LAKE POWELL FISH REPORT
May 26, 2005
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3577 and rising
Water Temp: 70 - 75 F
Lake Powell is expected to rise over 6 feet over the Memorial Day weekend. Expect record runoff of 18 inches a day flooding in from all tributaries. Use caution when camping. Boats securely moored at night may be floating free by morning. Houseboat lines will have to be readjusted in the middle of the night. Do not leave tents and camps near the water edge. Lake Powell is filling once more!
Summer heat melted the snow and caused a quick rise in lake surface temperature. On top of all that there is a bright full moon. Fish just have to be twitterpated with all the rapid changes. Bass are done spawning. Shad are frolicking around floating driftwood in the backs of canyons where they spawn at dawn each morning. Stripers are thinking about spawning. The fishing front is basically just plain CHAOS. Despite all this, fish can still be caught.
Striped bass are active at night during the spawning season. Find a spawning school tearing up the surface near shore at dusk and they can be caught on any lure. Just get it close and they will eat it. I prefer a one-hook system after dark for safety. Try a big white jig.
During the day stripers will be almost dormant. Dropping anchovies on resting schools is the best technique. Use copious amounts of chum on a regular basis to attract attention and wake the school for a noon feeding. Striper activity will increase later in the day.
Deep trolling works early and late. The key is to find a resting school and then get the lure in range with downriggers or by using big diving plugs. Two big stripers, 10 and 17 pounds, were caught in Bullfrog Bay by anglers using a 1-ounce weight in front of a deep Thunderstick trolling lure. The lure was allowed to sink to the bottom on slack line. Then the boat was put in motion and the lure trolled from the bottom through the water column. The rising lure was effective for big fish where normal flat trolled lures were ignored.
Smallmouth bass are very cooperative in one specific habitat. Reefs and shoals near the main channel or bay have not been impacted as dramatically by rising water as coves on the shore and in the backs of canyons. Bass have moved toward the channel. They are not in shallow water in the back of the canyon. Smallmouth are willing to hit plastic tubes and grubs in deep water surrounding open water structure. The best presentation is a short drop-shot rig with the weight on the bottom and bait up the line 6-10 inches. Toss the drop shot rig into deep water near a barely visible rock or shoal. Let it hit bottom and then wiggle the bait with gentle movements to attract attention. Green or white are preferred colors.
Walleye are being caught very early in the mornings on night crawler harnesses fished patiently along the bottom in 15-30 feet of water. Fish before dawn till 9 AM to get a limit of 10 walleye.
Crappie fishing is sporadic and mostly over for the year. Bluegill fishing will get better in June during the spawn. Catfish are starting to prowl the shallows and will be caught with regularity after the fast water level increase subsides.
Be Safe and Enjoy the Holiday weekend on Lake Powell.