Bass fishing is unexpectedly slow while striped bass are as close to a sure thing as it gets while fishing. We really can't explain the reluctance of bass to bite this past week and expect that as soon as this report is released that they will start hitting anything that hits the water. The only consistent bass action is found in coves harboring shad. Cast top water lures around brush early and late in the day. If the bass are slow during the day - head for the steep walls and catch stripers.
Striped bass are migrating in the main channel to winter feeding grounds midway back in the canyons. They have run out of shad in most main channel areas and have paused in cool water at 45 foot depths where lower temperature makes less metabolic demand on their system. They will move to the backs of the canyons when temperatures fall into the 60's which is their preferred temperature range. For right now fish are bunched and easily caught on anchovies. An electronic fish finder really makes it easy. Just mark fish on the graph then drop the bait or silver spoon right into the school. You will catch fish every time the bait enters the school.
Some tricks that increase harvest include dropping a marker buoy when a school is graphed. When the boat drifts away or fish quit hitting it is easy to return to the same spot and hook up with the school again. A dormant school can be coerced into feeding by chumming with 6 finely cut anchovies broadcast around the boat. When the anchovy shower hits the school one fish feeding excites the others and causes them to feed also. Chumming can restart a school that has been feeding and make it possible to get a few more fish before moving from each spot. If fish do not respond to the chum within 15 minutes move to a new spot.
Striper catching locations are much the same as last week. The hotspot is the mouth of Blue Notch Canyon and the islands at the base of Castle Butte. One group reported catching over 500 stripers there on silver jigging spoons. Occasional boils occur in the Dirty Devil and river channel above Hite. Good reports have come from Halls Creek both at the mouth and in the back end of the canyon. Check out the dome shaped rock island in Bullfrog Bay The east fork of the Rincon, the San Juan, Last Chance, and West Canyon produced stripers on anchovies. The lower lake is steady at the dam, power plant intake, and the narrows between Padre and Warm Creek.
The larger stripers are thinning down but the yearlings are getting bigger and becoming easier to fillet. The smallest stripers are the best eating fish and the ones that must be harvested to keep the population in balance with existing forage.
We are adding a bulletin board to our Lake Powell Home Page on the net where anglers can report recent trip results for the benefit of anglers that are planning trips. Our internet address is www.wayneswords.com