November 21, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3686
Water Temperature: 55-57 F

Normally this would be my last regular report for the year, in fact, I have the last report written and ready. My fishing trip yesterday convinced me that the fishing is so good that I really can't quit yet. Yesterday we motored to the back of Warm Creek to where the bottom depth was 60 feet. We graphed until we found a concentration of fish traces near the bottom. Total time graphing was 10 minutes - fish were easy to find. Then we dropped anchor (which was improvised from an old cement weight and some nylon twine wrapped around a gallon can. I may invest in a real anchor one of these days). We broadcast 4 anchovies as chum and then waited about 5 minutes for the first fish which was a nice 5 pound striper. Six more adult stripers were harvested in the next 20 minutes. Then a bait reeled back to the boat was followed into view by a school of yearling stripers. My challenge to see how many of the yearlings stripers could be caught in the next hour was accepted by my partners.

Instead of lowering our baits to the bottom we watched the small piece of anchovy descend until it disappeared. The bait was stopped just out of sight and then very gently pulled back into view. Invariably schooling stripers were slashing at the bait as it reappeared. It was then a matter of deciding which fish to catch as they fought over the bait like a litter of pups with one bone.

Total fishing time was 300 minutes. When we took the fish out of the coolers and stacked them on the fillet table there were 210 stripers. That was at least one fish for every 2 minutes of fishing for 5 straight hours. They were still biting when we left. When we needed a rest from taking one pounders off the hook, lowering the bait to the bottom would produce a 4-7 pound striper but it took about 10 minutes waiting time per adult fish. This experience is more the rule than the exception. Just understand the pattern and it can work all over Lake Powell.

Stripers are holding midway back in the canyons where main channel depth is 60 feet. Adults are holding on the bottom while one pound fish are at 15-25 feet. Fish deep for the big ones and shallow for the more numerous yearlings. Striped bass concentrations are found in Warm Creek, Navajo Canyon, Last Chance, Reflection, Oak, San Juan, Escalante, Halls Creek, Bullfrog, Good Hope Bay, Red Canyon, Blue Notch, White, Trachyte and the Dirty Devil and lots of other places that I don't know about.

One-third of an anchovy fished on the bottom with a half-ounce weight is deadly for the big ones and a chunk of anchovy just big enough to cover the hook with an eighth-ounce weight works on the feisty little guys.

The three day BASS tournament is underway as this report is being written. We look for good catches of bass to result from the tournament but expect that the amateur angler should fish the middle for stripers since bass will be relentlessly pursued by 300 anglers quickly covering most of Lake Powell's shore line. By next week bass should have recovered from the tournament jitters. The Anglers Choice Bass tournament two weeks ago was won with 10 bass that weighed over 35 pounds.