June 5, 1998
Lake Elevation: 3691 msl
Water Temperature: 62-68 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
Striped Bass Feeding Frenzy!
Lake is less than 10 feet from filling and water temperature is climbing. This is the time of year that bass get lost. Rising water, shad spawning and daily changes in habitat seem to upset bass and slow down the bite. Do not despair, bass fishing will get better in late June and July.
Right now there is a striper feeding frenzy going on and Iím passing out some insider information you can take to the bank or the freezer in this case. Stripers are gorging on plankton in the absence of shad. Plankton masses normally accumulate at 10-20 feet in the daytime. Stripers feeding in the area will be found between 15-30 feet. It is tedious work for stripers to swim through plankton and strain the microscopic food so when a larger morsel is offered stripers pay attention. Effective baits for plankton feeders are silver jigging spoons, white grubs and jigs and sardines (anchovies).
My technique for locating plankton feeding stripers anywhere on lake Powell is to cruise to the most prominent point in the vicinity and graph for fish. With my total lack of fishing patience it is easier for me to spend time graphing if I can troll at the same time. Troll at 4 to 5 mph to cover lots of area. The lure tends to validate what is seen on the graph. Those without a graph can use the lure to locate stripers by trolling across points and islands. Do not aimlessly troll the whole lake. Stripers are holding between 15-30 feet off long points or main channel islands. Look for rock hazard buoys in the main channel which mark the exact habitat where fish are holding. Troll a Little Mac or similar deep diver for 5 minutes near good looking structure and then move to the next likely spot until fish are found. .
When the lure is struck or a fish is caught stop the boat and cast lures to the school. Interested fish will trail the lure or the hooked fish to within casting distance. Cast a Ĺ ounce silver spoon, let it sink to the bottom (25-30 ft) and then jig it up about 3 feet and let it resettle. Stripers hit the spoon as it falls and release it when they feel tension. I watch the line settle into the water and set the hook when the line stops going down. In an active school the spoon catches more fish than bait since there is no down time for rebaiting. When researching this report I caught 8 stripers on 8 consecutive drops before the school moved. I graphed for another two minutes to relocate the school and caught 5 more fish on 5 casts before the school got away. The result was 13 fish in 18 minutes. I was targeting the 15 inch fish but a 2 and a 5 pound fish were also caught. It is a really quick way to put fish in the boat.
Look for stripers anywhere from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay. Try main channel points and backs of canyons where depth is 30 feet to find productive striper spots. Moki and Navajo Canyons are still producing good catches. Stripers are really active in the 60 degree water with large numbers of fish commonly caught. Fish for stripers and then opportunistically catch other species when they are encountered.