May 15, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3678 msl
Water Temperature: 58-67 F
The first temperature listed is main channel water temperature at Wahweap in the morning. The high temperature is afternoon temperature in the colored water in the back of the canyon. The past few years temperatures have been 5-7 degrees warmer in mid May. The late spring has delayed shad and striper spawning which won't happen until morning temperature is 64. Bass have spawned once but will spawn again with the next warming trend. The real problem with the late spring has been inconsistent fishing. The pattern changes daily.
Stripers are not effected as dramatically by weather patterns as black bass. Fishing for stripers has been steady with prespawning schools waiting for a temperature spike to trigger spawning. Schools move around. Stripers may be at the power plant intake or near the mouth of Moki Canyon one day and then move a half mile the next. If the school is not where you left it try different spots in the same vicinity. Sometimes the school just has to be jump-started. Try chumming 6-8 finely chopped anchovies where the graph shows a striper school. Catching remains steady at the dam (2nd barricade morning and evening), Power plant intake (midday), Moki wall, Hall's Marina swim beach (cliff wall - downstream), mouth of Lake Canyon, and White Canyon. Most anglers are trying main channel walls but the backs of major canyons hold lots of fish. I would try Padre Bay (east of Cookie Jar), Last Chance, Oak, Reflection, Red and Farleys canyons where main channel bottom depth is 30-40 feet. Cut bait works better than lures at this point.
Smallmouth are starting to hit really well in the upper lake in the evening. From Bullfrog upstream prominent points hold lots of 8-12 inch fish. It takes the afternoon sun to get things started. Mornings are not quite as good. In the lower lake most bass action is in cloudy water on warm afternoons. Still waiting for main channel temperature to climb into the 60's. It should happen this week. Little fish are working the shallows and larger fish are deep. To catch big smallmouth consistently fish at 20-35 feet. Catch rate will go down but size of fish caught will increase. I like faster action and really don't care about size so I fish shallow. Reefs, shoals, and steep talus slopes are best smallmouth producers. Largemouth are in isolated brush pockets.
Crappie have almost finished spawning and will now be found in schools suspended in open water or holding near big boulder structure as deep as 20 feet. Bluegill will get more active and begin to spawn in the rocky shallows with over head brush when water warms to 65-70.
The expected walleye bite has been delayed with cool spring temperatures. Expect walleye fishing to improve during the next two weeks particularly in the upper lake from Good Hope to White Canyon.