June 20, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3611
Water Temp: 75-80 F

The lake continues to rise slowly. The main impact of maximum elevation is floating driftwood. Much new wood was deposited in the lake last October during the big flood. That wood and debris was stranded when the lake declined over winter. With rising water, wood is floating again and will continue to be a nuisance until the lake begins its decline in July. Fortunately, wood does not prevent travel to any location. Just be careful to slow down near debris to protect your boat prop.

Fishing is super for slurpers. Stripers from 8 inches to 3 pounds are found chasing tiny shad on the surface on most calm days. Wispy little surface riffles point to schools of feeding stripers that are very catchable while they are looking up. They go down quickly when a boat gets close but pop up a short distance away within a few minutes. It's great fun and an exciting way to catch abundant juvenile stripers that are so good to eat.

The technique is to cast small heavy lures over or in front of the leading fish in the slurp. Lures include Kastmaster, Wally lure, CC spoons, small plastic grubs on heavy jig heads, or small surface lures (walkers and poppers). Retrieve the lure in the upper 3 feet of water while slurpers are on the surface. After they go down, follow them with a spoon to catch some while waiting for them to resurface.

Slurps are found from Padre Bay to Hite. The premier location is Good Hope Bay now that the water has cleared enough for stripers to see larval shad. Access the Good Hope from Bullfrog/Halls and watch for slurps anywhere along the way. The better choice for adventuresome folks is to use the primitive launch at the old Hite Marina site. Make a short (but slow near driftwood) run downstream for good fishing.

Launch site at Old Hite marina.  Use 4wd and watch for driftwood on the way to great fishing

Bigger stripers are schooled up along the breaking edge of the main channel. They can be caught with anchovy bait but need lots of chumming when fishing slows down. Schools were found last week near the Good Hope Bay floating restroom at Buoy 119, Moki Canyon and Moki wall, Rincon north of floating restroom near buoy 77, mouth of 50 mile canyon in Escalante, Rock Creek, in front of beach guarding mouth of Friendship Cove, points above islands in Navajo Canyon, Power plant intake and the dam.

Striper activity on top tends to get all fish in the mood to eat. Walleye are still active near tumbleweed and tamarisk brush any place striper slurps are found. Bass and bluegill will feed near stripers on the same food. Just go down to the bottom with big plastic grubs to find quality large and smallmouth bass. If the bass bite is off with regular plastic try scented baits like Yum and Gulp for a change of pace. Of course trolling the edge of brush in 12-20 feet of water is sure way to catch bass. Use a shallow running plug like a bevy shad for bass and walleye. Use a deep diver like a Thunderstick for stripers.

The catch has dropped off because fishing trips are shorter. Average catch now is about 30 fish per boat. That is a slow day by Powell standards but still good enough to warrant a rating of hot fishing. And that's not just about the weather!