April 2, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3677 msl
Water Temperature: 54-60 F
By Wayne Gustaveson
A good variety of fish are being caught lakewide. The only negative is the pesky spring weather that slows fishing during cold and angry storm events. Get here between storm fronts and chances are excellent for a successful fishing trip.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass have not yet spawned. They were close when the winds mixed the warm water layers and dropped temperatures back into the mid 50's. Now they must have about 5-7 days of warming weather before the first spring spawn occurs. Largemouth are more active and typically found in very shallow water associated with brush and stick ups. Smallmouth are still in deep water waiting to come up on the shallow flats. Probing the shallows with spinner baits and plastic jigs worked well prior to the storm front and will work again as the weather improves.
Crappie have been caught in isolated pockets in the backs of some canyons near brush. They will usually be where the water is green to brown. Try small, chartreuse curly-tail plastic grubs near, and then right inside. a brush pile or tree. It is often necessary to lower the jig gingerly into a tangle of brush hoping that the fish finds the jig before it embeds in the woody branch, but that is what it takes to catch crappie. Do not be afraid to sacrifice a few lures when seeking crappie. Bonus bluegill will be caught at the same time and place. Use small hooks and tip the grub with a piece of night crawler to increase you catch of panfish.
Striped bass are in large schools, and staged in deep water waiting for warming. The schools are still finicky but can be provoked into biting when found. The key seems to be getting right over the top of the school and then fishing at the exact depth that fish are seen on the graph. The school will not follow the boat but will bite when the boat drifts back over the stationary school. Anchovies work well as does trolling. The best depth to start fishing is 30 feet. Many stripers are eating plankton and that is the depth of the most dense plankton concentration. Chumming really helps get the school started and then returns them to activity when the bite slows down. Invest a bag or two of anchovies just for fish attraction over the course of the day. It will pay off in more fish at the end of the day and increase fishing satisfaction.
Striper schools have been found at Hite near the Colorado River Bridge, the mouth of the Dirty Devil, Trachyte Canyon, and Good Hope Bay. The “mudline” has been mixed by the wind and is not prominent or easy to find now. At Bullfrog some stripers have been caught on Moki wall and in the mouth of Moki. The steep cliff wall just south of Halls Crossing Marina is another starting point in the striper search. At Wahweap, the hot spot is the power plant intake but large stringers have come from the barricade line at the dam, the gravel pile, and from Warm Creek at the mouth of Crosby Canyon.