July 5, 2001
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3672  Water Temperature: 76-83F

Lake Powell has topped out at 3673 and is now beginning a gradual decline which will last until next May. The low water and exposed beach areas will soon sprout tumbleweed and tamarisk seedlings which will be the fish habitat of the future.

This year's crop of crayfish are at peak abundance now as the young have hatched and grown large enough to attract attention from most fish, especially bass and stripers. Crayfish grow quickly and will soon be too large for yearling fish to eat. But right now most broken rock structure is visited daily by predators looking for crayfish.

Smallmouth have been found in surprisingly open structure such as a few scattered rocks on a slick rock point. Consider that young crayfish are trying to find their own niche and scattering out to occupy every rock with a space big enough for them to hide under. Bass and stripers have found the young crayfish hide outs and search them on a regular basis.

For best fishing results probe rocky shelves, slopes and terraces with crayfish colored plastic grubs. Flats are more productive now than normal due to the temporary high occurrence of crayfish forage. Sunfish have moved into any limited brush shelter so predators will be searching shallow brush as well. Surface lures and shallow running crank baits fished around brush pockets will imitate sunfish and produce both bass and stripers. Chartreuse is a good color to imitate sunfish.

Every time a striper is caught on a grub or lure while fishing for something else, be prepared to chum and use anchovies as bait for some quick action. Stripers feed as a school and only a few are able to find a crayfish or sunfish. But they are present in large numbers and feeding chum to the entire school will get them going and all fish in the school will be catchable for a short time.

During the heat of day and with the busy holiday crowds it is best to fish morning and evening and even after dark. Smallmouth will bite all day long but with more aggressiveness at either end of the day. Stripers can be found anytime but will definitely feed early morning and at night.

Striper boils will blow up anytime of the day. The most productive period will be for the first 2 hours of daylight. While most boils will be small stripers eating small shad there will be an occasional boil containing bigger fish. It can happen anytime so have a rod rigged with a 3/4 ounce spoon ready to hit the boil at a moment's notice.

Catfish are peaking with hot weather. Use table scraps in the evening off the back of the boat on a gently sloping sandy beach without brush or rocks for best results.