July 18, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3637  Water Temperature: 77-85 F

Lake Powell is dropping like a stone with not much water coming in and a whole lot going out to meet summer power demands. The uplake passage from Wahweap past Castle Rock is getting narrow and has been designated as a wakeless speed zone. The passage will remain open for perhaps the rest of the summer. But take the time to slow down in the congested area and do not pull riders on water toys (as I saw happen today) with so many boats cruising in the same area at the same time.

I tried all the same bass spots that were so slow last week and was pleased to find that the smallmouth were back on feed. Last week I caught only one bass per spot. This time it was 3-5 fish per spot and some times more. The habitat to look for is a long tapered point in a bay that is mostly slick rock cliffs; or a submerged reef surrounded by deep water. The critical element is shade. Look for a rock terrace with an overhanging lip. Bass will be in the shade created by the rock above and respond quickly to a bait invading their line of sight.

I kept a dozen smallmouth and examined stomachs. Small crayfish were well represented. Looks like a new hatch of crayfish has the bass in the mode for feeding. I filleted the bass and had them for supper. It doesn't get any better than baked smallmouth bass fillets. The limit is 20 so keep the 9-11 inch fish that are so common and easy to catch.

I didn't see any striper boils in the lower lake. We have heard reports of small boils near Castle Rock, and in the main channel, and in Navajo Canyon. These boils were at mid day or in the evening. None of my anchovy spots were productive this morning.

The place to be for striper action right now is Hite. Striper boils this past week were intense and duration was incredible. The action centers around the confluence of White, Farleys and Trachyte canyons. Boils start at first light and continue on and off throughout the day. There are huge numbers of shad in this short section of narrow main channel. Stripers are as thick as the shad and the action is intense. It is uncertain how long this incredible surface action will last so make a trip as soon as possible. Boils often simmer down with full moon and then return as the moon darkens. Plan your striper boil trip accordingly.

Some rules of etiquette may be appropriate. Never drive through a boil that someone else is fishing. Stop short and cast to the closest edge of the surfacing school. Boat noise of any kind will send the feeding fish down or in a direction opposite from the offending boat.

Some tricks that will maximize your catch from each boil. As the boat slides to a stop cast out the side instead of in front of the boat. The boat's forward momentum will not allow you to reel fast enough to make the lure work. When a fish is caught don't net it and risk getting the hook caught in the net. Swing the fish into the boat and drop it on the floor. Pick up another rod and cast to the boil again before unhooking the first fish. After 3- 4 fish pile up or the boil quits then unhook the fish in the boat. Boil fishing is crazy and should be experience by everyone at least once. It is the most exciting fishing that happens in freshwater.