June 18, 1999
Lake Elevation: 3689 msl
Water Temperature: 70-77 F
Lake Powell rose another 3 feet this week and will continue to rise for at least another week. Expect it to top out about 3692-3695 by mid July. Fishing has not topped out yet. Smallmouth continue to bite on main channel structure and striped bass are getting more cooperative.
Striped bass schools are showing up in more locations. The standard technique is to fish a piece of anchovy on a small hook with two split shot weights 14 inches above the hook. Suspend the bait at the same depth that fish are seen on the graph or you can start at 30-40 feet. If fish are not caught within 15 minutes after chumming 4 finely cut anchovies move to another spot.
A partial list of productive spots from last week includes: Navajo Canyon just beyond the first set of double islands at the points on the left shore; mouth of Antelope Canyon; main channel between mouth of Navajo and Narrows leading to Padre Bay - steep cliffs on west wall directly under the highest point of the sheer cliff; Dangling Rope beyond the marina in the first cove on the left, the mouth of Wilson Creek and mouth of Deep Canyon on the San Juan; mouth of Llewellyn Canyon; back of main Iceberg Canyon; Slick Rock area; Halls swim beach; Red Canyon; and White Canyon.
Striped bass are moving from spot to spot. They often feed at one location for a day or two and then move to another only to return to the first spot. A great spot may be unproductive one day and then really good the next. Be flexible and keep moving. Spend time graphing or put a bait in the water and drift along the wall until a striper is caught. Then try to remain over the school for maximum catch.. With warm water it is imperative to put stripers immediately in a cooler on ice to preserve eating quality. The 12-20 inch fish are the best to eat and the fish that need to be harvested. Do not throw back the small fish.
I will try to delicately understate the smallmouth fishing and say that fishing is really good. If I say stupendous or incredible the fishing will slow down immediately. So if you want some "really good" smallmouth fishing cruise the main channel or main canyon looking for points, islands, shoals and reefs. Cast crank baits, surface lures or a split-shot-rigged dark colored grub on 1/4 ounce jig head to the yellow colored water and then let it fall into the green depths. Make sure it hits the bottom then move it two feet and let it hit bottom again. When it is moved again - set the hook.
*Split Shot Rig for Smallmouth* A split shot weight a foot or so above a circular Gamakatsu hook (barb pointing toward eyelet) with the head of a plastic grub just threaded into the curve of the hook so it hangs straight down is the ticket. The split shot weight keeps bottom contact but the buoyant grub floats free attracting interest of active smallmouth.
Catfishing is good. Bluegill are great on live worms. Enjoy!