March 15, 2006
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3589
Water Temp: 46-52 F

Much needed moisture came to southern Utah and Lake Powell in the form of snow and rain. The cold front dropped the lake temperature back into the 40’s.  Fish reacting to last week’s warming are now back to previous winter patterns.  That means the same techniques used successfully during February will continue to produce. 

As stripers follow river-release current, the dam stops their travel and they congregate in the large forebay.  At different times each day the school will be near the security barricade protecting the dam.  Anglers fishing there catch 10-20 fish per trip.  When no fish are caught near the barricade it is wise to search for them on main channel points and rock slides.  Run a circuit from the dam to Navajo Canyon for best results.  Finding one willing school of 5-pound stripers will make the trip worthwhile. Dawn, dusk and midday seem to be the best times for consistent catching.

Mark Gustaveson and Cody Thomas with 5-pound stripers caught on bait near Glen Canyon Dam (3-14-06).

Approach each location with the same plan.  Cut up 6 anchovies into small pieces.  Broadcast chum around the boat and then fish with a 1-2 inch chunk of anchovy on a size 2-4 bait hook or 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jig head with a short stout shank.  Chumming and then drifting away is not productive. I like to tie the boat to shore (or anchor when possible), chum and then fish where the chum was placed.   Cast the anchovy chunk beyond the chum and then let it swing back toward the boat.  When the bait rests directly under the boat slowly reel it in and then cast again. Try deeper swings with each cast. If a school is near the area they should respond within 10 minutes. If not, move on. 

Fishing from shore at walk-down spots along Lakeshore Drive will be productive using the same plan.

From Bullfrog upstream, plan to use the graph to locate striper schools feeding near shad. Vertically jig spoons in the moving schools for a quick reaction bite.  Try anchovies on Moki Wall and other main channel spots using the anchovy techniques previously described. 

Bass, walleye and crappie remain near tumbleweeds, submerged cattails and tamarisk trees. They feed on the small fish hiding in the weeds.  Use a lure that can bounce off brush without snagging each time. A spinnerbait or plastic jig with brush guard is ideal. Suspending jerk baits and rattletraps work well when fished just fast enough to tick the brush without settling into the limbs. It takes heavier line than normal to fish brush so gear up with braided line or heavy fluorocarbon to retrieve lures and fish from the brush pockets.

The next warming trend will allow walleye to spawn and largemouth bass to move into shallows once more as they search for nest sites and food.