April 9, 2008
In the southern lake the big news is steady fishing for stripers along the barricade line in front of Glen Canyon Dam. Here are the specifics. The third barricade from the west canyon wall is directly over a submerged cliff edge. The first two barricades float in shallow water. Stripers follow the cliff wall directly below the third barricade and are often found as far away from the wall as barricade five. The prime spots then produce steady fishing while other spots are less productive. The cliff edge continues north away from the dam and fish follow the wall in their wanderings. If the prime barricade spots are taken then fish along the wall using the trolling motor and graph to hold right over the cliff drop off.
Stripers have been caught in the main channel near Antelope Marina from the Power Plant Intake all the way to Buoy 9. Fishing is kinder early in the morning before boat wakes increase the swells and nudge one to move to calmer water. Cliff walls just inside the mouth of Antelope Canyon and the points of Navajo Canyon just past the first set of double islands are starting to produce stripers.
Lynette Johnson with 7-pound largemouth caught in Bullfrog Bay
My preference is to fish the backs of the canyons in murky water where most game fish are now living, looking for food, and preparing to spawn. Stripers, bass, crappie and walleye are increasing activity as water warms. This being a typical spring, there will be days with much warming followed by cold and blustery weather. Fish shallower water when water temperature is increasing and go deep and slow when water cools.
Largemouth bass are still the most active species but water temperature is now in the range where smallmouth bass fishing will blossom. The key temperature is 57 early morning increasing to the mid 60ís in the afternoon. Spawning occurs when morning temperature is in the low 60ís. The lake is still a week away from rapid warming but the weather forecast for the weekend is for warm calm days. If that happens then bass spawning is right around the corner.
Crappie are on the same temperature schedule. They are staging for spawning in the backs of canyons. They are not on nests in brushy pockets yet. Expect to find them suspended between 8 and 18 feet in the open water near brush. Troll or drift slowly with a tiny crankbait or crappie jig to find suspended fish in open water.
Walleye are starting to bite. They are in the murky coves but also on the main rock points near the main channel. It is not too early to fish mud lines on the main channel points and coves for walleye. Trolling Wally Divers or casting green plastic grubs or tubes works for walleye in muddy water from 12 to 25 feet deep.
Spring fishing is warming up. It is a fun time to make that first trip to Lake Powell.