May 7, 2008
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3595
Water Temp: 59-66 F

                                                Smallmouth Bass Bite is ON!

The weather in warming and Lake Powell is filling a foot every 4th day. Bass are guarding deep nests but the fast rising water makes sight fishing difficult. Not to worry! Bass fishing is great with feisty smallmouth bass waking up and getting with the program.

Work the rocky structure to find willing smallmouth. Earlier in the spring all the bass action was in the backs of sandy coves with brush. Now bass are staged near the primary rocky points leading into those coves. It is not time yet to fish the main channel drop-offs. Start at the back of the canyon where muddy water meets the rich green color. That is the bass hotspot and many other species of fish like the green productive zone.

Technique varies with personal preference. The most common approach is to use a plastic grub, tube, senko or other bait of your choosing. That works great as does retrieving a spinnerbait or crankbait across rocky structure. I like to have the option of using both techniques. Just have a tube rigged on one rod and a crank or jerk bait on the other. Use a tube for a while and then switch to the crank. Let the fish tell you which they like best.

Do not be afraid to fish deeper water. The shoreline at the current lake level is devoid of brush. Old brush is buried 10-15 feet deep while the new shoreline brush won't go under water for a couple more weeks. The lake has to exceed last year's high water mark of 3611 before new brush is flooded.

Walleye are perking up with warming conditions. They should be caught more often now particularly in murky water after an afternoon wind muddies a cove or floats a mudline into a clear water bay.

Crappie are still being caught in the brush at the ends of the canyons. Use a bobber to suspend a tiny curly tail grub just above the brush zone.

Dr Chad Lunt and son Jason - St George UT

Stripers are schooled in 25-45 of water waiting to spawn. Trolling and graphing across deep points and drops in bays is the best way to located them. They will come up from 25 feet to hit a bevy shad, rattletrap or Wally diver running at 10-12 feet. I keep a floating fish marker handy and toss it out each time a good school is graphed. When tired of trolling, go back to the various makers, chum and fish bait over the stationary marked schools to catch a cooler full of stripers.

Chum brings striper off the bottom. While they are easy to catch on bait, they are searching for food and will also take a spoon, crank, or swim bait while swimming in the chum field.

Fishing is great right now whichever species or technique is your personal favorite.