LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT

JULY 15, 2004

By Wayne Gustaveson


Lake Elevation: 3583

Water Temperature: 76-83 F

LAUNCH RAMPS OPEN - LAKE POWELL IS NOT CLOSED!

Confusion reigned last week as new concrete ramps dried up with declining lake levels. The media reported the closure of Lake Powell when, in fact, ramps were still open and operating as they had during spring prior to runoff. Wahweap Main Ramp is open but launching occurs on old asphalt/road base. Bullfrog ramp is shallow so boats are launching to one side of the concrete ramp on road base and hard sand. Halls Crossing still has a good concrete ramp and is the best launch site for bigger boats. The National Park Service is doing a tremendous job of keeping ramps operational. They are committed to providing boat access for the long term!

STRIPER BOILS CONTINUE!

A typical slurp is pictured. Cast to the leaders in front of the pack. Casting to the main body does not work. Leaders are finding new shad and all other fish are looking ahead and not behind. Cast beyond and in front of the leading fish.

Lower lake boils/slurps calmed down and became much more random in time and location while striper surface feeding events improved over the rest of Lake Powell. Boils were reported from Good Hope Bay to Wahweap Bay. Best time was early and late but many mid day boil events were seen. The most consistent locations were in the main channel at Rock Creek, Dangling Rope, mouth of Escalante near buoy 70-71, Annies to Slick Rock, mouth of Forgotten Canyon, and San Juan at Piute Canyon.

Each boil is unique in that sometimes fish are extremely fussy and will not eat lures. Fish in the next boil will take full size surface lures. I suspect it depends on the size of shad being attacked at the moment. If shad are bigger than an inch then all lures are acceptable. If shad are less than an inch then lure selection must be refined. Stripers in boils range from 12 inches to 8 pounds. Average size fish is 3 pounds. Many of the larger fish are being caught.

Successful Lures types: Most lures of a given type will work if not specifically mentioned.

Surface lures: Stick baits including Jumpin Minnow, Super Spook Jr., Sammy (size 85-115), and Yozuri poppers (large size).

Shallow runners: 'lipless vibrators' including rattlin' rap, rattletrap, lucky craft vibrators, Swim baits: walleye assassin, storm wild eye shad, sassy shad, and plastic grubs on quarter ounce heads.

Spoons: kastmaster, wallylure-shadminnow, Hopkins shorty.

Night fishing with anchovies is excellent in many locations. Shad and stripers will be attracted to a light after dark. Stripers can be caught on bait fished under the shad school at 40-50 feet. Good catches have come recently from Wahweap Marina near Stateline potty-dump station, Glen Canyon Dam, floating restroom coves at Dominguez Butte and Rock Creek, houseboat field and walls downstream from Halls marina, buoy line near Bullfrog marina and Moki Wall and Moki canyon mouth.

Smallmouth bass fishing is steady on main channel points, reefs and terraces near deep water. Soft plastic grubs, tubes and worms fished vertically close to structure are most effective. Hard plastic lures trolled or cast along the breaking edge of a reef or ledge jutting into the main channel are consistent bass catchers.

Catfish are good night and evening on sandy beaches. They are also being caught during the day at 30-50 feet on bottom when chumming for striper schools. Lots of variety occurs in the fishing experience this week. There is something for everyone any time of the day or night.