am excited. Days remain warm and calm. Water is warming. Fish are finally
recognizing the change and responding. Fishing has improved. Winter is over
at Lake Powell. Both bass and stripers are now catchable.
Largemouth are the first species to
react in spring. With brush in the water Lake Powell largemouth can now act
like there are supposed to. Adult bass prefer to live in brush forests. They
must venture out at times to hunt but the normal tendency is to wait for a
sunfish or shad to come into cover. So most of the time they just wait.
Anglers had success this past weekend by fishing in front of the thick
brushy coves and cuts. The key was to use a bulky bait like a skirted double
tail plastic jig or a slow sinking bait like a weedless senko. Throw the
bait as close to structure as possible and then let it rest. Imagine a bass
seeing the bait and trying to decide whether to leave the thick cover and
investigate. A quick retrieve makes the bass decision easy. He lets the bait
go. But a bait that lingers and after a reasonable time twitches - causes a
need for investigation. The bass moves closer - another twitch - it looks
like something to eat. Understanding fish attitude is the first step in
Smallmouth bass are still in the cold
mode, but another two weeks and they will awaken as well.
Tayler McNabb with fat
striper typical for 2009.
Striped bass are feeding. There is one
pattern that works lake wide. Schools rest in deep water (50-100 feet) but
periodically come up to look for shallow (25 feet and less) shad schools.
The key to consistently catching stripers is to work the breaking edge of
structure at the 25 foot contour. Use the graph and find the edge where the
deep water meets shallow. There will be a striper school resting along the
break line at some point. The best way to find the school is to troll along
the 25 foot contour.
Much greater success is found by using a deep diving lure that actually runs
at 25 feet. That can be accurately determined by trolling in shallow water
with a sand bottom (not brush). When the lure hits bottom you know how deep
it runs. You will be disappointed to find that most deep divers actually run
about 10-12 feet deep. Find a 25-foot deep runner and troll the 25 foot
contour for consistent success. Down riggers or leaded line work well.
The last suggestion is to have a jigging spoon rigged and ready. When a
striper is hooked trolling, it is common for the entire school to follow.
These fish are awake, alert and looking for food. Drop the spoon to catch a
few more fish while they are active. You will find that the school loses
interest quickly and runs away from the boat. At that point resume trolling,
find another school, troll up some fish, then spoon some up, and troll once
more. This technique is proven and will work all over the lake.