LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
AUG. 15, 1996

LAKE ELEVATION: 3684
WATER TEMPERATURE: 79

Our shad sampling efforts for August found the silvery forage fish present in surprisingly good numbers at all open bay sampling areas over the length of the lake. That is great news for all Lake Powell's fish who are now stocking up on food preparing for the approaching winter. Most growth in large and small fish occurs in August and September when food is abundant and water is warm. These good forage conditions and high growth rates for small fish mean high over winter survival and good numbers of fish for future years.

The hot calm days will be with us at least one more week and will keep most of the fish deep. Gill netting efforts find bass stacked up at 25 to 40 feet. Feeding and activity periods coincide with low light found early morning and late evening. Mid day is very tough fishing. Night fishing is good.

Striped bass are causing some real excitement in the main channel between Bullfrog and Hite. Boils are seen from dawn to 10 am and from 5 pm to dark randomly along this stretch. Shad are moving along the main channel walls and are periodically intercepted by roving schools of stripers. Three or four open water splashes should be investigated and could lead to discovery of a school of 4-5 pound stripers feeding against the canyon wall. The "wake" lapping against the wall could be caused by 100 large stripers instead of the passing of a nearby boat. Be alert for stripers feeding in the shade against the steep cliff wall in the channel between Bullfrog and Hite.

We saw striper boils in Bullfrog Bay between the launch ramp and houseboat field between 8 and 10 am and between the houseboats and Crappie Cove near dusk. The best boils occurred at dusk at the mouth of Smith Fork and in the main channel upstream from buoy 117. Quick boils were seen at Trachyte and White Canyon but these fish did not stay up long enough to be catchable.

Stick baits like Zara Spooks and Jumpin' minnows worked great as did a variety of plastic jigs, spoons, and shallow running crank baits. It is much more important to find active feeding fish than to have the right lure. Stripers will hit just about anything in the feeding frenzy. Cruise the walls to find fish and then enjoy some high energy fishing fun. A good strategy would be to troll along the shade line of the steep canyon walls with leaded line while waiting for stripers to hit the surface.

Catfishing is excellent for one pound catfish on gently sloping, shallow, sandy beaches at dusk and just after dark. Use liver, shrimp or anchovies.