LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
May 9, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page: www.wayneswords.com
Lake Elevation: 3645  Water Temperature: 58-64 F

Lake level continues to fall with outflow more than doubling inflowing water. It is not as cold at night which allows some of the heat gained during the day to be retained over night. Fish are really enjoying the warming trend with some of the best catching of the season happening right now.

Bass fishing is really heating up with smallmouth being taken virtually everywhere on the lake. Main channel rocks with rough edges and steep, quick drops seem to be the best habitat type. Bass are eating crayfish and soft plastic grubs may be the best crustacean imitation. But don't hesitate to cast crankbaits. Bass seem eager to chase this spring. Both hard and soft baits with red flake or red flash are working very well. Rapalas, husky jerks, lucky craft, and wally divers, all seem to draw attention from frisky bass. Remember to keep a 20 fish limit of 9-12 inch bass. Smallmouth are abundant and keeping the small ones will allow the remaining fish to grow larger.

May is walleye month at Powell. Fish drop offs, deep rocks and the deep center slot in slick rock canyons first thing in the morning. Walleye are light sensitive and will be most active during low light periods. If serious about finding a walleye use a piece of live night crawler as added enticement to a plastic jig. Trollers will find a few by bouncing a "hot-n-tot" or similar lure across the ends of points or by bumping the trolled lure against the steep canyon wall.

Striped bass may be at the spring peak now. Many fish are found in the main channel and can be caught on anchovy bait still fished at 30-50 feet. Remember to chum often to maximize your catch. Different striper schools are in the backs of canyons where water depth is 20-40 feet where they are eating small insects as they hatch out of the mud on the bottom. Find potential feeding sites by watching for swallows skimming the surface. Birds are eating the same prey and are easier to see than fish. Insects are small but stripers will always grab a stray fish or artificial bait swimming by. Troll for the scattered stripers that are not schooled but feeding individually over a wide area of hatching bugs. Long thin deep diving lures that get down dive 10 -20 feet like wally divers, thundersticks, Yo-zuri crystal minnow and are just what the stripers want. Stripers that chase lures are normally in better shape than those that can only find bait. Remember to keep all the stripers caught. Powell is blessed with too much survival from stripers and removing some leaves more prey for those that remain.

These insect feeding stripers may be found in Wahweap Bay near Wiregrass canyon, the shallow end of Last Chance, and Halls Creek. There may be adult shad in the same locations. The water color will be stained and bottom depth about 20-30 feet.

Hot spots for school stripers in the channel are the dam, intake, Navajo (points past first island). But stripers are becoming wary of boat traffic and will move away from large rafts of boats. Try to find a spot away from the group to do better than average on school fish that shy away from the main group of boats. Stripers will be anywhere in the main channel in the lower lake right now

****************