A major weather change with cool night time temperatures has caused lake surface temperatures to begin the quick slide into winter. The next two weeks will be the magic time when water temperatures will be in the 60's. Black bass are stimulated by the temperature drop to eat as much as possible before cold weather shuts down their metabolism. Stripers will continue to feed much longer than bass. Expect striper fishing to remain good through December.
Smallmouth bass will behave much like they do in the springtime. They will be found on the deep end of the same rocky points, shoals and reefs. Plastic grubs and tubes will be the bait of choice. Bounce the grubs on the bottom at 15-30 feet for best results. If bouncing doesn't work then try a slow swimming retrieve keeping the bait as close to the bottom as possible. Surface lures will work early and late and spoons will be effective in areas where shad are found.
Stripers are consistently located in the backs of major canyons where bottom depth is 60 feet. With the lakewide shortage of shad, stripers have moved into wintering grounds weeks earlier than expected. Graph the submerged creek channel until bottom depth is 60 feet and fish traces are seen. Mark the schools with a float and continue to graph to determine how extensive the school may be. Often small striper schools will be marked in a hundred yard area or they may continue to show up for a half mile. Mark the beginning and end of the fish traces and then drift through the fish holding area using spoons and white jigs on the first pass. When fish hit the spoons, mark the spot and throw anchovy chum in the area. As soon as spoon fishing slows down put on anchovy bait for a big catch.
I am confident that this pattern will work in two out of every three canyons on Lake Powell. Larger stripers will be holding near the 40-60 foot depth while younger, but fatter yearlings will be cruising at 15-30 feet. I have reaffirmed on my recent fishing trips that stripers are line shy when feeding on anchovy bait. Using a low visibility fluorocarbon leader or light test (8-pound or less) monofilament leader increases catch rate 5-10 fold. I have had equal success with bait presentations featuring a carolina-rigged anchovy or a one-inch anchovy chunk threaded on a lead head. Keeping the line tight by slowly reeling increases sensitivity and allows more hookups from light hitting stripers on either rig.
Best striper spots in the lower lake are Warm Creek, Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance and Dry Rock Creek San Juan spots are Piute Canyon and Neskahi Bay. Mid lake: Bullfrog bay by south campground, Halls Creek, and main channel above Moki where steep cliff ends in flat slick rock steps littered with boulders and broken rock. Uplake: Red Canyon and Blue Notch and all canyons upstream to Hite.
Bluegill fishing is HOT near Hite with small plastic tubes and live worms on tiny hooks.