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Lake Powell Fish Report

2019 Has Been An Unusual Fishing Year

Lake Powell weather is delightful with a warm, calm autumn weather. Air temperature is holding in the mid 70s during the day and in the 50s at night. Water temperature is holding in the mid 60s, which is the ideal fishing temperature for the springtime spawning period. Sport fish are still in vacation mode as they quietly attack one of the thousands of shad balls still swimming on the surface. Not much has changed during this unusual

fishing year.

Adult Stripers

Adult stripers are still swimming in deep water. Occasionally a school shows up on the graph. Drop a spoon and a few fish bite. Sometimes, adult stripers boil on the surface, about once a week. Then stripers return to deep water and feed on giant shad "walls". In the southern lake, threadfin shad swim prolifically on the surface.

In the northern lake, gizzard shad swim in large herds covering the entire shallow end of a cove. Stripers can easily swim to the wall of shad, eat their fill and then rest until they get hungry again and repeat the process.

Spoons work best in the northern lake in front of the shad wall. In the southern lake, there must be similar shad walls in some canyons. Abundant forage is the reason for slower fishing success.

Smallmouth Now

Smallmouth are the best fish to target now until stripers wake up. Bass are enjoying the shad balls. They often break the surface. Look for a single splash, then cast a surface lure to that spot. If bass ignore the surface lure, switch to a shallow running crank like a rattletrap or flicker shad.

It is common to see many single splashes in a cove.

Attack these scattered fish with by trolling in the area where surface action is common. Lucky Craft DD pointers and Rapala Shad Raps work well in this situation.

Expect Success

Expect fishing success to pick up for stripers when the water temperature drops into the 50s. Threadfin shad schools will then leave the surface and drop down into deeper water (40-70 feet). In most years, this shad movement energizes stripers, and dramatically increases fishing success. The best fishing technique is to watch the graph for striper schools or bait balls.

Drop spoons into the striper school as it passes under the boat.

Stripers love to see a shad-like jigging spoon fall to the bottom. That continues to be the best striper technique during this great shad year. The second best option is to use down riggers in open water. Troll shad crankbaits near the bait ball at 40-60 feet.

In The Southern Lake

There is one ray of hope in the southern lake. Striper schools are feeding at random on shad schools under the full moon. At any time of day, stripers may attack shad and a few fat adult stripers break the surface in a short

boil. If lucky enough to see the event, it is possible to land a few big stripers on top water lures and shallow running cranks before they quit boiling. It is much more common to see one small ripple or dimple on the water, which marks the presence of a predator chasing shad. Cast to the riffle to catch both smallmouth and stripers.

Look For Wildlife

If there is no surface action, look along the shoreline for ducks, herons, coyotes and ravens. Wildlife along the shore are searching for a striper boil where shad leap onto the shore and the wildlife quickly slurp them up.

Fish near wildlife to find active striper schools.

Bass, Stripers Eating Their Fill

This year is the most unusual that I have encountered. Abundant forage is the last thing expected with a huge predator population, yet here it is.

Bass and stripers are really enjoying the event and eating their fill each day. I will maintain my watch on all of these fish populations and let you know when fishing improves.

At press time, lake elevation was 3614 and water temperature was 64-66F.


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