January 8, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3655  Water Temperature: 47-50 F

Water level is dropping steadily but warmer mid day air temperatures in January have allowed anglers to try their luck for stripers in Lake Powell and they have found success.

Stripers are cold and slow moving and found close to the bottom. These conditions are ideal for bait fishing with anchovies. Search with electronics over the submerged creek channel in canyons and near main channel humps, points and rock piles near canyon mouths. Find a school and mark it with a float. Then either anchor or hold position with an electric motor. Chum 6 finely cut anchovies initially and then drop a piece or two every time the hook is rebaited or a fish caught. Make sure the leader above the hook is invisible or light (4-6 pound) test to fool fish critical of visible line, given the longer bait examination time of a lethargic fish.

Keep the bait on a tight line that bottom bounces as the rod tip is slowly but gently lifted and lowered. I prefer a plain jig head over the carolina rig for the current subtle bite but either terminal rig will work. Set the hook on the slightest sensation of heaviness or on any different feel. The bite may be very subtle but it will be detectable. The second bite will be easier to distinguish than the first.

Stable striper schools are found in the main channel and canyons close to Hite and the lower lake canyons of Warm Creek, Gunsight and Padre. A good catch of 40 stripers was reported in Navajo Canyon over the weekend by anglers fishing the points upstream from the first set of double islands.

The striper pattern described above is working lakewide. It seems low forage conditions have kept stripers active this winter. The boat ride is cold in an open boat but once stopped above the school, fishing conditions are quite nice. The beauty of Lake Powell is enhanced by the lack of other boaters. You may not see another boat all day.