June 8, 2005

By Wayne Gustaveson Home Page: www.wayneswords.com

Lake Elevation: 3593 and rising Water Temperature 68-75 F

The lake is taking on a new look with rapidly rising water. Bays are wider, canyon walls shorter, and to bass fishermen there is a new exciting dimension. Flooded trees, tulles, grass and shrubs are providing brushy fish shelter. Powell usually has clear water and rocky structure. Now there is murky water with flooded brush. The best place to find the new green structure is on the floodplain at the terminal end of each canyon with constantly running water. Brush and trees have been growing quickly on the fertile silt plains during low water years. Now brush has been flooded and its true identity as fish habitat has been established. Most of the floodplain brush has only been wet for a week. Bass have not occupied the trees in big numbers yet - but they will. Prepare for fishing brush by using weedless lures that will bounce off a tree branch without hanging up. Buzzbaits, spinner baits, topwater baits, plastic frogs and soft plastic worms and grubs rigged in weedless fashion will be required to effectively fish the “grass”. Standard crankbaits and lead head jigs with exposed hooks will be useless when fishing for bass that live in the trees. Be forewarned. Largemouth bass, bluegill, walleye and crappie will move into the trees within the next two weeks. Smallmouth will still use the rocks and striped bass will cruise the open water. Catfish will prowl the shallows near shore. The reservoir is still rising nearly a foot a day making fishing difficult. Find clear water near the main channel for consistent fishing success. Smallmouth bass are on deep rocky structure. Look for off shore habitat with deep water in close proximity. Fish plastic tubes and grubs at 20 –35 feet on calm days and crankbaits from 5-20 feet when the wind comes up. Make sure the lure contacts bottom or bounces off the rock wall to wake dormant bass and trigger a reaction strike. The majority of striped bass spawned this past week before cool, windy weather curtailed spawning. Some females may not have spawned and have begun reabsorbing their eggs. No anglers have reported finding spawning concentrations. It appears the dream of finding a spawning school will have to wait till next year. Regardless of spawning, activity levels for stripers will be greater at night this week. Night fishing is the best approach using anchovy bait under a green light. Slurps have started signaling the beginning of topwater striper fishing. Boils won’t be far behind. Yearling stripers from 6-14 inches are chasing shad in the backs of coves and open water. Find tiny slurping stripers and cast a tiny plastic grub to begin harvesting the hordes of small stripers that will become ever present this summer. We harvested 52 yearling stripers this morning in 2-hours in Warm Creek on 2 inch Yamamoto grubs. Surprisingly, two 6-pound stripers ate the little grub as it settled under the school of little stripers. Find tiny stripers riffling the surface and big stripers may be near by. Now with spawning over the search for shad is on. Find shad and stripers will be nearby. Expect adult stripers to be found in larger schools but in fewer places. Potential striper school zones include Wahweap marina, the dam, Power Plant intake, Navajo Canyon, Warm Creek, Gunsight, Last Chance, Dangling Rope, Escalante, Halls and Bullfrog bays. It is still worthwhile to troll deep diving lures early and late each day. If a school is seen on the graph they can be caught with spoons or white jigs. But by far the best daytime technique is to use anchovy bait combined with continual chumming. Put at least 3 anchovies in the water for each one that is placed on the hook.