November 24, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3686 msl
Water Temperature: 60 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
Cold weather has finally arrived with wind which mixes the warm surface with the cold depths and allows the temperature of the entire body of water to drop. Another week and water temperature will be in the mid 50's. That means one more week of good bass fishing and indicates that more predictable striper catching can be expected.
Bass fishing will be fair to good. You may have to slow down the retrieve and stay in close contact with the bottom but if one more bass fishing trip is on your holiday schedule it should be productive. Fish main channel instead of the backs of canyons for best results. If the standard bottom bouncing technique with a soft plastic grub does not produce then try a very slow swimming retrieve once the bait has settled to the bottom. Bass will be slowing down with every degree the temperature drops. But right now it is still warm enough for good fishing.
Stripers have now moved to the backs of virtually every canyon in the lower lake. Look in Wahweap, Warm Creek, Antelope, Navajo, Last Chance, and West Canyons where bottom depth is 50 feet. Once a school is graphed, chum the area and then use either spoons, white bucktail jigs, or anchovies. Marabou and hair jigs weighing at least 3/4 ounce will work better as the temperature cools and stripers get more sluggish. Winter fishing is expected to be better than fall fishing for the entire lake and will continue until the new millennium begins.
Stripers in the upper lake will soon follow the migration pattern already in place down lake. Within a week or two at the most they will be holding in the submerged creek channel at 50 feet trying to find the shad that have moved out of the backs of the coves. There will be a transition period soon when both forage and predators will be moving to the winter holding spots. When a striper school is seen on the graph they will hit the first reaction bait they see. Have a spoon or jig ready to drop at all times. Schools may continue to move and still be hard to keep within casting range but that will improve as the temperature continues to cool. Once stripers locate shad again they will remain in the same locations and be predictably found each time out.
Expect to find stripers on main channel structure at 50-80 feet where main channel depth is 100 feet or deeper. Search the structure at the mouth of Trachyte, 2-mile, 4-mile, and the stretch between Scorup and Good Hope as starting points for winter holding spots.
At midlake, (Bullfrog/Halls) search the back of any canyon at a bottom depth of 50 feet for a starting point to find stripers.
We will keep the fish report going as long as we continue to get input from anglers. If you are out there braving the elements let us know and we will pass your information along to others that follow. If you have benefitted from a report in the past, return that favor for someone else who may not have to spend extra time looking. There are lots of stripers in great shape. Letís continue to harvest them for the continued good health of Lake Powell fisheries.