March 12, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3588
Water Temp: 50-53 F

The big flood event is over. Lake Powell dropped 2.8 feet. With good mountain snow pack now the only way for the lake to go is up. Access for launching is still decent. Bullfrog ramp is restricted to 4 lanes. Antelope Ramp has just enough water to float a boat off the trailer, while Wahweap and Halls Crossing are in full use. Primitive launching at Hite or Blue Notch should wait until the lake level comes up 20 feet.

Fish are just waiting for warming. That is happening too. The sun comes up earlier each day and provides a few more minutes of warming. Water temperature is now 50 degrees. That is still just a few degrees short of good fishing. When the temperature range resides between 54 and 57 we can declare the spring season to be officially open. That is likely to happen next week.

Right now there is a bit of activity on warm afternoons. Striped bass are found near Glen Canyon dam in modest numbers. They can be caught on bait with a constant amount of chumming effort applied. Don't hesitate to fish near the marinas after dark with a fish attracting light to increase the chance of encountering more stripers than possible during daylight hours.

Lailah Campbell and Brenna Bayles  with stripers caught at the dam on bait.

Most stripers are still in the backs of canyons searching for shad schools. Their feeding periods are short now but will increase with warming water. Expect them to be foraging along the shoreline as individuals or in 20-40 feet of water in schools. Find shad schools and stripers will be near by. That habit never changes.

Largemouth bass are the best game in town. They will be active on warm afternoons in shallow brushy coves. Now is a good time to study the shoreline for brush lines, tumbleweed piles and other brushy shelters that will provide perfect ambush structure when the lake starts to rise. Expect the lake to rise 40 feet this spring and plan future trips and fishing locations based on structure that will be inundated next week ad next month.

Smallmouth bass feed on warm afternoons now, but they will bite so much better in April. Walleye are spawning now and will be more likely to bite in April and May.

Fishing is getting ready to take off. Hope you can make a spring trip.