March 20, 2003

Much needed moisture is falling driven by a strong Spring storm. Wind and cooling are not good for fishing this week. That's fine. We can accept a small delay in warming if it means more runoff headed to Lake Powell in the future. Each storm adds to the snowpack in the Colorado River flood plain and bodes well for a rising lake. Ramp construction has begun at Bullfrog on the main ramp and at Antelope Point.

Launching at Hite is still "day to day" but currently possible for fishing boats. The lake will decline a few more feet before more concrete is poured at Stateline ramp. National Park Service has vowed to chase the receding lake with concrete on most of Powell's launch ramps. After any modest rise in lake level launching will be better than it was in the past. Expect good launching conditions by the Memorial Day Holiday.

When the storm front passes warming will occur and this time bass will move shallow. Look for nest building fish around any rocky structure in the sea of white sand now so abundant along the shore. Clean main canyon and main channel rocks will be the place to start looking for bass. Early spring lure favorites include spinnerbaits, "jig and pig", and the standard soft plastic jig. Largemouth bass will be the most commonly caught fish until the water warms above 55 degrees at which time smallmouth fishing will improve dramatically.

Striped bass are found in the backs of canyons with shad. Begin looking at the brown/green water interface where water is warmest. Take a thermometer along to get in just the right place. Stripers are fussy right now and will react to a fast moving lure (trolled or cast) but not necessarily to anchovy bait. Use a bright colored lure in murky water for best results. One good suggestion is the "shad rap" with chartreuse back and white belly. The 1/4 ounce chrome rattletrap with chartreuse back is just as good.

Plan the first fishing trip of the year for the next stable warm weather period.