June 27, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3641  Water Temperature: 75-83 F

The pesky full moon is shining bright each night. I expected to find fishing for bass and stripers to be less successful due to the bright moonlight but I was pleasantly surprised to find both bass and stripers doing the same things in the same places.

Smallmouth are the best bet. They are along the main channel from Wahweap to Hite and willing to eat plastic jigs and grubs all day long. We found smallmouth on the edge of each rocky reef fished. The bigger fish were definitely caught earlier in the day. Water depth fished was only 5-15 feet. As the sun climbed higher in the sky the average size of bass caught declined. There were many schools of 8 inch bass seen in the shallows and these fish can be caught on an eighth ounce jig head and 2 inch curly tail. The bigger smallmouth (up to 14 inches) were taken on 4 and 5 inch single tail grubs, tubes, senkos. It really didn't seem to matter which type plastic bait or shade of green, smoke, or pumpkin that was used. An agreeable fish would hit almost any color when the bait was placed in its path. I did find less success with chartreuse and white but still caught fish on both colors.

Despite constantly declining lake levels largemouth bass carried off a good late spawn. This past week schools of black fry have been sighted near the surface guarded by a largemouth male. This is late for spawning and fry spawned in May will perhaps have a better chance of survival. The lack of brush in the water makes survival more difficult for largemouth fry which hide in brush, which is noticeable absent. Smallmouth fry will fare much better since they seek the protection of rocks when danger threatens.

Striped bass are on the move but still generally found in the main channel. The presence of larval shad in the murky water in the backs of canyons will attract the smallest stripers to those locations. Schools of 8-12 inch stripers will team up to feed on the slow-swimming shad. The first boils of the season will soon be seen as the small stripers line up shoulder to shoulder and mow the shad crop from the surface. Larger fish will join the action next month and boil intensity will increase.

For now the bigger stripers are cruising the channel looking for crayfish on isolated rock piles jutting out from the cliff wall. Fishing rocky main channel points with a good dose of chum and anchovy bait is the best system for striper catching success. Chum one point and move to the next if no stripers are caught in a short time. It is likely that stripers will be found on every third to fifth point fished.

Walleye are still showing up with one or two being caught on each smallmouth fishing trip. Green sunfish are an additional bonus. Catfishing is getting better each week. Remember to keep all the stripers caught and a 20-fish limit of 9-11 inch smallmouth bass. Your harvest will help Lake Powell fisheries remain healthy. Eating fish is good, healthy meal for you too.