Lake Powell Report

It Looks Like, Fishes Like Spring


April 15, 2013

Wayne Gustaveson

SIX SPECIES -- Rod Thompson, Sandy, Utah, found great fishing in Good Hope Bay with his wife and son. They caught six different species of fish and thoroughly enjoyed the variety and unique experience provided by Lake Powell in the springtime.

Stripers are still running along the canyon walls in the southern lake. They spilled into the main channel 3 weeks ago and have been eager to hit bait offered by anglers ever since.

I have heard they are chasing boats, begging for anchovies. Well, that may be a bit much, but if you pass over some hungry stripers please stop and feed them!

Glen Canyon dam still holds the majority of the fish, but many are behind the barricade out of casting range. The Chains parking area offers good shore fishing near the dam.

It may be easier to consistently find willing stripers by looking farther uplake near Buoy 3 on the corner before arriving at Antelope Canyon. After passing through Antelope Marina, the next spot is the south wall near the Power Plan intake. Striper schools are spread randomly for a mile along the wall.

There are other good main-channel locations, but these are all that are needed to catch a cooler full of fish. Immediately put harvested fish on ice to preserve eating quality.

Northern Lake Stripers

Northern lake stripers are being caught trolling near the mouth of White and Farleys with good fishing all the way to Red Canyon. These stripers are fatter than their southern cousins because of the resilient shad population at the Colorado River inflow area.

Trolling is the best way to find a school, but casting jerk baits and spoons right after a trolled fish is caught is extremely productive. Bait does not work on stripers that have shad to eat.

Troll or cast jerk baits for striper schools in the muddy water at the back of major canyons that have a long flood plain to catch stripers anywhere on Lake Powell.

With water temperature now on the rise, many other species are ready and willing as well. Cover is lacking now that brush is out of the water.

This current generation of bass does not remember how to live and feed without brush and they are struggling to find a niche. They have congregated in cloudy water near the backs of canyons.

Many reside in very shallow water near shore and can be taken by casting to the shallow bank area when water warms in the evening. Others are randomly suspended in open water for no apparent reason.

Crappie, Walleye

Crappie and walleye prefer brush but are now being caught trolling in open water. They may be over a 50-foot deep bottom or right next to shore. It is wise to slow troll up a shoreline at each new location to see what fish are hanging out. Small jerk baits may be the best tool, but drifting a crappie jig is worth the effort as well.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are collecting on rocky structure and can be caught on secondary points in coves with light weight jigs that fall slowly. Jerk baits are working well for patient anglers who can use an extended pause after each jerk. Most hits are coming while the lure is motionless.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are hiding near any obstacle they can find. It takes a very long cast to prevent spooking flighty largemouth. Try casting your lure up on the sandy shore and then pulling it back into the water to create interest from largemouth instead of scaring them away with the boat or a noisy cast.

Catfish, Sunfish

Catfish and sunfish have started to hit. Looks like it’s spring at Lake Powell! We are expecting another high-striper harvest between Wahweap and Antelope Point Marinas.

At press time, lake elevation was 3,598 and water temperature was 53-63F.


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