April 10, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3673 msl
Water Temperature: 53-58 F
By Wayne Gustaveson Winter storm fronts have kept the water cool enough to prevent the first bass spawn from occurring. When fish are held off like this by weather, they tend to react in unison when rapid warming does occur. Look for bass to move shallow and build nests between April 15th to 20th. With all bass reacting the same way to environmental cues they will be very predictable and vulnerable to anglers during that time period. Barring another major storm front on April 16-18 we expect bass fishing to break loose in the near future. Look at long range weather reports and plan the bass fishing trip for the longest calm high pressure system available. If there is not enough flexibility to plan the trip around weather patterns then come during the 3rd or 4th week of April for best fishing for bass and crappie.
Bass and crappie nests will be in shallow water with easy access to deep escape water near by. Look on ledges and points, especially those with brush or tumbleweeds, for nesting fish. Males guard the nests and will be particularly vulnerable to small plastic jigs fished on or near the nest. Remember to put the males back so eggs and fry can survive. Keep the females to eat for supper. The shallow spawning pattern will prevail over the entire lake.
Stripers are vulnerable to two different patterns. Large schools are moving around in the backs of major canyons where there is colored water. The school prowls the shallows for a while and then goes deep to rest. Once found the school feeds voraciously on anchovies. Catches of up to 100 per boat are common. It is also possible to miss the school and not catch anything but a skinny straggler. The school fish are still healthy, particularly the 12-16 inch fish which are the most numerous and best for eating. Schools are roaming in Navajo, Warm Creek, Last Chance, Escalante, Moki, and Red Canyon. Concentrate angling where bottom depth is 30 feet.
The second pattern is associated with current drawn through the dam and the power plant intake. Schools are holding in these areas and feed periodically through the day. It seems there is a two hour period when fishing is great and then a 3 hour period when nothing happens. I suggest moving from spot to spot to see if active fish can be found. Check with other anglers at each spot for a current fish report. If you get to the power plant intake and the fish just quit - move on. If they havenít started yet it might be worth an hour wait. Never spend more than an hour without success in one spot. Try anywhere along the main channel walls with the fish finder to increase your catch rate. Fish at 25 - 40 feet unless fish are located at a different depth on the graph.
Right now more stripers are found in the Wahweap Bay area than anywhere else on the lake. In Wahweap Bay try Castle Rock, gravel pile, points of Antelope Island near marina. Look in the back of Warm Creek at 30 foot depth, then run to the power plant, dam, and back of Navajo at 30 foot depth contour. Keep the stripers so the shad to be spawned next month will be used more efficiently.