May 23, 2007
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3606
Water Temp: 66-73 F

Brian Clement and friends with night fishing catch of stripers out of Wahweap.

It's good to see the lake rise beyond the predicted level for the year. There is still more water to come. Every additional foot of elevation beyond this point is a bonus. Big runoff (60,000 acre feet per day) has a definite impact on fishing. There is muddy, cold water in the river from Good Hope to Hite. That channel will be better fishing in June but should be avoided for the next two weeks. The canyons adjacent to the river channel are still excellent fishing.

The flood last October brought much driftwood that is now being floated from its resting place on shore. Expect floating debris in many places that have been clear water in years past. The backs of many canyons are littered with drift wood.

Rising water floods new ground that looks like excellent fish habitat. It will be, once occupied by fish, but do not fish the shallow water this week. Fish the shoreline and open water reefs that were wet two weeks ago. Fish 12 feet and deeper for best results. Many good looking fishing spots will be void of fish but just keep moving and looking until a school of stripers or group of bass is located. Fish will all be together in a favored spot. Just remember where the brushy coves were before the spring flood and target those sites even though they may be way out in open water.

Seven feet of lake elevation change has a dramatic impact on shoreline appearance. Use the graph to find depressions or cuts in the flat lake bottom. Cuts 12-20 feet deep are the prime habitat for all fish. Look at the canyon mouths, along the main channel and on primary and secondary points in main canyons. I have only talked about where so far, because fishing is really good in these prime habitats and not so good where driftwood and cold muddy water have blocked access to fish
Bass are found in the featured habitat with bonus walleye, green sunfish and blue gill caught while fishing green or smoke colored plastic lures for bass.

Stripers are being caught along the canyon walls using anchovy bait with lots of chumming in these locations:

Southern lake: Dam, Antelope canyon, Power plant intake (buoy 7 to 9), Navajo Canyon (2 points beyond double islands and in the muddy water in the back of the canyon), Warm Creek Wall, Rock Creek (east shoreline opposite the floating restroom), the best spot is the east wall upstream from Oak Canyon and the San Juan and mouth of Escalante.

Northern lake: Lake Canyon, Bullfrog Bay (Dome Rock near houseboats field), Moki Canyon, and side canyons uplake toward Hite.