May 28, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3607
Water Temp: 64- 72 F

Rapidly rising lake levels dominate the fishing scene. It is now possible to launch at Hite primitive ramp which has been long awaited by anglers. Unfortunately, the same high flows that allowed the lake to cover the ramp have muddied the water and cooled the main channel, effectively slowing fishing to a standstill. I recommend waiting for curtailment of high runoff before heading to Hite to fish. Still, it is closer to get to the fishable waters of Good Hope Bay via Hite than from Bullfrog.

Jared Mayfield with smallmouth bass caught in Iceberg canyon.

The lake has risen 3 feet in the last 3 days. That dramatic change renders gently sloping shoreline unusable as a visual reference when searching for spots that hold bass. Look for reefs in open water and fish the breaking edge from 15-25 feet deep for consistent bass action. Slick rock canyons that have many cliffs and few open flats are easier to fish successfully in these unsettled conditions. Fish the cracks and corners to find bass, crappie and walleye.

Another major event finds the rising lake covering brush that survived inundation last year. Water is now lapping at the base of the bush. As soon as the entire bush is covered largemouth bass will head to shallow water and the comfort of brushy shelter. Trees with leaves are unforgiving when most lures come even close by. Newly covered brush is hard to fish with anything but a surface lure, spinner bait or Texas rigged plastic bait.

Striped bass are still waiting for the spawn which will occur during the next warming period. It is not too late to catch a trophy fish as water temperature is still in the preferred comfort zone of all stripers. Big fish feed at night, so find one of the big schools of small stripers commonly found in most any bay or canyon. Fish near the large school at dusk and dawn with big crankbaits. Trophy fish will be shallow during this period so cast, troll or jig during the magic twilight feeding period. Stripers exceeding 30-pounds have been caught during each of the past 4 years. Time is now right for another big fish to show up.

Schools of 2-pound stripers are commonly caught in big numbers in Wahweap Bay, Buoy 3, Buoy 9, Padre Bay near Cookie Jar, Last Chance along points and rock slides extending out from main canyon, Jacks Arch and mouth of San Juan Arm, Lake Canyon, and mouth of Moki Canyon. There are thousands of other spots where striper schools are stationed awaiting the spawn.

Walleye fishing is at its peak. Fish murky water along the edge of the main channel. Walleye share long points jutting into the main channel with stripers. Trolling the edge of the channel with medium and deep runner crankbaits can locate schools of stripers and willing aggregations of walleye.

Fishing conditions continue to change but fish are very catchable with a slight alteration in fishing techniques.