APRIL 6, 2000
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3676
Water temperature: 55-64 F

The lake has bottomed out at 3676 feet and runoff will now begin to fill the reservoir. Expect fairly steady lake levels through April with a rapid increase in May. Warming has been significant with temperatures moving toward 60 which heats up the fishing as it climbs.

Water color at Hite now has a more normal stained appearance. Fishing has improved accordingly. Smallmouth bass are providing moderate action to those throwing soft plastic grubs to most rocky points near Hite and in most of the upper lake. Trollers are scoring on striped bass fishing 'little macs' and other minnow-shaped lures on the canyon wall directly across from Hite Marina, the main channel towards the Colorado River bridge, North Wash, and in the Dirty Devil. Anchovies are not working well as the trolled reaction baits.

Bass, crappie and bluegill are biting but not at the hoped for rate. Warming water has moved fish into the shallows but they are more visible than catchable. There is one very specific location where all three species can be found.

We fished on April 5th near Wahweap. We caught 13 crappie, 3 bluegill, 1 largemouth, and 1 striper in 4 hours of fishing. Canyons in the lower lake are characterized by varying shades of water color. Main channel water in most canyons varies from: clearer-than-you-can-imagine; to clear-blue, then clear-green, which fades into green with brown tint, and then finally chocolate milk brown. We could only catch fish in the green with brown tint water. In a ten mile canyon there was only about a half mile where fish were cooperative. The habitat is specific but also easy to find. Just cruise the canyon while paying attention to water clarity and then fish coves and cuts when the right color appears. Most canyons with perennial inflow will have these color variations.

We found fish moving very shallow in coves off the main channel. Coves were warming faster and also had brush which was particularly attractive to crappie. Main canyon temperature was slightly cooler and apparently fishless as far as we were concerned. We tried similar short coves further down lake where water color was green-clear. We were able to find bass and crappie right in the trees and shaded up under ledges and overhangs but these fish were extremely skittish and not catchable.

Stripers are being caught in modest numbers at the power plant intake. We fished for 1 hour, caught one striper and saw 6 others caught during our time there. Those with a graph that able to stay over the school can catch considerably more. Stripers were caught in the back of Last Chance on spinner baits by bass fishermen.

Good fishing is just around the corner. It is beginning now and will improve through the month. of April.