Date Received: April 2, 2001 - Robert Christensen
My son Matt and I went to the pickup station at Page this past Friday, 30th of March and caught 60 stripers between the hours of 10 am -3 pm. Saturday we nailed 30 more between 8:30 and 11:00 am. The majority were in the 20 - 23 inch range and in very good condition. The best I have seen yet. We caught a half dozen in the 5-6 lb class. All were on anchovies and in 25 -40 feet of water. Many hits were on the way down and a few were on the way up to check the bait. The boat next to us had 110 fish on stringers. A great two days for us. I hope it's this good in two weeks! Oh yeah, water temp at 54-57 degrees. Fished seemed to be biting at all hours of the day.
Date Received: April 2, 2001 - Rod & Ethan Stucker
30 Mar 2001
We arrived in Wahweap on Friday night and launched our boat in preparation for fishing Saturday morning. The weather was warm and the water was calm. When we checked into the Wahweap Lodge, they handed us Wayne's Lake Powell Fishing Report which was posted the same day fortunate for us. Since fishing was reported good at the Power Intake as well as at the Dam, we decided to try the dam first since it was easiest to find since this was our first fishing trip to Wahweap.
On Saturday Morning, we loaded up on anchovies and made our way to the dam where we arrived at about 9:00 am and found two "retired" fisherman from Big Water catching stripers with surface water temperature at 55 degrees. They let us pull up next to them near the rock wall on the west end of the dam next to the bouys. They had already caught 14 stripers during the ten minutes in which they had arrived ther before us by jigging with anchovies. They were catching them 15-20 feet down. The water was co clear we could actually see some of the stripers take the bait 20-30 feet down.
Once we started fishing, we tried a slighty different method than our new friends who were using weights and chunks of anchovies. We tied our hooks straight to the fishing line, no leader or swivel on two poles and a swivel and leader on the third. I had a two pole permit and my seven year old boy, Ethan, was watching the third pole. We would then hook a whole anchovie though the eyes or the hard part of the head and cast as far as we could next to the west wall of the dam and let the anchovie naturally drift towards the bottom and back to the boat with the drag set. Often we would get bit in the first few minutes and we would let the stripers eat the anchovie and swim away with it before we started reeling. Most of the time the stripers would set the hook themselves.
If the drifting method didn't work, we would then jig and reel the bait in after it reached about a 45 degree angle with the water from the boat. With the anchovie being hooked in the mouth, reeling it in resembled a lure or a live anchovie. The stripers seemed to prefer this moving action and they would agressively hit the anchovie. Movement appeared to be the key. My seven year old son, Ethan, was goofing around and he started catching more fish than his dad all on his own with the jerk and reel method. Hence, I need to give the credit for the fishing success of this trip to him.
We had several doubles and triples on that rewarding day. We caught 50 stripers between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm when we left to clean fish. We learned the following day that several boats continued to fish the west side of the dam and continued to catch large numbers of stripers. Our friends fishing next to us caught 44 stripers and they left about 20 minutes before us. Hence, there were at least 200, possibly 300 stripers caught at the dam on a fairly steady bite from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm between six to eight boats at the dam on Saturday. The fish ranged in size from 2-6 pounds, some too thin to fillet, but others were in good shape. We noticed that while cleaning our stripers, they had been gorging themselves on our anchovies which we were using to chum with. We were the only ones who were chumming.
31 Mar 2001
We started earlier Sunday morning arriving at the dam just after daylight. Fishing was slower than Saturday and the clouds caused it to take longer to warm up on Sunday morning. At about 9:00 am, we had a double hook up and during a brief bite we bagged four stripers using the drift method near the west wall of the dam. The stripers were less eager to bite than on Saturday and we caught most of them on the drift, jerk, slow reel and pause techniques. The stripers would most often hit hard during the pause. Most of the other boats on the west side of the dam didn't do as well with the straight down jigging method. However, those fishing towards the middle of the dam were catching stripers slow but steady. We caught 20 stripers by 11:00 am and headed back up north after a fun and rewarding weekend of fishing at Lake Powell. We decided to leave our boat at Big Water so that we could come back again on Easter Weekend and bring the whole family!
Date Received: April 16, 2001 - John, Canada
Wayne ... nice job on the site. I read it all the time even though I live in Canada and can only fish Powell a couple times per year. Last week was one of those times so here's our report ...
April 12, Sunny and wind blowing hard. air temp around 50.
Got out there from Phoenix around 1 pm. Wind was blowing hard. Big swells and whole lake was white caps. We're too dumb to stay in so we run down to the power intake. We got very wet. For 3 hours we drifted (more like trolled) with the wind using 1/4 ounce leadheads tipped with anchovy heads. Got 7 Stripers. Average size 2-3 lbs.
Friday April 13, Sunny and clear, no wind, temp around 60.
Very nice weather. Zip to power intake about 10:30 am and find about 15 other boats there. All had 20 or so stripers on their stringers. Then the bite slowed and we looked like sad sacks, having no fish while everyone else was fully loaded. We hung around and the bite would pick every hour or so. You'd get multiple hookups real fast. Fish were at 40 - 60 ft. 5 or 6 fish per activation (or school swimming by) and every boat in the group would get fish on around the same time. Pretty wild. Later as it warmed up the fish were up higher and more active. We saw one guy pick one up on a fly rod. The active fish were 20-40 ft down and *every cast* produced a striper or a hard hit (you still have to pay attention to hook them). From 2-4 pm was basically non-stop catching, with occasional short breaks in the action to keep you honest. Lots of 20 inchers with one at 22 inches, all nice and healthy. Fish were on jigs again (1/4 ounce white worked best) with anchovies. We caught so many fish that I forgot to count. Kept 12 big ones for dinner.
At about 4 pm, we decided that we wanted to explore and see if Smallmouth were active. We jigged the rock piles off the left side of the channel as you go from Antelope Canyon towards the Dam. We caught a walleye 16 incher or so, on a yellow 1/4 ounce jig, green twister tail at 35 feet.
Date Received: April 18, 2001 - Bob Hebert - Scottsdale, Arizona
Three of us fished for Large and Small Mouthed Bass April 13th late PM through Monday sunset and found fishing slow, with only small bass near shore. We fished Warm Creek and Navajo Canyon a lot and to a lesser extent, Rock Creek, Middle Rock Creek and Cain's Wash. Our largest fish was about 1 3/4 lbs, but most of the others were in the 13" range. I found water temps at 50 degrees Saturday morning by the Wahweap marina and at 55 degrees in the same area Tuesday morning when we left. During the day as we fished we would find water temps up to 61 degrees on Monday. We felt the big fish had not yet moved close in for the spawn, but would at any time and expect fishing to turn on Wed-Friday this week.
It was of course a wonderful time again on Lake Powell.
Date Received: April 30, 2001 - JP Lomeo.-
Fished Lake Powell 4/27 to 4/28. Launched at Stateline Friday about 1:00 pm. Weather was breezy and cloudy with a good chop and a few whitecaps. Surface water temperature was about 65 degrees. I camped and fished in Dry Rock Creek. Caught a few small mouth bass on Friday on a dropshot rig and also on a "Senko". The good news is that stripers are hitting top water plugs every evening. I was using a silver and black back Storm"Chug Bug"(my favorite catch everything lure). Stripers were coming in close to shore and hitting with abandon (from the minute the sun went down below the cliffs to total darkness). They were about 18 inches or so and fat and healthy.
Saturday and Sunday were sunny, calm and warmer. Fishing for small mouth got a little tougher. I tried running crawler harnesses deep for walleyes along rock rubble piles but with no luck. I was really looking foward to a walleye dinner (had to settle for chili instead). Few small mouth here and there on trolled minnow plugs but nothing to brag about. Saturday morning got some nice size small mouth on a surface plug (a Sammy). Saturday evening the stripers obliged again hitting poppers till total darkness. I will try to get back out next weekend(still want that walleye dinner!)
Here is the lake record tiger muskie caught by Ralph Pearce of Gunnison Colorado. The monster weighed in at 22 pounds 12 ounces. It was 44.25 inches long and 19 inches around the middle. The fish was caught near Lone Rock in Wahweap Bay while Ralph was pre-fishing for a bass tourny. Understand Ralph put his hand in the toothy mouth while landing the fish and has the scars to prove it. Good Fish Ralph!
Here is Ralph's version of the encounter!
It was friday the 20th around 11 am we were way in the back of Wahweap. I don't know any landmarks around there as this was the frist time I have fished that end of the lake. I pitched a brown and purple pepper jig with a yamamoto crawdad trailer into a bunch of brush. I felt a fish pick it up expecting a LM bass. I reeled down and set the hook, it felt like I snagged up in the brush as nothing happened right away as I put pressure on hoping to pull my jig free the line started to swim away. I was using 12# test trilene and didn't want to use too much force so my partner started to move the boat through the brush. That's when we finally saw the fish and realized how huge it was. The fish then came to the surface and really came to the boat with out a lot of fight. It just rolled on the surface shaking its head. I got it up to the boat and my partner Justin Hicks hadn't got the net untangled out of the rod locker yet. Knowing this fish wasn't going to just lay there and wait on us I reached down and grabbed it in the gill plate and started lifting it out of the water. Thats when it became very mad. I managed to get it in the boat but not before it managed to deskin most of my right hand. It's gills felt like I had a handfull of cactus with a bad attitude. The fun part was trying to get a fish that size in the live well on a bass boat. We had to stick it's head in then coil it like a snake to get it in. Thats about it. I did get a lot of ribbing after the tourny by the other guys saying I used up all my luck on friday as we finished 7th in the bass tourny. Everone joked that the big bass of the day was probably in the big fish belly.
Date Received: May 16, 2001 -Wayne Gustaveson
Mark, Cody Thomas and I went fishing early so we could get the boys back in time for school. First stop was a Warm Creek main channel reef marked by a white rock hazard buoy. Cody stuck 3 smallmouth in 3 casts with a 4 inch single tail Yamamoto grub (194 watermelon pepper) on a quarter ounce swimming head jig. Mark and I just watched him in the dim light of morning as we drifted across the reef. Bass were on top of the 8 foot deep reef and just off the edges down to 15 feet. We boated to the next submerged reef 200 yards away. This time Mark got 2 in a row. I was throwing topwater and hoping but to no avail. Then we cruised to the main channel narrows between Warm Creek and Padre Bay. Caught a smallmouth between 6 and 12 inches on every other cast. Mark and Cody were counting. I was just having fun. Cody was doing best by letting the jig hit bottom and then slowly swimming it back. Mark and I were bottom bouncing all the way and not getting quite as many hits. Mark did get a walleye on the deep side of a boulder rock. We ran out of 194 color grubs so tried chartreuse - it worked, smoke sparkle - it worked, and white - it worked too. Caught 40 bass in two hours and then headed to the classroom for the boys and the office for me.
Date Received: May 17, 2001 -Wayne Gustaveson
Took son Troy out in Wahweap Bay for an hour at mid day. We fished a rockslide - caught smallmouth. Fished steep cliff with shelf at 15 feet in shade - caught smallmouth. Fished a long rocky point in sun - caught smallmouth. Fished slick rock points on breaking edge - caught smallmouth. Fished a shallow sandy cove - no fish (just checked this spot to be sure bass were not EVERYWHERE). Fished muddy water in back of cove with brush - caught smallmouth and Troy got a 2 pound largemouth. Fished Yamamoto 194 singletail, 194 double tail and 194 IKA all worked just fine. It was fun.
Date Received: May 21, 2001 -Edward T. Gerdemann
I had my first really serious Lake Powell fishing trip since last October. I fished with my father-in-law on both Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19. Friday morning we decided to concentrate early on smallmouth. We made my "traditional" main channel smallmouth milk run starting at the top of Antelope Island and fishing the reefs, points and any other broken rock structure we could find. Although the lake was much lower than when I last fished this area in October, the smallmouth were in all the same places. As far as numbers go, the fishing was nothing short of phenomenal. We rarely went more than just a few minutes without a strike. We caught fish as shallow as five feet and as deep as 30, however most seemed to come from the 15-foot range. I managed a nice walleye which hit a Yamamoto grub in about 15 feet of water on a point just below Navajo Canyon. After four hours of chasing smallies, we shifted to stripers. Here our luck radically changed. We tried both the intake and the dam with no success.
Saturday we decided to fish stripers early and then go for smallmouth. I located a school on my graph just off the gravel bar just above the Stateline launch ramp. We chummed the area well and started fishing. After about 10 minutes I hooked into a really nice fish but it broke my line. After that neither one of us got even a nibble. We stayed there and chummed some more but couldn't get them to hit. I searched the opposite side and graphed another school which we chummed but again no success - not even a touch. I moved a little further and found a third school and chummed it. Again, nothing. It was then around 7:30 a.m. and, after nearly three hours of nothing we decided to head back to the channel for smallmouth. If anything, the fishing was better on Saturday. I suspect the cloud cover might have had something to do with it. We caught nearly as many fish as the day before in considerably less time. With what looked like a nasty storm moving in we decided to get off the lake.
The only downside, besides our poor striper luck, was the size of the smallmouth. Although we caught a few decent fish, most of what we caught were 10 inches and less. We did catch a fair number in the 11 inch range and a few bigger ones. We tried fishing deeper looking for better fish but still caught the same size virtually everywhere.
I really don't think there were too many lures the smallmouth wouldn't hit as long as it was put in their strike zone. Probably our best bait was a four inch Yamamoto curly tail in a rootbeer with green and red flake color. I also had very good luck on a Yamamoto Cut Tail worm, also four inches, in watermelon with black and red flake, and a four inch Yamamoto Hula Grub in the same color. I Texas-rigged the worms with a 1/4 oz. bullet weight and used 3/16 and 1/8 oz. darter heads on the curly tails. I used a 1/4 oz. football head jig with the Hula Grub. My father-in-law fished exclusively with a split shot rig using the small Yamamoto split shot hooks. I was very impressed with this setup. He didn't have to worry about setting the hook, and most fish were hooked neatly in the corner of the mouth. I plan to utilize this setup more in the future. It was my intention to give the Yamamoto Senko a good workout, however, I had a reel break down on the rig set up to fish them and, having such good success on the other stuff, I never bothered to set up another rig for Senkos. There's always next time.
The real highlight of the trip, besides the fish, was watching the sun come up over the lake Friday morning. When those first rays hit the rocks bringing out all those red, pink, tan and brown colors, I remembered why I love this lake so much. There's no place quite like it!
Date Received: May 21, 2001 - Ken Lee, Glendale AZ
We just returned from Powell on sunday the 20th, fished thurs, fri, sat, and sunday a.m. We beached the houseboat in upper Last Chance and once we got settled in went out fishing, we had 10 people in our party with 8 people fishing, 1 full time fisherman and 6 once a year fisherpersons and one first timer.
We caught over 100 smallmouth from 6" to 1 1/2 lbs.
30-40 stripers 3-4 lbs. about half and half skinny and chunky.
20 channel cats.
2 mud cats (Waynes note: bull head catfish)
8 largemouth from 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs.
1- 2 lbs. walleye.
We kept and ate several small bass and all the stripers, released all but one of the largemouth(swallowed the lure) also ate or brought home the rest. Weather was great and the fishing was great. We made a fisherman out of the first timer, I think he's hooked for life.
Date Received: May 21, 2001 - Bob Howard
Tues.15 - Bill Williams & I fished dam site & power intake all morning, caught 2 stripers after much work. We fished in Navajo at first & second point past twin islands & no luck. We decided to try the smallmouth & fished Warm Creek & Wahweap Bay at some of our old spots & caught about 20 sm, 10''--11'', not too good! Wed., we went to dam, power intake, Navajo for stripers, No Luck. That afternoon we fished for sm around the islands in the middle of Padre Bay, markers 21&23 & caught about 35 sm 8''---12''.
Thu. same story on stripers at dam, power intake, & Navajo. Went to West Canyon - no luck there either. We came out of West Canyon & just to our right about a mile or so we fished for sm again , & got about 30, from 10''---14''. We got some of our pride back!
Fri. we went the same route again, dam, power intake, & Navajo, with a few stops along the way for stripers. Not a bite, we ate dinner about ' 12' at first point past twin islands & that's when the STRIPERS HIT; we started catching almost as fast as we could bait up, sometimes 2 at a time. We got 21 from 18''---23'' with the largest wt. 2.8 lbs. & then ran out of anchovies. We went after the sm again & fished the channel on the north side from mouth of Warm Creek to #13 & got about 25 sm same size. We fished with Rapala shadrap, silverfluo chartreuse 5/16 oz.trolling. We got 4 or 5 walleye & released them along with the sm, & gave the stripers to another boat, that was keeping them. We had a great time & can't wait to come back to POWELL one more time!!
Date Received: May 23, 2001 - Karen Robinson
My husband and I fished just North of Wahweap the first week-end of May and caught a few large and small mouthed bass and 6-8 stripers, the stripers were nice and fat. We did this trolling an area several times where we had gotten hits.
Then we went out this week-end, just got back, we're from St. George. Caught rain on Saturday, then 52 stripers on Sunday plus one little smallmouth and one HUGE Carp. Caught these from the bank back in Mountain Sheep Canyon where we were camping. (Not near the mouth, go past a small bay with a few shallow areas in the middle then to larger bay, camp area on right hand side, with a small hidden cove with a small sand area. We fished in the main bay area off the bank.)
Then this morning caught nothing but sand, cold and wind so we came home. I wanted to stay, I really want that money fish so I can help out my kids and quit working spend more time with grandkids etc. Well, maybe next year.
Date Received: May 23, 2001 - Gary Polakovic
I've been tardy in sending you this message, but I owe you it nonetheless. My son Neil, 12, and I returned from Powell on May 9. It was his second trip and my eighth or ninth. We skipped my favorite haunt at Last Chance and followed your advice to fish slickrock canyons from Cathedral Canyon to Llewllyn Gulch. We launched at Wahweap on May 5 under very stormy skies, motored 51 miles to Oak Bay and camped in the very rear of a sandy canyon. Very nice camping spots there, so thanks for that tip. I had some significant problems with my outboard engine and trolling motor that compromised our outing, but we still had an EPIC time and caught lots of fish. Call it 20-25 smallmouth daily -- 40% of which were 'keeper' size -- two nice largemouth (1.75 lbs) and two walleye (15-17'') and all the stripers we wanted. This was a slightly below average haul for me at Powell, but I ascribe that to my boat trouble and the storm, rain, chill wind that raked the lake Friday, May 4, and early Saturday, May 5. We threw all fish back, except the walleye, which we ate with thanks.
Everytime I fish the Big Water, I learn something new, and this time out was no exception. It is the first time I fished those green, twin-tail Yamamoto grubs. Holy cow! You Had to beat the fish off those stupid things! I usually stick to shad-pattern crankbaits and grubs, but I threw a pack of 20 of those green grubs in the tackle box just for the heck of it. Wow. They were amazing, outfishing all other lures, including my secret silver-sparkle grubs, by about 3-1. Because supply was limited, I let my boy use those green grubs and, well, let's just say he put a serious hurt on the old man! Lots and lots of smiles and noodled rods for the lad. I did bang about a dozen fish on shad pattern Fat Raps, fewer than in previous trips, but still worthwhile.
Water temp was 58-59 first day, then 61-63 next two days, then 65+ when we left on Tuesday, May 8. We fished Cathederal Canyon, Driftwood Canyon, the pocket bay behind the Dangling Rope Marina, rockpiles and reefs all along the main channel, San Juan near the confluence with the main river, Llewellyn, Oak Canyon and a side canyon to that main canyon where Rainbow Bridge is. Yes, for the first time, I suspended fishing long enough to zip over to see Rainbow Bridge. What a sight! Can't believe I didn't behold it on past trips. Unforgettable, well worth the time.
Best spots we fished: The rocky point 70 meters from our campsite in Oak Bay. Every night at sunset, my boy and I worked this long, long sloping point with book-size broken rock and just put on a smallmouth clinic! Also drilled a lot of bass on that first side canyon to the left as you enter the main canyon to Rainbow Bridge. There is a long rockpile in shallow water in the back of that side canyon where it seems every rock is the size, shape of a grapefruit or volleyball. The bass were just all over that thing! We watched a dozen boats pull in for cruising, picnics -- some very close to where we were casting -- and no one stopped to wet a line there! Incredible. Neil caught four keeper bass and one nice largemouth in five consecutive casts there, plus about a dozen more fish in, say, 75 minutes. Outstanding.
Most disappointing place we fished: Llewellyn Gulch. Wayne, when we motored into that canyon around 8:30 a.m., it was just as you described. Breathtakingly spectacular and big mountains reflected in glassy water. Structure, structure and more structure. I was stoked, and we fished it hard. Of particular intrigue was the heavy flooded timber in the back of the gulch -- by far, the best timber, largemouth habitat I have seen anywhere on Powell. My boy caught one keeper largemouth on the first cast, and a few fish were breaking the surface. Yet that sole bass was the only one we caught after 2 hours of stealth fishing in those shallows! I couldn't believe it. I flipped worms into trees, threw topwater, worked a spinnerbait, Rapala minnow, Fat Rap, green grubs, silver grubs, Texas-rigged plastic worms -- all for naught. Waaaay frustrating. We worked out way out the canyon, which is no small feat, but still only scored two or three fish. Never seen a spot look so choice produce so poorly at Powell.
Waynes Note: I hear ya' My best spots don't LOOK like anything. The better they look the more they get fished. I find plain places, usually shallow, submerged structure to be the best.
Guess that sums it up. Next trip, assuming we don't have a houseboat, I think we will stay at the Wahweap Lodge and fish Wahweap Bay, Antelope and the nice-looking reefs at the entrance to Warm Creek and along the main channel. Never fished those waters. And we can make a run or two to Last Chance, which frankly I think is the best spot on the southern lake apart from San Juan because it is close to the marina, not heavily fished, and has killer structure and most every species. This trip, however, was cool because we saw lots of new water, places we have never seen before. We just had the time of our lives! Thanks for helping.
Date Received: May 23, 2001 - Don Kammerzell
Thank you Wayne. My son Karl and I just finished 2.5 days of the best fishing we have ever experienced. We fished Navajo canyon from 5-18 to 5-20. What a blast. Like most people we don’t follow instructions well, but I have been reading this web site for a little over a year now. Haven’t had much experience on the lake, so we followed MOST of the instructions in the tip section.
On Friday we tried the Power Plant inlet and could not get a bite. Went up Navajo canyon to the point of the canyon where there are two islands. There were lots of boats on the east shore. We fished there all three days. Friday we caught 15 Striped Bass, Sat 14 and 23 on Sunday. We also caught 3 catfish and one 5-6 lb carp. This was from fishing deeper than the stripers. We also caught about 24 SMB at the entrance to Navajo canyon.
On Sunday we had about 2 bags of Anchovies left and could only fish the morning. So we finally started following Wayne’s advice to chum with multiple anchovies at once. The sun was just coming up over the canyon wall and you could see down about 30 feet and watch the chum sink. We saw one striped bass come up to feed and take 6 pieces of chum scattered over a 15’ x 15’ area in less than a minute. Obviously if you want more than one striper to feed you have to put more chum in the water. With more chum we got the school to really turn on and we could catch several while the adjacent boats were just watching.
Today I saw the creel report from Sunday, which we participated in. Karl and I fished from 6:30 am until 10:45 or about 9 hours total out of the reported 1358 and caught 23 striped bass out of the reported 328. Following Wayne’s directions we fished 0.6% of the hours fished and caught 7% of the striped bass reported. Since we normally can’t catch a cold let alone a fish, we can only credit the instructions and help offered on this web site.
We did learn a little on our own and would offer these fine points.
1. The chum anchovies work best thawed and mushy. You can get more little pieces.
2. The anchovy on your hook works much better frozen solid.
3.The bite was much better if you back reeled the anchovy down to depth. The bite was almost always on the fall. One of the other true gentlemen fishermen we met, taught us that one turn on most spinning reels takes in or lets out about 2’ of line so it is easy to keep track of the depth of your bait.
4. Since you know you can’t keep the stripers alive in your live well, put a couple of bags of ice in it before you start and just ice the stripers down as you catch them.
Thanks for the great web site and the work to make Lake Powel an outstanding fishery.
Date Received: May 23, 2001 - Perry Walker fished with friend Vince Bejarno and his son Nick (8 year old)
Arrived at Oak Bay late on Friday the 18th just in time for the storm, fished anyway and caught 3 Stripers, 2 Channel Cat and 2 large carp (8 to 10 lbs.) bottom fishing with anchovies.
Saturday morning set up camp in the back of Reflection Canyon (left fork) caught 26 Stripers, 5 Cats and two more large carp. Released all the carp and 2 small cats, kept the rest. Stripers were all 17" to 23" - 2 to 3.5 lbs. Cats were small 1 to 1.5 lbs. All fish were caught bottom fishing, mostly with anchovies a few on night crawlers. Tried several lures for LMB and SMB with no luck, several bass boats fished the area at different times and we only saw one LMB caught (small). Nick caught 2 of the carp, 3 or 4 Stripers and a cat, all on a kids pole with 4 lbs test.
Looking forward to next weekend with my wife. We plan to go to the north part of the lake, maybe Moqui Canyon or Good Hope Bay. We have never been up past the Escalante Arm.
Date Received: June 11, 2001 - Wayne Gustaveson
Stripers are eating crayfish with shad being in short supply and young shad not big enough to interest them for another two weeks. Stripers rest in deep water and then move up on shallow rocky flats or points to search for food. In this mode they are really moving and not on every point. Fishing with anchovies is a slow way to check for stripers. Dropping the wallylure spoon is a quick way to verify if the fish trace seen on the graph is striper or some other critter.
On June 8th, I checked out a tip from Chris Cliburn that stripers were holding on the point closest to nun buoy 30 in the main channel above West and Last Chance. We found the point about 8 am and graphed across it once without seeing a fish. We then went upstream and fished some points in Dry Rock Creek without success.
About 10:30 am we returned to the point at buoy 30 and graphed again. This time there were fish traces holding in the 35 foot saddle between shore and a 25 foot deep reef in line with the point. Since we had chum readily available we threw it out and immediately caught stripers. We hooked about 15 in the next 45 minutes. They were really aggressive so I tried the spoon and it worked quicker and better than the weightless fly line anchovies we were drifting. Dave put on a white grub and that worked as well. My brother came into fish that afternoon. Armed with what I had learned that morning,we went right back to buoy 30 and caught 45 stripers on bait from 5 pm til dark.
We returned the next morning (June 9) early and found no stripers on the point at buoy 30. We proceeded up to Dry Rock and fished the point that separates the first two big coves on the right (east). The first cove goes back about 500 yards. The second cove (further south) is bigger and separates into two short arms in the back so you know you are in the right place. We caught 25 fish in the really pleasant shade of the steep cliff. The "point" is really a just a more gradual drop than seen on the rest of the cliff faces nearby. There is some broken rock on shore if needed to tie to when the wind comes up. We fished pieces of anchovy with no weight or one small split shot to get the slow descent rate that is working well now. Fish hit at about 20-30 feet in water that was 25-50 feet deep.
When we came by buoy 30 Chris was there catching fish. Stripers were moving on the point later in the day not a first light. We returned that evening and caught no fish. It was too windy and we didn't have enough time before dark to locate another school.
Stripers are moving and feeding shallow. Move with them and try many spots til you find them. They may not be in the same place two days in a row but may return again on the 3rd or 4th day.
Date Received: June 15, 2001 - Perry Walker
June 8, 9 &10th
Arrived Friday June 8th and set up camp in the back of Twitchell Canyon (Last Chance Bay). Graphed a school of Stripers just prior to beaching the boat (beautiful campsite). Water depth was 35 - 40 feet with rock ledges. About 5:30 pm a large school of stripers were thrashing about right in front of our camp (clearly visible) fished with whole anchovies on a #3 double hook with a small split shot. Cast just beyond the school and let the anchovy fall, could see the Stripers attacking, caught 10 in about 1 & 1/2 hours. Couldn't stringer the fish and rebait the hook fast enough to catch more.
Saturday morning June 9th 4:30 am the moon was very bright and lit up the canyon. Caught a couple of catfish and a couple of SMB in the first hour. Then came the shad! A school of a couple hundred shad evidently were chased in by a school of stripers and were trapped in the small sandy area were I had beached the boat. Every time they would try to get out they were attacked by the stripers and chased back by the boat, I was amazed. This went on for an hour and at one point the stripers were boiling about 10 yards from the shore in front of me, this was the first time I had actually seen this. During this time I was only able to land 1 striper trying anchovies, lures, grubs and a variety of other things but they were only interested in the shad. After the shad escaped I landed 9 more stripers and a couple of cats before they left the area. Saturday evening was windy and didn't get much action landing only 2 stripers in 3 hours.
Sunday morning June 10th as the sun came up the stripers were back, landed 8 more in a couple of hours before departing for home. It was a great weekend and I finally saw all the things that I had read about stripers. Another outstanding weekend at Lake Powell.
Date Received: June 20, 2001 - Ed Gerdemann
On Monday Tom and I made my main channel smallmouth "milk run" starting at the top of Antelope Island and ending at the Antelope Point launch. The clear, sunny weather really brought out all the colors on the rocks. Between 5 and 11 a.m. we caught somewhere between 50 and 60 smallmouth between us. It didn't matter what we threw at them - Yamamoto single tail grubs, double tail Hula Grubs or Cut Tail worms - all caught fish. The single tail grubs caught the most fish but the Hula Grubs caught the bigger ones. We found the fish holding in 12 to 20 feet along the broken rock substrate. It was important to be fishing near a dropoff as the smallmouth seemed to be holding right along the breakline. After meeting our wives for lunch, we tried trolling for stripers but had no takers.
On Tuesday we motored into Navajo Canyon. Tom was totally enthralled with the scenery and the serenity in there. The colorful canyon walls reflecting against glass smooth water is a sight I never tire of seeing. Taking advantage of a tip Wayne gave us, we fished a shelf just above the double islands taking several decent smallmouth on Yamamoto single tails. From the surface this shelf looks like nondescript slick rock not capable of holding smallmouth, however, the depthfinder revealed an irregular bottom at 18 to 25 feet. We caught some of our better fish of the trip along this shelf. Thanks, Wayne, for the tip. I don't know if this area will hold fish when the water is higher, but it certainly is holding fish now.
We worked a number of other rockpiles and points in that area. Because the water is lower than it has been in several years, I located another shelf along what I had previous thought was a straight up and down vertical wall. We were getting smallmouth nearly every cast along that area, and often several smallmouth were following the hooked fish trying to grab the lures out of their mouths. I love that about smallmouth.
We had to get out of there around 10:30 a.m. as the wind was coming up and I couldn't hold the boat. Although we didn't catch nearly as many smallmouth as we did along the channel, our average fish was considerably bigger in both length and girth. The smallmouth in Navajo appear to be significantly heavier than comparable length fish taken along the channel. I didn't make an actual weight comparison, however, it was obvious the Navajo fish were heavier for their size. This may warrant some more study.
On Wednesday we took a day trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I mention this because if any of you haven't seen the Canyon, particularly from the north side, this is a trip you really should make. In addition to the spectacular views of the Canyon, Cape Royal is the best view on either rim, the Kaibab forest is one of the prettiest (despite the burn areas from last year) I've ever seen. We saw numerous mule deer and wild turkeys. The highlight of day was seeing three dandy bucks cross the road right in front of us. It was cold (it actually spit some snow) and windy, but the trip was worth it.
Back to fishing. On Thursday we returned to Navajo and again caught some decent smallmouth in the same areas that produced on Tuesday. We also fished an area along the channel just above Antelope Point. Again, all areas produced well with the channel producing more fish but Navajo producing bigger ones. In Navajo we caught fish from right up against the bank out to 25 feet down. Along the channel most fish we took were around 20 feet. Single tail grubs worked best in Navajo, however Hula Grubs caught the best fish along the channel. After lunch we fished the points where the channel splits off from Wahweap Bay just above the dam taking a number of fish, mostly small.
Friday morning found us back in Navajo but the fishing had slowed considerably. Our best area was a rock pile that we had not fished the day before. We took several smallmouth in the the 12 to 13-inch class along that rock pile just above the double islands. Wayne's shelf provided a couple nice fish as well as the only striper of the trip. We finished our morning by working the reefs below the mouth of Navajo were we took a number of decent fish.
As mentioned earlier, just about any soft plastic bait would work, however, our two best baits were Yamamoto single tail grubs (4 inch) and double tailed Hula Grubs (also 4 inch). We fished the single tails on a 3/16 oz. darter head jig. Our best colors were watermelon with black and red and smoke rootbeer with green and copper. We used 1/4 oz. football head jigs for the Hula Grubs. These light heads worked extremely well with the bass as shallow as they were. Watermelon with black and red was the color of choice on the Hulas.
Date Received: June 20, 2001 -Jerry Bouwens
We actually caught 34 striped bass (smallest abut 16 inches, largest about 21 inches, 5 small largemouth bass (about 9-10 inches), 6 catfish and just for the heck of it 2 carp.. Most of the fish were caught near the end of mountain sheep canyon.
Tried numerous baits but the success came with anchovies. Bass were caught mostly on artificial grub type bait. Best fishing time was 7-8 a.m and 6-8 p.m.
Date Received: June 20, 2001 Niel Stagg-Ogden, Utah
I was in Lake Powell from June 10-17. We caught a ton of stripers in Rock Creek Bay by the Island where it splits into Dry Rock Creek Canyon. We probably caught a hundred fish a day there. It was excellent. We were using anchovies at about a 20-35 foot depth. It was the best days of fishing of my life.
Date Received: July 2, 2001 - Ed Gerdemann
We hit the water at 4:30 a.m. the following morning looking for smallmouth (and anything else that would bite). Our first stop was the top of Antelope Island. On our second casts we were both hooked up with fiesty smallmouth. We spent two hours working that main point and the secondary points inside the cuts, getting hits on every third or fourth casts. In between casts we enjoyed watching the colors come alive as the morning rays hit the rocks.
We moved down the channel towards Antelope Point, hitting a number of my better spots. Every spot produced at least a few fish, some more than others. We fished a ledge that comes out on the Antelope Island side just a ways below Navajo. I hadn't fished it since last September, however, it produced several nice smallmouth, a 19-inch walleye and a catfish. We fished on down the channel, finishing up on the reefs where the main channel splits off from Wahweap Bay just above the dam. Here Jim hooked what he thought was a monster. It ripped line off his reel so fast as it headed for deep water that I had to start up the motor and follow it! Jim battled it for nearly 15 minutes until I was able to get the net under it. I couldn't believe it was only a 2 1/2 to three-pound striper! I had expected a fish of at least six to eight pounds. I never saw a fish of that size fight so hard for so long. Jim also caught a largemouth in the 2 3/4 to three-pound class.
Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday, except we didn't get a walleye. With the exception of the top of Antelope Island, we found the spots we fished on Friday not nearly as productive as the spots we hadn't visited the day before. On Saturday, I was the one who got the striper, however, mine didn't fight nearly as hard as Jim's (wasn't as big, either).
The smallmouth were mostly caught in 12 to 20 feet of water. We did catch a few deeper, however, the better ones were actually some of the shallower fish. Four-inch Yamamoto single tail grubs did most of the damage with Hula Grubs producing a few fish as well. Again, many of the fish were on the small size, however, we did get enough in the 12 to 14-inch class to keep things interesting. We saw no striper boils either day.
Date Received: July 6, 2001 - Ron Nixon-Glendale AZ
On my way back to Phoenix today from Colorado. Fishing was terrible there for those finicky mountain trout, especially for a desert bass fisherman. So, I convinced my wife and in-laws to stay an extra night in Page and fish from shore the next day. This morning came a little too early but still found some nice pea-gravel and river rock shoreline at Wahweap at the Coves. At 6:45 am, on my 3rd cast with a 4-inch alewife slug-o, I caught a 14 inch green back smallmouth. I caught 2 more in the next 20 minutes, and then they stopped chasing the slug-o. I switched to the trusty yamomoto grub and caught about 6-8 on the white and, surprisingly, watermelon colors. I then caught 3 consectutive fish on a 4 inch watermelon zoom lizard. After it died down a bit, about 10:30am, I buzzed the shoreline with a 1/8 oz yellow panther martin in-line spinner and picked up 3-5 more little smallies. My father in law, caught 2 respectable 1.5 pounders deep on his bait of choice, night crawlers. All of this just on a 100 yard stretch form shore!!!! In all a great sunday morning of fishing before having to back to work monday. I thought I might share this to help your weekly report.
Date Received: July 16, 2001 -Ed Gerdemann
We managed to get launched off Antelope Point around 3:30 p.m. We fished the main channel between Navajo Canyon and Antelope Point until dark. Smallmouth had slowed considerably from my earlier trips. John managed to catch quite a few, but mostly small, fish on a 1.5 inch tube jig on a 1/16 oz. head. He was fishing it vertically in around 20 feet of water. I found the smallmouth reluctant to hit the bigger stuff I was throwing but did manage to get some later in the evening. None of our fish topped 12 inches.
Friday morning we ran up into Navajo. We stopped at the mouth of the canyon to throw into some striper boils but got no takers. When they subsided we ran on back into Navajo looking for smallmouth and anything else that might bite. Fishing was very slow. We managed a couple of decent smallmouth off a ledge just above the twin islands as well as a few off the points below the islands. We ran up the canyon a little further but saw no boiling activity. We returned to the channel and fished the reefs just below Navajo taking several decent smallmouth there. Again, John caught many small fish on his mini-tube as well as a couple bigger ones. My best bait was a four-inch Yamamoto curly tail, however, it didn't catch nearly as many fish as John's little tube. The grub fished averaged a little larger, however. I also fished a Hula Grub and Cut Tail worm. The Hula Grub was ineffective, however, the worm did produce some bites from small fish. I think if I would have fished it more I would have caught more fish, however, the grub was getting better fish so I kept going back to it. I tried split shotting a Senko but, while getting a few hits, could not hook anything. I wish I had tried drop shotting a three-inch grub as I think that might have worked quite well. Twenty to 22 feet seemed to be the magic depth. I noticed we hooked more fish just up off the bottom than right on the bottom. I did lose a nice smallmouth that looked to be well over 16 inches that hit a grub on top of a ledge in about 10 feet of water.
Saturday was a difficult day. I think the Friday storms had an effect on the fish as we had trouble getting hits. We managed to get a few smallmouth early on the same baits as before, however, the bite was even tougher. The highlight of the morning were the striper boils we found on the channel below Navajo. We managed to get close enough to four of them to get lures into them. My personal highlight was getting a striper to hit a grub thrown on my ultralight. What a fight! I got a couple others on Wallylures. They ignored the Spit'N Image. The whole boil activity lasted only about 25 minutes and then they were gone. We kept motoring around for another 1/2 hour or so looking for boils but then the wind came up and the storm clouds started moving in quickly forcing us back to the ramp. We took the boat out and waited for the storm to pass. We were able to get back in around 11 a.m. but the fishing had slowed even more. We caught a few smallmouth but they were much deeper, 30 to even over 40 feet. Finally, as another storm moved in, we got off the lake for good.
Again, this was the slowest trip I've had since May. Still, I caught 45 smallmouth in two and a half days on the water as well as some stripers. When numbers like that constitute slow fishing, that says a lot for the quality of fishing we have here.
Date Received: August 9, 2001 - Wayne and Brian Gustaveson
Found stripers in Gunsight bay yesterday morning. Left Wahweap in a light rain at 6 AM. Entered Gunsight and saw small boils in many locations. One cast per boil usually resulted in a fish on the super spook jr. Boils splashed for 30 seconds and then fish popped back up two minutes later.
Action was found right in the middle of the bay, then as it got latter, headed toward the cove directly west of Gunsight Butte. Found more fish here feeding on shallow points with 30 feet of water in middle of bay. Stripers were scattered and many times surrounded the boat. While only a few fish were up at one time there were very willing to hit topwater. Caught 20 fish in 2 hours.
Returned today to repeat the experience and saw absolutely nothing on top. Knowing stripers were in the vicinity we dropped Wallylure shad minnows (1.5 ounce) onto the 20-30 feet bottom. Got bite immediately. Stripers wanted to feed but obviously had no shad except for our shad spoons. They hit deep, mid depth, and shallow following the lure right to the side of the boat. The shad minnow was king today. We caught 29 stripers from 10 inches to 2 pounds in 1.5 hours of nonstop action. We only repositioned the boat twice to start a new drift. The rest of the time we were over fish constantly. That was without a graph since mine is in the shop for repair.
I had previously been using the baby shad minnow feeling that the smaller lure would match the size of forage much better. But the larger shad minnow is definitely the best size and action. Surprisingly, the bigger lure settles slower than the smaller one and is incredibly effective for fish that want to boil but don't have any shad going at the moment.
Date Received: September 6, 2001 - Dan Hoogervorst
A few words from the 2 guys that tore-it-up for 6 days at lake powell. This was by far the best fishing we've ever done here. In the course of six days, we bagged well over 350 fish ! Aug. 24-29. We did 90% of our fishing @ the dam, west side. Carolina rig, #2 hook, 1oz. Bell sinker with 18 inch leader. The fish were all over the graph, mostly between 45-60 feet.
We also caught trout @ 75 feet. Everything was caught using anchovies, cut in 1/2 or 1/3. Our total bag included: striper,cats,largemouth,smallmouth, @ trout. Numbers per species varied, but the trout count was 4 . We really enjoyed ourselves, and are looking forward to our next trip ( 2-3 weeks out ). We thank you for your words of wisdom , and anticipate another awesome trip. Dan @ Bob
Date Received: September 8, 2001 - Wayne Gustaveson
Our Rally plan to cruise uplake to Gunsight and Padre was thwarted by wind so we pulled into Cottonwood Wash with 3 boats of SHAD rally anglers. Find the haystack in Cottonwood Arm of Warm Creek then go to the big cut on the left of the haystacks. Lots of beach and houseboats parked along the edge means you are in the right place. The beach is broken up by about 100 yards of rough shore line marked with broken rock. This is where the stripers are holding. On the right side of the canyon there are shallow sandy points. Near the rough rock slide on the left there is a trench that is 40-45 feet deep. Fish in the trench for best results.
The stiff breeze was blowing us along at a good clip. Spoons were effective for me but the windy conditions dictated different tactics for the less experienced anglers in the group. We marked fish and anchored in the trench. The wind was strong enough that we all occasionally dragged anchors along the bottom. The first broadcast of anchovy chum got their attention and we began to catch yearling stripers midway (20-30 feet) in the water column.
I used two rods, one with no weight and one with 2 spit shots and identical #4 circle hooks on both. I put one- third anchovy on the no weight rod and cast out leaving the bale open. Then I picked up the weighted rod and cast that out and let it sink to 25-30 feet. I held that rod and used a sweep set every time I felt a tap. While playing that fish a follower would invariably hit the weightless bait. I threw the first fish on the floor and then picked up the second rod and closed the bale. When I got that one in I rebaited both and did the whole thing over again. I was pretty busy from 7-10 am with this technique ending up with 45 fish on ice in the cooler.
Some started slowly being unfamiliar with the feel of bait fish and getting the bait at the right depth. After an hour everyone was catching fish at a good rate. Other rally boats joined us around 10 after very limited success at the dam. We had a break in the action at 10 am but then they turned on again and continued to bite all day long. When we finally met at the fish cleaning station at 4 pm we had over 200 stripers to filet.
Doc Bill and Dave were the best. Their secret was a constant chum line. Every time they put a new bait on the hook they threw a few pieces in the water. This kept fish around their boat constantly and they were rewarded for their efforts. I recommend this chumming technique every time stripers turn on to anchovies. Slow and steady chumming is the formula for success.
Date Received: September 12, 2001 - Wayne Gustaveson
Monday (9-10) we headed back to Warm Creek, Cottonwood Wash haystacks to catch some more yearling stripers. We got cocky and didn't get there until 9 AM expecting them to run to our bait when we arrived. I guess the nearly 400 stripers caught there over the weekend had some impact because we couldn't get anything going. Left without catching a fish KNOWING I have to get up early if I am serious about catching anything.
Today we did it right and hit the lake at 5:40 AM arriving in Gunsight by 6 AM. We graphed the big cove west of the notch in Gunsight Butte but saw only shad - no stripers. I see from today's fish reports that perhaps the stripers have moved to the back of the canyon and I didn't go back far enough..
Left Gunsight and tried the back of Padre Canyon near the gravel top islands. Saw a few slurps between the islands but more towards the middle of the bay. Coasted to the closest slurp and cast surface lures - nothing. Dropped the spoon and the graph lit up. We spooned up a dozen before the screen went blank. Padre Canyon looking toward mouth over gravel islands.
Looked for another slurp, cruised over to it. Caught one on topwater. Dropped the spoons and greased another dozen fish. Deepest fish were 65 and we caught them most consistently at 30-45 feet. The graph was alive with fish while we were catching them and then when it blanked out we moved again. Saw a splash near shore in the back. By the time we got to the spot the fish had moved around the point but we caught two on top water and then dropped spoons to get a bunch more.
We had an hour of real intense catching from 7- 8 AM. We headed back to filet 37 stripers. This trip can be duplicated every morning for the next two weeks by looking for splashes and graphing the back of Gunsight, Padre or Dry Rock Creek from 6-8 AM. If staying all day then switch to bait when the spoons quit working to catch fish all morning long.
Date Received: September 14, 2001 - Joan Simpson
We took our houseboat out from September 9th through the 16th. We found a nice beach in dry rock creek and camped there the entire trip. We had one day with light showers but we didn't mind as the overcast skies cooled it down enough to do some hiking. On two evenings the wind kicked up but quit within an hour or so. Overall, the weather was gorgeous! Most mornings there were other boats out in the center of the cove fishing the protruding rock pile but I didn't see much catching activity happening.
Three of our party fished everyday at all different hours and found the fish more than willing to bite. They chummed with anchovies and caught more stripers than we could eat. Most were fat and healthy although there were many that were just small. We guessed they were very young fish. Small mouth and catfish were also caught. The best place was along the canyon wall out towards the main channel. The fish were found there everyday at about 40 to 60 feet. We had so much fish that we traded enough to feed a neighboring houseboat party of 12 for a pan of lasagna.
One of the fun moments of the trip was when we went into Dangling Rope Marina. I came out of the store and the carp were begging for food. If you have never seen it, bring your camera. They would pop their heads out of the water and open their mouths, the message was pretty clear.. FEED ME! So I threw some Fritos into the water and it started a fish riot! Dozens of giant carp fought for the food while large striped bass would zoom through the wriggling bodies and even flip out of the water as they grabbed food away from the slower carp. Several catfish wiggled up on top of the seething mass and were completely out of the water. It was an unforgettable thing to see!
Date Received: September 28, 2001 - Wayne Gustaveson
Got a good report from Ray Young yesterday that stripers were hitting bait about 55-70 feet deep in Gunsight. He said they were about even with and 200 hundred yards out from the cut in the butte that separates Gunsight from Padre Canyon. That's the spot where boats can "short cut" between the two canyons when the water is higher. Right now its dry but look for the narrow crack in Gunsight Butte.
He caught over 50 fish there yesterday and I had some relatives visiting for the weekend and decided to take them there for a big time catching stripers. On the way up I changed plans and went to the back of Padre where I have fished before to see if the stripers were behaving the same in the adjacent canyon.
Found the 70 foot deep slot in between the gravel islands and dropped spoons with only one taker. A few fish slurped by only rolled one time on my jumpin minnow. So I put on bait and dropped anchovies into the slot. We chummed and then fidgeted for about 15-20 minutes with only an occasional bite. Then we started to catch a few. We chummed some more and they turned on big time. I did not have time to fish, what with taking fish off, putting baits on, and slamming the lid of the cooler briskly so the occupants didn't jump out. We took 44 in 2 hours.
They behaved exactly as Ray described. They were found at 70 feet. It took some chum and patience to get them started and then they attacked with vigor. These two spots will work for the next week. I am sure there are still fish in Dry Rock Creek as well.
These stripers were about 60 % healthy and 40 % not so good. Catching them on bait selects more of the thin fish. Please catch and keep them all, especially the skinny ones. I took them back to the fish cleaning station and made the final decision on which ones to fillet. The others I fed to the big jaws in the cleaning station. It ate them all.
Date Received: October 2, 2001 - Larry (Tahoe) Martin.
It has been some time but I just got my photos developed and wanted to send you one of us at the fish cleaning station at Wahweap. Mike (Perk), Ryan (Pitts), Grant (Grandpa), Mark (Cosmo) and I were there in late August for four days from Ely, Nevada and had great fishing success as usual. We ended up with 101 stripers, 20 smallies, 15 catfish, and 3 accidental bluegills. I'm sure we would have had even more but the afternoon storms blew us off the lake (literally) every day. The first day, we were in the Gunsite area along our favorite rock ledge and we waited just a little too long to head back to Wahweap as the "black cloud" was approaching. By the time we got to Warm Creek we were into one of the most severe thunderstorms I have ever had the displeasure of being getting wet in. By the time we got the boat loaded up and back to camp the storm had passed and it was time to go fishing again. We did pay a little closer attention to the travel speed of the clouds after that.
Date Received: October 3, 2001 - Ed Gerdemann
On this trip I was happy to share my boat with longtime Phoenix attorney Dale Marenda. I've know Dale for years and we've fished together a couple times, but this was our first Powell trip together. Hopefully it won't be our last.
We hit the lake around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, the 27th, looking for smallmouth along the main channel. The lake was very crowded due, in part I believe, to the Utah school holiday. I think the added boat traffic had an effect on the fishing. Despite that, we managed to catch about 30 fish between us until we quit at dark. All were smallmouth except for one pretty nice largemouth Dale took right at sundown at the top of Antelope Island. Dale fished primarily a mini-Carolina rig with a variety of grubs, while I used a Series 40 Yamamoto grub on a 3/16 oz. head, a four-inch Hula Grub on a 1/4 oz. football head and a Senko on a drop shot rig.
The next morning at daybreak we were cruising Warm Creek looking for striper boils. Not finding any, I did manage to graph what I believed to be a large school of stripers at 20 to 40 feet over 60 feet of water at the mouth of Crosby Canyon. We spooned and spooned and spooned and didn't get a hit. Just as Wayne surmized in his bulletin board posting, I got frustrated with it and took off after the smallmouth. We again caught about 30 between us fishing the same channel pattern as the evening before, however, we hit a number of different spots than in the previous evening. On Saturday we left the ramp even earlier and headed for Navajo Canyon. Navajo was absolutely beautiful with nice smooth water and solitude (at least for a few hours). It was a typical Navajo smallmouth experience, not as many fish as on the channel but a larger average size. Like earlier this summer, the Navajo fish seemed to have more girth for their length than their channel bretheren - fought harder, too. In addition to the smallmouth, I managed to get a walleye which made a nice addition to our dinner fare that evening. The difficult part of this trip, besides the striper fishing, was getting a clear pattern established on the smallmouth. What worked on one reef or rockslide was totally ineffective on another. On one spot they wanted the Series 40 grub, on another spot the Senko on the drop shot rig while the Hula Grub was best in a couple of places. In some places only a vertical presentation would work while others required casting. Depth ranges varied as well, from as little as eight feet to well over 40. Most fish were in the 30-35 foot range. In addition to the boat traffic, I think the fish might be in transition from summer to fall patterns which may have accounted for the varying patterns.
I will be up again next week and hopefully will figure out the stripers then.
Date Received: October 3, 2001 - Wayne Gustaveson
Returned to Padre Canyon to duplicate the big striper catch that happened last week. Graphed the 70 foot trench and marked only a few fish. Anchored, chummed and waited. After about 10 minutes the graph screen went black and indicated bottom depth was 20 feet instead of 70. Baits were reeled up from the bottom to 20 feet. We found a huge school of 8-14 inch stripers under the boat. They were quick at robbing baits but we started to stick them by downsizing the bait to a half inch chunk. We dropped the bait until it disappeared (15 feet) from view and then jerked at the first touch. Bites were fast and furious, catching was moderate.
The bottom reappeared on the graph back at 70 feet right where we had left it. Fish were scattered from top to bottom but most were graphed at 30-60. The bait was then dropped back to the bottom and we started to catch 18-22 inch fish that weighed two pounds. The cooler was almost full and our time was up. We returned to find 33 stripers in the cooler. Almost 30 of them were the small fat fish that are my favorites when planning dinner.
Date Received: October 4, 2001 - Ray Young - Lake Powell Charter
Striper fishing is excellent near Wahweap. The past three days we have taken fish in Warm Creek near the mouth of Crosby Canyon and in Gunsight near the short cut to Padre bay. The secret is to anchor and chum where fish are marked on the graph. We use a half ounce weight, with 1/3 anchovy Carolina rigged on fluorocarbon 8 pound test leader with a circle hook. One angler caught 50, 74 and 47 two-pound stripers on three consecutive days.
Date Received: October 8, 2001 -Chris Michels
We fished Padre Canyon were Wayne suggested on September 30 to October 2. We found the 70ft deep spot Wayne talked about but we did better just a few feet west of that closer to the little rock island where the depth was 30-50 ft. We caught 10 stripers Sunday evening, 32 Monday morning, 33 Monday evening and 39 Tuesday morning. We also caught 7 small mouth and 6 catfish on anchovies in that spot. Fishing was very good morning and evening but would hit in spurts all day long. The fish would change what they wanted fairly often. We fished anchovies on 1/4 or 3/8 ounce jig heads and sometimes they would hit it right away on the way down. Sometimes they would hit it on the way down only after stopping the bait. Other times jigging it a few inches of the bottom worked best and sometimes they would hit it only on the way back up. We found that if they stopped hitting one way we would just try other presentations and depths and almost always they would start hitting again
We tried jigging spoons with no success. We also tried Warm Creek at Crosby Canyon on Sunday but couldn't find any fish willing to bite.
We had a lot of fun. Thanks for the advice Wayne.
Date Received: October 19, 2001 - Ed Gerdemann
The way I judge a successful fishing trip is not as much by the number of fish caught but by what I learned in the process. Based on that standard, this past trip to Powell was one of my best. I learned three basic lessons - catching smallmouth under adverse conditions; identifying catchable stripers on a graph and catching them; and drift fishing for trout at Lees Ferry. Joining me on this adventure was my longtime fishing buddy John Conrad of Prescott. Although John and I have been fishing together since the late 1970s and have had many great experiences together, we both agreed this was one of our best.
Our first day out was Tuesday, Oct. 12. Our plan was to concentrate on smallmouth along the main channel - my most consistant pattern over the past three years. Although the day began with calm, overcast conditions, by 10:15 a.m. the wind was blowing whitecaps down the channel making it virtually impossible to fish my regular spots. We did catch a few fish early in 30 to 35 feet of water before the wind came up, mostly on dropshot Senkos and Yamamoto Series 40 grubs fished on standard jig heads, however when the wind made fishing the channel impossible, we motored through the narrows entering Wahweap just above the dam. The Lakeshore Drive side of the lake was the lee side, however, it was still very windy with strong gusts blowing towards Wahweap Marina. Rather than quit for the day, we decided to let the wind push us along the bank while we tried to fish as best we could. The results were a little surprising. We caught good numbers of decent fish which seemed to have moved up into shallower water with the wind, ofen as shallow as 10 to 15 feet. Casting and drifting grubs along windswept points proved very effective. I think spinnerbaits and crankbaits would have worked well, too, however we were having such good success on the grubs that we didn't want to try anything else. We caught fish along bank areas that I normally never would fish. One particular place, a shallow mud bank with just a little chunk rock, proved dynamite producing a strike nearly every cast. After drifing past it, I fired up the big motor and went back and repeated the drift. We did this three times before the bite stopped there. Our total for the day was 35 smallmouth plus one nice channel cat - not bad considering the conditions.
Wednesday was a very special day as we got striper lessons from Powell's striper master - Wayne. Watching Wayne fish is incredible. Although he takes his time graphing until he finds the school he wants to fish, once he begins fishing there is no wasted motion. He is a cold, efficient striper killer. He doesn't bother to unhook a fish once he's landed it. He simply grabs another rod, and then another and another. Only when he runs out of rigs due to all of them being attached to stripers flopping on the deck does he stop to unhook his fish and put them in the cooler.
Wayne found the school he was looking for in the back of Gunsite. We immediately dropped spoons and were soon hooked up. As Wayne described in a bulletin board post, I managed to deposit seven stripers on the deck before the spoon bite quit. We then fished anchovies. The bite was very light and detecting a strike was difficult for John and I. Wayne didn't have much trouble, however, hooking one striper after another. I finally got the hang of it and brought a few fish into the boat myself. Our toal for the morning was 35 fish. Although Wayne caught more than John and I combined, we felt we had a very successful outing. Again, it was what we learned. I am now confident I can locate and catch these creatures - not as well as Wayne - but certainly well enough to save some shad. I plan to spend more time striper hunting in the future. It's a kick, particularly with the spoons. We fished over 60 feet of water with the stripers suspending generally between 20 and 40 feet.
On Thursday we took a day trip to Lees Ferry. John has fished the Ferry for years, however, we never had fished it together. I had made one other trip there, back in 1978, so this was essentially a new experience for me. I was nervous about running my boat on the river for the firs time, however John's knowledge of the river is extensive and he was of great help. He could tell me where each sandbar was before it came into view around the bend and where to steer to avoid them. He showed me how to read the water for dangerous rocks and other hazards.
We motored up to Nine-Mile Rapids and drift fished casting 1/4 oz. copper-colored Z-Rays with orange-red spots. John believes this is the best lure-color combo for spin fishermen at the Ferry. It's been his favorite for years, and I can attest to its effectiveness. We took 42 trout between us, mainly drifting over and over again through Nine-Mile. We did take a few by drifting through Four-Mile Rapids on our way back. Although the fishing was fun, the beauty of the river really grabbed me. Like Lake Powell itself, Lees Ferry is one of those special places. I hope to get down there at least once or twice a year from here on.
The only problem with Lees Ferry is the condition of trout. Many were skinny. The problem seems to be too many fish for the forage. The Arizona Game & Fish Department needs to seriously consider increasing the limit to bring the trout-forage situation into balance. I believe Wayne's assessment of the Lees Ferry fishery as expressed on the board earlier this year is correct.
Friday was our last day. We started out in Warm Creek in the Haystacks area graphing for stripers. We found a large school in the back of a canyon just above there, however, we only took spoons and couldn't get a hit. I think we might have caught a few had we brought anchovies. It was cold, however, with a northeast wind - difficult fishing conditions. As the wind came up more we decided it would be a good idea to get on the other side of Wahweap and look for some smallmouth. The direction of the wind was just the opposite from Tuesday, and it was much stronger. We were drifting in three-footers down the Lakeshore Drive shoreline. The only bit of shelter we could find was just below the Marina a ways, and it was still pretty rough there. Still, we managed another decent smallmouth catch mostly by dragging drop shot rigs across windswept points and reefs. I used a Senko while John fished a Series 30 grub. Again, the fish were up shallow in the wind. Fishing under mudlines created by the wave action proved very fruitful. About 12:30 p.m. the wind died down, but the fishing did as well. We tried to spoon some stripers down by the dam, with no success, and then managed to pick up a few more smallmouth before calling it a day. We totaled 40 smallmouth between us on a day when most people would have stayed at home.
I believe I returned to Phoenix a better fisherman. As mentioned above, I'm going to put more effort into striper fishing from here out, and that means bringing anchovies out more often and not running to the smallmouth if I don't get bit immediately. Thanks again to Wayne for taking the time to show us how to do it.
Date Received: October 19, 2001 -Papa Jack
Here is a more detailed report of our trip on the lake from October 5th through the 16th when we came off.
Five of us arrived at the State Line camp ground the afternoon of October 4th after a 545 mile drive from So. CA and proceeded to load up the boats with all the necessary gear for camping out. I was a little concerned if the old bass boat and the 150 Johnson was going to get up on a plane the next morning.
We took off Friday 10/5 at 7 AM and headed up for the very back of Friendship Cove to setup camp. The old boat got up after a full throttle and never stopped till we got there.
We fished right around Friendship Cove late that afternoon and everyone managed to pick up a few SMB, but nothing of size. On Saturday we headed for West Canyon and fished the outside reefs with results of small fish only. We only went back into West about half way and things didn't get any better. In the afternoon we fished the outside rock piles of Friendship Cove and began to pickup SMB from 9-12" in about 20' of water. The water temp was 75-76 and clear to 20 plus feet.
We went to Wetherill Canyon on Sunday, with one boat stopping at the three large rock out cropping just as you enter it on the left side. I went about a mile inside to work some ledges that have always been productive, but they didn't prove to be this time. After spending about an hour and a half we joined the boat at the rock piles and they had their limit of SMB when we got to them. We took a few fish from them and put them in our live well so they could continue to fish. We also began to pickup some keeper bass in the 9-11" size. We then headed up lake about a quarter of a mile and fished some rock ledges and continued to pick up SMB of the same size along with a Striper about 18" and healthy. We crossed over the lake to the West side just above Corner Stone Canyon and worked the outside rock pile with the same success. With everyone having a limit of SMB it was time to head for camp early afternoon and a fish dinner.
I believe it was on Monday when we had some strong winds so it pretty much put a halt to fishing too far from camp, but again the SMB seemed to be in Friendship on the ledges in 20 plus feet of water and on the rock piles. The better fishing was always near the outside of Friendship cove on the South West side where the rock piles were.
We went back to West Canyon on Tuesday and went all the way back to the Arizona line and started to work our way out. About half way out and working the side canyons and coves with 40' of water around and again with ledges and rock piles being the best areas to fish. I picked up a 18" Walleye on a grub in one side cove along with a number of SMB in the 10-13" size. We all caught our limit before getting to the outside of West and again headed for home.
On Wednesday we headed back to Wetherhill Canyon and the three big rock piles on the left side and began to pickup SMB in the 11-13" size. After an hour or so of fishing there we took off for Mountain Sheep and went back about 1/4 mile on the right before it narrows and fished the ledges and a sunken island and did very well again. We went into Little Arch and picked up a couple of fish, but not like it usually produces. After gassing up at Dangling Rope with 24 gallons of fuel for $64.45 and picking up some ice, it was back to camp again.
When we cleaned the fish in the early afternoon, we would drop the carcases in a deep cut off the campsite and did a little Catfishing a couple of nights. One of the guys picked up 6 nice cats on anchovies over a couple of nights.
After Fish-N-Egg sandwiches Thursday morning, it was off to the top of Rock Creek Canyon. We worked a few of the side canyons without much catching, so we started to work the outside drop offs. We only picked up a few small SMB and decided that we would head back towards the outside main channel of Friendship Cove, where we had the boat in 40' of water and casting to within 10 feet of the rocky shoreline and would pickup the SMB at about 25-30 feet.
Friday was a sit on the beach day with the winds in the 30-40 MPH range. Just ate more fish and had a relaxing day.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday were a repeat of the above with our best success coming on outside ledges and rock piles or just slightly inside of any cove in the area. We did go back into Middle Rock Creek and work our way out with the same results on the same structure.
The most successful lures in order were: 194, 194J, 186 and 156 all in the 4 1/2" single tail grub on either a 1/4 oz. or 3/8 oz. 3/0 jig head. I did try the Senkos for awhile, but just didn't take the time to stick with them when I wasn't landing fish and my partner was on grubs. Monkey see, monkey do!!!
The water was 75 + degrees when we arrived and 70 + when we left on the 16th. The fish seemed to be right up on the ledges in 3-5' of water in the early morning and down from 20-30' after 9:30 in the morning.
In all we caught 75 or 76 SMB which we keep, ate and took home a limit each and another 50 SMB anywhere from 3" to 6" which we turned back without measuring. We also had 2 Walleye, 3 Bluegill, 3 Striper and 6 Catfish, all caught on grubs except for the catfish which were caught on anchovies. Oh yes, on that windy day, we baited up a couple of rods with bread balls and had a carp fishing contest from shore to pass the time.
I will dig out of the boat in the garage, my Report Your Catch chart and go in an post the fish we measured and kept.
Date Received: October 23, 2001 -Keith Reber
We had a tremendous weekend of fishing in Warm Creek this last weekend. Friday morning we filled an ice chest with 44 stripers. Later in the afternoon fished from 3-6 pm and picked up a truck load of fish (148). Fished the back of Warm Creek with anchovies across from Crosby Canyon at a depth of 52 feet. The weather and fishing could not have been better. Thanks Wayne for all your help.
Date Received: October 29, 2001 -Bryan and Jill Kelley
The Kelley Family headed up to Lake Powell on Friday 10-26 hit water at 3:00 PM or so and headed to Warm Creek, the HotSpot. We boated four Nice Stripers left at 5:00. The Ice trick really makes them taste better. Also eating at lake was nice change. Freshness makes the difference.
We did run into Cap'n Chuck and Ed Gerdemann. They had been smallie fishing in Gunsite and were cruising look for us. We decided that we would motor up to Gunsite on Saturday morning together.
We left Sate line at 8:30 or so and headed to Gunsite. I wanted to try the Pass-thru that you have been reporting was good place to start. Well we arrived, graphed a 60' hole in the 30 foot area straight out from that pass thru. Chumming started them and we soon had all four poles in our boat going. Then Ed and Chuck joined in and we spent all day there.
It did slow down a little for lunch then we found them again and turned another two guys on to the spot. We used the light leader and 12" to 6" C-rig with 3/16 bullet weight and #4 Yammie Circle hooks. We boated 82 Stripers, 4 Kitty Cats.
Sunday we decided to take a Navajo Canyon trip up to the end. We were headed out when we decided to try smallie fishing the Broken rock pattern. It worked well 4 miles past middle islands on the right, heading up stream. There is a small cove that has some rock showing but huge slides under water 15-70'. We boated 5 and them noticed it was time to leave. 4" Yam grubs in watermelon w/red flake. Maria even caught her first smallie all by herself.
Thanks again for sharing all you do to all of us. There is no fishery like Lake Powell
Date Received:November 12, 2001 - Chris Michels
A friend and I fished the back of Padre Canyon on November 10th and 11th. We fished by the gravel points in the back where the water was 70 ft deep.
Saturday the fish were very cooperative and we caught 68 stripers and 1 catfish between 12:30 and 4:30. Anchovies on a jig head right off the bottom were what the fish wanted. We just dropped them to the bottom and as soon as we would lift the bait off the bottom we would get hit. The fish were active the whole time and gave us a great day.
Sunday was much slower. The fish were still caught off the bottom jigging anchovies but they were biting very lightly. We had to work for the 12 stripers and one catfish we caught in 3 hours.
On both days chumming would bring or keep the fish at the boat, but they never really came off the bottom. We only got a few hits up higher. The lake is nice and quiet right now if you don't mind or avoid the colder mornings.
Date Received:November 14, 2001 - M Hendrick
Fished in a party of 3 on November 10 and 11 out of Wahweap. Launched on the 10th at first light and headed to Gunsight, marked some schools in 40 ?70' of water, mostly near the bottom. Chummed them real good and jigged/waited for about an hour, chummed some more after moving down about 300 yards trying to stay on a good school. No luck, so we headed to Warm Creek.
Marked some good schools near the creek channel on the east side near Crosby. After 10 or 12 'chovies went for chum, it only took about 20 minutes to get them started. Caught 69 in the next two hours, after 20 minutes of watching a couple boats came over and asked what we were using. Having been in their position more times than I can remember, I know how frustrating it can be to be sitting 200' from a boat catching them by the dozens while your getting skunked. We told them to sit in about 45' of water just off the river channel and sacrifice ˝ bag for chum and get the spoons working. They tried and never got into fish. We tried to repeat the pattern on the 11th and managed 54 stripers in about six hours fishing.
We weren't able to get the schools on the East side feeding again, so after an hour we moved to deeper water near the East side of Warm Creek. The pattern of chumming and jigging over 55' of water proved to be the best. We even got a few dropping a Yamamoto spinnerbait with white blades to the bottom and reeling it up 3' and then letting it drop again. Bite was really slow after about 1:00 PM. We mostly fish for SMB and LMB during the year, so this was a fun change of pace. Those stipers can be tough to figure out, but the reward for patience is hard fighting fish as fast as you can catch them. (P.S.Filleted enough for the freezer and recycled the runts.)
BTW, weather was PERFECT..... about 70 degrees with very little wind, sitting in the office in Salt Lake is hard today!