May 12, 2009
By Wayne Gustaveson
Lake Elevation: 3615
Water Temp: 61 - 73 F

Lake Powell is filling fast with 60,000 acre feet per day running into the reservoir from the tributaries. Runoff is strong and high but not yet at its peak. The shoreline is rapidly changing. Expect to reposition the boat every day if camped on shore. Do not leave vehicles close to the waters edge when camping for an extended period.

Jack "Hotwheels" Herrin, Rich Hunton and sons Tim and Brandon -

Of course rising water affects fishing success. Bass made nests when the water level was 10 feet lower than today. That nest may now be as much as 100 yards from the new shoreline established by last nights rising water. To avoid false starts do not fish shallow flats that were dry desert soil the previous day. Fish are not there yet. Instead look for a ravine with steep sides and brush where fish can move vertically with rising water and changing temperatures.

Water cools over night back to the base temperature which has now risen to 60 degrees. Warm days heat water to over 70 degrees in protected coves and bays. While fishing is good some mornings, bass still feel the warming and react accordingly. Fishing success is often better in afternoon.

Bass are in brush. Look for twigs and branches just barely sticking out of water. These submerged trees mark the old shoreline where bass can be found. The most productive lures now are spinner baits and buzz baits that can be effectively fished over the brush forest and still attract attention. Fishing for both species of bass is excellent. Crappie fishing remains spotty but is great in the right spots.

Striped bass habits are changing as spawning nears. About the only time stripers are not actively chasing food is during spawning. These eating machines will eat at any opportunity but they are thinking more about spawning and less about shad. Stripers look for a quick meal at dusk and dawn but then spend the day wondering if this days warming will trigger spawning that night. This subtle attitude change has provided the opportunity for bait anglers to be more successful than trollers. Bait fishing is not yet at the caliber seen in most years but some fish are now being caught on anchovies at the dam, main channel and in the backs of canyons. It is worth the effort to fish bait while actively chumming for half an hour in selected locations. Stripers have recently been caught on bait at the dam, Navajo and Antelope Canyons. Better bait fishing is being reported in the backs of the major canyons where muddy water shades the bottom. Use the graph to find a school in 20-45 feet of water and then anchor and use bait. The bite will be spotty but catches of 10-30 fish have been reported. Night fishing also offers a good possibility of success for stripers that are very active during this time period due to imminent spawning potential.

Crappie success is slowing but catfish are getting more aggressive with warmer water.