LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT

April 27, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3560
Water Temp: 58 - 64 F

 Bass have spawned one time.  Eggs are hatching and black fry are swimming, Now adult bass will nest again and spawn the second (and best) spawn of the spring as soon as the water temperature stays above 60 F for 3 straight days.  The spawn will not provide the awesome fishing experienced last spring because the runoff has already started. Fishing will still be really good but rising water reduces visibility and makes sight-fishing a bit tougher.   Nests get deeper each day as the lake rises making them seem unrelated to the shoreline.  A ridge submerges into a series of islands and then finally disappears from view. To find bass fish the open water shoals and extended points that used to be part of the shoreline. Donít spend a lot of time fishing a gradually sloping shoreline that was dry land 2 days ago. 

Bass are hitting spinnerbaits, plastic tubes and grubs, hard plastic suspending jerk baits and deep driving crankbaits.  Itís that time when fishing the favorite bait works Ė no matter what your favorite might be.  On a slow day caused by inclement weather, try scented plastic or stuff a live night crawler into a plastic tube jig for a bit of extra flavor. Fish slower and deeper than normal (20-25 feet) to make them bite. Less action and smaller lures catch fish when they are not actively feeding.

Average smallmouth size is 1.5 pounds with lots of 2-pound fish and an occasional bigger fish showing up.  Largemouth bass and crappie have shown up as well. Do not be surprised to catch a walleye while fishing for bass in any part of Lake Powell. 

The best fishing seems to be in the southern half of Lake Powell including the San Juan.  There may be a shad overloading problem going on in the Bullfrog area.  Perhaps too many shad to eat makes fishing slower.  I suspect this problem to be temporary.  Fishing will improve quickly during the next warm spell.  Bass aggression increases with renewed spawning making bass very vulnerable to angling. 

Stripers are still scattered over the entire lake.  Trolling deep diving shad plugs still accounts for a respectable number of 5-pound plus stripers by the end of the day.  The best lures from last week include deep diving models of Husky Jerk, Deep Thunderstick, Yozuri Crystal Minnow, Rapala (metal lip), Norman DD-22, and reef runner.  In high use areas (Lone Rock) it was found that a deep diving lure with a brightly colored belly (orange/red) would out-fish a shad colored lure of the same variety on some days Ė not always. 

Constantly check the graph for striper schools while trolling or casting.  Stop the boat immediately over a school and drop spoons for some quick catching.  Lots of stripers can be landed in short order with this technique.

The best striper locations were Warm Creek, Navajo, Last Chance, Rock Creek, San Juan, Bullfrog Bay, and Canyons upstream from Good Hope Bay.  Main channel water color is stained above Good Hope but side canyons (Red, White and Blue Notch) still offer clear water and good fishing. Watch for driftwood while in the main channel uplake and the back of any canyon with perennial water flowing.  

Launching is much better as the new concrete ramp at Wahweap Main ramp and Stateline Ramp has now been flooded by rising lake waters.   The new Bullfrog ramp is a week or so away from inundation.  Launching on dirt at Bullfrog main ramp is good.  Halls Crossing ramp remains open with launching on concrete.