June 6, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3644  Water Temperature: 68-75 F

Lake Powell is a visual delight. The lack of runoff has kept the water crystal clear. During high runoff the lake is normally murky as rising water mixes sand and clay into the lake. This year it is possible to see the bottom at 20 to 30 feet in most places along the main channel. The visual display adds to the fishing experience. Schools of tiny smallmouth bass have just hatched out and they are seen in active schools darting along the surface near shore. Carp are beginning to spawn and will be seen splashing in the shallows. Catfish are probing shallow rocks looking for crayfish and they can often be seen whiskering-sweeping along the bottom. Sunfish are in jumbles of big rocks and will come out and look and then sometimes bite right below the boat. Walleye are showing up in increasing numbers in the lower lake and maintaining a high catch rate in the upper lake. Use live worms if serious about catching some of these tasty fish.

Smallmouth are just as visible as sunfish and maybe more curious. A plastic grub dropped to the bottom will often be followed and consumed. Watch the bait and set the hook as a bass grabs the bait and runs. Bass are still lurking around the steep drop-off at the edge of a flat or terrace. Cast to shad pockets on the sharp edge of a reef. Bottom depth may not be more than 3-5 feet but it helps to have a sharp enough drop to make shade. Perfect habitat is marked by a combination of bright yellow shallow water with a dark blue or black edge where the reef falls into deep water. Cast to the spot where the colors join. Bigger bass will be more wary. A long cast to the shade pocket may get a bigger strike than a short cast to a visible fish under the boat. Plastic grubs, tubes, and senkos are working very well in the right habitat.

Striper schools are feeding on crayfish along the edge of the main channel where a rocky reef borders deep water. Individuals or small schools may be seen cruising along the deep water edge or over a shallow flat. Stripers are dark on the back and can be confused with other fish. But a number of quick moving fish will most likely be stripers while slower dark fish shapes may be carp, bass or walleye. Polarized sun glasses are a necessity for sight-fishing.

When a striper school is seen throw anchovy chum into deep water right next to the shallow flat. Follow that with a weightless anchovy on light line with a circle hook (size 5). The slow sink rate of the bait is just the ticket for shallow stripers who will often be seen darting around the bait and the chum just as it disappears from sight. Sometimes a single flash is the only indication. If you see this sign good things are about to happen. After the flash, quietly anchor, tie up or use the electric motor to hold position. Noise from the boat spooks shallow fish and will reduce catch considerably. The shallow school will be more likely to move after a few minutes and it may be necessary to find a number of schools throughout he day. Chum a few pieces of bait continually to keep stripers near you. Try main channel edges from the dam to upper Navajo and the Narrows leading to Padre Bay.

Mid lake stripers were recently caught at the mouth of Lake Canyon directly across the bay (west) from Bullfrog marina. Near Hite check out White Canyon near Battle Ship Rock for stripers in big numbers on bait. The reefs west of Castle Butte in Good Hope bay are good as well.