April 30, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3676 msl
Water Temperature: 59-66 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
Cool water temperatures during April kept smallmouth bass fishing from really taking off. Now temperatures are in the 60's and smallmouth are starting to hit with abandon. Bass have moved shallow to spawn and will be readily caught during the first two weeks of May. Largemouth bass fishing has been good near brushy shallows and we expect that to continue as the bass spawn for another 3 weeks.
Plastic grubs of all sizes are the preferred bait but most any favorite bass lure will work during spring “prime-time” fishing. Small grubs slowly swimming near brush and submerged trees are really deadly now. Fish may be as shallow as 1-2 feet in murky water. I like to use the small grubs to get black bass, crappie and sometimes a bonus bluegill - all from the same brushy area.
Bigger bass hit larger grubs near the bottom in water 10-15 feet deep. The larger females are deeper than the males seen guarding nests in shallow water. Really big fish like the bigger grubs (like jig and pig), and spinner baits.
Crappie fishing has been sporadic. There are not many crappie this year and only a handful of fish have been caught in any particular location. Pan fishermen will do better by concentrating on small stripers which can be caught in great numbers on small jigs and bait. These little fillets are almost as good as crappie and the supply is endless. Keep all you can use.
Striped bass fishing is as good as it gets in the spring time in the lower lake. Average catch for boats fishing near the dam was 30 fish. Reports of stringers over 100 fish were common. Anchovies were in short supply but cut smelt and sardines are available and have been used with great results. Hot spots include the dam and power plant intake, gravel pile, back of Wahweap Bay, Warm Creek Bay, and Navajo Canyon.
Upstream from Wahweap striped bass are found in the backs of most canyons where water depth is 25-30 feet. Use cut bait, spinner baits or jigging spoons. Use the graph to locate striped bass schools or just fish for black bass until stripers are caught. It is common to catch more than one striped bass from each location.
Walleye are starting to show up in the catch now. The month of May is historically the best month for walleye fishing at the lake. Tip a heavy bottom bouncing jig or worm harness with a live night crawler to increase the chance of catching a walleye. Try slow trolling a Wally Diver, thunderstick or hot-n-tot during morning and evening twilight works around steep canyon walls and long prominent points for another approach to walleye success.