January 28, 2016 - Warm Creek Stripers
We returned to Warm Creek today trying to relocate the stripers schools that had been so eager to hit spoons the first week of January. Then when it got really cold they disappeared. Only a few stripers were caught since January 10th.
I went to the old spot this morning about 9:30 and tried trolling over 45 feet of water. Nothing. Then right in the middle we started to see a few scattered fish traces. Since trolling was not working we stopped and dropped spoons. After about 5 minutes of spooning along the bottom we got one striper to hit the spoon. While that fish was being played the graph lit up as the school moved in to see what their buddy was eating.
Then it was constant catching as we slowly drifted on calm water toward the back of the canyon. The school stayed with us as we had many doubles and one triple catch. An hour later we had 45 fish on the boat from 2-4.5 pounds. They quit as we drifted out of the depths into 23 feet of water on a shallow bench. We returned to the starting spot but could not get them going again.
It was beautiful calm day with fantastic fishing for the end of January.
January 15, 2016 -Lone Rock and Wm Creek
I did some graphing in and around Lone Rock, covered much of the water from 30-80' deep and did not see a fish on the screen, from the buoyed off area along the beach all the way to shallows to the west. Spent maybe 30 minutes doing this then went to "the spot" in Warm Creek west end, caught only one stray, trolling. Even donated a deep diver lure to the lake and that didn't help. Did see two Golden(?) Eagles. Saw a couple small schools on the graph, but nothing at all as it appeared 3 weeks ago or last two January's. Was overcast, slight breeze and chilly. Had to leave about the time the wind stopped and the sun came out. Maybe next trip, in a week or two, will let you know… Good luck, Albert
January 10, 2016 - Bullfrog
Tuesday night we arrived at the Bullfrog covered slips and fished off a houseboat in the rain. 7 stripers in 5 hours. Rain kept us in on Wed. Landed 3 that night in 6 hours. Fished Bullfrog Bay Thursday. Found few schools and landed 1 striper and 2 walleye in the afternoon. Another boat picked up 5 stripers. All on spoons. Friday we spent the day in the Bay again. We spooned up 2 stripers while fighting some wind. But many hits (short hits?).
The fish were not anxious to chase the spoon. Another boat that set up out of the wind on the shore landed 5 or 6 stripers on anchovies. Anglers who fished another canyon landed a variety of fish on anchovies mostly moving slowly. That night none of us landed a striper at the slips. And we fished hard for a while. Saturday the weather cleared but I needed to return home. Have not heard from those who stayed yet. Water temp dropped from 52 to 48 there. Marty Peterson.
December 22, 2015 - Warm Creek Stripers
I snuck out to Warm Creek for half a day on Friday 12/18. Calm winds, little moon the night before.
Saw a Utah DNR truck and another truck in the lot, but no
moving boats on the water. The high was around 42 in Page.
Low temp in Page was around 28, but it was likely 35 degrees by launch time.
Warm Creek Bay
Cruised up towards the shallows on the west end of WC. Landed two nice Stripers on the first hook ups trolling.
This fish finder pic is nice to see on any day.
The fish were fat and healthy, bellies bloated with shad.
Ended up with 15 fish in the boat in three hours, mostly trolling, with some spoon cast and jigged.
The smallest few Stripers were around a pound, I'm guessing the largest half dozen fish were in the
4-5 pound range. I feel so blessed to have this food source for the family.
I've read people ask about the winter fishing, in my limited experience it has been hit or miss,
this was a good half day on the lake, 20 minutes from the marina. It's a different, calmer
world out there in the winter with potential rewards for those who are prepared.
Don't hesitate, the time is now to get out to Powell this winter and save some shad.
December 17, 2015 - Stripers San Juan
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:08
I had the pleasure of fishing with Sam and Cameron Conger. Cameron just turned 13 before he came, for his 1st San Juan fishing trip. He is an Iron man, for sure, fishing from daylight til dark, and not having one complaint. We started off, Bass fishing with the old Bush Whacker's, which is your double bladed Bass bait. They were working fine, catching Bass, Small and Large Mouth's, until I got a hold of a 4 1/2 lb Striper on the Bush Whacker, then I caught 2 more Striper's, all about the same size. This would change the rest of our trip.
We started trolling 2oz Umbrella rig's, with Hyper Striper's, and a Walleye assassin, in Salt and pepper color, Using 30lb Depth Hunter, Power Pro Braided line. It's like your leaded line but it's braided for any of you that have'nt used it. But is 25' a color, and marked every 5' on the line allso, which is very helpful in knowing exactly how far out you are. If we were in 40ft of water, we let out 100 ft of line, and in 60ft we mainly let out 150' , the fish were mainly running 28 to 40 ft deep, if they were deeper, or shallower, we would adjust from that. We were having double and triple hookup's quite often.
When your using these rig's, and get a fish on, if you will give them a few second's, a lot of time's, you will get the double's, triple's, and sometimes four. And when they are 4 1/2 to 5lb Striper's, that's a handfull. For any of you wanting to use downrigger's, I suggest before spending that kind of money, you try Umbrella rig's, and the Depth hunter line. Not saying anything against Downrigger's, Because I have never used them, but it's more affordable with the Umbrella rig's, and Braided line, for the most of us. And is a quicker way, of getting back on the fish.
We also spent time, in the 8 to 10 ft water, casting Walleye Assassin's, on a 3/8oz lead head, and this was very productive also. We caught a little bit of everything on them. But trolling, was for sure, more productive, and what we spent most of our time doing. We cleaned 260 Striper's, most of them 4 1/2 to 5lbs, and they were running 24 to 25''. We allso caught 50+ Bass and Crappie, most of them released.
Have a good one, and thank's Wayne.
November 13, 2015- Spooning in the Southern Lake
I posted this report on the BB because the pictures were really nice and they show up better there. You can see it by clicking this link.
November 8, 2015 - Fall Bass fishing
With water temperatures still comfortable, essentially room temperature (66-67) but falling, smallmouth, largemouth and striped bass continue to pursue the same artificial lures they're chased all summer long - spinnerbaits, swimbaits, topwaters, crankbaits, and Yamamoto Senkos on wacky jigs as a good second chance offerings to thrown back on missed strikers and chasers.
Some (not all) bass are staging a little deeper, gravitating to and schooling up in dark, black cracks visible in the bottom in shallow to mid-depth (up to 25 feet deep) and tucking underneath visible dark, black ledge drop-offs - but jetting out to aggressively strike passing lures.
Best (and chilliest) time of day to catch them can still be dawn although late afternoon, especially if the wind lightens by 3PM AZ time can be at least as good. As water temperature continues to cool down, bass will bunch up more and more in the aforementioned dark black bottom cracks and under ledge dropoffs - and will become increasingly reluctant to stray from those areas to chase fast-moving lures.
When that happens, then slow-moving, deep-diving jerkbaits, your deepest, slowest crankbaits, yout heaviest slow-rolled spinnerbaits and swimbaits, jigs, dropshot, Carolina and Texas rigs presented right down into the dark, black cracks or under the ledge lines will supplant the lures and tactics of summer - but that time is not yet.
October 20, 2015 - Bass and Boils
My Dad, John Chaparro from Saint George Utah, and I made another pilgrimage to the promised land for fishing, Lake Powell. After seeing all of the great reports from the last month, we figured it was our turn.
We arrived after lunch on Thursday and launched at Antelope Point where I had arranged for a slip for 3 nights. We wanted to try and get things figured out, especially with T storms in the forecast for the next few days. We ran up to Padre Bay and started metering around, looking for shad balls and after about an hour of seeing very little, we opted for hitting the rocky points for Smallmouth Bass fishing. We had an outstanding afternoon on the smallmouth and caught and released over 50 fish. We had to weed thru the dinks but we did manage a handful of quality fish.
Friday morning we were out early back up in Padre looking for Boils. Nothing! So we started metering around again and found a good spot of shad and stripers and managed half a dozen nice ones right off the bat on the jigging spoons. I figured this was it, but no, we couldn’t stay on them and that school gave us the slip. We spent the remainder of the day looking for schools and when we got bored, we’d hit a few rocky points and hammer the smallmouth again. There was no shortage of Smallies and we had another big day on the SMB, but we just couldn’t put it together on the stripers. And we looked hard. Time to stay persistent.
Now it’s Saturday and we’ve got a 50% chance of rain in the forecast. We also had some solid intel from Sam’s late post on Wayne’s Words. So we suited up in the rain gear and headed up to Dungeon Canyon. When we arrived, there were two other boats deep in the cove and we kind of stayed on the outskirts and picked at the fish. We managed a handful of mixed fish including a token Walleye. We could see the bait in there and new that it had serious potential. We decided to head over to Rock Creek canyon across the lake and spent the mid-day alternating between experiencing wide open fishing on the SMB and looking for bait balls. We found the bait, but we weren’t getting bit on the spoons. We tried trolling deep, we tried chumming and still tough.
At about 3:30 we decided to go back over to Dungeon. That proved to be the right move. We had the place all to ourselves and we found the bait still pinned in the back of the cove. While they fish were not up boiling on the bait, I made a cast with the Zara Spook and boom, Fish on! We spent the next 2 hours experiencing one of the best surface bites on the spook that I’ve ever had. It was a mixed bag of smaller stripers and the bigger models. The Largemouth and Smallmouth bass were in the mix too. It was as good as it gets. We filled the cooler with 42 quality fish before it was time to head in. After fishing all day in beautiful weather, things changed and we got hit hard by the forecasted rain on the ride in. That was an interesting ride back to say the least.
Sunday morning we called it a trip and with huge grins on our faces, we drove back to dads in Saint George UT and then I continued on home to San Clemente CA.
Yes I know it’s a long drive from Southern California and the ocean fishing right out front it’s as good as it gets. I wouldn’t have changed a thing though. Great quality time with my dad who taught me to fish, some of the best scenery anyplace on earth and fishing that still has me grinning. As I write this, Im already planning my next trip. If you haven’t experienced this fishery, Go! It’s more than worth it. And persistence pays off again.
San Clemente, CA
Persistence pays off!!
October 15, 2015 - Dungeon to Padre
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 October 2015 13:42
10/12-14 Powell Report (FYI, I wrote most of this report on Tue night, 10/13 on my phone just before going to bed and when the Internet popped up as accessible later that night, I found Wayne’s Words fishing report and dang if I wasn’t impressed how spot on it was…again)
10/12 – I arrived in Goodman Cove about 4 pm on Monday and drove around looking for some TW action but saw none so kept an eye on the graph looking for shad balls with fish on them but saw none of the latter either. Tried a few previous spots here and there for a little bit but no bites so ran into Padre Cove and repeated the same approach with the same result so took a quick drive back in and around Goodman and then into Kane Cove and it was all the same.
With daylight running out I headed up to the buoy 36 area and started to troll the SW shoreline with the DT6 and it took less than a minute to hook up.
This was repeated 6 times going south down this shoreline for the 25 min I had till dark, keeping the boat in 15-20’.
10/13 - I slept in Dungeon Canyon Monday night and was up before daylight Tue hoping for some good striper boils but was disappointed in finding none. That would be about the only thing that didn't go great this day. After slowly cruising around about 10 min I stopped on a ball of shad with fish on them and the rodeo was on for the rest of the day. These stripers were suspended over 35'-45'
and while good sized (3-4 lbs) they took longer to eat my spoon than they should have. After a dozen of these guys
and 45 min gone I lost the school and could not find them again. This group was about 300 yards out (north) from the very back of Dungeon Cove. I decided I'd try in closer and headed toward the back of the cove trolling. I caught 3 fish in the next 150 yards trolling and then ended up on a nice group of fish on shad in 30' and decided to try the spoon some more...
boy did that work out well!
I spooned lots of fish (all kinds) from 7:30-9, but when fish started chasing shad on top, I threw a popper on them and caught SM, stripers, and LM
in this TW action for 40 min and then changed it up a little with a jerkbait and all 3 species bit that as well.
About 10am I went back to the spoon and wore myself out for two hours, never going more than 2-3 min without
hooking up, mostly in about 28’ of water.
These fish were all in 25-35' with the bigger stripers (3-4 lbs) usually being a bit deeper. This catching was crazy good, one of the better bites and morning catches I've ever had on Powell. Results were a couple dozen smallies, 10 largemouth, 44 stripers, 3 catfish, and one sunfish. After a 5 minute lull with no bites at noon I called it quits and headed for some Dangling Rope ice cream...my only other disappointment of the day as the snack bar was closed for the season.
After lunch I hit the island out front of DR, starting with trolling the north side and again was less than a minute to catch fish. While trolling around the island I caught SM regularly but also charted several shad groups with fish on them so I went back and spooned them and caught several small stripers out of each group in 25-40'. I then decided to change it up and see if I could catch some bigger stripers in deeper water so I headed into the cove straight north of this island, trolling my DT6 crank. [A LESSON I LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO WAS TO TRY ONE OR TWO NEW SPOTS EVERY TRIP TO SEE IF THEY CAN EXPAND YOUR POSSIBILITIES] After 5 min and a couple of smallies I changed over to the DT10 hoping for a size improvement but it was just more of the same so I tied on a 25' crank and finished off the run into the back with a couple of 4 lb stripers before arriving in the back, in shade, and needing a snack break. Tossing a TW popper back there in the shallow water produced some decent LM and SM bass.
I headed out of here trolling the deep crank and made a circle for an hour and caught another dozen good sized stripers. Now it was time to go try the NW shoreline, out from the back of Dungeon. Again it only took a short time to get fish on so as I trolled over shad/fish groups in 25-30' I'd mark them on the graph and then go back with a spoon and catch a few spoon fish at each of these stops. The best catch of the trip came here out of a bush in 35’, a new weapon for my youngest grandson,and his fish…
I finished the last 20 min of the day throwing top water up shallow and catching SM, a few small stripers, and one more largemouth for the day, bringing the day's total for fish in the boat right close to 125. A slower pm bite than the morning but still enough to keep you interested and tired!
10/14 – I was up earlier than the day before and motored all of 50 yards before the HDS-12 lit up with a school of fish in 40-50’.
It took a little while to get them started but the Lowrance made it like shopping at the meat counter where you could see the fish and almost choose which ones you would target, although I must admit I didn’t see this walleye in there!
OR this catfish, 1 of 3.
While the bite rate was slower than the previous morning, these stripers were bigger and stronger! These guys were usually hanging on the dropoff edge, up 30’ off the bottom of the deep crevice of 70’ and were hard to stay on top of and I eventually lost them so I just started working my way towards the back of the cove and eventually ran into the little stripers group mixed in with the SM and LM although going in here and zig-zagging back and forth over the deepest part of the cut, I tossed over to one side with the spoon and caught the biggest fish of the trip, a 5 lb striper in 18’. Hmmmmm I didn’t expect that but he must have been enjoying that cooler water up top, only 70 degrees early.
The fish population was not as stacked up in the back here as the morning previously so it was a bit hit and miss with the spoon so I’d toss the popper awhile and catch a few, mostly SM. As I needed to head back to the ramp at 9, I decided I’d give my snoopy pole bush one last spoon bath but never quite made it as on my way there were fish boils 300 yards out from the back of Dungeon Canyon on the west side in a little bay with a 20-25’ bottom.
OF COURSE I had to fish that even though it looked like smaller stripers and bass on the shad but I did catch some 3 lb stripers out of here on TW as well. Both TW, cranks, and spoons caught fish here for 30 minutes before I decided enough was enough and I was already late so I buttoned down the hatches and flew into Wahweap about as fast as the Phoenix would go. Nice to have a lot less traffic in the Warm Creek narrows and calmer water for a change!
When arriving at the ramp I was greeted by a member of the Utah DNR Posse (didn’t catch the name) who wanted to ask some questions about fishing and gave me a ride up the ramp to my truck. Turns out he was a sidekick of Wayne Gustaveson (Wayne’s Words) who heads up the Lake Powell fishery for Utah and he directed me to where Wayne was hiding out. It gave me my first chance to meet Wayne in person and find out that he only masquerades as a fishing guy when he isn’t doing drywall repairs. Who knew? Thanks Wayne for all the good info and the website that helps cut our time down tremendously finding fish on the lake!! Truly Wayne is the man, the myth, the legend!
Sam Sherwood – Mesa, AZ –
October 13, 2015 - Bass in Last Chance
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 19:15
In the twenty years I’ve fished Lake Powell I’ve enjoyed a lot of outstanding smallmouth bass fishing, but there is no doubt in my mind that the smallmouth fishing here right now is the best I’ve experienced. In fact, last week’s fishing trip was I believe the very best single trip I’ve ever had here for smallmouth bass in terms of both size and numbers. I was joined once again by longtime fishing partner John Conrad. John’s Lake Powell fishing experiences date back to the 1970s when Powell was one of the premiere largemouth and crappie lakes in North America. Despite enjoying many productive trips over the past 40 plus years, John believes fishing on Lake Powell right now is the best he has seen. In three days on the water we caught 183 smallmouths, five largemouths, five stripers and three catfish - 196 total fish. In all the years we’ve fished here, neither of us could remember three more productive days.
Our trip got off to a rough start with heavy rains on Monday, our arrival date. Our original plan was to fish Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and come home Friday, however Monday’s storms and more threatening weather Tuesday morning led us to believe that it would be best not fish Tuesday. As the weather forecast looked great for the remainder of the week, we decided to stay an extra day fishing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and coming home Saturday. I believe this proved to be a wise choice.
Wednesday we fished in close, starting in a rocky bay on the north side of the main channel just upstream from the mouth of Warm Creek. We fished there, the east side of the mouth of Warm Creek, and the reefs and ledges around the mouth of Navajo Canyon. Although I caught a nice smallmouth on my first cast, fishing under post-front conditions was slow by Lake Powell standards most of the morning. It wasn’t until around 10:30 a.m. that our strikes started to increase, and it got better as the day went on. We caught 61 smallmouths, two largemouths and a catfish Tuesday, with 50 of these fish coming after 10:30 a.m.
Thursday we decided to run up to Last Chance Bay where Jim Buxton and I had experienced outstanding fishing two weeks prior. Like Wednesday, the early morning action on Thursday was slow, and most of the fish we caught were small. It really wasn’t until noon before we started getting into more and bigger fish with the best action coming in the last hour. Our total for Thursday was 52 smallmouths, three stripers, two largemouths and one catfish. The highlight of my day was landing a 3 1/4-pound smallie that completely cleared water six times before I was able to bring it to the net. It was my best smallmouth of the year thus far. After getting a few pictures I released it back into the lake. That, and a number of other fish, were caught on a long shallow point in the back of a large cove on the west side of the bay. We found a lot of fish the back of the last cove we fished as well.
Except for that one really nice smallmouth, our success Thursday in Last Chance was really not quite as good as it had been when we fished in close on Wednesday, so we decided to remain close on Friday. Our first stop was at what used to be the double islands just through the Castle Rock cut. We started on a large flat on the east end when was absolutely loaded with smallies. We caught 11 in the first 40 minutes on top of that flat, however as the sun came up and the wind died the action abruptly stopped. We then moved to steeper, deeper structure taking a number of really nice bass as well as a couple little stripers and a catfishover the next five plus hours. We finished the day fishing the same ledges and reefs on the east side of the mouth of Warm Creek where we had fished Wednesday enjoying more good action there. Our Friday total was 70 smallmouths, two stripers, one largemouth and a catfish.
Just like two weeks prior we were unable to find any specific pattern. We caught fish in the backs of coves and on main lake structure and just about everywhere in between. We caught fish, including my biggest smallmouth, in water as shallow as five to eight and feet; and we caught fish as deep as 35 feet and virtually everywhere between those extremes. The first two days early morning action was slow, but on Friday we had a lot of success early. We caught nearly everything on drop shot rigs. I don’t think the lure was all that important. As in the past, I mostly used a Yamamoto Shad Shaped Worm while John used a Berkley Gulp Minnow. I really don’t think one was any better than the other. John used a natural shad color. I used watermelon, watermelon/white laminate and natural shad all with equal success. I believe any color would have worked. I believe that crankbaits would have been very effective early Friday had we used them on that first flat. There was some wind creating a good riffle, and the fish were spread out in five to 12 feet of water - ideal conditions for crankbait fishing. Spinnerbaits would have likely worked as well.
The bass appeared to be equal opportunity feeders with both crayfish and shad being taken about equally. One particularly fat 11-incher we kept had two crayfish and three shad in its stomach AFTER spitting out a couple more shad while I was playing it. Every fish we caught was about as fat and healthy as I have ever seen smallmouth on this lake. They are getting plenty of forage.
We had a lot of strikes on the initial drop, however we had hits while dead sticking and slowing dragging our baits. We also had strikes while reeling in quickly. We caught fish making long horizontal casts, short pitches along the sides of the reefs and by dropping straight down below the boat. I did throw some topwater but did not get a strike. In fact, we saw very little surface activity despite fishing in areas that were loaded with shad.
The bottom line is smallmouth fishing is about as good as it gets on Lake Powell right now with a multitude of presentations/lures likely working. If you like to catch bass, particularly smallmouth, there has never been a better time to fish Lake Powell. Jim Buxton and I plan to return next week for one more trip. Hope to see you there.