Lake Powell is changing fast. Water level is rising a foot per week but the
fill rate will increase dramatically over the next few weeks. Bass and
crappie are in the middle of the spawn. Stripers are wandering looking for
food and thinking about spawning. While fishing success is excellent there
are a few things to know to help put you in the right spot to participate in
catching fish this week.
Fishing for bass is the most dependable strategy.
It is not necessary to arrive early. Fishing improves steadily throughout
the day as water warms. Fishing is much better when water temperature is in
the 60s and not so good when it cools back into the 50s. Afternoon fishing
is better than in the morning.
Both large and smallmouth bass are spawning and very active. Smallmouth will
be on the shallow (2-3 feet) edge of a rock shelf. The nest will often be
visible, in open water but often near a drop off or edge of structure. Cast
near the breaking edge of a shallow flat, in the back of the canyon, or side
of the main channel, or on the rocky shoreline. Pursuing smallmouth bass is
the simplest and most productive fishing opportunity with guaranteed
results. A simple rig with a double tailed plastic grub, tube or plastic
worm on an eight to quarter ounce lead head works well. Topwater baits are
working when water is warm. Use your favorite smallmouth bass bait for best
Largemouth bass are bigger fish but catching them requires fishing in brush.
Their nests are often between the shore and the tree line. It may be
necessary to poke the nose of the boat through the trees to make a cast.
There may be some spots where walking the shoreline works better than
fishing from the boat. Use weedless baits like spinnerbaits or weedless
rigged plastic. The best bait this past week has been the weightless senko
in shades of green. The slow sinking action is exactly what bass are looking
for as they rest under tree limbs in brush thickets. Patience is a virtue
while waiting for the bait to work its way through the limbs to the fish.
Use heavy line to negotiate the retrieval of hooked fish from the brushy
sanctuary. Braided line with a fluorocarbon leader has proven effective for
Crappie are hanging like ornaments in
the trees with the largemouth. Stealthily approach the thickest brush and
drop a small plastic curly tail or marabou jig into and around the limbs.
Crappie will often be hiding 3-5 feet below the surface. They can often be
seen taking the bait in the clear water of the main lake.
Walleye are starting to hit very well
now with catching success better in the upper lake. One effective method is
to troll the steep canyon walls of the main canyon with 3-4 inch long medium
diving bait. Troll over each long point that enters the channel. The most
effective depth for hooking walleye is 12-15 feet. It is best if the trolled
lure bumps bottom at 12 feet. Walleye can also be spooned off the bottom or
captured on gravel points with a slow moving worm harness.
With all the glowing fish activity reported above it makes it less painful
to say that striped bass are extremely difficult to
catch right now. The trolling pattern has faltered over much of
the lake. There was some success reported at the mouth of Red Canyon over
the weekend. Since then trolling and jigging has been unproductive through
most of the lake. It will change quickly but right now it seems better to
chase the other species.