LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT

AUGUST 7, 2003

By Wayne Gustaveson


Lake Elevation: 3609

Water Temperature: 78-83 F

Guarantees of catching fish from boils at Hite have now been canceled. You will still catch topwater stripers but my short term fish warranty has expired. There will still be boils each day but with brighter nights feeding patterns change. Expect fewer boils but those that you do see may be larger. There may be less morning action with more boils in the afternoon and evening this week.

I am pulling the plug on launching boats at Hite Marina. I can't send you there with a clear conscience. There is too much danger of damaging the boat in shallow water, including ingesting mud into the cooling system on the dirt ramp. Launch downstream and motor uplake stopping along the way. It may not be necessary to go all the way to White or 4-mile Canyon to find good striper fishing.

The "easy shad" have all been worked over pretty good now. Survivors have to get wiser to live. Expect shad to move short distances to avoid the daily onslaught of relentless stripers. Boils that have consistently happened in open water near main channel buoys 125, 130, 134, 137 may now occur closer to shore or in the back of a canyon. Broaden the search pattern. Boils are still happening in the main channel between Bullfrog and Good Hope. Pay attention to Hansen Creek, Cedar and Knowles canyons.

Now that boils will be seen less often, it is wise to maximize angler effectiveness. After finding a boil the action can be prolonged by using jigging spoons after fish leave the surface. Don't hesitate to graph areas where boils were seen or expected. Drop spoons on schools of stripers each time they are charted on a graph. Deep running stripers are hungry and looking for shad. It is possible to make a school bite when they are not on top but in search mode. Normal depth for spoon fishing is 40-60 feet. Use a heavy (1.5 ounce) spoon with a swaying side-to-side action. The spoon's dying-shad look is just what stripers want while retreating from the surface after inflicting as much pain and suffering as possible on all shad in their path. Sometimes a ‘dinged' shad takes a few minutes to flutter down from the surface to the stripers still waiting for one more bite. Striper fishing now requires two rods. One with a surface lure for boils and the other with a spoon for continuing the battle at depth.

Days are getting shorter and water temperatures are dropping ever so slightly. These changes don't go undetected. Smallmouth bass activity will increase with cooler temperatures. Shad are still abundant so use a shad colored plastic grub or crank bait. Work the main channel edges where the shoreline slopes away at 45 degrees. Broken rock is a target for a shad ambush and provides a visual clue for anglers. Fish around the shoebox-size jagged rock instead of smooth slick rock for a smallmouth bass experience.