MARCH 15 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3663  Water Temperature: 50-52 F

Warming has started. It's meager but at least the lake is now in the 50's. The warmest water is 53 but most of the lake ranges from 50-52. It is still two weeks before consistent catching can be expected but here is what is available right now.

Largemouth bass are the most active fish. They are not numerous but can be found in isolated brushy pockets where the water is stained. On warm afternoons they move shallow to take advantage of solar warming and perhaps nest prospecting. While crank baits, spinner baits and jerk baits take a few bass the most consistent presentation is a lead head jig, with pork or plastic attached, fished right in the brush. Bass tournament anglers are doing much better now with most anglers entered in the weekend tournaments weighing fish. Only an occasional smallmouth is caught with the bulk of the fish being the green bass variety. If you are familiar with largemouth fishing techniques then you can expect to do well during the remainder of March. If not, wait until April for consistent catches of smallmouth.

Striped bass schools remain dormant but some signs of movement have been seen. Stripers previously graphed right on the bottom (60-90 ft) now show a tendency to be suspended higher in the water column (20-40 ft). Catching has not increased dramatically despite increased fish movement. One exception to that is the shore fishery at Glen Canyon Dam which is improving daily. If in a boat it is advisable to tie to the east shoreline and fish out of the stationary boat. Striper are following the wall and easier to catch from shore.

Access to the "chains" parking lot is the second left turn after crossing the bridge heading towards Page, AZ. Follow the gravel road to the end and then clamor down steep trails to the water edge. There will be spots where shallow water is next to shore and places where the water drops off dramatically. Fish the drop offs. Cast 1/3 anchovy attached to a 1/4 ounce lead head straight out into the lake about 50 feet. Then, with bale closed and line tight, let the bait "swing" back to shore until it is almost straight down. Before it contacts the cliff face reel it in very slowly. This constant forward moving pressure allows you to feel the very light pick up when the striper hits. An unattended rod has as many bites but the angler is only aware of one when the fish hooks itself.

Use a chumming rhythm to increase catch. Each time the hook is rebaited cut the anchovy into small pieces except for the third on your hook. Throw a piece or two in the water and watch til it disappears. Then throw in the next piece. This "trickle" chumming will really help.

Striper catching is sporadic as an occasional school of fish moves out of the forebay sanctuary and along the wall. Single fish save the day. There is a constant stream of individual stripers cruising the wall. The catch rate, for me and the other 4 anglers there, was 3 fish per hour. The single fish most steadily caught are often the long, thin fish that are not swimming with school mates. These keep up the interest until the fat school fish swim by.

Walleye spawning has just begin and will continue for two weeks. Most other fish are waiting for temperatures to reach at least 55 in the main channel before committing to anything.