APRIL 20, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3676
Water temperature: 56-64 F

Every spring there is a window where water temperature finally gets warm enough for good fishing. That environmental warming releases snow pack runoff which causes a rapid increase in lake level. The period between significant warming and rapid filling is the peak for good spring bass and crappie fishing. We are there! This weekend, barring a cold front, will be the front end of optimum fishing conditions that will likely last at least through the first week of May. Rapid filling causes shore line features to move each day and fish with nests get lost in the shuffle. During the next two weeks bass fishing will be at its prime. Each cold front knocks it down for a day or two but persistent warm days begin to overpower the impact of fronts.

We are recovering nicely from the cold front on April 18-19. Air and water temperature is still cold in the morning making mid day and afternoon angling better than that found in morning hours. As I write this, fishing has not been that good due to the cold front. Bass will still be centered in the green brown water but the catch zone will be expanded into different water color areas on either side. Lure selection is less critical now with bass on nests being very aggressive. Soft plastic, crank baits, 'jig and pig' and other familiar bass favorites will work. Use your favorite lure which has caught fish for you in the post.

Striped bass are warming too but they will not peak in catchability until May which is closer to their spawning time and temperature (64-68 F). They are being caught with greater regularity at the dam, power plant intake, and now on the main channel walls in Navajo, and the narrows in the lower lake. Uplake, stripers are caught more often by trollers. Wally divers, hot-n-tots and Little Macs (if you have one - can't buy them anymore) trolled at 15-25 feet on monofilament are working in the back of Bullfrog Bay, the main channel islands near the mouth of Trachyte/White Canyons, and many other locations. Expect to catch scattered stripers in the backs of canyons on bass lures while fishing for other species. Last Chance, Rock Creek, Oak, Escalante, Slick Rock, Lake, Moki, and Red Canyons should have stripers in the bass fishing zone which will be catchable on bass lures.

Bluegill and crappie will be in shallow brush in warm water green-colored zones and can be taken on small lead heads and soft plastic jigs. Live worms are an add-on that can increase the catch.

This will be a nice week to be fishing Lake Powell.