Did it rain at your house? This week has been more like a nice week in April
than June in the desert. Normally air temperature is nearing the century
mark here, but we will take the 70s for now and enjoy the heat when it
comes. Fishing conditions have not changed much since last report. Water
still runs in at a rate of 80,000 acre feet per day. Lake level still
increases by 3-6 inches. Surface temperature is holding near 70 degrees.
Bass are still biting and stripers randomly boil
Austin Macosky caught this
striper on bait in Navajo Canyon.
Best fishing is for smallmouth along the main channel and main canyon areas.
Steep slick rock and cliff face areas seem to hold more agreeable fish than
other spots. Look for a bit of broken rock, a ledge or terrace that provides
just a tiny bit of cover in the vast expanse of clean slick rock. Find a
bush in a crack or fracture of the slick rock and a largemouth may lurk
there as well. Bass are looking for crayfish and are willing to hit plastic
near bottom in the 20-30 foot range. Our tendency is to fish the shoreline
from a boat holding about a cast or two off shore. The better thing to do
now is put the boat in the same location but drop the lure straight to the
bottom instead of casting toward shore. Once the lure contacts bottom let it
drift slowly along the 25 foot contour. Gently ease the bait along the
bottom to encounter bass and walleye.
Early in the morning shad are spawning further back in the canyons and coves
on the surface around brush and driftwood. Shallow running crankbaits and
top water lures work well at fist light before the sun hits the water. The
extended spring weather means that a variety of species are working on
vulnerable shad. It is possible to catch bass, stripers, walleye, catfish
and sunfish near the site of any spawning shad school.
Shad spawning activity subsides by 8 AM and game fish move to their daily
holding pattern. Bass go deep, stripers cruise the shoreline along that same
25 foot contour. Trolling the 25 foot flats is effective but not fast
fishing. Rattle trap baits are effective for both bass and stripers. Shallow
running crankbaits, like glass shad raps and lucky craft bevy shad also work
well. It seems to me that shorter baits (3 inches) are more effective than
longer ones (Thundersticks). Look out for tree tops that grab trolling lures
but get close enough to brush to attract fish interest. A lure that runs
right over the brushy tree tops is a great choice.
While doing all this, keep an eye out for random striper boils. I get new
reports every day of random boils occurring mid morning over the expanse of
the lake. Boils are becoming more visible and staying up longer.
Unfortunately, they are not yet predictable or repeatable occurrences. But
top water time is getting closer. Expect stripers to become catchable in
boils as the lake stabilizes and water temperature warms. Shad will grow
faster in warmer waters and hasten the boil response. Until then enjoy bass
fishing and trolling in the cool springtime luxury of Lake Powell.