July 11, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3639  Water Temperature: 78-85 F

We have found the heat of summer and its hovering over Lake Powell. Surface temperature is at its peak. Bass don't really care. They still move up and down to feed and hide. They are as deep as 40 feet and as shallow as they can get depending on their mood and time of day. There is much more activity at night. It is pleasant for anglers to be about their business in the cooler evening hours and fish seem to respond to the quieter times when most recreationists have called it a day. Fishing early and late is certainly best. I recommend avoiding mid day fishing. The direct sun is brutal even with ample layers of sun screen, a big hat, and lots of liquid. But morning is delightful and a quiet time to fish.

Bass fishing has slowed in the lower and mid portions of Lake Powell. Last week we caught 3 fish per spot. This week it was only one. But come to think of it. One fish per spot is really okay. Try to place the soft plastic bait directly in the very best looking shade pocket. Let it rest for a minute, then gingerly pick it up and start a swimming retrieve. Often a slight pressure indicates a hitch hiking fish that has chomped onto the tail but is not hooked. Jerking this fish just dislodges the bait. Try dropping the rod tip, taking up the slack and then setting the hook when these short biters are encountered. A swimming bait that suddenly dives often convinces the swimming fish to grab a little more lure. The repositioning of the bait in the fishes mouth is often enough to allow the hook to do its job. Bass fishing is still excellent near Hite and in the upper San Juan.

The afternoon breeze draws smallmouth out of the deep shade pockets to the top of the reef. When the wind blows at 20 mph or less head for submerged reefs to get some of the best fishing of the day. Swim grubs, spinnerbaits or crank baits across the reefs for fast action.

The big news is striper boils, but they too are better at Hite than Bullfrog or Wahweap. The main channel between 4-Mile Canyon and Hite is the hot spot. Boils are better early and late but they have happened at many times during the day. Expect boils to continue for the next 6 weeks in the upper lake and to get progressively better in the lower and mid lake each week. This week look in the backs of canyons, morning and evening where shad may be found feeding.

Where shad are scarce anchovies are still working. Target terminal ends of prominent points in the main channel. At Wahweap stripers have shown up at the fishing dock and at the gravel pile which is on the north side of the boat rental marina. Shore fishing at Wahweap with easy access is possible once more and large numbers of stripers can be caught from boat or shore in daylight or evening hours on the man-made gravel point. The natural points in Wahweap Bay and Navajo Canyon are steadily producing about 3 stripers per hour of fishing to those patiently fishing anchovies at 20-40 feet.