May 2, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson

Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent. I am reluctant to get too excited in this report for fear that anglers will come to Lake Powell and have a bad day. But I will go out on a limb and say in my 20 years of Lake Powell experience that bass fishing this spring is better than I have ever seen it. Kent, Gar and John Summers from northern Utah caught over 75 smallmouth in one day fishing out of Wahweap. This is the avergae report not the exception. Most anglers checked are reporting catches of 50 fish per day. The smallmouth are fat, aggressive and averaging 1.5 pounds. Plastic grubs are the preferred bait thrown to the edge of a drop off or terrace.

Rapidly rising water will cool the fishing off. The next warming trend will release the snowpack in the mountains and cause the lake level to start rising 6-8 inches per day. Try to get here before the rising water happens for the best bass fishing seen at Lake Powell.

Other species are caught incidentally while fishing for bass. Expect to catch a few largemouth, walleye, crappie, bluegill and catfish on the same grubs used for smallmouth bass.

Striped bass are slowly entering the picture. Anchovies are not as effective as trolling or casting plugs in the murky water in the backs of the canyons. Randomly moving schools once encountered will produce 10 - 20 fish for the lucky anglers that discovers their presence. There are no real hot spots yet but we expect to see some congregations occurring during the first two weeks of May. The same rising water and temperature that slow down the bass fishing will stimulate the striper bite. So fish for bass now and we will let you know when the stripers turn on.