LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
JUNE 9, 2000
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3681
Water temperature: 72-80 F

The lake is rapidly filling with only a modest amount of runoff coming in(67,000 acre feet) but not much water being let out (15,000 acre feet)of Glen Canyon Dam. The rapid increase in elevation quickly floods new gentle sloping beach areas that appear to be good looking fishing spots. Remember that it will take a while for fish to move into the new areas. It is usually better to fish vertical habitat that is only slightly altered by a two foot increase in lake level.

Smallmouth bass fish is still fair to good. Early morning is better than mid day but fishing is steady any time with soft plastic grubs/tubes. The top water bite early in the morning and late in the evening is really worth the trip. Points, coves, shelves and islands are prime top water habitat but the real key is to get there early, before the sun hits the water. When the sun tops the ridge then search out shade on the west side of structure to prolong the bite. When the sun is on the water go deeper with soft plastic for the rest of the day until shadows form signaling the nightly top water feeding ritual.

Take advantage of nesting bluegill that will be found in shallow water of coves near brush. The brightly colored fish are great fun and really aggressive when guarding a nest. Fly tackle, small plastic grubs, or live worms on tiny hooks will be all that's needed to have a great time. Look in the back of almost any bay in clear water to see fish before they bite. Sight fishing for bluegill is a blast.

Stripers are not easy to find. They are moving. Some are eating plankton while others are chasing shad and some are doing both. Behavior is totally different depending on diet. Still getting a lot of reports that stripers are feeding on spawning shad in the backs of canyons before the sun hits the water each morning. Quick boils have been seen in Navajo, Last Chance, Bullfrog, Red Canyon and White Canyon.

Trollers are doing well in the murky water in Good Hope Bay. Stripers are randomly scattered and caught at a rate of 3-4 per hour. Trolling in shallow (20-30 feet) ends of canyons (lakewide) may intercept stripers that have been feeding on shad at dawn but are moving to deeper water midmorning.

Bait fishermen are finding stripers to be elusive with a single fish caught here and there, followed by a 10-20 fish catch if a school is located. Keep moving and trying many different spots. Chum, fish and then move on. Keep at it until the school is found. Persistence pays off. Take ice for fish or fillets. Water temperature is now too warm to keep fish on a stringer.