April 15, 2009
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3609
Water Temp: 53-60 F

Wind and rain keep pelting the West which is good for increasing the lake level but it delays good fishing. While waiting for the sun to break through there is some exciting news for boaters on the south end of the lake. The Castle Rock Cut has been deepened and now water has flooded the newly constructed channel joining Wahweap Bay and Warm Creek. As soon as the lake comes up a foot most boats will be able to navigate the Cut and save the 12 miles of rough water when headed uplake.

Deepened Castle Rock Cut is flooded.

With water temperatures not changing much all month, fishing techniques have remained constant. Stripers are not running to the main channel in search of current but staying in the backs of canyons where shad live. Do not expect the normal fast fishing for stripers along the buoy line guarding the dam this month. To catch stripers now, the strategy is to cover as much water as possible searching for the moving school. Trolling is the best way to do that. Start looking in the back of the canyon where water depth is 25 feet or along flats and shelves of the same depth. As water warms into the 60s this pattern will change slightly but for now trolling is best. Watch the graph closely while using deep diving lures on flat line or shad lures with down riggers or leaded line. Follow the 25-foot contour for best success.

The shortcut from Wahweap to Warm Creek opens up the possibility of finding more stripers close to the Wahweap ramps. There have been a few willing stripers near Lone Rock that would respond to deep trolled lures in 15-35 feet of water. Warm Creek has much more fish habitat than upper Wahweap Bay. Now it will be just as close to go to Warm Creek or further uplake to find striper schools. That will help us all locate more fish as reports start to come in from Warm Creek.

Further uplake, Lake Canyon, Halls Creek, and Bullfrog Bay are good but Red Canyon to Hite is much better. That is still the place to be for fishing this week. The mudline is not moving downstream yet and drift wood is not much of a problem. Launching at Hite is good at the primitive ramp.

I am about a week early with this news. Bass will respond to warming that will finally begin this weekend. It is very possible that spawning will begin 7-10 days from the date of this report. Nesting and increased aggression will happen for sure. Many quality bass have already been caught this spring. Those fish have proved to be larger and fatter than normal. This year will be memorable as many will catch the biggest bass of their fishing career. Largemouth exceeding 6 pounds and smallmouth larger than 4 pounds have already been caught. Many more big bass will be taken this spring during the spawn.

Crappie are moving into the trees and will spawn during the same time frame as bass. Average size of all fish, including crappie is bigger than usual this year. Look for the weather to improve this weekend and for fishing to go ballistic next week. Can't wait!