Inflow has dropped from 110,000 acre feet per day to a paltry 85,000 acre
feet. The large inflow brought the lake up another 5 feet in the past week.
Rapidly changing shoreline features confuse both fish and anglers but there
is more. The layer of dead brush that succumbed when it was covered last
year has been completely covered once more. Green brush that was only
partially submerged last year is now wet again. Largemouth bass have moved
into the welcome green tamarisk and willow boughs. Flooded cover is probably
as good right now as it has ever been in the life of Lake Powell. Bass love
it, fishermen just have to deal with it.
Sue Rudie with striper
trolled up near Bullfrog in the rain.
Smallmouth fishing is steady on main
channel and main canyon rocks and points. Main lake areas are better fishing
than the backs of canyons where new brush has been covered. Target small
rock slides on slick rock shorelines for a predictable catch of bass.
Walleye are still being caught trolling
and casting in the northern half of the lake. Some walleye are caught in the
southern lake but numbers are much higher in the north. Walleye have
reverted to feeding mostly during low light periods at the ends of the day.
During daylight hours fish muddy water and shade pockets on the main channel
for best results.
Striped bass are at best -
unpredictable. The spawn is almost complete. Schools are forming and
searching for food. When anglers and schools come together results are
immediate with many stripers caught in a short time. One day a large boil
will be seen in a random location only to be absent the next. A school of
fish will be enticed with bait along a deep canyon wall in the middle of the
day but will be somewhere else the next.
The best striper fishing strategy is to
move from one good spot to the next trying to intersect a moving school. Try
bait on steep canyon walls. If no fish are found move often and try again.
Then troll in shallow water. Keep rotating techniques and locations hoping
to locate an agreeable school. Some days no stripers are caught but then
20-40 stripers can be placed in the cooler in short order. Always have a top
water lure tied on and placed in an accessible spot ready for action when
the big boils pops up right in front of the boat.
If I had to choose a spot for the best fishing trip possible it would be the
lake midsection from the mouth of the San Juan
to Escalante. Smallmouth abound in the breaks and cracks lining
the steep main channel rocks. Walleye favor the rocky points. Striped bass
are schooled at the mouth of the San Juan near Jacks Arch. They boil
occasionally but are accessible to trollers working the brushy shoreline
Catfish are getting more active now as
temperature is consistently in the 70s. Fishing is more challenging now than
it was in the spring. Improvement will come as lake level stabilizes,
surface water warms to the summer temperatures and fish begin to feed
consistently on the surface.