MARCH 22, 1996


The water is starting to warm now and good fishing is found on warm days particularly in the backs of canyons. Cloudy water collects heat faster than clear water so fishing is likely to be better in colored water. But on very calm days the clear water also picks up enough heat to get the fish active. A windy storm front cools things off and sends the fish back to the depths.

There have been some crappie caught on warm calm afternoons. Look in submerged trees in the backs of canyons and bays, but don't be surprised to find them schooled in the middle of the channel about 10 feet deep. They often stage in the open water when temperatures are in the 50's. Crappie have been caught near Hite, in the upper San Juan and in the backs of canyons on the lower lake. Do not expect large stringers of fish but a catch of 10-20 is probable.

Both largemouth and smallmouth are getting active on warm afternoons. They can be taken in shallow trees and brush and also at 20-30 foot depths depending on time of day and weather conditions. Plastic grubs and spinnerbaits are working when fish decide to cooperate. There are still times when catching any fish is extremely difficult, but the fish are getting more cooperative all the time. Generally, we can say that April will provide better fishing than that found in March.

Striped bass are still missing-in-action. The only thing we know for sure is that there are not any fish near the dam yet. Do not spend much time looking for them near Wahweap. There are some scattered fish but no schools that we know of. Look uplake for striper action. Fish spent the winter near Hite and in the upper San Juan. With plenty of shad forage they have stayed in these locations. Stripers are feeding on shad now and can be caught by finding a school on the graph or fish finder and then jigging deep. Anchovies may work but when shad are available the lure of anchovies is greatly diminished. The warming water will get stripers moving near the beginning of April. Look for a better report then. The barricade near the dam will remain in place until at least April 15th when the flood release through the dam will be completed.

Walleye are at the peak of the spawn this week. They should finish near the first of April. They will go back on food by April 15th and we can expect to see a decent walleye bite then.