Lake Powell Fish Report
2016 Is A 'Wonderfully Successful' Fishing Year
July 1, 2016
The inflow to Lake Powell over the past days has exceeded 100,000 acre feet each day. The lake is still rising and will end up at the highest level recorded since 2012.
Fish are excited because the lake is now flooding into green brush and trees. Bass and crappie really like brush habitat. Shad love brush because it helps them avoid the constant barrage of predators that have their eye on them. 2016 has been a wonderfully successful fishing year, so far, and it will continue through the summer into fall.
I have one fishing tip this week that will be the most helpful suggestion to all that use it. Are you ready? The best time to go fishing is at dawn! Okay, that is usually the case but it is really important now.
Our fish are early risers and most active during the first hour of daylight. They stay energized each morning until about 9 a.m. (MST) after which they tend to dose off until dusk when another surge in fishing excitement occurs. Go early for best results.
Stripers All Day
Stripers can be caught all day long on bait. The standard locations in the main channel are still providing some action but the time between active schools coming under each boat is increasing. Fish are caught more quickly by actively searching for a school in the backs of canyons and coves. Newly reported hot spots include the back of Rock Creek and the cove just north of the floating restroom at the mouth of Rock Creek.
My standard method of locating striper schools is working well right now. Troll a medium diving crankbait and graph the bottom contour from 25 – 50 feet. When a fish is hooked or a school seen on bottom, throw a floating marker (or hit a waypoint on the graph) so the school can be relocated quickly. Return to hover over the school, chum with anchovies and get ready to catch a bunch of fish.
Small stripers are slurping on the surface in the midlake areas from Last Chance Canyon to the murky water downstream from Good Hope Bay. Slurpers are catchable when casting to the leading fish that change direction and leave the main group. Fish size is usually small but the eating quality of small stripers is superb. Bigger stripers will be working near the smaller fish as the summer progresses.
The other group of stripers which have been ostracized and left the schools are found in shallow water while bass fishing. These fish are long, but thin. These fish should be harvested and disposed of in deep water to reduce competition among the massive striper population that exists right now.
Smallmouth bass are still biting like crazy with small fish making up the majority of the bites. You can find bigger bass in 20-25 feet of water about the same distance out from the shoreline. Both singletail and doubletail plastic grubs are working well. Green watermelon, pumpkin, smoked and chartreuse colored grubs are working equally well.
Walleye are becoming more consistent now and can be found in 12-20 feet of MURKY water. Look for the mud lines along shore in otherwise clear water to select walleye habitat. Then use your favorite technique to catch them. Walleye numbers are large in the mid to northern lake.
Techniques include worm harness that are cast or towed behind slow trolled bottom bouncer rigs; single or double tail grubs with or without a piece of live night crawler attached, that are inched along the bottom; or mid-range crankbaits trolled in murky water along the 12-20 feet bench.
A tagged walleye contest began on July 1. You must sign up to be eligible to win a prize when a tagged fish is caught.
Sign up here: http://wildlife.utah.gov/lake-powell-tagged-fish-contest.html
So Many Choices
There are so many choices while visiting this incredible lake. It is so beautiful to cruise Lake Powell while skiing, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or sight-seeing. Do not forget to go fishing during the early and late periods of the day to make your trip complete.
Quality of life is measured by amount of time spent fishing.
At press time, lake elevation was 3,611 and water temperature was 63-67F.