April 24, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3677 msl
Water Temperature: 55-65 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
The wide range in water temperature results from fickle spring warming where a thin layer of warm water forms in the cloudy water in calm coves. Clear deep water is cold. Add a little wind and the warm layer readily mixes and cools. Fish wait for warm water in the submerged stream channel near coves and backs of canyons. They seek brush, food and nests sites. They move shallow on warm afternoons and then go deeper as the water cools. The pattern is a tough one. Within a few hours productive fishing spots change from deep structure to shallow coves. That's why they call it fishing instead of "catching".
The first bass spawning of the year happened this week. Both large and smallmouth made nests while the weather was good. About the time most fish would have spawned another front blew through and held off the majority of the population. The secret now is to find deep water near the back of the canyon adjacent to a shallow ledge. Cast shallow and then work the lure down to 25 feet. Mark the depth where fish are caught and concentrate on that strata for the next hour. When the fish quit, start working the whole water column again. Use a 2" grub for shallow fishing and a heavy jig head for deep fish. Do not be afraid to flip right in the thickest brush for bass bluegill and crappie. You will lose a few lures but the catch rate will increase.
Striped bass fishing is steady over the length of the lake. Anchovy fishing is the common practice but trolling is working in the Hite area. The hot spot uplake is the very back of White Canyon (right fork) where trolling with rattle traps and shallow running minnow plugs flat lined on monofilament is effective. Anchovies are working on Moki wall near Bullfrog but fishing is only steady - not fast. The same is the case near Wahweap with the power plant intake best, the dam and shoreline at the chains area next, and some fish being taken at the gravel pile and in the backs of most major canyons.
We are still waiting for the real warm weather which will mark the peak of spring fishing. It hasn't happened yet. There is still time to get here for really good fishing. When it happens the backs of most canyons will produce fish.