Great fishing continues for bass and crappie lakewide. Warming temperatures and a stable lake level have created prime conditions in the backs of canyons and on intermediate points where females stage until needed for spawning. A pleasant problem has occurred with warming temperatures activating the immature smallmouth bass. The 6-8 inch fish are hitting with reckless abandon in Good Hope, upper San Juan and Escalante. Reports of a fish every cast are heard from those venturing uplake to the more isolated areas. Larger fish can be caught deeper in the water column but the pygmy smallmouth are loads of fun while waiting for the bigger fish to bite.
Soft plastic double tail grubs are the ticket fished on heavy or light jigheads depending on weather conditions. A grub cast to points and steep rocky shorelines will be eaten by the ever present smallmouth. Work the jig deeper for larger fish.
The crappie spawn is winding down. Act now for late season crappie. They are still found around brush in the backs of canyons and coves. Colored water where trees are completely submerged provide the most consistent crappie action. A small jig fixed 3 feet below a bobber is a real effective fishing technique around thick brush when water color is green to brown. Some big bluegill are coming from these same locations. They can be seen before they hit the small grub. Fishing for the highly visible bluegill is a real hit with the kids. Bluegill rival any fish in Lake Powell for palatability.
Striped bass are beginning to show. Be prepared with different techniques for these spring stripers. They are following shad schools eating a shad or two at leisure. Locate shad schools midway back in most canyons and then fish a shad imitator just below the school for striper action. Top water lures will draw stripers up or an unweighted shad colored grub slowly descending through the shad will be attacked as it descends below the main shad school. Anchovies are NOT effective with shad so abundant. Use crank baits, grubs and surface lures. With stripers being so scattered the most effective technique is to cover as much water as possible by trolling a shad imitating lure. Once a fish is caught, troll over the spot for a second and third time. The stripers now being caught are short fish with fat bellies. An angler described his catch as a 5 pound fish on a 2 pound frame. Striper fishing will get better in late May and June but this week is the best time of the year to catch a 30 pound plus fish by trolling deep diving lures particularly in main channel areas. Dusk is the most likely time to catch the big fish.