June 6, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3610
Water Temp: 72-75 F

Lake Powell will rise a few more inches and top out at essentially the same level as reported in 2006. That means shoreline vegetation that was wet but not covered last spring will be watered again and grow taller waiting for the lake to flood that brushy fish habitat next spring. A fairly small fluctuation zone means rooted aquatic plants will grow quickly in sunny shallows providing even more fish habitat. Shad are spawning around brush and weeds which provides an extra protective barrier between slow moving larval shad and hungry predators.

Frank Glaab with stripers caught on bait in Navajo Canyon

Larval shad presence has impacted fish location and behavior. Larval shad drift near the surface providing an easy meal for stripers and bass. Since larval shad do not swim well, all predators feed calmly on the surface during early morning hours. Bass make hardly a ripple but striper schools can be seen as they feed in unison to "slurp" the little shad from the top. Casting small lures to the leading edge of the slurp is a very effective. When the sun hits the water larval shad find cover and stripers go to the bottom. Smaller topwater baits work early. Slurps are found now in most canyons near cloudy water and around brush. Fish very early to capitalize on slurping behavior.

Bait fishing remains great BUT location is changing. Success is declining at the dam, Antelope and Navajo. There are still some very good days with large catches but that is often followed by some periods of inactivity probably caused by fish movement as they patrol the walls looking for forage. Better bait fishing is found uplake along the main channel and in main canyons. The habitat to key on is brushy flats protruding into the main lake. Find the drop off at the edge of the brushy flat to find stripers holding at 30-50 feet. Hot striper fishing was recently reported in Padre Bay, West Canyon, and Rock Creek to Dungeon Canyon.

Midlake schools are found in the Escalante just past the entrance to 50 Mile Canyon, Iceberg canyon mouth, and Moki Canyon.

Night fishing continues to be excellent at most midlake locations and around Bullfrog and Halls Marina. The Antelope Canyon fish dock is hot at night and very good during daylight hours from dock and shore.

Bonus fish are found while fishing for other species. Walleye continue to feed with stripers during early morning feeding sprees. Find a slurp and troll in that vicinity where bottom depth is 12 feet with a shad rap or Wally Diver to catch walleye.

Bluegill are found in brushy coves or weed beds and some nice pan-sized fish are caught on live worms and small hooks.

Catfish are getting very active and provide some wonderful evening entertainment at camp. I understand they will perform for hotdogs - with or without cheese centers.