AUGUST 14, 2003

By Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Elevation: 3607

Water Temperature: 80-85 F

Boat access may be more important than fishing this week. Some of those obstacles to launching that were flooded last spring are poking their heads above the surface once more. Hite ramp is all but cut off from the main lake by a giant sand bar. Stateline ramp has now been closed due to shallow water off the end of the ramp. The concrete is still covered with 18 inches of water but there is not enough depth between the ramp and breakwater to safely maneuver. The courtesy dock is still in place, ahs a little more depth and may be available for loading passengers for one more week. Antelope Point ramp will remain open for a few more days. Boat trailers are commonly extending beyond the concrete onto sand and rock while launching the boat. These ramps are classified as "launch at your own risk due to low water". The old flat ramp at Bullfrog will soon be exposed. Despite these challenges there will be at least one decent ramp operating for angler access at Bullfrog, Halls and Wahweap for the rest of this year.

Fishing is challenging over most of the lake. Fish have lots of shad to eat and some very long, bright nights to contemplate their good fortune. There may be a quick burst of feeding between noon and two o'clock as fish that have been resting resume activity. Teenager anglers will relate well to the fish feeding schedule. They like to play most of the night and then sleep in the next morning. Best fishing time will be late afternoon and evening. Fishing may be at its peak just after dark as the moon rises.

Best fishing locations have not changed much. In the upper lake, Hite and San Juan are best, while lower lake areas from Wahweap to Bullfrog are not as good. Striper boils are not seen in the lower lake. From Bullfrog boils increase with distance traveled upstream. Good Hope to White Canyon is best. There are not as many boils this week as last. Stripers have not quit feeding they are just feeding deeper in the water column and not seen as often on the surface. Best approach is to graph a school and use jigs or spoons to catch them in deep water.

Smallmouth bass are feeding at night. It is possible to coax a fish to bite in the morning, but if you really want to catch bass fish at dusk when they are active. It is really not about which lure to use. The standard assortment of soft plastic baits, crankbaits and surface lures will work. They just have to be applied at the right time during the evening feeding period.

Channel catfish are very active and really prowling the sandy shallows just as the moon rises. The are probably the easiest fish to catch at Lake Powell right now. Use a soft chicken liver or anchovy for best results.