July 4, 1997
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3694 and rising slowly
Water Temperature: 75-80 F

Summertime tactics are needed to catch fish. Fishing at the right time of day, choosing the correct baits and being in the right location determines rate of success. Fishing at dawn, dusk and even night are the most productive time slots. Best places to fish are in the upper San Juan, Good Hope bay and in the main channel in the mid portion of the lake. Fishing success near the marinas is only fair.

Smallmouth fishing has slowed down but it is still the best bet. Look on main channel points and rock slides for quality fish while juvenile fish are in the shallows near the bank. Use plastic jigs on the deep water edge of structure, particularly submerged islands and shoals. Main channel points and irregular breaks in an otherwise smooth cliff face are real fish attractors. Bass need a deep water escape route that is near a shallow feeding area. Crayfish hide under larger broken rocks and smallmouth spend most of the day probing rocks to find a meal. Bass descend to depths of 35-50 feet after feeding.

Striped bass are ready and waiting to be harvested. Anyone that wants to fill a freezer with striper fillets has the opportunity now and it will continue through the summer and fall. The yearling stripers are 8-12 inches long and number in the millions. The ever present schools can be located and fish caught on any small lure with maybe a small piece of anchovy being the most effective bait. Try filleting 50 of the little guys - it is quick and easy - and then invite the friends over for a fish fry. It is a rael surprise to find how much meat is found on a 10 inch fillet.

Cruise any big bay in the evening and look for striper boils. Fish near the boil and catch stripers on surface lures or 2 inch shad imitating jigs or anchovies. The 8-12 inch stripers will likely be near long prominent points where the boat can be tied or anchored while an hour is spent catching a fish every cast. The gravel pile near boat rentals in Wahweap Bay produces fast fishing every night. There are thousands of striper schools to chose from over the length of the lake.

Never, never, never return a small striper to the lake. They must be harvested to maintain the fragile predator-prey balance that has allowed fishing to be so good this year. It can't last unless we harvest a million of the little fish. It is a tough job but Lake Powell anglers are equal to the task. I am counting on you to do your share.

Catfishing is hot on sandy beaches near camp right at dusk and during the first two hours of darkness. Use night crawlers, anchovies and chicken liver for some quick action on channel catfish.