June 1, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3586 and Rising Rapidly
Water Temp: 66 - 78 F
The lake continues its rapid rise. Antelope Point launch ramp will be open for all boats by the weekend. Little boats can launch carefully now. Bullfrog main ramp is under water. Boating access is superb. Lake Powell facilities are in full operation.
Fishing is not as good. With over 100,000 acre feet of water entering the lake each day there is considerable debris and muddy water in the Colorado, San Juan and Escalante inflow areas. Water temperature is cooler in the muddy water caused by snowmelt. For this week it is recommended that anglers venture downstream from Bullfrog and avoid the slower fishing found upstream. The San Juan is not a good choice. Head up the main channel toward Escalante instead.
The fishing bright spot is in the main channel from Escalante to Padre Bay. Smallmouth bass are the target. Fishing is fantastic on the outside points and reefs as long as the terminal bait is dark green. Water melon pepper is the color of choice. Toss green plastic into deep water next to a submerged reef to find hungry bass searching for crayfish. Dropshot, splitshot and plain lead head grub presentations are all working. Calm water slows the bite while the afternoon wind causes bass to look up for food and start feeding. Spinnerbaits rolled across open reefs and crankbaits pulled from shallow to deep water are great techniques during windy periods. Fish slow and deep when water is calm.
Bonus walleye are caught while fishing for bass. If choosing to target walleye look for windy created mud lines and cast nightcrawlers, Wally divers, or plastic bass fare into the mud. The dark of night or very early morning is the best time to catch walleye.
Catfish have started to feed with regularity each evening and will be active in muddy water during the day. Nightcrawlers and anchovies are good baits but catfish are less than fussy and will take a wide variety of offerings. Just put the bait in shallow water off the back of the beached boat in the evening for best success.
Stripers are a problem. They have gone inactive during the daylight period and steadfastly refuse to spawn making them hard to locate. The only logical approach during the day is to go deep with bait or troll with downriggers. Stripers are holding at 40-60 feet. Fishing anchovies in historical springtime striper spots like the dam, power plant intake, Navajo Canyon points and Moki wall are good for a few fish each day.
The real action starts at night under the lights. Still it is necessary to be near stripers. They will come a short distance to find the light but finding a school of stripers on the graph before deploying the green light and bait is the formula for success.