MARCH 29, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3662  Water temperature: 52-60 F

Lake Powell is still on the cool side of great fishing. No spawning has yet occurred. Continued warm, calm weather could produce a spawning movement as early as next week. Storm fronts can hold off the spawning event for as much as three weeks. Fishing patterns all directly relate to prespawn fish behavior.

Black bass are the most active fish. They will hold in deep water near the edge of the channel or in the back of the canyon where rock and brush are present. Bass move shallow with daily warming to seek a nest site. Feeding occurs but nest construction is a higher priority. Hence, many fish will be seen in clear water or near the surface in stained water. They may not strike aggressively at lures except for a 1-2 hour period usually in the afternoon. During the remainder of the day, especially in cool morning temperatures they will only peck at lures or ignore them. Individuals can be convinced to strike occasionally and there are enough fish visible lake wide to produce a really fun experience. More numbers will be caught next month but now is the time to catch larger bass. Large males occupying nest sites and nearby females holding in deeper water are the prime targets. Bottom-contact plastic lures are preferred but crank baits, spinner baits, and jerk baits all work at times in prespawn conditions.

Prespawn striped bass feel warming and tend to move in schools toward current. Places like the dam and power plant intake are getting better with some really good sporadic catches reported in short bursts already. When a school is nearby most anglers catch fish. Then there is a waiting period until the school returns. Mid day has been best but appearance of the large school can happen any time.

Stripers in the backs of canyons move toward the shallows on a daily basis. Still the schools are inactive most of the time and can be found laying on the bottom. When they move up in the water column they can quickly be caught trolling. Look in the canyon 'green zone' where bottom depth is 40-60 ft. Fish may be as shallow as 10-30 feet as they rise to feel the warm surface layer. Anchovies work best on deep fish but a quick moving reaction bait like a jigging spoon, or fast moving shad imitating crank bait will get the shallow fish. Navajo, Last Chance, Oak, Slick Rock, Bullfrog, Moki, and canyons from Good Hope to Hite are good potential striper holding canyons.

Bluegill and crappie move to the surface and will be found in submerged tree tops in 3-8 feet of water. Use a lightweight jig with chartreuse or pumpkin color combinations . A piece of live worm on a very small hook is the very best for big bluegill.

Plan your trip around stable weather conditions to increase your odds of having great fishing.