LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
SEPTEMBER 9, 2004
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3571
Water Temperature: 74-78 F
Fishing fortunes have shifted from Bullfrog to Wahweap. Previous Septembers have shown just the opposite with best fishing in mid to upper lake areas. But now the lower lake takes center stage. The only clue to explain the switch is that average shad size is a bit smaller downlake making shad easier for stripers to catch.
Striper boils are springing up morning and evening and at random times during the day from Antelope Canyon to Rock Creek. Two to seven pound stripers are caught each CALM morning from first light to 9 AM. Morning wind keeps the boils down. If wind does blow a few boils may be seen in protected areas where calm spots occur. Sometimes the morning breeze dies after 8 AM. Boils will happen in the first hour right after the wind calms. Check shady coves near main channel for these late feeding fish.
Boils are found mostly in the main travel lane of the main channel. The feeding burst may last from one minute to an hour depending on the day. The very best boils recently were on the first calm day following a two-day windy period.
Fishing is still decent mid and upper lake, including the San Juan and Escalante, with an occasional striper boil and lots of opportunity to graph striper schools and catch them on jigging spoons. Short coves near the main channel or points extending into the channel are good starting points. Any place a boil is seen or has been reported is a good bet for graphing and jigging.
At all lake locations smallmouth bass are waiting on main channel points for stripers to drive a shad school near shore. Anglers can take advantage of shad-eating bass by casting shad imitating baits across each primary point jutting into the main channel. Hop from point to point and cast topwater or shallow running rattletrap type baits. On my last trip each primary point produced at least one smallmouth bass that could not resist my Lucky Craft Sammy walking along the top.
Cooler temperatures mean bass and stripers will feed heavily as they stock up on plentiful food before winter. Expect fishing to continue to improve from now through mid October. The Fall fishing peak will happen as water temperature dips into the 60's. Weight of both bass and stripers is increasing rapidly with the fall feeding binge in full swing.
Catfish are hitting each night on sandy substrate in shallow water.
September is perhaps the best month for enjoyable weather conditions. This year is no exception.