LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
MAY17, 1996

LAKE ELEVATION: 3675
WATER TEMPERATURE: 65 F

The runoff has begun which boosts the lake level about 3 inches every day. Shad are actively spawning each morning. These two events have changed the fishing pattern that was so great and exciting during April. The bass fishing peak has passed but there are still some good opportunities for catching most species of Lake Powell fish. This is actually my favorite time to fish because of the great variety of fish available. A good stretch of brushy, rocky shoreline could provide largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, walleye, bluegill, and catfish.

When shad spawn all predators key in on the easy shad meal. Shad spawn at dawn's first light in the backs of canyons and coves around floating driftwood, and submerged plant material. Use shad imitating lures early in the mornings for best results. Once the sun hits the water, shad go deep and most game fish follow. The mid morning periods will be slow in the backs of the canyons until the fish have some time to digest their breakfast. Fish open bays and clear water without shad in mornings. Look for another feeding period in the afternoon as the bass search for crayfish around broken rock. Use a bottom-bouncing jigging technique during the heat of the day. Anytime shad schools are seen feeding in the backs of coves switch back to the shad imitating crank bait or grub and fish under the shad school.

Striped bass have been caught sporadically by anglers fishing a crank bait or jig in and around feeding schools of shad. When the school bunches up or rapidly parts a predator is on the prowl and looking for anything that leaves the safety of the school. Trolling is a good way to find stripers in open water when shad are not seen. Reports of striper catches have come from trollers working the islands at the mouth of Oak Canyon. Any main channel island structure is a potential striper spot for anglers using long minnow shaped deep divers. Anglers are taking fat stripers while fishing below shad schools in the shallow end of Bullfrog Creek and Hall's Creek. Trollers have taken a few stripers in Wahweap and Warm Creek. The striped bass action is steadily getting better with each passing day. Fish will be most active at dusk at just after dark. Striper fishing is only fair now but will improve.

Remember that reservations are required for shore camping at Bullfrog drive-in beaches during the Memorial Day weekend. All spots have been reserved. If you do not have a reservation plan on boating to a campsite. The entire 2000 mile shoreline of Lake Powell is open to camping without reservation with the exception of vehicle accessible beaches at Bullfrog.