JULY 25, 1996


The heat of summer continues to grip Lake Powell. Recreationists are really enjoying the hot, calm, cloudless weather but the fish have retreated to the depths to get out of the direct sunlight. Surface temperatures are not bothering the fish as much as the relentless brightness of the sun. Most fish prefer subdued light for feeding and activity periods. Lack of wind to stir mud into the water, or clouds to offer a shady feeding period have caused the fish to go deep. So anglers need to adjust to what the fish are doing.

Bass are catchable but they are holding at least 15-25 feet deep. Use heavy weights to get the jig down quickly and maintain bottom contact. Smoked colored grubs still work but light colored and even white grubs have been successful recently. The lower reservoir near the dam has been slow while anglers going to the upper reaches of the San Juan have had better success. A change in the weather should spark renewed activity in smallmouth bass. Head for the lake on the first cloudy day to catch bass.

Striped bass are a better bet right now, IF you happen to be at Bullfrog. The boils continue in Bullfrog and Hall's Creek in the morning and evening hours. Boils are reported from all portions of the upper lake but they are sporadic and difficult to predict. The best advice is to keep a rod rigged with a surface lure while swimming and playing. Keep it handy for the random striper boil opportunity that will probably occur for most people who spend a whole day on the lake.

Catfish provide the opportunity with the best chance of success. These tasty fillets hidden under scaleless skin and whiskers are swimming right near your camp and need only a small piece of shrimp, liver or anchovy to entice them. Find a gently sloping sandy bottom about 10-15 feet deep and let the bait rest on bottom. It usually only takes a single, small split shot to hold the bait in place. Catfishing success seems to improve as you get closer to a major tributary. The upper San Juan is excellent for catfish as is the Good Hope to Hite area. The lower reservoir is good with catfish being the most catchable fish in the lower reservoir.