June 7, 2006
Powell has risen beyond last year’s high water mark. Water is now flooding
old shoreline vegetation and providing wonderful fish habitat for all small
fish. That’s great news for the new shad crop. The first shad spawn was
very productive. But all predators are waiting with open mouths for more
shad. Any cover that allows shad to elude capture for even one extra day is
very welcome. Shad grow quickly and their food chain value is enhanced with
each extra day’s growth. With predators being extremely numerous, each shad
will be of the utmost importance in determining how sport fish fare this
Brush availability has caused some changes in fish behavior. Largemouth bass have moved into the flooded trees. Fish the shallow cuts lined with tumbleweed/tamarisk growth. Use topwater baits for big bass early and late in the day. Soft plastic jerk baits like senkos and zoom flukes tossed on the bank and then reeled into the water make a presentation shallow bass love.
The shapes lurking under the floating debris are 2+ pound largemouth bass in very shallow water.
Smallmouth bass are still on rocks and flats. Their attraction is to rocky habitat instead of brush that largemouth desire. Bigger bronze bass have gone as deep as 30 feet on rocky structure but most can be caught at 15-25 feet with soft plastic baits either bounced on bottom or retrieved in a slow swimming motion. Use a drop shot or Carolina rigged plastic grub or tube in chartreuse, watermelon or smoke color.
Walleye have gone deeper and are more likely to feed at twilight. They are still caught but it is increasing more important to use a live worm to enhance the walleye bite.
Stripers are starting to boil on small shad. Look toward the back of the canyon morning and evening for striper feeding surface disturbances (slurps). Larval shad can barely swim. Yearling stripers feed with no sense of urgency and make very little commotion. Toss a small lure (spoon, crappie jig, or small surface lure) in front of the first fish leading the pack to get a hookup. Throwing into the middle of the slurp often makes the fish spook and sound. Drop ¾ ounce wallylures or kastmasters to the bottom after the fish go down to catch a few more fish. Sometime the larger striper will be under the surface feeding yearling’s waiting for the next shad/spoon to fall.
After slurping a few yearlings, get in the bait box for anchovies and head to the main channel walls to catch 4-5 pound stripers during the day. That bite continues to be strong. Warmer surface water forces big stripers to go deeper to find a cool haven. Steep walls offer the required cool temperature and depth while maintaining close proximity to crayfish and forage fish. Stripers live in the first cold temperature break and come shallow to feed when the opportunity presents itself.
Catfish are very active in the warm surface water and can be caught each evening on shallow sandy beaches large enough to park a boat.
NOTE: The San Juan has come alive with 1-3 pound stripers boiling on shad. Best spot is Piute Bay. Lake is muddy upstream from Neskahi. Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent in the same locations.
Striped Bass Hot Spot Update. June 7, 2006
Dam – Fish the ledge on west side which coincides with barricade 3-4 and 5. If those spots are taken go uplake.
Corner as lake turns left (north) at Buoy 3. Fish the shade line in the morning.
Mouth of Antelope - Both sides at entrance and first corner as canyon turns left.
Power Plant Intake – (Construction boom on rim) Fish early before boat traffic starts.
Buoy 9 – Gently sloping outcropping near shore is the best place.
Small canyon just upstream from Buoy 9 before the lake turns left heading for Navajo.
Mouth of Navajo on the main channel side. Either side of the entrance along main channel.
First corner of Navajo Canyon – Fish shade line in the morning. Look for a yellow rope on the right side to tie up to a good spot.
Double islands – Go beyond islands and fish the first and second points on the left hand side of the channel.
Mouth of Warm Creek
Padre Butte between Buoy 21A and 22B – Fish the channel beyond Padre Butte to the south.
Jacks Arch – mouth of San Juan.
San Juan - from Nasja to Piute Canyon.
Buoy 65 -East channel wall 200-500 yards down lake of Cottonwood Canyon
Buoy 74 - Mouth of Bowns
and Long Canyons, 50-100 yards from main channel inside of Bowns Canyon’s NE
Halls Ramp – Cliff wall downstream from ramp.