking photos. Change poses and backgrounds. Use the flash in full sun to avoid hat shadow.
Thanks to all who have contributed because it makes it easier for a newly arriving angler to start fishing with confidence needed to catch fish on this huge lake.
If you have a general question try posting on WAYNESWORDS FISHING MESSSAGE BOARD.
October 28, 2014 - Stripers in Padre Bay
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 18:13
We went to Gunsight early to find the striper school that has been there for the last few weeks. At 7 AM we trolled over a school and hooked a fish. We immediately shut down the boat and backed up to stay over the school. It was a good move and we caught a dozen fish before they moved away from us. That was very gratifying after being able to only catch a few fish on the last 3 trips.
But we did not find the school again and finally moved on. We searched for another hour in the Padre Bay Canyons without success. At 10 AM we tried one more canyon and this time found shad trapped in the back being pummelled by stripers, smallmouth bass and largemouth. For the next 2 hours we did battle with all these fish. When the cooler was full we headed in with big smiles on our faces.
At the fish cleaning station we filleted 48 stripers from 8 inches to 4 pounds. It was a great day.
October 27, 2014 - Southern lake bass and stripers
My son Brad and I went back up to Powell for a quick trip this past week getting on the water a little after 9 this past Friday, 10/24 and starting to fish close to 10 up near Gregory Butte to Rock Creek. No boils noted after driving around awhile so we went to some previous producing areas and caught a few here and there on drop shot, grub, and spooning, mostly in 15-25’ but they were all smaller sized smallmouth. We also went into Dungeon Canyon area after an ice cream run to Dangling Rope and saw loads of small stripers in packs. We fought off the temptation to run up to San Juan and stayed in this same area for the rest of the day picking up a few fish here and there but definitely not the numbers of a month ago.
The next morning we hit the lake early and buzzed right to Gregory Butte before slowing down and driving around looking for boils as this was our main goal. After an hour we went into the back of Rock Creek where my son fished while I worked on my dash graph but no fish were boated. After another hour we went back out to the main channel looking for boils and finally saw a few quick ones going into the Dungeon Canyon bay but they were up and down quickly. We ended up back at the SW corner of the main channel where the softball sized rock hills are at and started catching a few when just into the middle of them we had the packs of small striper blowing up here and there. We couldn’t catch them on top but spooning started putting them into the boat with regularity including some good smallmouth and a big sunfish. 25’ seemed to be about the right depth here and as long as we could stay over the action we were catching fish regularly until we had to leave them at 11 to head home.
It was beautiful weather again with little wind but my last trip to Powell this season. Glad to see the water level holding and hope this means great things again next year!
Sam Sherwood, Mesa, AZ
October 25, 2014- Good Hope to White
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 October 2014 11:48
Motored up north of Good Hope on Tuesday. Found one striper school that hit my spoon a few times and allowed the good angler in the boat (Richard) to land one. Lost the school and nothing more that afternoon although we searched. Saw three quick boils at about the mud line in front of White Canyon. They did not stay up long enough that evening to get to in time. Nightfished at the mouth of Trachyte in 43 foot deep water. Hardly brought in any shad and only a catfish boated.
No boils or bites the next morning. In the evening we found very little. Set up for nightfishing in 70 feet of water. Brought in shad slowly. Landed seven stripers between about 10 pm and midnight.
On the morning of the 23rd we woke to small mouths working the surface. Finally they started taking our topwater lures after sun up. Also hooked a few stripers. When that slowed we caught a couple of stripers on spoons. Of note there was one striper that upon filleting at the cleaning station we found that it had an 8" striper in its stomach. In addition to shad swallowed later. This was a 23" striper about four pounds. See the pictures.
October 24, 2014 - Northern Lake Bass
10/20 Water temp 69-72
Headed to the boulder flat with spoons at the ready. First drop we started to hit stripers but could only boat one. The schools of fish were scarce and bite was different. Ran to submerged brush and hit a good LM and SM on spinner baits but those must have been the only two fish in the area.
We then ran to shad choked cove and hit some LM on spinner baits but when I changed one rig to a buzz bait the bite got exciting. LM schools would chase and they were all different sizes. Ran to another cut and found fish on the graph and we spooned up several SM and stripers. Ran back to boulder flat with no luck on fish schools so we started casting spinner baits and buzz baits along the shore line where nice SM bass schools were blowing up on the buzz baits. SM on top were real fighters no matter what size but we were hitting some nice ones. The big SM came on the spook jr. On the way in we trolled an area that holds stripers and SM and the rattle trap did the trick. The bite was a little different today. Fish were chasing but wary to bite.
October 24, 2014 - Trolling stripers in San Juan
San Juan Fishing - Oct 20-23
Judy and I went to Piute Bay on the SJ on Monday and set up camp in time for 1.5 hrs fishing before dark. Spent that time in Piute Creek and did not have a strike, see a boil or graph a striper. The next morning we headed down river to Cha with the same result. Trolled into Desha and saw one 15-second boil against a wall and got one cast and 1 4# striper.
After lunch went to the Great Bend. Started trolling in 40' of water with leaded line and Lucky Craft Pointers....Game on! We trolled up to 25' of water and then started the circle between 25' and 35'. In 2 hours of fishing we caught 11 stripers ranging from 3.5# to 5# and they were the hardest fighting fish I ever seen in Powell....almost lost Judy over board on a couple fish. We returned two more times (time of day did not seem to make a difference) and repeated the previous afternoon, if not better as we had several doubles. Each visit to our area resulted on 9 or 10 of this big guys....usually within 1.5 hours. They willingly attacked (deliberate word) the Pointers in ghost Chartreuse, Aurora Blue plus a blue and white deep billed Rapala were readily accepted. See a fish on the graph and hang on!
We fished Piute again one morning with equal results and also went to Desha and saw nothing but shad. That morning we also trolled inside Desha saw nothing but shad but outside in the main channel there were both stripers (50-60') and shad. A downrigger at 50' would fill the boat and they were also taking lures (in my case bucktails) by jigging. There were shad in every canyon and a good bit of the river channel. We saw no boils, except the flasher I mentioned above. Nothing on the surface.
There were plenty of shad anywhere and Grebes everywhere there were shad, but specifically in the Great Bend there were a good number of shad schools..plenty of food for the stripers. Last fall about this time I went to Piute Bay looking for boils but found none...remember last year was a skinny big fish year with few shad. I did catch about 75 10-14" stripers in the same area (25-35") because the stripers were after the shad that were left and hiding in the slightly green, turbid water. I went back there because of last years experience but my small fish had grown up...wow, were they strong and fun! I believe that a fellow could troll with braided or mono and use the billed lures and catch them pretty much all day long....spooning too!
We came down lake this morning on flat water and saw no surface activity.
BUT we saw something very rare in Piute Bay or Powell. While looking for a camp spot we spied a coyote on the shore peering into the water and jumping back when an otter raised out of the water to surge at him. The coyote appeared to be trying to get the otter and it was fighting back. The coyote backed off and the otters, 4 of them, swam across a small bay. The coyote out of sight to the otters crossed onto the point of land the otters had gone to. He charged over a small ridge and there was a scuffle of dust and one otter (big one) got back in the water. The coyote reappeared exiting at high speed with a dark object in his mouth. Three otters swam away---Score Coyotes 1, Otters 0 (or -1).
Chuck and Judy Fulton
October 22, 2014 - Iceberg Stripers
We made a trip down to Powell for a few days of hiking and fishing from the 17th - 21st of October. What a great time to be out on Lake Powell! I thought I'd share a few notes from our trip.
On Sunday the 19th we took a ride to Iceberg Canyon to see if we could find any boils. We started trolling and watching. We never did see any real boils. We would see a few splashes here and there, but nothing of real significance. We finally did see something of a small boil (3-4 splashes) and moved over to see if we could get in on some fish. We found a few smallmouth bass using poppers in 80' of water! A few minutes later we again saw a few splashes across the canyon against a sheer wall with a nice alcove. When we got there, again we found a few smallmouth on poppers in 100' of water. However, this time we saw a nice ball of fish on the sonar down at 60'. I'm guessing that the stripers had been pushing shad to the surface, where opportunistic smallmouth were waiting and creating some small boilds. We quickly turned to spoons and started getting some very nice stripers. These were the bigger stripers, up to 25". They were VERY healthy, and nearly all fish we caught were spitting up shad as we realed them in. This action lasted for a short while before the school disapeared. This happened at about 10:30 a.m. By 11:00 the sun was high and hot.
We moved over to the alcove and found another group of stripers at the surface in the shade -- one of those was HUGE. Another couple fish were caught before they disappeared. The rest of the day was spent trolling and searching for schools, but stripers were few and far between. Smallmouth (and a couple small largemouth) could be found in the typical rocky areas, or around submerged vegetation. We never did find any more boils, and never could find another school of stripers.
On Tuesday we went back to the same spot, and sure enough there was another big school of stripers hanging out at about 60'. Again, we nailed a few big healthy stripers before the school disappeared.
If people are in the area of Iceberg looking for stripers, I would highly recommend going in to the second alcove and looking for this school. I hope this helps somebody find some of those stripers. Pictures of our trip are attached -- please let me know if you have any problems downloading them using the sharefile link. Let me know if you need any other info that might be of some help.
October 19, 2014 - Southern SMB
The only way to describe smallmouth bass fishing on the lower lake last week was tough. My partner Dale Marenda and I caught a fair number of bass, but nothing like we have grown accustomed to seeing on Lake Powell in October. On the bright side we did catch some very nice fish, so quality was up a bit but quantity was way down.
On Tuesday the 14th we motored up to Last Chance. We fished four of my favorite coves but found the going tough. We managed just 14 bass that day - a good number for just about anywhere else - but we just couldn’t establish any real pattern. We caught some fish up shallow in less than 10 feet of water, and we also caught deeper - down to 27 feet. After these disappointing results we decided to leave Last Chance early and motored back to Gunsight. Our luck there wasn’t much better, catching one fish and losing a couple others. With Wednesday’s weather forecast for afternoon wind we decided to stay close. We fished the double islands past the Castle Rock cut, the reefs and walls below Navajo Canyon and a couple other places along the channel and Warm Creek. The results were not much better than Tuesday - 15 total bass - but at least we didn’t run so far and burn so much gas to get them. Unlike Tuesday, every fish we caught was 20 feet deep or deeper. As it turned out the wind never came up, however I’m not sure we would have done much better fishing up lake.
With Thursday being our last day we decided to take the time to travel to Gunsight. Jim Buxton and I had some luck there a couple weeks ago, so I felt this would be a good place to try. Also, if we didn’t get into many smallmouth I figured we might be able to find some stripers there. Our day started like the others - a fish here and there - but around 10 a.m. things changed. We were fishing off a long point that went out into the bay. We had already take a couple smallmouth around that point when I saw some fish boiling out over open water a long cast away. I figured they were stripers, but I didn’t have time to reach my striper rod. I flung my drop shot rig in the area where the fish had come up and let out line. Suddenly I saw my line jump and then start to peel off the reel much faster. I engaged my reel and felt what appeared to be a heavy fish on my line. Again, I figured I had hooked a striper, but suddenly the fish leaped about five feet out of the water revealing that it was a nice smallmouth of about two pounds. Dale managed to get the net under it, and then I started looking on the graph for more fish. I found an area at the end of the point where the bottom dropped from 15 to 30 feet very quickly, and I saw a number of marks around the 23-foot mark. I dropped to those marks and was fast into another nice bass. We continued to work that area until the bite ended. We fished up the lake on that side a bit further, but that only produced one two-pound largemouth. We returned to the point where we had caught those smallmouths but failed to catch any more.
At that point I decided to motor directly across the lake to an area where Jim Buxton and I had success two weeks prior. We took a couple fish where we started, but the action got a lot faster when we reached another long point at the mouth of cove. Most of the point was submerged going well out into the bay before it dropped off into deeper water. By this time there was an easterly breeze blowing directly into the point as well as some pretty massive ski boat and cruiser wakes. We managed to take several nice bass off this point, and some of the fish were up on the point in the shallower water. The action lasted for about 45 minutes and then it was over. We tried one other point on the opposite side of the cove before calling it a day but had no luck. Of the 25 bass we caught Thursday, 14 came off of those two points which happened to be almost directly across the bay from each other.
The fish we cleaned Tuesday and Wednesday had about an equal number of shad and crayfish in their stomachs, however it was apparent the bass we caught in Gunsight Thursday were feeding entirely on shad. It wasn’t unusual to see a couple of shad tails still in their mouths, and many of our fish spit up large numbers of shad as we fought them. As we do most of the time, we used drop shot rigs with Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worms. We used mainly two colors, white and watermelon laminate and natural shad. I don’t think there was much difference between the two. Our most consistent presentations were straight down below the boat unless the fish were at less than 17 feet. Dale caught several dragging his rig directly behind the boat.
I believe the major reason we had tough fishing is all the forage in the lake. Previous trips seem to indicate a bumper crop of crayfish, and this trip proved there are large numbers of shad in the lake. I saw many large shad balls on my graph, particularly in Gunsight on Thursday. These are the fattest and hardest fighting smallmouths I have taken on Lake Powell. In fact, these fish fought harder for their size than any smallmouths I have taken anywhere. I am convinced fish that have a lot to eat are harder to catch than those who can’t afford to pass up anything that looks like a meal. It is also possible our location and presentation was not the best as well, but it’s hard to get away from the things that have worked so well in the past. At any rate, we still caught some very nice fish and enjoyed some terrific weather. A day on Lake Powell is almost always a good day.
October 19, 2014 - Northern Grand Slam
North Lake Powell
Water temp 70-73
The Adamson Family and I headed to a boulder flat that was holding schools of stripers, SM bass and walleye. The bite was instant on spoons in 30-40’ of water. We were catching 2-5 pound stripers, 1-2 pound SM, fat walleyes and several catfish but after a few hours we decided to try some different tactics. We ran to a shallow bay were we found stripers and SM chasing shad. Spinner baits did the trick. These stripers were skinny compared to the deeper ones caught on spoons. While they were working the spinner baits I finally had a blow up on a spook that missed but another fish hit it and it turned out to be about a 3lb LM.
On Saturday the schools on the boulder flat were not there but it turned out to be a Grand Slam day. We did catch a couple of SM and then we moved onto a bay that has been choked full of shad all month. We caught several LM on spinner baits and then we hit one that was pushing 4lbs. This young lady was on fire with the spinner bait. We saw lots of fish under the shad clouds but we could only spoon up 4-8” stripers. We ran to the back of another cut and shad were being chased by birds and fish. We caught several SM and stripers on the spinner baits but when we got to the back of the cut we found a boulder in 15’ of water and loaded the boat with 9 nice fat walleye and 3 giant crappie. Stripers, LM, SM, Walleye, Crappie and several big Blue Gill all landed in the boat today. If there was ever a time to learn what fish are doing on the graph it is now. We could see them and know if we could catch them or not even in shallow water. The bite should only get better.
October 16, 2014 - Rock Creek Stripers
Last Updated on Friday, 17 October 2014 09:27
I took the Ed Antus group out on Tuesday October 14 and did really well. We took off from the docks early, about 6am and braved the cold air for about an hour and made our way up lake to the mouth of Rock Creek where I took another group the day before and caught a lot of stripers. The fish were hitting the surface here and there but no all-out boils. We found a school on the graph about 65 feet deep and started spooning and in no time we started hauling them into the boat. They were not big stripers, they averaged 14 to 18 inches long and were fat and healthy and really fought great! By 9:30 we had caught somewhere between 50 and 60 stripers and decided to try and catch some smallmouth bass in a canyon close by.
The day before we caught about 10 nice fat smallies but that day only caught one and then Vee brought in a nice 3+ pound largemouth. That is the nicest largemouth we have caught in my boat since June. Finding largemouth has been really difficult this summer. I was happy to see a largemouth in good shape. Hopefully more of them will start biting soon. We had a great time and I really enjoyed everyones company, we had fun and caught lots of fish.
Good fishing to everyone,
October 13, 2014 - San Juan
Arrived at the lake on Thursday afternoon about 5:15pm. The plan was to run to the San Juan and join another owner of the houseboat and his crew. We made it to Dangling Rope before total darkness. We continued undaunted. Unfortunately the mile markers do not have any blinking lights past Dangling. NPS where are you. In any case with the spotlight we finally made it to the San Juan around 9pm, cooked our steaks and went to bed. Up early although it was hard to tell with the full moon shining on us all night long. We knew the fishing would be affected. Ran up past Wilson Creek and hit the coves around the area. The smallmouth bite was mixed with some on the senko and some on the topwater. We did get into a small striper boil and catch 4. Total for the morning was 26 smallies and 4 stripers. The Friday afternoon bite was really slow, with no boils at the mouth of the San Juan and slow bass fishing in Reflection. I had to get back early to prepare for the fish fry for 9 guys.
Saturday early we headed to Cha to see if the striper boils were still active. Arrived a little late but they were going strong. We caught 14 in the morning and as we all know these fish are heavy and feisty. There is no horsing these guys in. All had shad in them. The length averaged from 17 to 21 inches. We then traveled to Desha Canyon and the stripers were stacked up at the entrance. We caught 6 trolling near the mouth of the canyon. The other guys went to Escalante and did very well on bass. The best spot was Davis Gulch. I netted some shad in the morning because the guys wanted to catfish in the evening. The wind kicked up on Saturday afternoon. No boils so we put a shad on a hook and sent it down to 40 feet. Moved up to 40 feet and drifted the bait out to deeper water. We started catching nice stripers this way. The wind continued to blow and after 8 fish we went back to camp. The wind blew all Saturday night and along with the moon shining at us all night we saw no boils on Sunday morning. We decided to break camp and head back around 8 am. The wind got progressively stronger as we got closer to Antelope. I noticed there was some damage at Hall’s. That does not surprise me knowing the gusts we bucked heading in. Added notes: Make sure your poles have good heavy line on them for the stripers, trolled crank baits from 14 to 21 feet, the deeper ones caught the most fish, trolled 3 to 5 miles per hour, shad size was small only 2 to 3 inches, millions of shad everywhere, go to a shad color for smallies, moon definitely affected the fishing.
Fabulous trip as usual. Good temps. Wish I could have stayed another 2 days. Maybe one more trip.