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.
January 20, 2015 - State of the Union
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 19:37
We went early to Lone Rock because it seems to me that the most dependable fishing happens early in the morning even in the winter. It was really cold at 7:45 and hard to see out while covered by a baclava, beanie, hooded sweatshirt, ski goggles and heavy coat. We got to Lone Rock at 8 AM and I left my gloves on while we trolled in Lone Rock Canyon at a bottom depth of 33 feet. My partner caught the first striper on a black and silver shad rap after trolling for about 3 minutes. My deep thunderstick was ignored. We trolled again and the shad rap scored again. After being drubbed 5 to 0 I took off the gloves, changed to a shad rap and caught a fish. But I was still being drubbed so changed to the Lucky Craft XD100 in ghost. At this point the catching was about equal but I was so far behind I was sure to be out fished for the day.
Each time we caught a trolled fish we searched the graph looking for the trailing school without success. After 2 hours of successful trolling it slowed down enough to make us move to a new spot. We trolled over toward Lone Rock Beach without success. But on the way back midway between Lone Rock Beach and Lone Rock Canyon my friend again caught a fish. Grrr!
At this point the whole day changed as a trailing school appeared on the graph. We had 14 fish in the cooler after 2.5 hours of fishing. In the next 15 minutes we doubled our catch with spoons under the boat.
The stripers are still very fat and healthy. I did not catch the most but I did get the largest fish - a 6 pound striper along with a 5.5 sibling on spoons. It was great day for a cold day in January.
At the fish cleaning station it became obvious why the fishing was better today than for the past few weeks. These stripers had found a new school of large threadfin shad. Each striper had 2-5 shad that were as long as 6 inches bulging out of the stomach.
My 6-pound striper was the only fish without shad in the stomach. But her stomach was full of a lobster-sized crayfish.
January 14, 2015 - Big Striper at Lone Rock
This will be the year of the Big Fish at Lake Powell. Ray Young and Dana Andrus trolled near Lone Rock in Wahweap Bay this morning and captured a 12-pound striper. The big fish was 32 inches long.
Ray was the lucky angler catching his second largest striper at Lake Powell. He caught a 15-pound fish in Navajo Canyon a few years ago.
This fish hit a Lucky Craft DD Pointer in Ghost color. The lure was trolled behind a one ounce weight to gain more diving depth. The big fish was hooked near the mouth of Lone Rock Canyon where bottom depth was 30 feet.
Examination of the fish showed it was eating 4 inch fish (not shad) but they were too digested to identify species.
I read the fish scales and estimated the fish to be 8 years old.
January 11, 2015 - Southern lake winter trip
Here is a little trip report from January 4-7.
Launched from a foggy Antelope Point marina early morning on the 4th with temps in the lower 20's. Mine was the only vehicle in the lot. Was hoping the NWS was right in their forecast for fog to break up in the afternoons. Was a chilly drive up to Rainbow Bridge, passing zero boats in the limited visibility.
Fortunately the sun came out for an hour or two for the stroll to the Rainbow.
Spent a foggy night up in Oak Bay with a light breeze much of the night. The gallon water jugs were frozen solid the first 30 hours of the trip. Scrapped plans for the San Juan and backtracked to the head of Rock Creek. The weather remained cool and foggy for the following days which dwindled my enthusiasm for fishing. I was skeptical about the fishing conditions with a near full moon, but did land 6 stripers trolling for about 5 hours throughout the daytime at about the 20' depth in 30-50' of water. They all put up a good fight, much more than the "logs" we pulled in last winter. My graph is not that great and I didn't fish Rock Creek last winter, but the schools appear more spread out and not as large this winter. I'm confident a motivated party of two fishers could have filled a cooler with fish.
The sun never materialized after that first afternoon and a light breeze kept conditions cool (highs never got above about 35 with lows around 28).
Icicles as seen from dock at Rainbow Bridge.
By the 4th morning the monkey was off my back and I headed back in, passing an NPS boat and a barge, the only boats I saw this trip. Back at Antelope Point my truck was still alone in the lot. The sun has hardly felt so nice as I pulled the truck up past Lechee and returned to sunny, warm Flagstaff where our daytime temps have averaged 10-15 degrees warmer than Page in the last week.
Though conditions are much tougher and more serious, winter can be a blast on the lake. Though I think next time I will wait for a little more sun in the forecast. It is looking to be a bumper year for fishing on the lake. Thank you for all you do with the website and for the lake.
See you out on the water!
January 7, 2015 - Bullfrog stripers
Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 10:51
Just back from a winter trip to Bullfrog. 10 of us arrived on Jan. 2nd to 9" of snow. Two boats launched and fished the Bay that afternoon with some success. Tire chains helped for towing the boat back up the ramp. In the morning they went back out but I did not. The north breeze and fog discouraged me. But the hardy anglers in our group enjoyed decent fishing catching mostly stripers on both spoons and anchovies. The snowmobile suits or similar they were wearing did not seem to slow them down much.
We all fished the next 2 days. They were dialed in. Our boat struggled but landed a few of the nice sized stripers and walleyes available. Trips up the side canyons worked to escape the breeze and all gave up fish.
The air temp never rose out of the 20's according to my thermometers. And it got cold as 10 the first night. We did not see the sun or moon the entire time. And the breeze from the north never stopped.
We joined anglers fishing the dock at night from houseboats. Catching there was sporadic but the company was good and everyone enjoyed it when a fish was caught. Most of the stripers there and out on the open water were very light biters requiring a hook set. Many spit shad upon netting.
Interesting to me was that anchovies caught the majority of the fish. I was never able to find any decent schools but fish could be caught out of small schools. The water was around 48 degrees all days. The snow on the work boats, houseboats and roofs of the covered slips never melted even in the "warm" water.
December 22, 2014 - Bullfrog stripers
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 December 2014 16:07
Thought I'd share these pictures of night fishing done at Bullfrog last week, Dec 17th, 18th and 19th. Anglers were KyKevin and Sam Conger. We caught 59 the first night, 24 the second night, and 92 the last night all on anchovies.
We had a blast, we fished from six to eleven all three nights, and it's the first time we ever stopped fishing, while they were still biting, on the last night. The cooler was so full, they were knocking the top off, and jumping out, What a great trip, with my great freind Sam Conger.
All at Bullfrog, at night, Green lights, never saw that many Shad come to the lights, in the winter.
I had striper fish tacos last night and they are so good when the fish are this fat and healthy.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas Wayne, and all your family.
December 12, 2014 - Bullfrog stripers
On the water at sun up on the 10th. Used the ramp near the marina at Bullfrog. Easier to launch solo there. Searched all morning for stripers in the Bay with no bites. Moved to Halls Creek and searched there all afternoon without a hit. Water was so calm that my eyes almost hurt trying to distinguish rock from water. Caught some smb off a point with a jig. One was about like a football in size and girth. Spent the night on the water. Landed one striper and missed a few bites. The water temp was 58 in the evening. That made the temp in the boat tolerable. Water temp 57 in the morning in the bays and if I remember right 54 in the main channel in front of Halls.
Early start on Wednesday. A slight breeze out of the north had lots of water vapor rising off the water. Almost like a fog up Bullfrog Bay. I decided to try to use Dome Rock to block the wind but never quite made it. On the graph with it zoomed in I spotted what appeared to be fish tight to the bottom in just under fifty feet. All day Tuesday I saw what I think are schools of shad with fish underneath. This school seemed to be alone. I changed to a Kastmaster and hook a fish once the spoon is near the bottom. Using the electric motor I get back to about the spot and another hit.
There is a certain adrenaline rush that a bigger than usual fish can give me. The fish on was offering a little. What a fight. What a thrill to see six pounds of fat striper in the net. Haven't netted one that healthy in a while. Great fillets. This fish is followed by a few other good fish half the size but healthy. It doesn't matter that the air temp is still in the 30's. Fishing is fun.
Had to get home so there are still lots of fish for the January trip.
November 30, 2014 - 15-Pound Striper
We got back last night and as promised I am posting pics of my buddy, also BIL, Anthony Catterson's big Striper with a brief report.
We drove through the night and arrived at Wahweap Friday morning pumped and ready to roll. Back the boat in turn on the electronics and my big unit (HDS10) just shuts off. This isn't good. We depend on electronics so much, especially this time of year. Called Anthony before he made the walk down the ramp to bring the truck back down. An Hour and a half later and run into page for fuses we determined that it was the unit itself and not bad wiring. Switched the HDS 8 from the bow to the Ram Mount and hooked up the HDS 5 to the TM transducer, I usually just use the 5 for mapping.
With the late start we were already off to a bad start knowing that it's been primarily a morning bite. We arrived in Rock creek at about 10:45 even with the late start we were able to get school going but once they stopped that was it.
Enjoyed the rest of the afternoon catching fat bass at the very end of the canyon on the smaller Keitech Fat Impact swimbaits. Saturday we were in warm creek by 7:45 ready to roll only thing was the fish weren't. We met Morgan at the Maverick in Page, cool guy, he told us that he found some in Padre so we stopped in on the way to Gunsight. After an hour we did find a school of small stripers with bass mixed in the bunch. It was a real tough bite. They wanted it real slow. The best technique was to throw the 2.8" Keitech past the school and just let it pendulum threw them. They would hit it two three times before an actual hook up. Not exactly what we were after. We found the fishing overall tough. The bass fishing was good but I don't go to Powell to Bass fish.
We checked depths from 20 to 90 feet without any luck so we decided to go Shallow, and that's when it happened. I have stated before that me and Anthony have had success in really shallow water this time of year with swimbaits so we put the spoon rods away and started hitting the shallows. After a couple of cast Anthony threw in what had to be 3 feet of water and out of the corner of my eye I see him set the hook. I thought he set into one of the submerged shrubs because it was rock solid I asked if it was a snag and he said no FISH! He said right out the get go it was big. Honestly I was hoping it was a five pounder because if it was he would have friends with him. I know that for the most parts big fish, especially stripers are solitary creature. Once I saw his line head to deep water I knew it was a big one, Anthony handled him like the good fisherman that he is and about 3-4 minutes later I reached down and lipped the pig.
November 29, 2014 - Southern Bass
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 November 2014 07:37
We had an awesome Black Friday. Shawn Johnson and his family journeyed all the way from Eugene OR. To eat some turkey with Family and get back out on the lake that he has missed for the last 3 years. His son Taylor Johnson(6yrs old) had an awesome day as he and my Son Trace Bennett(4yrs old) pulled our first six small mouth in the boat coming off the rocks along the three mile narrows in the morning.
The small mouth we caught were in the 20-30ft depth and all fat and happy. Some spit up shad and a couple craws. We fished shad imitation baits and the boys had a ball.
Shawn and I could not seem to catch a smallie to save our lives and we didn't care a bit. We moved up lake at about 11:30am and hit a few spots in Padre area. Found some healthy Large Mouth the biggest being about 3.5lbs. The large mouth were caught off old sunken tumble weed piles in the 10-15ft range.
Water temp for the day started at 59 degrees in the narrows and ended up about 62 degrees in the backs of the canyons. Never had a chance to graph stripers as the Black Friday specials on bass were just to good to pass up. For those of you who had to spend the day shopping my condolences.
Big Striper in Wahweap - 10 pounds
Caught this 10 pound striped bass on a anchovy baited Texas rig with a six inch 15 lb. Floro-carbon leader on Thanksgiving morning.
The pole was an Ugly Stick. Caught across from the buoy fields in Wahweap.
Marla Jirak, Tucson, Az
November 16, 2014 - Gunsight Stripers
Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 09:35
Me and my 6 year old and 8 year old arrived at Wahweap Tuesday night and fished Wed, Thurs, Friday and Saturday til 11. Wednesday morning we headed straight to the rock creek area since when I was down 2 weeks ago we had decent success in the area. As we passed Gunsight I thought we should go take a look but then didn't want to waste time as it took a while to get to rock creek. Bad decision. Having high expectations, Wednesday didn't go quite as planned. To start off with as soon as we got there and I pulled my rod out to start fishing the handle caught the line of another rod and sent it sailing right into the lake. I then watched $100+ go drifting out of sight.
Then we trolled while graphing for stripers for a few hours and nothing....I mean nothing. So we hit up a couple coves and all we could find where carp every where slurping on the surface. We ended up catching a couple dinky smallies and that was it. Around 3 PM the wind kicked up pretty good and we took it as a cue and headed back to wahweap.
Starting off Wednesday morning the wind stuck around from the day before although not quite so bad. Well as we were cruising along with plans to head to gunsight and check it out my trolling motor suddenly deployed while going 30 MPH! Dang! It about ripped the sucker off and broke part of the hinge. I started to wonder if this was how this trip was gonna go.....bad fishing, losing stuff and breaking stuff.....I didn't want to spend 3.5 days of that! All I can think is one of my boys must of leaned up against the release just enough to let it slowly get by. Oh, well, at least the views were great.
Once back in gunsight we would just troll a wally diver while watching the graph. Back towards the back of the canyon we found ball after ball after ball of shad in the back and knew it was a matter of time before we got into the stripers. Sure enough we found a small school and dropped some spoons and pulled up a couple. After losing them, we started trolling again. That's when we hooked into this one.
A 6.5 pound striper!
And that is how our day went, trolling, graphing, and watching my 8 year old freak out every time we saw stripers on the graph. We pulled up a couple smallies and a large mouth while trolling and another striper or two, but most stripers where caught on spoons off the bottom. At the end of the day we ended up with just under 20.
Friday morning, back to gunsight and once again, same strategy. Once again, same results. On and off fast and furious fishing throughout the day. We ended the day with 23. Oh, and the views weren't bad either.
Same strategy and same results, although the stipers were different this morning. They were insanely aggressive! As you get towards the very back of the canyon there is a sandbar / weedbank on the left sticking out of the water. It is pretty abrupt and stays fairly deep (40-50') just before it. The stripers had pushed the shad right up against it and were nailing them. We got in there and it was as fast as we could get the spoons into the water, we would be pulling them out. The entire graph was filled with stripers. If it had been me and one or two other adults we could have both pulled 12+ out of this group, but I think I spent more time unhooking and untangling my 6 year old than spooning. I still managed 4 and my 8 year old pulled 4-5 out of this group (for the most part I require him to unhook his own fish and tie on his own lures, so this slows him down a bit). After they disappeared we kept trolling and looking and we kept hooking up while trolling. We'd stop the boat and reel it on in and it seemed that once we got the striper to the boat suddenly we'd have a school underneath us and we'd drop spoons and pick up a couple more. All I can think is that once hooked while trolling the school would follow the hooked fish to the boat and we'd get a shot at a few more. We did graph this school of stripers and I don't know what their problem was, but we had them under us for 5+ minutes and only had a few small hits and one landed. I literally tried 4-5 different spoons and my 8 year old was the only one to pull one up.
At 11:30 we had to get going and get on the road for the 6 hour drive home. All in all we ended a half day on Saturday with 18 and some great memories. Oh, and the views weren't bad either.
So, another memorable and exciting trip is in the books. My 8 year old is a striper slayer! I can hardly keep up with him! My six year old caught a total of 4 for the trip and he got to reel in all the trolled up fish. He is just happy to be along for the ride and if he gets to catch a few, it's just a bonus. The fishing was best from about 7-10 and then from 2-5. Mid day it was extremely tough to find any stripers. I don't know if they just retire to deep water to rest and digest, but we had very little going on mid day. The lures we used for trolling was a silver walleye diver and a strike king kvd 6 in sexy shad. Both worked quite well. Spoons used where silver kastmaster, and silver / chartreuse kastmaster, deadly dick, buzz bomb and a sebile vibrato. The buzz bomb and deadly dick did quite well as did the kastmasters. My hopkins dressed was doing well on Thursday until I lost it when a knot failed.
Hope this info can help someone get into the stripers. I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon. There is just waaay to much shad back there. So if you are headed down, get to gunsight and fish!mtnpull