Lake Powell Fishing Report
Big News: Stripers Are Slurping
June 15, 2014
Lake Powell is still coming up and now breaking the 3600 MSL barrier, but stripers are the big news now. Striper slurping boils are seen lake wide.
Young stripers that live in the warm surface layer are finding larval shad (less than an inch) near the surface. Young shad cannot swim fast enough to elude stripers which line up and methodically "mow" the surface area, chomping down all shad in their path.
From a distance, the feeding activity looks like another boat wake, but after closer examination, the disturbance is made by a platoon of fish swimming in an orderly line. It is really cool to watch the action but it is even better to participate.
'Rules Of Engagement'
Shad are tiny so big lures are not the best. The skirmish line is all about the business at hand so a large lure tossed in the middle of the line causes the whole school to submerge and swim away from the foreign matter dropping out of the sky.
The rules of engagement are to throw tiny lures like flies and tiny jigs or spoons. It's a great day for fly fishermen. But, spinning rods also work under these conditions.
Lures must be cast over or ahead of the skirmish line. Then a small lure that swims gently through the feeding fish or just underneath may be taken by a brave individual. A small rattletrap or Kastmaster are the target lures for this approach.
Another option is to seek out the leaders that break away from the group and head in a new direction. These scouts are looking for the next shad school and are most likely to hit larger lures that can be cast longer distances. Small profile surface lures, marabou jigs and small crankbaits work.
The last option is a combination lure with a small fly attached to a large surface lure. Throw the big lure to reach the fast feeding school and then hope the small lure is eaten by the feeding stripers.
It's a grand chase with lots of fun and action. At the end of the day, a reasonable number of fat 12-20 inch stripers will be caught. The bigger boils and huge catches will come next month when shad grow larger to meal size and stripers have to chase harder to catch a meal. Boils will be next!
Try A Number of Spots
All fish like the little shad but adults have not really found them yet. Bass, walleye and adult stripers are still in the deeper water. Bait is working for stripers but the schools are roaming.
A big catch can happen at the mouth of any canyon one day followed by a complete bust at the same spot the next day. The plan should be to try a number of spots until a school is found and then load up. Do not spend much time at each spot when searching for a school. Move often for best results.
Walleye are the best adult fish to pursue now but techniques are also specialized. Walleye are close to the bottom in 10-30 feet of water near cover of rocks or brush. Recently, it has been more productive to tip a plastic bass grub with a piece of worm and slowly and methodically work the worm from shallow to deep water. Good numbers of healthy walleye from 12-30 inches are being caught.
Adult bass are in deeper water while the small bass are along drop-offs and open water reefs. Lake level is coming up so fast that fishing shoreline is less productive than finding a steep drop-off with rocky structure and shade.
It feels like summer and fish are happy to feed in these conditions. They are more than willing to participate with anglers. We just need to know the summer rules that are now in effect.
At press time, lake elevation was 3599.32 and water temperature was 71-78F.