July 16, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3633
Water Temp: 79-85

Lake Powell is still rising, but just barely. It will peak very shortly and then start a slow decline. Stabilization will improve bass fishing success. Striped bass fishing success is slowing with full moon lurking this week. Full moon impact will vary by species of fish and location.

Mitch Blankard, 8 years old, with 4.8 pound striper near buoy number 3,

Striped bass are still boiling. Boil personality has changed somewhat in the southern lake. Stripers are feeding in smaller bunches. It seems that 5-6 stripers are chasing smaller pods of larval shad. The result is quick little blow ups are up and gone just as fast. That makes catching very tough unless the school will surface for the second or third time in casting range. It still takes a precise cast, usually at long distance, to hit the sweet spot and get a hookup. Clear surface lures, rattletraps and white swim baits are all working if the cast is perfectly placed just beyond a newly surfacing striper convoy. A lure just behind the lead fish will be ignored.

It may be that shad numbers are declining which limits the amount of time stripers are on top, or it could be full moon effect limiting feeding. When striper schools are larger than 25 fish they seem to stay up longer and are more aggressive, making them more catchable.

Boils in the northern lake are completely different. Shad schools are just becoming visible to stripers in the chocolate-brown water of the Colorado River inflow. Shad schools are large. When shad and stripers get together the result is sustained surface action from 1-2 pound stripers. Large catches of small stripers are now common. The muddy water clears up between Scorup Canyon and Good Hope Bay. Red Canyon has consistent boils making it well worth the trip from either the primitive launch at Hite or from Bullfrog/Halls. Fishing near Good Hope or in the San Juan Arm is the best bet during the full moon phase.

Boats launching at Hite and Halls are required to be clean, drained and dry to prevent movement of invasive mussels into Lake Powell. UDWR Techs are monitoring both ramps and requiring compliance with NPS invasive mussel certification.

Smallmouth bass fishing is much improved this week with small bass now easy to catch along the shallow rocky shoreline. Larger bass are holding at 20-30 feet. Fish grubs and drop shot rigged lures along the 25 foot contour for best success for quality size bass.

Catfish may provide the most consistent catching this week. Hook some table scraps on a number 4 bait hook. Add a small weight. Cast to the sandy beach behind camp and invite a catfish to join you for dinner.