Date Received:April 3, 2003 - Don Bonser Montrose, Colo.
Went to Hall's on Friday, the 28th. Didn't fish Friday, the wind was too high. Wind was down Sat. morning, and the lake was beautiful. Ran up to Red Canyon, caught one striper. We moved over to Good Hope Bay, and got one more. That was it for Sat. Sunday morning, went to Iceberg. and, nothing. Then ran to Escalente and up to the river and got one. Fish were so thick on the graph, you could walk on them. Ran out of gas going back to Hall's. Got within sight of the ramp and a nice gentleman towed us in. Monday, went to Red Canyon, nothing. Then up to Hite and what a mess. River was solid mud. Fished in front of White Canyon, and got one nice 5 lb. Wall-eye. Then down to Red Canyon again. We got 5 nice fat stripers. They were sitting over a bar and hit an orange Rapalla. every time we went over. Not great, but a lot of fun. And, by the way, there was a float plane, and he kept landing and taking off in front of us all the way back to Hall's.
Date Received:April 15, 2003 - Rodney Hurst
I spent four days at Powell fishing the federation quailfier. I landed 22 fish during those four days. 1 striper, 1 catfish, 1 largemouth, and 19 smallmouth. 17 of which were over 13 inches. The smallmouth in the back portion of Bullfrog by far had the thickest girth. Some of them looked like little footballs. I assume since I observed so much shad activity it probably contributed to their size. However the only fish that was spit up in the livewell was a 2 inch catfish. I didn't take the time to weigh each fish, but, I only caught 2 fish smaller than 13 inches and even they were fat.
The other smallmouth I saw at the weigh in were very thin. I spoke with an angler who fished the San Juan and caught five largemouth. His five largemouth weighed one ounce more than my five smallmouth [pretty sad]. The largemouth I saw don't look like they are in very good shape [big head w/narrow bodies]. I don't know if this information will help with your study but I thought I would let you know.
Date Received:April 15, 2003 - Rob, Karen, Brayden & Madison Solomon - Herriman, UT
Here is the report for our trip to Bullfrog April 9-14.
Camped at Stanton Canyon (details on BB). Started out trolling around Stanton Wed. afternoon with no luck. Marked a few in Stanton but no bites. Threw a few jigs and grubs for black bass, no luck. Did mark a large school in a little bay just around the corner upstream from Stanton on the left hand side. couldn't get them to bite. I suspect if I would have tried later in the day it may have been a different story (see Saturday details). Shad Rallyers make sure you check it out!! Tried jigging them with Wallylures, no luck.
Thursday we headed to Hansen Creek, Forgotten & Smith Fork. Went to the back of all, checking for Stripers. Didn't mark any in numbers. Temperatures in the back of the canyons was around 60 in the greenish shallow water. Didn't mark any shad schools. Saw lots of Bass fishermen from the tournament. Did some trolling in these canyons with no luck.
Friday we headed down to Lake Canyon. Stopped by Lost Eden to look at the "cave" as the kids call them (pics on BB). Worked the turquoise shelves along the channel for black bass and picked up a couple on root beer tube jigs. Once in the back of Lake Canyon I picked up a nice Crappie (12-13") while waiting for the kids to play. Trolled out, but didn't mark or pick up any Stripers.
Saturday was the day! I usually check Bullfrog Bay first when fishing, but for some reason this time it took me until Saturday. What a mistake. We headed straight to the very back of Bullfrog Bay to take some pictures of Bullfrog North and South camping areas (details on BB). We trolled back out towards the marina. Water depth was gradually increasing until we hit 30'. The depth went from 30' to 50' in a matter of yards and the fish finder went black with Stripers. At this time it was about 12:30. I threw out a marker and we started working the school with silver Rapalas to no avail. Very frustrating. At about 2:00 we switched to some silver and green Rattletraps and they started hitting. I don't think it was the actual pattern change, but more the time and temperature factor. We were catching at a rate of about one every 10 minutes. Catch rate could have been much faster, but you all know how busy it gets trying to steer the boat, reel in lines, remove hooks, keep kids happy etc. After 10 (of which the wife caught 9) I looked at a live well full of very healthy fat Stripers and decided that was enough of a filleting job for one night. We headed to camp very happy. There was one other boat working the school with similar results. Items to note were: We were letting a lot of line out to get the lures down as deep as possible. The wife's better catch rate could have been related to distance she was letting out which was much farther than me. I did admit she just plain outfished me. Another thing to note was the fact that I did not catch any until I removed the swivel from my line and tied directly to the lure. We were scheduled to come back Sunday but the previous days events convinced me to stay another day. We started working the area around 11:00 and had no luck for an hour or so. This is what leads me to believe that the water temp triggers them to feed. We had to head back to load the boat and get ready for a Monday departure. I did meet a nice gentlemen from Green River, Wyoming that said he traveled 700 miles and hadn't caught a fish in three days. I gave him our Rattletraps (which he insisted on paying for), directions and GPS coordinates to the Stripers and wished him luck. I will call him this week and see if he found the school. It felt like we pretty much had the lake to ourselves most of the time. Great trip!!
Note: Thanks to Wayne the Stripers are nice and big and healthy. Like Wayne says, get ready they will give you a workout. Our Stripers were all between 3 and 5 pounds.
Location of Stripers: 2.5 miles up Bullfrog bay going around buoy field. 50' of water toward the West center of the bay. Coordinates: UTM 12S 0520809 : 4154673. Elevation 3638'.
Date Received:April 16, 2003 - Matt Madsen
April 10 - 13, 2003
Thursday, April 10.
Arrived at the lake about 1:00 PM, launched at Hite and spent some time around the marina. Water temp was between 59 and 63 degrees. Ran to 4 Mile and fished our way back to the marina, recovered by 6:00 PM. Found fish in the back of 4 Mile, 2 Mile, and Trachyte. Spinner baits, Tubes, and Worms produced. Did not catch anything big, mostly 8-10 inches, some green fish, mostly SMB.
Friday, April 11
Prefished with partner who took me on a boat ride to the back of the San Juan, and I do mean the BACK. ( like 18" of very muddy water.) Water temp ranged anywhere between 56 - 63 degrees. Partner was throwing a jig/craw combo. Again, most of the fish were 8-10 inchers, with a few "keepers" ( 12+ ). 5 walleye and one striper were also taken. Witnessed a major rock fall on the main channel, just north of the Rincon on the way home.
Saturday, April 12
Day 1 of the Tournament. Fishing as a no boater, my partner for the day took me south. He was fishing in timber in the back of a major canyon about 20 minutes south of Bullfrog. Again, no big fish, lots of small ( 8-10 inchers). It was a strong reaction bite, using a spinner bait with a grub as a follow up. Water temp was cooler than what I had fished the two previous days, highest was only 57 degrees. At about noon, we ran north towards Bullfrog, stopping to fish several other spots on the way up, with little success. Ran into Halls where we spent some time in the cuts on the West and two other spots on the East side. Located a small school of SMB that were staging, again, no big fish. At the weigh in, there were lots of 5 fish limits, but most were very small. Some limits barely went over 4 lbs.
Sunday, April 13
Day 2. Partner took me north, starting in the back of White. Same old story, reaction bite, no size, nothing consistant. Covered water from White, to Hite Marina, to Trachyte, to 2 & 4 Mile, to the Horn, 7 Mile, to Stanton Creek. Met another boat in Stanton Creek that had arrived about an hour before us, who reported that they had been beating up on the fish. Again a good reaction bite, spinner baits, jerk baits, even some topwater. At weigh in the results were similar to Saturday, small limits, but there were several that had gotten into bigger fish.
Overall the result of the event was the smaller males were up, staging for the spawn. Water temps were in the high 50's to low 60's, depending on wind direction, amount of sun, color of the water. Some bigger fish were taken, but not that many. You had to catch 15-20 smaller fish for every keeper. We were several days prior to the full moon, so the bigger females were not up in great numbers. Shad were everywhere, with nothing chasing them. We graphed shad everywhere we went all 4 days. Large balls were found in 15-25 feet deep, but no bigger fish around.
For the full results of the Tournament, go to the Utah BASS Federation Web site ( utahbassfed.org )
Date Received:April 21, 2003 - Don Archer
Went to Bullfrog the 16th. Trolled just West of Stanton Creek in the early AM two mornings. Took stripers fairly steadily trolling the old standby Little Macs 3.5 mph. Water temperature on my uncalibrated sonar was 57-58 degrees F. Went up to the head of Bullfrog bay Friday afternoon for a couple of hours. Lots of targets on the screen which I interpreted as fish but never got a bite.
Date Received:April 28, 2003 - Chet Garling and Gary Foell
Chet Garling and Gary Foell fished Bullfrog Bay April 25th,26th 27th. Weather was mid 70's with a 10-20 mph steady wind out of SW. Water temp around 60. Total for 3 days 41 stripers.
Day one , noon-4, 5-7 ,10 stripers in 30' of water, Day two 8-noon, 3-7, 25 stripers in 30-40' of water, last morning 9-noon, 15 stripers in 30-40' of water.
We began trolling at the first large rock formation in the back of Bullfrog past the buoy fields and continued back until about 25' of water. We trolled wallydivers (6-10'divers) they trolled at 14', in blue and chrome, black and silver, and a purple with white. We trolled noticeably faster than most others probably 4-5 mph, just slow enough to keep the lures down any faster and they would pop up. We also had a lot of line out, 150'? We noticed on the last day that boat traffic pushed the stripers around and verified that by running back once just west of where we were trolling and saw many more fish on our next run.
Comments on the SHAD rally to be posted on the bullentin board. Powerboaters please when you see fisherman please slow down, we had a wakeboarder actually jump our fish marker while we were next to it!!!!
Date Received:May 3, 2003 - Ron Snipes
My friends (8-10 of us) and I have made an annual trip to Lake Powell for 22 years. Most years we always went the last week of April when the rental rate used to be lower. (This year: 26 April to 2 May) Over the years we have had very good fishing to very poor. The past 3-4 years have been just so-so, because of cooler weather. We always catch a little of everything and sometimes catch boils of strippers that have filled the back of the houseboat. After we get the houseboat in Wahweap, we head for Llewellyn and Cottonwood canyons. We and have caught a bit of everything from walleye to bluegill in these canyons.
Some of our most enjoyable fishing adventures has been in Iceberg canyon behind the natural dam. Funny that you have to hike to get to such a productive lake when there are so many miles of lake to fish from the boat. However, it is worth it. Last year we caught fish all day long on bobbers and worms. Lots of Crappie, bluegill, catfish, walleye, stripers and even largemouth... on bobbers and worms. It all started when one of the guys got tired of loosing lures on the brush and trees so he went to this method. He started to catch everything in the lake, so naturally, we all jumped to this method. There is not much shore line to fish from and the first time we went there (about 4 years ago) the water was up and weeds and trees made it difficult to fish from shore. That year, one guys used a float tube and he caught crappie one after the other. Last year, just as it got dark and we were about to leave, I caught an 18 pound catfish.
This year, we spent two days up there and with the water level so low, it was quite a hike over the natural dam. We were surprised to see that the water level at the little lake had not dropped that much. We actually expected it to be gone. Trees that were 20-30' high and were under water on the lake side last year were fully above water level. (Found a few fishing poles up in the trees too.) Although fishing was much slower than previous years, we still caught more there than in the rest of the lake. Mostly crappie, one large mouth bass, some bluegill and several 10-14" cats. No smallmouth however. Only bad part up there this year was the very cold wind that blew across the lake directly at us. It was hot on the other side so we did not lug heavy coats over the hill and most of us were in shorts. It was cold last year, but not as cold.
On the last day we stayed in Gunsight as far back as you could get. Stripers started to come in, but did not last long. As usual, it was a super trip even with the water level at the lowest we've ever seen.
Date Received:April 28, 2003 - Carmel Dwight
We were at Lake Powell last week. 4/16/03 -4/21/03.
The weather was fine a little cooler than previous years. Very little fish to be caught really. I did catch a few Crappie one 2/12 lb on little water dogs at Zahn, and quite a few small Smallmouth Bass.
Very enjoyable trip.
Date Received:April 29, 2003 - Gary Foell
Just wanted to let you know I caught striper at 6 inches - to 4 pounds. That smallest fish was as big as my wallydiver. Several males were releasing milt and females had greenish white eggs. I told Chet several times on Friday that we should pull the boat and go to Hite-Sure glad we stayed in Bullfrog. The first fish caught on Friday was after 1:00 pm-it didn't look very promising but it sure did change. Saturday it was very obvious that the lures needed to be as far away from the boat as possible. I have a deep spool on the old Mitchell 300 and was running out line till I could see the last few wraps-left enough on the spool to stop the boat and start reeling-we had a few very close calls of being spooled by the monster stripers before the boat stopped. Had a blast!!!! Good luck at the South Rally
Date Received: May 5, 2003 - Jason B
I spent the evening of the first and the day of the second at Bullfrog bay. The evening was not so hot. The next morning and day were much better we hooked up with alot of smallmouth and some crappie. It was my first fishing trip to lake Powell, and I would like to thank all the people that write in and give up their secrets. I went through a lot of grubs, tubes, and swimbodies in my box. The Strike King 7.5 ribbon tail worms in black neon on a texas rig was the ticket for me. Once I tried this the action was fast, a couple of times I caught one after another in the same crack in the cliff. I fished mostly in the back of Bullfrog Bay in the side bays were the water was calm and sheltered.
Date Received: May 19, 2003 - Marty Peterson
Fished Bullfrog Bay Tuesday afternoon 5/13. Got on the water around 4pm. Around 4:30 another boat pulled up to us and asked how the fishing was. After we told him "just started", they stated that the afternoon before they picked up a few Stripers trolling an anchovy. They had caught nothing yet Tuesday. Moments later they caught their first of the day and then went on to catch a few more throughout the evening. They were fishing a 3 ounce weight several feet in front of the anchovy and going as slow as the kicker (small gas trolling motor) would allow. In around 45 to 50 feet deep. We caught only one all evening. Trolling an anchovy. But, we night fished. Set up in around 40 feet of water. The clouds masked the moon. Had a light in the water and one out. Water was fairly clear. Attracted lots of shad. Caught 20 Stripers between 3 of us 10pm to 11:30 when the fish stopped biting. One 12 inch, one 13 inch, rest around 17-18 inches and 2 lbs. None with eggs.
Wednesday 5/14 started at Moki Wall area. Caught one Striper about 2 lbs. on an anchovy. Decided to go back and troll. Suddenly saw a small boil just off the bay in a cove. This was around maybe 10 am. Small boils continued till just after noon. We would spot the fish, move closer, throw out any lure and catch 2 or 3. Topwater, crank, spoon all worked. 20 more Stripers later we went and did some filleting, lunch and nap. These fish were every one between 3 and 4 lbs. 20 to 22 inches. Many had eggs. These fish all fought very well, some we missed because of breaking lures or line. Went back late afternoon to the same cove. More short boils right near the shore this time. Picked up 5 more Stripers and this time 6 Smallmouth on the crankbait. Largest Smallmouth though around 2 lbs. The boils stopped by 7pm or so. So we set up for more night fishing. Clouds were much more dense than the night before. We thought so much the better. Nothing. Not a bite and fished much harder.
Thursday 5/15, there was rain from the storm that rolled in during the night. We still left early and fished the cove area hoping for boils. None. A few Smallmouth on the crankbait. Trolled anchovies later. Caught one Striper around 3.5 lbs. Later we found that the eggs in this Striper were much more developed than from the ones the day before. Night fished again under clear cooler skies and a full Lunar eclipse. The water was much less clear, we think from the rain and winds. Hardly any shad came in this time. And when they did come in they did not stay and circle the light. A few large smallmouth came in but none did more than chase our baits.
Friday morning 5/16, we spent trolling in Bullfrog Bay. We had been told that the fishing was very good using the 3 ounce method on Thursday afternoon including a reported 8 pounder. Fishing in 40-50 foot deep water. So we tried it but boated no fish. Did have a few hit but fight well enough to get away. Tried to avoid traffic on ramp by getting off Lake around 10:00 am. Mistake. Waited in line about 30 minutes. Would have been longer but the Park service had a Ranger directing the ramp traffic fortunately. By 11 am. though there was no longer a wait to launch or retrieve even with houseboats going in and one rig stalled at an angle across the bottom of the ramp.
A summary: fast trolling didn't work for us regardless of lure. Jigs did not work at all though crankbaits did. Night fishing only worked one out of three nights. But it sure was fun when it did. Stubborn Stripers could be trolled up with an anchovy trolled deep at slower speed. Boiling Stripers would take anything but topwater is most exciting for me. I like to watch the hits and misses. But when there is a strike near the boat watch out! Not much room for errors when the fish are this healthy. Also in talking to others fishing the area it became apparent that casual fishing or an inability to adapt to changing conditions produced few or no fish. If we had been too focused on a single place or method our success may have been different. The storm seemed to effect the fishing, at least the ways we tried.
Date Received: May 23, 2003 - Tom Brown
Three of us fished on May 18th, 19th and 20th. We launched at Halls Xing, had a houseboat and our bass boat. We camped in Moki. The weather was cool with overcast on Sun. The water was 66 in the morning and got up to about 68 by noon. We ran up to Good Hope and began using 4" grubs and crankbaits along the rocky points and in coves. Fishing was slow, catching a few smallies here and there. We were pleasantly surprised to pick up some Walleye and then some stripers about 11:00 am in shallow points. Chartruse Shad Raps with white bellys were producing the best. We ended up with about six stripers and four Walleyes at 1:00 p.m. when the wind came up and the fish quit.
Monday we were at Good Hope by 8:00. Nobody was around and the Bay was glassy. Water had picked up a couple of degrees. We were in a cove when the shad started boiling out of the water along the rocks ahead of us. We had a fire drill for about 20 minutes cranking in the Stripers. We ended up with the eight that are in the photo. The largest was about 5 lbs. All were fat, females had eggs.
Back at Moki about 2:00 pm, there were shad cruising the shoreline and under the houseboat. We caught some catfish and a 2.5 lb smallie on anchovies slung off of the deck from the houseboat that evening.
The day we had to leave, there were shad jumping for their lives in the cove where we camped. I cruised over with the trolling motor and caught four nice Stripers and three smallies on a blue back and orange bellied rapala jerk bait (I ruined one Shad Rap with the pliers during the "fire drill" and broke the only other one I had trying to lift a Stiper into the boat cause I kept getting the hooks caught in the net and thought I would speed things up) before we had to leave for home. The shad schools were huge, the shad were about 2.5" long. It seems like about any cove in the morning will have some Striper activity between daylight and until the sun hits the shoreline. Walleyes were hit and miss, usually caught where there was a small sandy beach between small rock slides along the shore. The shad didn't seem to be doing much in the evenings compared to the am--so get up early, get ready, fish like hell in the coves between daylight and 9:00 am, then fish the walls in the evening for smallies and largemouth.
Date Received:June 6, 2003 - Dennis from Junction
Went to Bullfrog June 1 to June 5th. Camped at Stanton Creek. Launched Sunday 7:30AM out at 10:30AM Thur. No lines at all on the ramp!! Caught lots of stripers trolling from Moki Canyon north along the wall as the lake turns left. 3mph trolling a walleye diver type lure, 5" long black and silver. Right along the wall in the shade AM and PM. Had good luck straight across Bullfrog bay from the ramp along that wall. Walleye and stripers. So hot I couldn't keep the ac and the generator running!! Water turned murky Thursday, slowed fishing down. Very few houseboats and fisherman on the lake!!
Date Received: June 16, 2003 - Bill Thomas
I fished Powell for the first time this weekend. A teacher from Durango High School and her husband invited me up to experience their new houseboat and two days on the lake.
They were anchored at the 102/103 mile marker just above Halls Crossing. I brought only my flat bottom fishing boat and some rods. They assured me everything else would be waiting for me.
Bill had a 21 foot center console boat that was certainly more suited for the rough water in the middle of the day. My own 18 foot aluminum did well if I didn't try to go too fast.
Bill, the husband, and three other men had fished Thursday and Friday with good success for stripers. Reports shared from several sources said to focus on the usual anchovies and shad shaped hard baits. They had trolled almost the whole time.
Wayne, one of their group, joined me in my boat Saturday morning. He had indicated he was not as good a fisher as the rest of their party. I found him to be very able.
Saturday morning we followed Bill and his group to a line of bluffs. We concentrated on the shady side of the lake. We scattered out a bit and immediately had stripers in the livewell.
We quit by 10 and met the other boat to compare notes. Wayne and I had almost doubled their catch with 17 stripers and 3 walleye.
Saturday afternoon we moved to the west side of the lake to get out of the sun. Wayne tied on a shad colored Rebel Deep Diver and had seven fish in the boat before I caught one. We caught a total of 17 stripers and one good walleye that afternoon. There was a loss, a nicer striper broke Wayne's line as he tried to lift it into the boat. It was the only lure like it in Wayne's box and I thought he was going to cry!
The other boat had fished another area so we didn't know where or how they fished. Wayne and I doubled the number of fish they had caught.
Sunday morning everyone but Wayne and I slept in. He and I were well after daylight getting to the area we fished Saturday morning. The first three hits on fish resulted in three doubles! By 8:30, we had boated 26 keepers, with several others spitting the hook before we could get a net on them.
There was no single bait of choice except for Saturday. Wayne's deep diver definitely scored the most. Saturday morning he reverted to a shad colored Rattle Trap. I used a bright green tube bait on a 1/8 oz jighead trailed by another jig tipped with a black and purple plastic Twister Tail.
The three other guys in our party only caught 5 fish. Wayne had and used the opportunity to get even on some jabs from them. When he opened the livewell, even they were surprised. Pictures were taken and apologies made.
In summary, trolling the shade of bluffs, rocky points and unusual structure changes, bright green and purple twister tailed jigs, a shad colored Rebel Deep Diver, and a 3 inch plastic minnow body were what produced for us.
Date Received: June 19, 2003 -Rich Sutterfield
Bullfrog Memorial Day Weekend Report
It was great!!!! Not crowded at all, longest I had to wait on the ramp was maybe 15 minutes Saturday afternoon at 5:00 pm, which I would have expected to be much worse. It was hotter than a 2 dollar pistol, both the weather and the fishing. Water temps were fine for swimming, mid-to-upper 70's, especially if you float on the top layer of warm water. Then dive down for a refreshing jolt. It felt soooo good when it was about 100 degrees out.
This was a 'family' trip so I couldn't fish as much as I would normally, so I only tried two lures the whole trip. It was enough. Like the other fellow said last week, you could probably fish topwaters all day.
Now the fishing...all I used was a super spook jr. in the mornings and evenings. If you know how to 'walk the dog' you will have a blast, literally. Just find good-looking smallmouth habitat and throw that thing. The stripers will probably be there too. You don't have to see big organized 'boils' to expect to catch surface stripers. Sometimes I would only see one fish bust the surface, but he was the giveaway there were many more underneath. It seemed like the stripers were just about anywhere you wanted them to be. All the fish are 'looking up', you don't have to fish deep at all. We trolled plastic shad baits on a 1/4 oz. jighead about 4 mph during the middle of the day and caught stripers like crazy. Those only run about 3 ft. deep. My personal favorite is a 'Walleye Assasin', it has a nifty wobble to it when you troll it. Everything with stripes on it's sides loves 'em. But sassy shad, etc. would work just fine too.
I spent most of my fishing time around Halls Marina, there is a lot of good shoreline structure, points, coves, and rocky islands from the boat ramp uplake to where the Moqui Wall starts. Much of it is protected within a no-wake area where the houseboats are being anchored right now, which makes it a quiet sanctuary when the lake is busy. I am giving away a secret here in case you didn't notice!
It doesn't get much better than this trip. Boils here and there...both SMB and stripers mixing together in easy-to-find rock rubble structure like points and shoals. Good action all day. Hot sunny weather. Good swimming. What else could you ask for?
Bullfrog Report 5/30 - 6/1
Had another great trip to Bullfrog, basically the same as last week's report but with some differences.
- Bullfrog ramp is usable to it's entire width now, although the slope is still a little shallow it's getting better every day. They do still have a small courtesy dock in the middle of the ramp that uses up some space, hopefully they will get that out of the way and the big docks set up on the sides soon. No waits on the ramp at all, even during peak times.
- Saw very little surface activity, no boils, but topwater lures still work well anyway.
- if you are driving at night bring a scrubber and cleaner to clean your windshield as the moths are like a blizzard in the headlights.
- It's HOT out there. Swimming is a requirement to keep your cool. Bring a lot of bottled water, I drank at least a half-dozen bottles a day.
- Bass are hitting crawfish color grubs well now.
- the Lake is rising so islands are becoming reefs, things are changing quickly. Watch carefully for new shallow areas that are now invisible until you get on them. Also that's where the stripers are too.
Report: rolled the moth-mobile into Bullfrog late Thursday night, camped out of the boat in the parking lot. Got up early Friday and headed over behind the houseboats at Halls just to git bit. Fished topwaters around islands, reefs and points and caught plenty of bass and a few stripers. Then started trolling plastic shad w/ 1/4 oz. jigheads and immediately started tearing up the stripers, same spots. Troll 3-4 mph. Tried casting at them but couldn't get them to hit very often, fast trolling was the key. They guy I brought with me had never been to Lake Powell so we went exploring uplake. Found stripers all day in various places on the lake, trolling shallow running shad imitating lures over the types of structure mentioned before. We fished Friday until the wind came up strong in the late afternoon and called it a day. It was an incredible day, caught too many bass to count and 58 stripers.
One thing about the fishing, it isn't about specifc places. It's about a pattern. The stripers are relating to points, islands, reefs, etc. in main lake and canyons. Find those spots and you will likely find stripers anywhere. Bass are everywhere they should be, and hitting anything so they are easy game. Plastics are working well now, Root Beer, Watermelon/pepper, Chartruese/pepper are good colors now.
Got up at 4:30 Saturday morning but a bass tournament was in the process of launching their boats so we let them finish that. As others have said before, they get done quick so it's not a big deal. We fished the main lake points uplake from Stanton to mile 99 on the opposite side from Moqui Wall and did real well with stripers and bass on topwaters and trolling until about 10, then went exploring. Then trolled the afternoon and evening and caught stripers in the coves by where the ferry docks on the Halls side again on plastic shad. NO boils seen and fished until dark, but you could cast topwaters where you catch them trolling and get a hit anyway. Again put up good numbers and was cleaning fish into the late hours that night. A very long day but lots of fun.
Sunday was a repeat although not as fast fishing as other mornings, not sure why, maybe we were just too tired and not giving it our all. Headed back to Denver beat but happy.
Bullfrog Report 6/6 - 6/8
OK, move me back to the 'beginners' square on the striper game board. They humbled me this weekend. Here's a quick version of the weekend:
Headed out Friday morning expecting to duplicate previous weeks success but as I went past the haystacks into the main lake channel I saw something odd: muddy water and debris. The Colorado's runoff made it all the way down. As I headed uplake into the mile 96-99 region it became muddier with logs floating around, etc. Looked more like Lake Texoma than Powell. This blew out my whole game plan, as visibility was a key, seeing the reefs and points to troll over. Tried previous weeks' hotspots and lures but they had gone cold. Didn't want to spend too much time at it because the young man (cousin Andrew) I was fishing with needed action, so I dropped back and punted. Fished the still-clear waters in canyons and Bullfrog Bay and the smallmouth bass fishing was excellent, topwaters in the morning/evening and yammies all day. Sure we caught lots of little ones but it was just what was needed, lots of action. We both enjoyed it thouroughly. We did catch 6 stripers here and there and looked for boils but didn't see any while out on the lake. All stripers were caught trolling Shad Raps.
Then, Sunday morning we were packing up in the parking lot at the top of the boat ramp by the bathroom overlooking the marina and saw a nice boil going right by all the boat docks at Bullfrog Marina, of all places. Too bad we weren't there. So I guess it's about being at the right place at the right time. If you hunt boils you will probably find them, but I didn't have too much time to spend on that.
Something that was working well for SMB was shady rockpiles in the shadows of towering canyon walls in deep canyons like Moqui or Crystal Springs. It was a cool way to fish, in both meanings of the word. Smaller more isolated rockpiles were best. Most are busy with bass and you can catch out the little guys then get into the nicer fish. Watermelon/pepper yammies worked great. Just ignore the boats/PWC running up and down the canyons, doesn't bother the bass any.
The muddy water situation should be very temporary, I noticed on the way home Sunday the Colorado and tribs have all dropped and cleared considerably so the runnof appears to have peaked. I don't bring that as good news from a lake level standpoint but the water should be clear soon.
Date Received: June 23, 2003 - Richard Sutterfield
So here's the big news: lots of boils in Bullfrog Bay. I took a whole roll of nothing but boil pics, will send some along soon. Got on the water Friday morning around 6:30 am, headed back into Bullfrog Bay towards the houseboats, saw my fist boil immediately, and they stayed up until I left at 10:30. Cleaned 23 stripers for the fish fry, released many more. That's just one person dong it all, could have caught 100 easy in those four hours with another fisherman in the boat.
The boil fishing Friday morning was crazy in a fun way, boats, PWC's running around everywhere around me and the stripers just kept on boiling. I even drove over them taking pictures and they would just pop right back up in a few seconds. One school I was working was about 1/2 mile straight out from the Bullfrog boat ramp about 9:00 am. Can you picture that, with the whole Bullfrog fleet mobilizing for the day? It was wild.
Headed to Hite Friday around lunchtime, ran into Kurt Jensen, we talked and both ended up at Bullfrog chasing boils Friday evening. It was superb, last boil seen at 8:50 pm.
Hite was a little too messy for me for fishing and I don't have a fast enough boat to run downlake to get into better conditions so I didn't fish there.
Saturday we cleaned up the camping messes at Hite. That's another subject, it was a rewarding experience and as usual Top Cat put on a super fish fry to end the day. I was very dissapointed, even angry, at what I saw and tried to clean up. But like I said that's another story.
Met other wordlings, all fine folks in person just as they are here on the board. Wayne you have a great thing going on here.
Went back to Bullfrog after the fish fry, fished Sunday morning but the boils were spotty, at least until I left at 9:00 am. Gary Foell was still out there, maybe he ran into some after I left. I attributed the slowdown in boils that morning to heavy winds that blew all night Saturday, and especially hard from 2-4 am.
Wayne, about the boils. The stripers were in tight schools, swimming shoulder-to-shoulder, at the surface, moving along at a good clip, about 5 mph, with their mouths open. I saw no shad in the water. Very different than the boils I saw Memorial day. Not the explosive type boils, and I saw no shad jumping out of the water. Were they chasing larval shad? Sure looked like it but it seems too soon. You could follow the same school around for a long time. I was in such a hurry cleaning fish for the fish fry I neglected to look at their stomach contents to confirm what they were eating.
That's all for now, it was great meeting all you folks, Howard, JD, Kurt, Gary, Tony, TC, and your families.
Summary, Bullfrog boils start at sunup, last for quite a while, and start again about 6:30 pm. Can be anywhere in the bay, but most were seen from the boat ramp all the way back behind the houseboats. Boils will appear to be a dark shadow on the surface, or a small gust of wind. I never got out of Bullfrog Bay but I would imagine boils are going on elsewhere too, like in Halls. One tip, DON'T drive up on a boil at full throttle. Sneak up on them slowly, they aren't going anywhere. They don't spook too easily but seem to be keen on a boat closing in rapidly and they don't like that. Ease up on them at 6 mph or so, then cut your motor when in casting distance. Then they will hang around, even turn around and come straight at you!
Go get 'em!
Date Received: July 3, 2003 - Brian, ID
We fished the Bullfrog area Mon. - Sat. (June 21st - June 26th). Only one engine on our houseboat was working so we didn't go far from the Bullfrog area. On Monday and Tuesday nights we parked the houseboat on a sandy beach 2 miles west of Bullfrog Marina. On Wednesday we moved the houseboat to Moki Canyon and stayed there through Saturday.
Monday and Tuesday were very windy and we fished the boils in 2 - 3 foot whitecaps. During the first part of the week we found most of the boils between 7:30am - 7pm even though we were fishing before the sun came up and after it went down (I think the strong winds may have had something to do with the lack of morning and evening boils). Latter in the week we found just as many boils during the afternoon as the low light hours. The best boil fishing we had was Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 at times I could see a half a dozen boils, with 2 or 3 always in sight. We saw a couple of boils in Moki Canyon and a few out in front of Halls Marina but 95% of the boils we saw were within 2 miles of Bullfrog Marina. I believe the area in front of Bullfrog was one of the better places because we searched for boils from the back of Bullfrog Bay to Forgotten Canyon. Some of the boils were in the middle of the bay and some of them were next to a sandy beach in less than 10 feet of water. All of the stripers I cleaned didn't have anything but 1" shad in there stomach. Most of the stripers we caught in the boils were 20" -21" long. The smallest striper we caught in a boil was 17" and we caught several in boils that were 24" long. One thing that surprised me is that we didn't catch any smallmouths or largemouths out of any of the boils like we have in the past. In all of the boils the stripers were just slurping with very little splashing and darting (Richard Sutterfield's June 27, 2003 Anglers Corner report has some good pictures of what the slurping boils look like). I'm glad that I brought my nice hunting binoculars because they helped me spot these subtle boils from a mile or more away.
The smaller topwater baits with a walking-the-dog action and 6lb line worked best for me. My dad caught just as many as I did on a plastic shad on a jig head with 10lb line. I also caught a few on my ultra light rode with 4lb line but my dad and brothers didn't like waiting for me to land the fish as the boil moved away. I had to retie after every fish with lighter line so I preferred to use my baitcasting rod with a Zara Spook and 17lb line when the stripers would take it. We also caught a few stripers on fly rod but it was hard to get within 20 yards of most of the boils. It was important to position the boat right and cast far because most of the stripers were boat shy. Debarbing your hooks when fishing boils is a good idea because it makes it quicker to unhook the stripers, it helps the hooks last longer and makes it much easier (and less painful) to pull the hook out of your hand.
The $20 crappie light we bought on the way down brought in thousands of 1" shad to the back of the houseboat. We were too tired to fish at night much and only caught one 24" striper under the crappie light but we did catch four large crappie (14.5" -15.5"), a 15" walleye, numerous catfish and a few carp.
We didn't catch as many smallmouth as other trips but the average size was 12" - 13" with the largest at 15.75" and the smallest at about 8". I caught most of my smallmouths on topwater baits and crankbaits. I fished 3" and 4" senkos and 4" grubs in shad and crawfish colors with less success than I have had in past trips. I think that the smallmouths were stuffed full of shad, which made them less aggressive than they normally are.
Date Received: July 8, 2003 -Wiggins family
We fished the bull frog area from July 2 through 6. Fishing was a little tough due to the boat traffic and wind. Conditions were just as was reported in the fish report. Boils everywhere in bull frog bay. Ran up to the bottom of good hope the morning of the 4th. looking for boils that we could fish by ourselves. Did not see any boils past Moki canyon. The water started getting a light greener tint on up the lake. Did not go up far enough to get into any of the brown water. We did well real early and real late in the day. Also had some bright spots around midday. Had two boils that lasted over twenty minutes that we did not have to move the boat. One was Late Saturday night around 8:45, - 11 fish, and the other was early Sunday Morning about 5:40 - 15 fish. Both time we were straight across from the ramp about 400 yards from the now famous butt cracks, and both times the fish were scattered around us randomly hitting here and there, not like the boils were they were swimming side by side. You could throw about anywere with any top water and get a hook up. All the rest of the time you had to out quess not only the fish but the other boats. Lots of boaters who ski who got fishing poles for Christmas were trying to catch stripers. We got cut off lots of times. If you could get another boat to work with you and parallel the fish you could both do good. Typical baits worked O K. We had the best luck using a storm wild eye lure in a 2" length and pearl color. I used them in tandem with a 2" pearl colored sassy shad and a plain #1 bait hold hook. Caught two at a time once. These fish are larger and healthier than last year, and if you try to horse them, you will loose a lot of lures. We had better luck with 6 pound line. You could throw it further. A couple of hints on casting. You need a rig you can throw at least 40 yards and preferably 60. If you threw into the middle of them about half the time they would spook and go down. Figure out which way they are heading and cast in front of them. Reel slowly to them and very slowly through them. Once you clear the school reel as fast as you can. Got a few reaction strikes doing this. Be patient, get out early and stay late.
Date Received: July 7, 2003 -Rob Solomon family
Fish report for: June 29 thru July 6, 2003.
After a week at Powell I'm sure I will forget some events and details so I'll just start typing and hope I don't miss anything. I will type events as I remember them so they will not necessarily be in chronological order unless it has to do with fishing success. This is an experience report, so there will be details not necessarily about fishing also.
Arrived Sunday around noon at Stanton Creek. Unhooked the boat in the parking lot and headed down to find a spot. We thought there would be plenty of prime spots after seeing all of the traffic leaving. We headed down the East side of Stanton first, but found no good spots for boat, kids etc. Went around the West side and found a good spot with the only drawback of being directly exposed to the wind coming across Bullfrog bay. Set up camp and headed out for an evening cruise. Took some newbies over to Lost Eden Grotto to start them out with a bang. No fishing Sunday night.
Slept on the boat so we could get an early start Monday. It worked. I was so pumped I was up at 4:30am Monday. Idled out in the dark and putted over to the "Bullfrog Buttcracks". Made some coffee and enjoyed the scenery. First boil spotted at around 6:30am. Positioned wife on front of boat, idled over to boil, casted in with Spooks and had a double hook up at 6:31. I knew it was going to be a good trip. Chased boils around for an hour or so more and stopped to fillet the ones we had and have a snack. After releasing 20 or so fish my confidence or impatience made me pay dearly. The wife had a nice Striper on and it was hooked on the dorsal fin. I don't know what came over me, but I remember saying I'll just reach down and lip this one. Well the rest is history. As soon as my fingers touched his lips he flipped and embedded the hook into my hand about half way between my thumb tip and wrist. It was a Zara Spook with the big silver trebles. The front hook was in the fish and the back one was in my thumb. I still had enough wits about me to grab the Spook with my left hand and hold on tight so another flip wouldn't make things worse. Now I am holding fish and the lure in my left hand and the hook in my right. I have my wife cut the fish off to eliminate one problem. The barb was exposed but I didn't have the strength or sharp enough pliers to cut it off. By this time my wife says I turned white and I had to sit down for a minute. After I regained my composure I managed to crimp the barb in preparation for "the removal". Anything touching the hook was extremely painful. I knew the only way I was getting the hook out was the way it went in. By now the wife was panicking so I knew I had to defuse the situation quickly. I told her to check on the kids and when she turned I proceeded with "the removal". I gave it one little tester pull to see how tight it was. MISTAKE! It was going to hurt worse than I anticipated. The second time I knew I had to get it. Gritted the teeth, gave it one mighty twist jerk and it came out with the blood right behind it. Wrapped it in a towel, disinfected it and went on our way. I look down now and two little spots are all I have to remind me of it. I'm usually pretty good at taking others advice on stuff like this, but I guess I had to find out for myself. I'll say it one more time as others have done. DO NOT PUT YOUR HANDS ANYWHERE NEAR A FISH THAT HAS A HOOK IN IT!!!! Any top water lure seemed to work. The difference in lures for us was the ones that had better "castability" worked better just because you could reach a boil faster and sooner. I had two Spooks with the ball bearings in them that would shift forward during the cast and the lure would torpedo through the air. These were the best. I had 8 new top water lures for boils and by Thursday they were all gone. By the end I was using bass colored skitter pops, but my boil chasing skills were finely honed by then and I could get closer. Make sure you re-tie every 3 or 4 fish. There are some Stripers in Bullfrog bay with some nice lures in them as a bonus for someone. Some observations I made were that the boils seemed to last longer each day, which did not jive with what the moon, was doing. The moon was getting fuller each day but the bite was getting better each day. The boils did get more skittish as the week went on, but I will attribute that to increased boat traffic. A boil to most boaters is a target to run over, not to fish. Toward the end of the week it took a boil rising two or three times to get in casting position, but they were not as predictable in direction. Earlier in the week the boil would move in generally the same direction and you could position your boat accordingly. Later they would change direction and double back on you. What I would do for the optimum situation was spot a boil and watch it to determine direction. After you watch a lot of them you can determine direction by the splashes. If you guess just right you they will come up slightly ahead and off to one side. At this point I could idle right up next to them and get 2 or 3 out of a boil. Note that they are traveling about 3.5 miles per hour and you must cast low and fast ahead of the boil so that you could get your lure moving before the boil gets to it. The folks in our group who would cast overhand, sending the lure in a large arc did not catch many because by the time the lure hit the boil was past it and they had too much slack in the line. Start reeling before the lure hits the water for best results. We had two boats working boils with radios and it worked out good. I saw boils all the way from just past the buoy field up in Bullfrog bay to Halls marina. It was easier to find boils later when the wind and waves were bigger across from the ramp and slightly North along the red rocks. These blocked the wind a little and it consistently produced boils. One other note. After hooking myself I removed the middle hook from several lures trying to cut down on potential future self-hookings. This resulted in a lot of missed strikes so I put them back on before the wife about killed me. Other stuff: First mosquito bite at Powell. A lot of bugs until about 10:00am and in the evenings, some biting, some not. Most fishermen were courteous when the boils are plentiful, but get more aggressive when you have to look for them. A few times we were just having lunch and all of the sudden you will have 3 or 4 boats around you. Later in the week we had the recreational boaters that decided to try their luck on fishing. You can tell when you see them. Even had one houseboat chasing boils at one time. I have attached three pictures of boils and one mornings catch to get the blood pumping.
Wayne's Words flag was flying, but didn't observe any others. If you need supplies I would opt for Halls marina. It is stocked better, you have to go wakeless a shorter distance, and you can get gas, empty sewage and get Ice at the same place. At Bullfrog the pump outs are by the ramp, the ice is in the small store by the rental slips, and the fuel dock is tucked away up and behind the houseboats rentals. Ramp is fine. Lots of room. Wasn't even crowded Sunday morning. Of course we did take out at 6:30am. There were a lot of people down there this weekend. Given the choice I would not have been there, but a buddy of mine came down from Orofino, ID with his boat. He was not disappointed.
One last thought. I think the park service needs to crack down on irresponsible boaters. It seems like people get it in their mind that if they are going from point A to point B, nothing will make them alter their course. If you happen to be between them you better watch out. I do not think I had one encounter where a person yielded me the right of way when it was mine. I always had to change course. I lost count of how many times a boat going full speed passed within 150 of me while fishing. Sorry for being so long.
Date Received: July 8, 2003 -Eric
We fished and camped in Bull Frog , fishing every moring from 6am till the boils quit, usually around 9:30am.
And again every evening from 6pm to just after dark. In 3 days we spotted and chased over 200 boils from small to large in size. Boils seemed to range from 30 fish to 200 fish.
We landed 60 in all, from 19 to 26 inches, 3 to 6 pounds, very heathy looking too. The strpiers were really sensitive to your presence this go round, they went down real quick sometimes after only one cast, but they would laways pop back up a few hundred yards away.
Most all boats this trip used very good boil etiquette, every one seemed to find their own boils to fish, with few exceptions of course. Several people chasing boils stated that they we having a bit of trouble getting a hit. The fish were a bit picky, downsizing your lures seemed to help in most cases, 3/8 to 1/2 ounce rattle traps, kast masters, and buck tails seemed to work best.
I had my best luck on a 1/2 ounce yellow buck tail and a 1/2 feathered kast master, single hook of course. Casting over the boil and leading into it was very important, a short cast into the boil would chase them down right away. The picture of the rattle trap is one after the stripers sucked the paint right off of it, it worked even after the paint was gone.
We also tried some chovies at the thermo cline with no success, and trolling also dod nothing for us, so its all boil chasing, which by the way is the most exciting way to fish em. till next time have a good one
Date Received: July 14, 2003 - KD Bowler
Just got back from Powell. Spent the week of July 6th - 13th. Fishing was excellent. Camped at iceberg and caught countless stripers in the bay just south of Iceberg Canyon. Boils didn't last long but they came up over and over. Tried to sneak up on them with electric trolling motors but if they were very far away you couldn't get there in time so we decided to run and gun them. We would usually get on or two casts in before they went down and that was enough to catch fish in just about each boil. Used Pop-R top water and it seemed to work better than any shad imitations or rattle traps that we were throwing at first. Saw boils throughout the day all up and down the channel from Iceberg to Bullfrog.
Date Received: July 16, 2003 -Taylor family.
We just spent the 8th -13th north of Bullfrog in the Forgotten Canyon area and had the best striper fishing we've ever had at Powell. We only fished the mornings as the kids wanted to play the rest of the time, but we caught more stripers in a few hours of morning fishing each day than we would often catch in a long day of striper fishing other years. We only fished the boils and we found them everywhere, in every canyon we fished and all along the main channel from Bullfrog to Knowles Canyon. The schools in the narrower canyons were easier to fish (versus those in the channel) because the fish wouldn't travel as far between boils and the boils seemed to last longer. The fish were very healthy, very aggressive and weighed between 2 1/2 - 5 lbs. In the canyons we could often keep up with a school for up to 30 mins with the electric motor, catching several fish a piece before their feeding frenzy would subside. We fished 4-6 different schools in different locations each morning.
We also encountered boils all day long while traveling or playing on the water. By keeping one or two rigged poles in the ski boat we could often hook several fish for those kids in the party who hadn't fished before, while out playing on the water, when we came accross the boils. That way we converted two of the non fishermen in the group who started getting up early in the morning for the fishing trips to join in on the fun. We had so much fun and success with the stripers that we didn't do any smallmouth fishing which is what we usually do most at Powell.
I don't know that the type of bait made much of a difference as we seemed to catch the feeding stripers on whatever we threw into the boils, but we primarily used silver or white spoons, shad colored plastic jerk baits, and "wild eyed shad" (Storm). We also caught fish on zara spooks and ratt'l' traps, but found that we could unhook the fish faster with the single hooked lures, and the faster the better when the boil was in full swing as we could sometimes catch 3-4 fish a piece before the school submerged. We would keep 2-3 poles rigged for each of us so if we broke or tangled a line we could switch poles immediately and not miss out on any of the action. We would then quickly re-rig the broken or frayed lines while waiting for the school to come back up. A very fast erratic retrieve produced much better than a steady fast retrieve.
All in all our best fishing trip ever to Lake Powell even though our fishing time was limited. My dad began to wonder why we are spending so much money to go to Alaska fishing later this summer when such good fishing could be found much closer to home.
Date Received: July 29, 2003 -Matt Madsen
July 24 -27 Bullfrog and Hite.
Went to Bullfrog on the 24 - 26th. Fishing was VERY SLOW. The Boat wakes and wind really interfered with boat control and locating boils. Smallmouth fishing in Stanton Creek was okay.
July 26 & 27th.
The family went home in the early afternoon and I drove to Hite. Got on the water by 2PM and headed down lake. Started fishing just past the Horn, around buoy 128. Plan was to drag a crawler harness in 25 - 30 ft of water while looking for boils. Caught 8 small channel cat ( 1/2 - 3/4 lb ), 2 walleye, and 3 nice sunnies, along the ledges south of the gravel islands just past the Horn. Had one boil come up on top of me, zero fish.
Realized I needed to do something different, so I moved back up on the Horn and went cruising for boils. Located and chased boils till about 7 PM. Learned that they tended to move downwind, that you really had to move to get ahead to get a cast in, and usually could only get one shot before the boil was over. Ended up with 6 stripers, 2 Walleye, and 3 sunfish.
Met Tim Kelly and Jack Herrin at the Cleaning station. They had somewhat better success, look for their report. Biggest problem here was the Cleaning station. Someone did not read the instructions and jammed it up. We got it working for a while, but had to put most of the offal in the dumpster.
Went back to the Horn Sunday AM, but after 45 minutes, realized that the fish there were not up. Went cruising and located schools just in front of 4 mile. Spent the morning chasing schools from 4 mile to 2 mile. Jack Herrin and his crew joined me about 10:00 AM after beating up on them in front of White. Lots of boils, lots of casting, not much catching. Averaged only one fish out of every 3-4 boils. Count for the day, 12 fish.
Haven't fished boils like this for years. My best success was on a Jumpin Minnow. Could cast it farther and it seemed to have more attraction than the spook, as far as a topwater. Caught a few on 1/2 oz Crocodile Spoon, but it sank into the boil too fast. If you are taking a set of trebles off your topwaters, remove the tail hook, they hit the middle of the plug and you will get more hookups by leaving the middle hook. I also dressed it up by taking a Clear Sparkle Spider Skirt, cutting it in the middle, and sliding it over the shank of the hook. It added a bit of attraction while the bait was sitting still in the middle of the boil. I also learned that I needed to let the boil develop a bit before making a cast. I found that if I cast as soon as I saw the first few fish breaking water, I would often be on the edge and miss the main part of the boil. PATIENCE !!
Date Received: August 7, 2003 - The Wiggins Bunch - Paonia, CO
Arrived at Halls Crossing 3:00 A.M. Saturday morning. The fine folks at the storage area at Halls had parked our Camper at the Camp grounds at the top of the hill for us. They had even plugged it in and started the fridge and the air conditioner. Slept in and headed out looking for fish around noon. Looked in bullfrog bay - around Moki and headed up the lake. Did not see a boil or find any one fishing until we got near Castle Butte in Good Hope Bay. Found around 50 boats fishing between Castle Butte and White canyon. Hardly anyone was catching any fish even though there were a few boils. Talked to several fishermen that had done well the day before and thought that the weather had effected the fish Saturday and that it would get better Sunday. Decided to go down the lake from Halls Sunday Morning being we had not seen that part of the lake for several years. Fished the Rincon area for small mouth. Caught two about 6 inches long, lost two around 12. Area looked good, could not find them or what they wanted. Pulled out of Halls around noon and headed for Hite. Set up camp and went out that evening. Found lots of boils around the #132 mile marker. Caught several, stopped in White on the way back about 1/2 hour before dark. Caught several more - ended up with 18 stripers for the evening. Followed the same pattern for the next day and 1/2. Ended up with 101 total for the trip. For people looking to go to Hite, here are some hints
* The ramp should be usable until the water drops below 3608 - maybe a little lower for poeple with smaller flat bottom boats.
* There is a layer of silt everywhere around the ramp and old marina site beneath the water. If your boat displaces a lot of water you may have to paddle out 50 feet or so away from the ramp.
* There is a sand/mud bar where the old marina was setting - aboat 300 feet out from the ramp - two months ago the water was 15 feet deep there when the water was at 3605. The sand bar was 2 feet high at the 3610 level. Roughly 22 feet of debree was left by the run-off.
* You may have to use you electric motor to get away from the ramp with out getting silt in your motor.
* There is nothing left of the Old Hite Marina - Nothing to tie a boat to on the water, or that you can drive a boat to and walk off to the shore on.
* The house boats are about 3/4 mile down the lake - the water there is around 40 feet deep.
* The Marina store (shore-based) is supposed to stay open reguardless of the water level.
* There are plenty of good camping places around the ramp.
* The fish cleaning station is closed - it was roped off when we left. They have a bag over the pipe for disposing of the heads and intrals - the grinder must be broke?
* Saw boils regularly from the mouth of White to Castle Butte, from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday noon. They were more frequent and more cooperative around mid morning and the last two hours of daylight. Did not have much luck real early in the morning, but talked to other people that caught a lot of fish early.
* We would go from boil to boil as slowly as the boat would run on plane around 22 MPH. Had good luck running right in on them several times. Most of the time they would go down and we would drop the trolling motor and head toward the way we thought they were going. If we quessed right we we get a double most every time.
* Caught fish on most every lure we had that would stay within 1' of the top of the water. I kept trying differrent stuff. My son Lukas (12) stayed with his Storm 3" Swim Shad in a Pearl Color and consistantly kick my butt.
* At one time around noon on Monday when the lake was calm we counted 8 separate boils around mile marker #132.
* Catching fish was easy when you could find the right bunch of fish to work. If they stayed down over two minutes or did not stay up for at least time enough to cast to them we would pull out and look for a different bunch to work. Usually you could not go half a mile with out finding another boil.
* All the boils we saw were out in the main channel or in the mouth af a canyon. We looked in the backs of several canyons, but never found any boils.
* The shad they are feeding on are 1/2" to 3/4" long.
* Most of the time there was not another boat in sight
Had lots of nice pictures, but could not get the card reader to work. Will try to send them later.
It was kind of sad to leave knowing that it will probably be a long time before we can get back in at Hite. Hats off to the crew at Hite For keeping it open as long as they did. Good Fishing.
Date Received: August 11, 2003 - Aaron Cameron
We fished out of Bullfrog August 7-9. August 7th we headed towards moqui canyon about 7:00 am. As we approached the mouth of Moqui we spotted a decent boil just to the North of the canyon with another boat already fishing this boil. I stopped my big motor and dropped the electric troll motor and headed for the boil (about 300 yards away) when all of the sudden a boat came full speed right though the middle of the boil and hit bows with the boat already fishing the boil. I couldn't believe my eyes. Beyond that we fished boils in this area for about 3-4 hours. between two boats and eight anglers we boated about 80 fish. We went back to the same area that evening of the 7th and fished the last two hours of sun light and did not see a single boil.
The morning of August 8th we headed back to Moqui and found just a few small boils. I became impatient and headed towards Hansen. We found small boils all along the main channel, but found them hard to sneak upon. When we approached they would just sink. The boils would not last more than a minute or two. We caught about 20 fish between two boats and eight anglers. The evening of the 8th I went back to Moqui and did not see any top water action at all in the main channel.
We went out fishing the morning of the 9th. We headed back to Moqui and found some small boils going on. We then noticed in a small bowl like cove just North of the mouth of Moqui a boil going on right inside the back of the cove. We worked our way in there and started catching fish. The fun part for me was watching the shad being pushed against the wall and jumping clear out of the water two feet. We fished for about two hours and caught about 30 fish between one boat and 5 anglers.
All fish caught were 2.5-4 pounds. We had a great time.
Date Received: August 29, 2003 -Dave Rasmus
What can I say the fishing was fantastic! I went out to Powell this past Monday (25th)and Tuesday (26th) solo. I left Bullfrog at 6:15 am Monday and not 20 minutes went by when I saw my first boil at buoy 102. I eased into the school and the action began. It was non stop for at least 50 minutes. I was using a top water lure called "Top Dog" which I purchased in Louisiana. I ended up with 28 stripers the first morning. I headed to Farley canyon to fish the afternoon but only managed to pick up a few stripers. The boils were short lived so I had to stay in one spot and hope they surfaced within casting range. That seemed to be the only way I could pick up any fish. The next morning I headed back towards Bullfrog hoping to spot more boils. As luck would have it I spotted another boil at my new favorite buoy 102. It was a repeat of the morning before, non stop action for 45 minutes, 26 stripers. I had so much fun those two days, I only wish I could have shared it with a fishing buddy. Unfortunately my friends all had to work. Im looking forward to my next trip!
Date Received: September 03, 2003 - Eric
How can one say "slow" lol.
Fished 6am 8/31 to noon 9/1, activity very light for the most part, worked Bullfrog bay till 10:30 am with no sign of life. headed up lake, rounded the corner at Moki to see 1 boat fishing a very large boil at the 102, plenty of room to join in since it was the biggest boil of the season for us. landed 8 all 4 to 5.5 pounders, very fat fish.
this boil lasted till other boaters arrived and ran right over it, including one running into me. from the time we spotted it top the time the others arrived it was up for 30 minutes, very furious boil!!! Lures used were, yello and white 1 ounce buck tails, 1 ounce kast masters, and blue 3/4 ounce storm swim shad. We decided that since these larger boils and larger fish were present here, we would not go to striper city this trip. Big mistake? i wont know till i hear other reports from up there i guess. We worked this area for the remainder of our trip only to not see them again. Spent the rest of the time between Halls and Forgotten canyon, We found enough smaaler boild to keep us interested , but nothing to exciting the rest of the weekend. Small boils in the AM at he mouth of Forgotten and AM at Moki too. Small mid day boils in Bullfrog. Most activity seemed to be mid day. Graphed heavy shad in the back of Bull frog with no feeders in sight. water temp was 82 there!! main channel temp 79 to 80. Tried a little jigging and chovie fishing in various areas showing fish at 60 feet or so, but no luck with either. Night tim cat fishing was very active in all areas with a sandy shore ine.Also as my habits usually are, I was able to introduce a new man to the lake and chasing, as i try to do each trip. Total striper catch for the weekend was a mere 21, but very very healthy fish, and always worth our time, next trip 9/26-9/29, cooler water should change some shad habits and improve the chase. till next time, tight lines.
Date Received: September 03, 2003 - R. Fausett
My first Labor Day Powell trip! Still not sure if a mistake or not. Spent two hours on ramp at Bullfrog on Friday, when a ranger came and said since I had a bass boat I could launch at the old ferry ramp. Was on the water in 15 minutes! Weather Friday not cooperating as I made the run to Hite area. High winds and t-storms all afternoon and night. Still windy in the morning until around 9 am (sat), so no morning boils. Went down lake to pick up other members of party, and on way back ran into a big boil between Moki and Forgotten canyons. We were first boat on boil, and quickly pulled 4 fat stripers out before other boats came like flies to #$%#! Two of them actually drove through the boil before stopping. (Is there anything called boil etiquette?) This split it up into many small boils, and same boats kept plowing through them also. Finally left in disgust and headed back up stream. Stayed until Monday, and saw no boils from lower Good Hope to Four Mile, a first for me! Boils best at White Canyon and uplake a couple of miles, but very short lived. We were successful in guessing the next boil point a few times, and had a great time. I must say that Sunday was the finest day I've ver had weather-wise at Powell, absolutely beautiful! We used primarily Kastmasters, and then threw big Zara Spooks when the fish ignored the first. We also watched a small school of shad off of the cliffs by White canyon to see boats effect on them, and they didn't seem to mind, so it must be the stripers themselves who don't like the boats; but I'm not sure if it is the motor noise or the bow wake that does it.
Date Received: September 11, 2003 - Top Cat
Fishing Report Sept 4-8th 03.
Launched at Bullfrog on Thurs morning. Early by my standards but nevertheless was on the water by 9 or so. Gold Cup and I in attendance. First destination? Find someplace to unload this very overloaded bass rig that required Rich to mount the bow in order to plane. After poking into a few notches off the main channel from 100 up stream, we located a nice beach real close to 103.
Even had a Coyote and a stream! WOW that was a pleasant surprise and made for a great photo session too.
After setting up camp we headed for areas upstream of 103, intending on chasing main channel fish only. We soon connected long before Forgotten. Various boils would continue to impede our progress to the intended chasing grounds. Especially right outside of Knowles Canyon across the channel. Then we kept running into fish and boils and I must stay, it's first time that many will put on a catching clinic for TC, but Gold Cup was in the process of doing just that. Had me down 5 to 1 at one point. Though down, and I do mean down, TC was far from out. Boils that did come up and were approachable were careless and would seem to hit anything thrown at them. Spittin image and spooks mostly. Well those that Gold Cup was throwing anyway, they would not touch my offerings.
My only real high point of the early afternoon was that I was spotting and running to position. But often found my casts missing the correct area, even when I hit it, the fish ignored my Sammy in favor or the spook jr. I soon changed for sure. But not soon enough. I was getting spanked and big time by a rookie no less. Not one of my brighter moments for sure. My thoughts were drifting back to the shellacking I gave Dozer one rather warm afternoon a couple of years ago. (He recovered and collected himself and saved the day too. Yes he still got shellacked, but done fine. ) Though the day felt slow as far as the catching was concerned we were have a very good time. We got bored with that area and headed back, and of course ran into several more boils enroute. Tired we headed to camp for a nap. Amazing I know, but some sleep felt good. Though quite warm in the tents with the sun beating down upon them, the rest was needed.
We had targeted 6pm for being back on the water; it was 7 when it happened. Probably a good thing though. We ran into fish again right outside our cove. Active and again careless and this time they hit my spook, my spitin image and a second image thrown too. Three fish on three casts with different rods. Short lull was on, I needed something to now throw so I retrieved the lures from fish in the boat. One was hung up badly in some nylon mesh that used to be attached to a cooler in the boat. (note Used to be attached). I cut the hook free, and started to remove the mesh from the big treble hook. Knife was not sharp enough, (anybody remember this?), it slipped and OMG I've got a hook embedded in my finger to the bend! OUCH! big time OUCH. Worse was the boil was just coming up again, which of course added some tense to the situation. But of course the immediate priority for me anyway., was getting this danged hook outta my finger! I tried brute force in the rearward direction, to no avail. Final insult of the day, I asked Gold Cup to bring me some Light and his help. He brought the light, and some diagonals and promptly cut the hook where the three joined. I tried two more times to coax the hook from its grip within my index finger, no luck... Well the next step is head for a clinic and a $500 bill, or get a grip and push it through. The decision was not easy, oh ta hell with it, it was very easy! Besides that boil was still up and running away from us!
I grabbed the bend in the hook with the pliers, and gritting my teeth, gave a mighty push thinking it would pop out! NO WAY!!!!! All I got to look at was this bright white spot where it was trying to come through the tip of my finger. (I must say I was actually amazed at this point at how really difficult it is to get a hook through you). A second attempt proved better and the tip of the hook finally protruded the skin, I grabbed the tip of the hook and could not get enough grip on it. So it was back to pushing again, finally the barb was exposed and I was able to remove the offense from my finger. I can't advise you what to do if faced with a similar situation, but I can tell you that it's not as easy as it sounds to push a hook on through! Believe me when I tell you that the first 1/2" is like lightening, the second makes you wonder how you ever put this through a fishes mouth with the twitch of the wrist.
At this point it's well dark thirty and though we chase the boil a bit more it finally sounded for the night. I licked my wounds, filleted the fish, one and three quarters bags, and treated it well as soon as we hit camp. It's healing very well today. Fish count, 11 for the day, TC 4 Gold Cup 7.
Friday morning came and it seemed too soon. Today will be one of running and gunning. Up to Warm Springs with many stops and starts. The boils we saw were not staying up long, mere seconds. Worse, they would rarely reappear! That made it very difficult to get on them, but we seemed to improve out fast approach and quick cast techniques. Not catching as total fish for the morning was one fish. The afternoon we went to Halls Mall to get resupplied some beverages and fuel, talk about sticker shock! 34 gallons, $102! Glad it was not the cruiser! Richard S chased us down at Halls, we talked for a bit and chased around together a bit later. We wandered that end of the bay a bit, saw the Dorset's pass us and chased them down for some light conversation. It was good to see them again. Denn arrived at 6pm and we headed back to our camp. The Stripers were once again boiling right outside camp cove; Denn and Gold Cup both picked one up each. So Fri we all became "One A Day" catchers.
Saturday we woke up to sunshine parting the door of the tent. Looked out the window and saw a large black cloud, soon the sun disappeared and was replaced by the sound of rain drops upon the tent. I got up and zipped up the window, and closed the front door too. Just as it really opened up on us. Though nice, my old tent is just really not up to being rained upon. The rain was not heavy but just a good rainstorm that lasted for an hour or such. The tents seams all gave way to some seepage.
After the storm was over the landscape took on a most wonderful aroma and the visuals are so stunning when that red rock gets wet. We did not get on the water till 10:30. As we headed out we saw Richard S. and we had a good conversation. I wanted to make a run down to the Escalante and go see Cathedral in the Desert. But after talking with Richard I got out voted for the long run and sight seeing. So a fish chasing we went instead. Up and down the main channel again from Moki to Warm Springs. There were quite a few boats on the water chasing the boils on Sat. Plus the weekend traffic which was also increased from middle of the week. The fish however were not very cooperative on Sat. I finally hooked one when a boil came up within casting distance. Foul hooked it I did too, Handed the rod to Denn to fight the fish while I attempted to get another hook up going. She had a ball with the bait caster and that fish did not want to come to the boat at all. Though a valiant fight it put up, the fish lost the battle and indeed was boated. Denn told me that I now have to buy her a rod and reel like that! hahaha, It only take one good fish fight to convince you why a bait caster becomes the reel of choice over spinning gear. Though we did not know it at the time, that was to be the only striper boated on Sat.
We ran into the Dorset's again and continued our conversations and fish tales. They even came over to camp for an afternoon break thinking they would have to duck for some cover from another t-storm that was running the area. We had a great time listening to all the travel tales from their Alaskan summer adventure while sitting there waiting out the storm that never really hit us. At 6 we headed back for the evening boils. They were few and far between and very very fast when they did occur. We did allot of Striper hunting together on Sat running the channel in a parallel fashion. We were able to get to many boils, but they just would not cooperate with a hook up. The Dorset's finally headed for Halls as their boat is not able to run fast yet due to engine problems. We continued our efforts in vain, our dependable camp boil did not come back for a third night. So we went in to camp. Rich headed for bed, Denn went and laid down, I decided that it was time to save the fishing day and proceeded to rig up for some cat action. It was fast and lots of fun and the area was well loaded with the remains we had been creating. Three hours later I too finally headed for bed with a full bag of Cat filets! 17 fish. Midnight good time to sleep.
Woke up and was headed out about 8:30, the fish were boiling in the channel right outside of camp cove. We did not get there in time. Ran into Crystal Springs as Richard had told us about fish in the canyon. The fish were there, but would not eat our offerings. Right outside Hansen Creek as we were running at speed down channel the fish came up, I ran right through the middle of the boil! Pulled the throttle and went to cast behind the boat as the fish were still there. Broke off the lure on the cast, then they came up again right in front of the boat. Grabbed second rod and picked up one fish from that group. Sunday was to be a long day of chasing and little catching. We headed for camp about noon and got delayed by various boils and arrived at 12:30 to break it down. We departed our streamside campsite about an hour later looking more like a pack mule than a fishing boat. Left out four rods as I was sure we would see boils along our way back to the ramp. We did, but could not get on them in time. Ran into the Dorset's in the mouth of Moki.
They had been at it hard since noon when they launched. Had been running into boils all along Moki wall and just inside of Moki canyon too. As we were talking a boil came up right at the boats! 6 rods into action, not a single hookup. Gold Cup really had to get on the road and I was still trying to decide on whether to stay another night or not, we headed once again for the ramp. Ran into a couple of small boils marker 98 and picked up a real nice fish there. This fish was almost 5 lbs. A little further on more boils, but no hookups. Finally made the dash for the ramp, the wind was really starting to kick up the waves. Right outside the tires another boil! I got another nice fish from this one too.
Fishing was done for the time being. We unloaded most of the boat and with some reprovisioning, Denn and Rich departed, I remained behind to give it one more chance to see if I could figure out these fish. I found a suitable camp site near 97 in a large cove. Attempted to dry out from my rather forced swim at the dock. I deep sixed my cell phone when I went to untie. I know dumb mistake, but I know I'm not the first to do that. At 6 I again headed out to locate fish, the wind was kicking up pretty good and none were to be found the rest of the evening. I returned to camp and shared a pleasant conversation with a young couple camped nearby.
I was on the water at 7:30 the next morning, looking for boils in that same area around 98. Thought I saw a splash a very long way off and headed for the area. Yes it was for sure a boil. A big boil! Covered a couple hundred feet and the fish were staying up. First cast I nailed a nice fish. Figured this is going to be a fun morning for sure. That was not to be the case. These fish were acting very strange. I mean very strange. They were all over the place but were not in a frenzied feeding mass. It was like individual fish surfacing and feeding over this large area. You would see fish all around, but it became evident that it was singles or small groups all going after their morning meals. But fish all around the boat and moving about. This lasted for a full 40 minutes! But not another hookup in all that time, very frustrating for sure. Spooks, Spitin image, kastmaster, rattle trap these fish did not want such things in the mood they were in.
They finally went down for good and I moved along the wall toward Moki. Then on up to Crystal Springs hoping to maybe get skunked again by those fish in there. They were not there this fine morning. I headed for the channel and ran onto another boil there, got two good casts into it, but nothing doing with these fish either. Motored back toward moki slowly. At 102 I ran into two boils. These fish were up and staying up. But they also were doing the grazing thing across a wide expanse of water. Had one hit but could not get the hook set. So this group was still doing the slurping thing we had back in May. I was trying to catch from behind them and when I did get into proper position they sounded and did not come back up. On to Moki. Sitting in the mouth of Moki proved better, a boil came up and I was able to nail another fish from it, then a second boil came up, but could not get on it right. These two boils were of the more frenzied kind. The wind kicked up pretty good I headed for camp and a sandwich. Went back out around noonish and continued to cruise the waves and such. No more activity was noticed went back and loaded up camp onto the boat again. I found a suitable position and filleted the catch, looked at the stomach contents real close and even took some pics. There was shad of every size in them. Less than an inch to over two inches. Then another fish that actually looks like it could be black bass about an inch of so in length. Seems to help explain the strange activity I had noticed earlier in the day.
Well that completes the trip report. I recovered at 3pm and headed for home.
Date Received: September 18, 2003 - Marty Peterson
Launched two boats with four total persons at Bullfrog late afternoon Tuesday the 16th of September. Light crowds. Parking spots available in the closest lot. Ramp is .27 of a mile from top to water. Launched with no problem even though there was a heck of a south wind. The tire breakwater works well.
Had decided to cruise north and look for boils. Around 5:30 we were at the mouth of Moki and could see a few boats anchored out of the wind. We wanted more excitement and with the wind to our backs we cruised up the channel at slowest plane. At times the waves were whitecapped and the boil would have had to be large to see. We slowed down around Buoy 103 and watched one boat casting the area kind of at random. Continued to Knowles Canyon. Thought we would camp there. Every decent site full. Maybe 20 or so camps. Beautiful evening for going north so we continued through Good Hope and kept looking for action. Nothing. Checked out area around Scorup. Decided to camp in Four Mile. Found a great protected site. Fished off the back of the boats and caught a few SMB, Catfish and an accidental Carp that impressed us all with its drag spinning abilities. All on anchovy. Small fish and shad were attracted to a lantern held over the water.
Wednesday morning we were on the water before sunrise and cruised around. There was a lot of debris in the water. As the sun came up we could see that the water was very stained, we think from storm runoff. We looked for boils in Four Mile, Two Mile, Trachyte, White, Striper City and went up near Hite. Water temp under 70 north of White. Spent the day searching for fish. Tried some trolling, some casting. No fish found.
Wind continued to get worse but we felt that we needed to be south of the stained water. So we packed up camp and left. Fighting the waves head on was not as nice as the previous evening. But we looked for boils and stopped in and fished in each canyon for a break from the wind. Decided to set up camp in Cedar Canyon. This ended up being a mistake. Although we expected a wind shift we did not expect the swirling gusts that tore at the tents and covered everything thing we own, and every inch of the boats with sand. Rough night. We did manage a few assorted fish but no stripers, jigging along the shores in Cedar.
Morning found us boil hunting again. One boat north toward Good Hope. None found. The other boat toward Knowles. We trolled Tapestry Wall watching for boils. Saw none but the waves now out of north made it difficult to see anything not obvious. No bites. Ran into one boat that had seen a small boil that morning and had caught one good Striper. They told us that the morning before they had seen boils near Bullfrog. We also bummed a gallon of gas from them. My 115HP had used near 30 gallons of gas so far and I had told them I was getting close to not being able to chase boils now even if I saw some. Great guys. Our boat with a 150HP had used around 50 gallons so far.
By noon we decided that obligations at home were more important than living with sand and hope. So we slow cruised back to Bullfrog. Enroute we heard from another of our fishing buddies. Monday he had gone down toward Rainbow Bridge and caught nice Stripers out of the area around the mouth of the Escalante both Monday night and Tuesday morning. From boils and trolling shallow. He also caught SMB on every lure he tried as long as he let it fall deep. Some nice ones. Fishing slowed as the winds picked up and the front moved in.
Taking out at the ramp was a little delayed as people prepared boats right at waters edge. Should have been a sign to us to stay. Soon the weather was getting nicer and I am willing to bet the fishing too. Several nice boats coming in for a tournament it looked like also. Water temp in Good Hope area 73 degrees. Bullfrog 74.
Date Received: September 29, 2003 -Thomas D. Pettengill, UT DWR Sport Fisheries and Aquatic Education Coordinator
Jeanne and I finally found the stripers up at Bouy 132 from 2 - 6 pm on Saturday. I logged 73 miles on Friday covering the places you had such good fishing earlier last week and never saw a striper. Saturday Jeanne and I ran from Hansen Creek (our camp site) up to Hite. Had fun catching smallmouths and a couple of stripers trolling in Farleys and the main channel. Even trolled up around the house boat bouy field at Hite. At 2 PM we finally saw stripers boiling. Most boils were only 4 - 6 fish and they were quick and moving fast. Most of the time if we got there while they were still up or just stopped boiling and we cast a surface lure (poppers, small spooks, Devil Horse's) we'd get a hit. We only saw two bigger schools and got into one of those. We ended up catching 20 nice stripers. The biggest I put on a scale was 4 pounds. All were nice fat fish. We also caught smallmouths up to 13 inches on surface lures, trolling and jigs. I caught one largemouth (small) and had one larger one up to the boat but it came off. Had a lot of fun, got away from the crowds that were everywhere near Hansen Creek and found the fish.
Lots and lots of shad. Canyons near Hansen Creek and up to Knolls all holding lots of shad. Main channel above Good Hope holding lots of shad. Smallmouths were spitting up shad from 2" - 4". Saw shad feeding and swimming on the surface in places we didn't see any predators chasing them.
Lots of driftwood in White Canyon. Water has cleared since Marty Petersen was up there 10 days ago. Above White Canyon the water was green colored but good fishing in that colored water. Didn't see any brown colored water until we got above houseboats at Hite. Water temps in the mid to upper 70's most places from Bullfrog to Hite.
Date Received: September 29, 2003 -Eric
Arrived at Halls 2:00pm Thursday. Water Temp 71 to 73. clarity to 20 feet. Morning air temp low 50's Daytime Highs Low 90's. Started searching for Boils in Halls house boat area, made a run up to Knowles and back, No Boils in sight till returning to Halls about 6:30pm, Saw a few short ghost boils at the south end of Halls house boats, Then a few fishable Boils in the same area, from there to the Breakwater around the Halls pump out station, We landed 8 or so for the evening all 4 to 5.5 pounders.
Started at day break the next morning, Cruised from the pumpout station to the north end on the Halls house boats, Many ghost boils at the north end this morning, then a large fishable boil began just out of casting range and as the Game and Fish pulled up to check for our license, So needless to say he kept us from fishing that one. By the time he was done it had gone down. Made one more pass to the south end and found a decent boil in the no wake house boat area, caught a double in that one, both 4-5 pounds. We then headed up lake and back without any sightings at all. Friday evening, we headed to the houseboat area again to chase boils, Picked up a few more nice ones in the same areas as both the night before and this morning, also caught some of the smallest stripers I have ever seen, there were 1 pounders mixed in with 5 pounders, even smaller as one boil led us to the rocks just before the houseboats, actually landed a few 5 oz stripers on 1/2 ounce lures, as well as a few smallies in the same boil. The pattern for saturday remained the same both in the bay and up lake to Knowles, Light action in the mornings and a little heavier in the evenings, Only difference for Saturday was fishable boils did start at about 2:00 pm but with long waits between them and also they were along the wall across from Halls ramp this time. The Halls Mall was very slow all weekend so while having an ice cream we even fished for blue gill fun on my 12 foot crappie rod and a huge carp for my brother, all released of course, just breaks the day up while enjoying the shade and ice cream.
By the way, Sunday morning was very very dead, nothing at all spotted. left by 11:00 am.
Total catch (36 stripers) (4) smallies (1) channel cat (3) blue gill (1) giant carp........
Date Received: September 29, 2003 -Jerry Doerksen, Denver, CO
Fished Lake Powell from 9/22 through 9/26. Caught a couple of striper on anchovies but primarily fished the boils from Halls to just north of Good Hope. Our best action was at approximately buoy #127 in late afternoon. Also had good action around the Halls ferry cut early in the week. Used top water lures and Kastmaster spoons. Except for the boil around Good Hope they were not lasting very long and we had to get on the boil fast. Looking forward to coming down again in Ocober. I check your site for fishing info and appreciate the data you put out.
Date Received: October 1, 2003 - Rob Solomon & family
Fish report for: 25 Sept. through 29 Sept.
Water Temp: 70 to 75
Thursday the 25th:
Arrived at Bullfrog at 5:30 pm after an uneventful drive from Herriman, UT. Have to say I was kind of shocked at the amount of vehicles in the parking lots. After prepping the boat we launched with no problems. As reported earlier the right side of the ramp looking down is the best. There are a few potholes, but it is fine. Courtesy dock seemed busy the whole time we were launching. Noticed a lot of people parked down to the left (south east) of the ramp on the beach. It looked like some were launching there also. We headed directly up to the Hansen Creek area so we would be staged for the morning. Motored up Hansen Creek at dusk to find all good beaches taken. Finally found a suitable spot to beach the boat and camp. Saw no boils or activity on the way up. Lots of people in Hansen Creek. Sorry to the folks camped in the back with boats tied to their houseboats. Didn't mean to throw a wake and disrupt the evening, but the canyon ended A LOT sooner than I anticipated. Thursday night was cold. Had to throw extra blankets on. I sleep on the deck.
Friday the 26th:
Up at O'dark thirty. Thought I would take the opportunity to see the upper part of the lake and look for boils. Motored up to Fourmile without any signs of boils. The lake is smooth & beautiful at that time of the morning. Nothing like cruising with the chilly morning air blowing on you drinking cup of coffee. Motored back down to the Hansen/Knowles area and putted around looking for boils. After a long awaited beach playtime for the kids we cruised back toward the buoy field at Halls. Ran into Jim and Rich on the East side of the houseboat field. It was really nice meeting these two guys and putting a face to a name. Rich had to take off so it was Jim and us for the rest of the weekend. We cruised the buoy field and ran into a couple of small boils later in the evening. Karen lost her first fish and the Spook attached to it on the first cast. Wonder who tied that knot? Found a nice sandy spot just up from Coyote Cove and spent the night. Someone was trolling back and forth in front of us in a jet boat until late at night. Lots of lights on the boat. Wonder how they did?
Saturday the 27th:
Met up with Jim on the East side of the buoy field, had a cup of his coffee (better than mine in my wife's words). Motored around to the West side of the field and picked up a couple of boils. One fish landed. Lots of boats that didn't understand our boil etiquette. They would charge right in coming within feet of us at times. Oh well, we moved on to find our own and didn't. Witnessed Jim land a couple. This is quite a feat considering he was solo. Boat traffic was CRAZY Saturday East of the buoy field, which is probably one of the busiest spots on the lake. We headed downstream around the corner in search of less traffic and boils. No luck on the boils. More play time, then back up to the buoy field. Managed to scrounge up one fish just outside the tire breaks by the dump station. Boils were even fewer and further between this evening. Said farewell to Jim. Hope we can meet up again someday. Very nice fellow. Camped back on our sandy spot by Coyote.
Sunday the 27th:
Decided to putt up from our camp towards Hansen Creek at daybreak hoping to find some of the massive boils reported earlier in the week. Made way at 6 miles per hour up to Hansen and back to the large bay in front of Moqui with no boils spotted. Putted down past Halls, up into Bullfrog Bay and up into Halls Creek for playtime. By Sunday afternoon all the crowds were all but gone. We positioned ourselves on the East side of the buoy field for the evening boils that were sure to come with the reduced boat traffic. We had the whole area to ourselves and saw one ghost boil and that was it. Camped at a nice spot behind the buoy field. Couldn't even muster up a Catfish.
Monday the 27th:
At the ramp at 6:30. Only two other vehicles present. Note: Do not park in front of the dumpsters when preparing for the trip home. It STINKS! Loaded and headed home.
Over all pretty slow for fishing, but had a great time. Met some other Wordlings and enjoyed the lake and beautiful weather. Hoping for one more trip in October. Boils progressively got fewer as the week went on. Wonder where they are going. Ran into lots of folks who couldn't find the boils. Did see some other WW flags but they didn't stop to chat. One looked like a 17 or 18' Lund or Smokercraft.
One thing did disappoint me. We stopped off at a nice looking beach in Halls Creek one afternoon to let the kids play. After reaching the beach in looked like Omaha beach on D-Day after a frat party. Whiskey, beer and wine bottles, all kinds of trash, giant holes where anchors were buried and on and on. I filled two bags of trash before loading up the kids and finding a new spot. I still didn't get half of it. I was appalled that someone could leave a beach in that condition. To bad some folks just don't get it.
Date Received: October 6, 2003 - Mike Bevelhimer
I got back from Hall's Crossing last night and here's the news: This report will include information from several other fishermen who were freely exchanging scouting data with one another (including J.D. Rinderle).
I arrived at Halls Sunday night and spent time visiting with three other parties who had been out already. I spoke with two fishermen who had fished the north lake on Sunday and seen no boils all the way to White Canyon. They had gone into White Canyon out of curiosity and found the following: The water ends just after the battleship, and the driftwood and debris is so thick that they had to clear the intakes on their outboard three times getting in and out. Another had spent the day trolling Good Hope without seeing any boils. Stripers had been boiling along the wall across from Halls boat ramp up to Saturday but had disappeared. No substantial boils had been spotted in the Moki area since Thursday.
With two parties going north on Monday, I decided to concentrate on Bullfrog Bay. The day produced a very small number of light boils from which I extracted six healthy fish, the largest being 4lbs. 8oz. These boils were not organized into actual "boils", but were, rather, areas of surface feeding resulting in splashes. I saw more of this type activity over the next few days down lake so I'll elaborate here with my speculations.
In the areas of these "boils" I was able to graph large schools of shad being preyed upon by stripers while underwater. It appeared that what little "boil" activity happened was actually incidental to the underwater feeding simply getting near the surface. Not the intentional herding and trapping of shad on the surface as is the normal boil behavior. The stripers also seem to have gone on the move. Monday I found HUGE shad schools in Bullfrog being exploited by stripers. Tuesday I could still find the shad schools, but no stripers in attendance. I did find the stripers strung out (by the hundreds) in the main channel of Bullfrog Bay, at 35 - 45 feet of depth, in the morning. But in the afternoon they were nowhere to be found.
The Monday reports from those who had gone north, and knowing the same fishermen were trying the north on Tuesday, sent me south scouting Tuesday afternoon. I scouted as far as the mouth of the Escalante. I found a light scattering of surface feeding in the Rincon area, but no boils I could get to in time to cast to. (By the way, that is an impressive rock slide). I saw splashes in Slickrock Canyon and investigated. I found more HUGE shad schools being preyed upon and decided to cast to them. There was almost no "boil" activity unless you count shad boiling on the surface and jumping out onto the bank to avoid the underwater predators. By casting to the "shad boils" with Spook Jrs. I picked up four more nice stripers and six SMB, all over one pound. The next day (Wednesday) I took Wayne Dorsett with me back to Slickrock and, even though the shad were still there, the stripers were gone.
We, instead, went down to the Rincon where we saw splashes to fish to. We found shad in the shallows (15 - 25 feet) that were covering the screen and large enough that they were individual "arches". (The fish I caught in Slickrock and those we caught in the Rincon were full of shad 4 - 4 1/2 inches long.) We spent a couple of hours catching two nice stripers and 11 SMB on large topwaters. The SMB were all over one pound, and two of them were near two pounds. All were full of the afore mentioned 4 -4 1/2 inch shad and very aggressive. Although we were unable to catch many of the stripers, we were able to graph their activity. They were making quick forays into the shallows from the main channel (320 feet deep) using deep (90 feet) side channels as runways. These forays were very short and the effect on the shad seemed to incite the SMB into near boil activity. This was, by the way, very similar to what I saw in Slickrock the day before.
Sorry this is so long. I think the stripers are running the main channel in schools, making short forays into canyons and bays for "lunch" and retreating quickly to deep water. Unlike falls in the past, they don't seem to be camping on trapped schools of shad (a pattern that lends itself to vertical jigging) but rather acting more like the ocean-going fish that they are and free-roaming in a forage rich environment.
The side canyons mid-lake (such as Iceberg) that were fed by the flash floods last week, are all experiencing algae blooms.
Date Received: October 6, 2003 - Smokin Joe
This was the best trip to Lake Powell we have ever had. The weather was perfect... no wind...no storms... none. We fished from buoy 122 down to 67. The fishing was great. Without a doubt the best lure the whole trip was a chrome Rattletrap with blue highlights. A Wordling wrote "bring your net..." I didn't and regretted it. We launched at Halls kinda late in the day and were surprised to find almost no houseboat campsites in Moki (nothing but rock). We were racing uplake looking for a campsite and I was in the scout boat that didn't see a huge boil erupt behind me... huge fish flying out of the water at 102. My FORMER friend, following in the houseboat saw it and told me about it later. He mistakenly thought it was more important to find a campsite before dark than fish a huge boil with huge fish. We squeezed slowly into Knowles late in the day and made ripples in otherwise perfectly flat water (we tried not to)... we apologize to the guy with the big camera. The next morning we tried Moki Wall with no luck, and then headed up to Ticaboo Canyon and beached there for 2 days. There we were blessed with glassy water, just a few boats, and no jetskis. We caught 12 smallies and 2 stripers off the point at 122. Caught nothing in Ticaboo Canyon and it was full of fish. We caught 4 nice stripers using anchovies in the main channel at 121. One of my new Son-in-Laws caught our biggest fish there... over 5lbs.
After 2 days of mellowing out we decided to head South. When we cranked up the houseboat one engine got hot... busted water pump... so we cruised single engine back to the slip... grumbling. But, it was a good thing... we got to fish the boils from 102 to 106. There was lots of boat traffic heading uplake and there was 11 boats trying to fish the entire width of the lake at 103. Many boats cruised right thru the middle of the fishing boats, but in their defense we were spread out across the whole channel it was impossible for them to slip by. We ended trolling up to 106, and we were by ourselves when the boil started... they were small and scattered. We only boated a few stipers but we had a blast. We ended up leaving the big engine running and we zipped from spot to spot for a quick cast. We were mainly hitting them on the head to catch them. When the sun started setting we headed back to the slip at Halls... we kept seeing boils and we had to stop and fish... eventually the sunset was incredible... we have some photos that look fake. But, alas... it was not a perfect day... we were supposed to take our wives for a sunset cruise... oops... now I am thinking of renaming my new boat "Hot Water"! The next day we head South to 67 to sightsee and thought we were leaving the good fishing behind. To our surprise we got the best of both worlds. We fished a little cove, just barely in the Escalante, morning and night for 2 days. That is where Bubba's chrome Rattletrap excelled. We lost track of the numbers of fish, and at one point the livewell was so full we had to guard the opening when we were putting another fish in. One very alive Smallmouth found a small opening in the crowded livewell and jumped completely out of the boat... nothing but water... we laughed so hard we couldn't fish. We caught about 30 Smallmouth and 20 Stripers in that spot. Later, Bubba had to explain to my wife that she needed a hook on her line to catch a fish. My son-in-law caught a tiny fish that looked just like that silver Rattletrap, except it was about an inch bigger. You have to wonder what was he thinking?
Date Received: October 7, 2003 - Gunnie
Fished Powell 9/25 thru 9/29 I have too say the fishing was awesome. I threw primarily two baits for four days. A super spook Jr and a 5" pearl white fluke. Put the little baits away until the water temp drops a bit. I fished cuts off the main lake. The cuts that went from deep to shallow seemed to be the best. I mean deep like 60-80 ft to 15 ft in a matter of 100 yards or less. The smallies and largemouth are running and gunning with the stripers. If the cuts don't have any birds [shad]: grebes, herons, and so forth dont waste your time. Don't overlook the slick rock canyon walls. Put the trolling motor on high and work a spook as fast as you can. Don't stop until you get a bit. Smallies are fat and sassy. 15" fish are close to two pounds. Don't forget the trailer hook on your fluke or the smallies will smile at you while they spit the fluke like a bull rider spits copenhagen
Date Received: October 6, 2003 - Joel T.
Let it be perfectly clear, this is a fishing report not a catching report. If you're interested in body counts keep scrolling. However, if you can put up with all the gab there are some observations leading to some interesting speculation on what's going on (or not going on)...or something like that.
Sunday Sept. 28 left Phoenix for Hall's Crossing...450 miles down the road. Two trailer tire blow-outs later, of what appeared to be tires with little wear, put a crimp in the schedule. It was bad enough trying to find anybody open, that sold replacements, in Flagstaff on a Sunday, it's really difficult to appropriately describe the pickle you're in when the town is that booming bastion of commerce...Kayenta. I thought I was going to have to skin a couple of dogs to wrap around the rim. That's the first and last time I'll use the Walmart brand incense in my pre-trip homage to the fish Gods.
Pulled into Hall's at dusk and told by incoming anglers that Waynes "hot tip," buoys 109 - 114 had worked until Thursday, but no one had caught any since and fishers had resorted to small mouth fishing and eating icecream. I'd never been to Hall's before. Got on the water at dark and wandered around until I found a cove with shallow water, think it was in Hall's Canyon, anchored and threw out a light. Was in 40' of water and before I could get comfortably situated in the boat, the graph was showing solid shad from top to bottom (two inches long) and the graph depth read 3 feet(shad so thick graph thought shad was bottom.). Accumulating that many shad that quickly is unheard of in my experience (shad are scattered after dark and not naturally in schools). Either I had mystically located the best spot for shad ever known, or there were record amounts of shad this year, and in that case the odds of my bait being striper discovered were about the same as being able to sell a bag of ice cubes to an Eskimo living on an iceberg. As feared, didn't find any takers and went to bed early, fishless and biteless.
Monday morning checked out all recommended buoys and found neither boils or shad and noticed only one other boil hunter. Headed up-lake eventually unloading boat In Red Canyon. Met two guys hanging around waiting for boils who said stripers boiled all day long In Red the day before. I waited with them. They gave up and left about 1:00 pm... no boils. About two pm houseboat arrived that I knew. The two fishers were trollers. They trolled rest of afternoon, I graphed and jigged. Everyone was skunked. I never graphed anything that I could say with confidence was for sure, stripers, evidenty the prior day stripers had been a one day in-and -out phenomena.
Set out light in back-end of Red.The light, unlike the night at Hall's, took about an hour to begin bringing in shad. After 3 hours the 64' of water had 58' of shad. Couldn't believe their size so I snagged and measured a few to verify. Though shad so thick you could probably walk on them, and it wouldn't be a miracle, they were only one inch long and there didn't appear to be any larger ones in the bunch. I have never drawn in shad that small in the fall. Caught two catfish, no stripers. Of note was that shad school stretched out from boat as far as I could see, which was only about 12'. Usually when night lite is shut off shad begin disbursing and are completely gone within 90-120 seconds. It took me about 10 minutes to get ready for bed after shutting off light. At that time I glanced at graph again and unbelievably 90% of shad still there... instead of completely disbursing within a minute or two. The only explanation I can conjure up, other than they were all cripples, is that shad school extended out much farther than I could see...maybe 40 or 50 feet and, the shad the graph was reading, could not disburse, because there was no room, until the farther out ones had left. If this was the case, there was a humongus amount of baby shad around the light....it's mind boggling to speculate what the bay held.
Next a.m. headed up lake, Met Larry Wolfington who had camped at the Horn after trolling up from Halls. Larry had been trolling up lots of smallmouth and an occasional striper. I continued on checking out all the usual canyon suspects with no striper evidence until arriving at the mouth of White. There I saw my first "boil," and as has continuously been described, so subtle it was hardly a boil at all. A good name would be a "flash" boil., as it's like being "flashed" at a Rock Concert.... where after much crowd-egging-on a young lass lifts up her top for all to see.. The frustrating part is that usually before your eyes have time to focus in and appreciate what is now exposed, down comes the top. The first three flash-boils I never reached in time, caught one out of the fourth. They flashed once more and quit. I explored White but found nothing.
Coming out of White where first flash boil occured, saw two tail flips, so I stopped and tried a couple of secret techniques that usually worked on relucant stripers. First I faced and stared intently in the opposite direction of last splashes for minute or so, then turned around real fast... that didn't work. Then I laid down and pretended to take a nap for a minute or so before suddenly popping up.....nothing. Then I tried a new one. There was a floating restroom about a hundred feet away... So I went inside to use it and burst out thirty seconds later with rod in hand. still no luck...I'm sure it was that Walmart brand of incense.
Went back to Red, caught one striper in the one and only only flash boil found. Houseboat trollers in Red had caught one walleye during the days trolling. Right before dark, ended up in Blue Notch where Larry had been trolling all afternoon and had caught several stripers and they'd boiled once but disappeared before Larry could reach them. Set out light in Blue Notch about a mile away from previous night spot. Very quickly drew in lots of 2-inch shad which was promising but shortly one-inchers arrived and ended up with about a 50/50 mix. 55' of water soon had 55' of shad ...two catfish, no stripers for the night, however, when light turned off, shad disbursed almost immediately.
Next morning met someone who said latest Wayne's Words tip was Hall's buoy field. Thirty miles later after looking over buoys 109 - 114 I was at Halls buoy field where there were no stripers, shad, or people looking. I cut the trip short and went touring places I'd never been to before on my way home.
Speculation on what's going on: Basically all successful striper catching has been in the main lake channel. This is entirely different than any other year in my memory(which doesn't say a whole lot), by now stripers are usually starting to chase shad in the canyons and bays. The animals at Powell all depend on one type of fish or another for survival. Their activities are confirming the fishing reports. Grebe flocks at mouths of certain bays are moving into the main channel at feeding time instead of into the cove or bay, as is normal. Herons are not in the backs of coves and bays at feeding times, as is typical, and instead, the few there are, are at the mouth of canyons and coves. I saw a coyote at midday walking on sloped rock in the main channel, completely atypical, but it was in the area the fish are in. The animals are confirming the main channel is where their food source is.
Why are stripers there now, which is atypical? Night light indicated probably record shad spawn and the amount of baby shad indicates a later or possibly longer shad spawn than normal. I talked to Wayne and he postulates that this spring a strong inflow stirred up existing nutrients and also deposited new sediment and nutrients and colored the water from Hite to Bullfrog This resulted in a super amount of plankton, (shad food) and a tremendous shad hatch and survival.... but only in the Hite to Bullfrog area (the inflow affected area)...r est of lake seems normal.
Past fishing logs indicate striper fishing picks up when water temperatures drop into the low 60's and best in high 50's. It's known that stripers prefer cooler water. Right now water temp is still in low 70's. Even if water temperature not ideal stripers evidently will move into shallow water for a short time if no food available in main channel. However, this year, with apparently record amounts of shad, they haven't yet eaten up all the shad in the main channel, which are in the water temperature they prefer, and as a result haven't had to leave main channel.
This may be in the process of changing as main channel success reports seem to be waning. The Canyons I explored were loaded with shad. I suspect that soon the remaining main channel shad will be either eaten or chased into the canyons and when hunger overcomes ideal water temperatures preference, the canyons should explode. This process could still take several weeks...but maybe not. then again I could be all wet.
Date Received: October 20, 2003 -Dan Spitzer
My fishing buddy Neil, his 12 year old son and I launched from Halls on Friday afternoon, the 17th. We stayed through Sunday morning. The ramp at Halls is in great shape. We camped near buoy 103 and fished mostly main channel and canyon structure near the mouths of Forgotten, Knowles and Cedar canyons. We saw no boils. We caught no stripers. It was a tough bite in general but we did manage several SMB each that first afternoon. The SMB were in great shape and running much larger on average than previous trips this year. With little exception, we were finding SMB in the 20í Ė 30í range and were catching most of them on Yammy grubs in green, a few on Yammy tubes in green, and a few on other assorted colors. Although fishing was tough, the quality of the SMB made for a great fishing experience. In all I believe we caught approximately 23 -25 SMB, most of which were big by LP standards like the one Evan is proudly holding in the picture. Consequently, I had very few to keep and take home to Gloria for a fish fry.
We met Rich and I really canít add any insight to his report. I didnít find any of the kind of bird activity associated with boils and shad schools and I was constantly looking!
As mentioned by others, the weather was perfect and the water just warm enough for a swim each afternoon.
Date Received: October 20, 2003 -Allen Barney
Just got back from 4 days at Halls Creek Bay. We had to work for them this time. Tried drop shotting in the deep water in the backs of the canyons to no avail. There were plenty of fish on the fish finder but they didn't want anything we had. At night we put out our new light thinking this might be the answer. Nope. Lots of shad but no big fish. Saturday we noticed a few boats trolling about mid bay and decided to give that a try. Trolled Sunday morning for a couple hours using Wally divers and Shad Raps. Picked up 6 nice small mouth and 2 stripers one about 2 pounds and one about 4 pounds. We went back out that evening for about an hour and my son and his friend caught 4 nice stripers from 4 to just under 6 pounds.
Beautiful weekend weather could'nt be better. Bullfrog ramp isn't the greatest but still nothing to worry about.
Date Received: October 22, 2003 -Rich Sutterfield
Headed out for Lake Powell on Thursday 10/16, after the usual struggle getting out of Denver at 5:00 pm. Expecting good weather and challenging fishing, I was just looking forward to pleasant camping and boat riding if nothing else. Everything was going well, then I stopped in Grand Junction for a break and did my usual vehicle/trailer check-over and found I had fried a trailer bearing. I was quite surprised by this, I had just pulled the hubs and checked them last trip. I think I lost the grease cap when I hit a big bump before GJ and it just slung out all the grease. No problem, I thought, I had a new hub and bearings all greased up and ready to go. But when I pulled the hub, I saw the worst-case scenario: the spindle was badly damaged, the races were fused to the spindle, even the nut was fused. It was 10:00 pm so my heart sank a little realizing I was going to have to hold up and wait for a trailer shop to open in the morning. But that worked out well and I was back on the road Friday around 10:00 am. Good people at The Spring Works in GJ if you have trailer problems.
Arrived at Bullfrog around 2:00 pm Friday, and was shocked at how many folks had the same idea. I was unaware of UEA weekend. When I got on the lake, I just motored uplake, and was amazed at the boat traffic. Lots of people just cruising, but also a lot of fishermen looking for boils. The area around mile 99 was very busy, fishing boats cruising by every minute or so, with anglers looking around expectantly. If a boil had happened it would have been mayhem.
So I tied on a couple of Shad Raps and started trolling the structure just north of Halls buoy field, just wanted to relax from the trip. I caught SMB doing this but no stripers. Now and then I would stop to cast but nothing doing. The lake did not quiet down until dark. I saw no boils the entire trip so let's just say that right now. But I did have some fun with topwater lures and SMB before dark. I tied up for the night in the Halls buoy field, put a lantern over the side, and within 15 minutes I had hundreds of shad under it. I jigged with spoons and plastic, snagged a couple of shad and used them for bait too, I did have a fish on but never saw it. Did that until after midnight, then crawled into the sleeping bag and called it a day. A great night for sleeping on the lake.
Saturday morning dawned another beautiful day, I was up before sunrise and took off up lake, both to look for boils and also get away from the traffic. This strategy worked, the lake was fairly peaceful up past Forgotten Canyon.
I ran into Matt Madsen on the way, we talked about the fishing and he had not seen any boils either. I ran into several canyons along the way and still no boils. Then I decided to give up on stripers and went into Cedar Canyon, caught some SMB on topwaters, ran into Dan Spitzer, they had been catching some nice SMB but all that stopped around 9:30.
I started trolling structure in the canyon and could not get bit. Went across the lake into Warm Springs canyon, same results there. Went back to trolling main lake points and reefs with Shad Raps, and that worked for SMB. Now and then I would find a good area where I could pick up more than one fish, but when I stopped to cast I couldn't make that work, regardless of what lure or technique I used.
I could get a dink to take a yammie now and then but that was it. But it was nice and peaceful up there, the boat traffic stayed mostly downlake. So I trolled all day, color did not seem to matter, I caught about the same amount of fish on Fire Tiger, Natural Shad, and Holograph Shad Raps. It was a nice day. Ended well, SMB were hitting topwaters well the last hour of the day.
All in all another fine trip, the weather was picture-perfect, catching was good enough to make it interesting. Hopefully the stripers will come back soon.
Date Received: November 3, 2003 -Frank Masuga
We caught these trolling coves and points off of the main channel around bouy 83 the week of October 20th. No big boils, just trolling shallow diving shad raps until we found fish.
Date Received: November 3, 2003 -Family Swaner
We caught a few fish at Bullfrog last week. This picture is one mornings catch and we had similar days. Had a great time catching some catfish when the stripers would not bite. The big striper in the picture is 7 lbs. We caught all stripers on anchovies. We saw lots of shad, but no boils.
Date Received: November 21, 2003 -Marty Peterson
Arrived late Tuesday afternoon at Bullfrog. Easily launched my 17 foot boat. Then easily parked in the only lot with another vehicle in it. Thursday morning when we left all lots were empty. Trolled around Halls area, with no bites. Our plan was to night fish. Finder showed possible fish on the edge of the Hall's Bouy field nearest to Stanton Creek. We put out both underwater white light and green light. Within 30 minutes of dark we had shad schooling. We also had a propane lantern above water, that helps to see in the boat. Wind was light and variable. The changing wind direction added difficulty to staying in the same place with the depth deeper than a regular anchor rope. Around 250 feet. So we did move around a bit. But the shad followed. Just after 7 pm the first Striper hit. Rather small around two pounds. Then about 30 minutes apart more bit. And just about each fish caught was bigger than the previous one. Around 10 pm the five pound plus fish came in.
Richard Snow being a heck of a good Night Fisher, boated three of those, up to 5.4 pounds before the fish quit biting right at 11 pm. Richard boated eight Stripers the first night for a total weight of over thirty pounds.
Me, I am not as skilled. I try to make up for my lack of abililty by purchasing a second pole permit and fishing with two poles. Even though the best advice says to fish only one pole at night. Trying to manage the boat, help net fish, not fall asleep and fish an extra pole cost several missed hits and broken lines. I boated two Stripers the first night. Both of those swallowed the anchovy, jig head and all.
Up before dawn Wednesday, we headed up to the cove east of Stanton Creek to try to troll up some success written up from the weekend. No hits using shad raps lead line and mono. Could see a school right at the "neck" and spooned up a 5 pound Striper. On a Hopkins. But nothing else. Trolled around with no success the rest of the morning. Took a GPS reading and picture of the "neck". We had been told about some good looking structure up Forgotten Canyon. So we cruised up there. The fishing was great. Using 1/8 oz jig heads and any plastic body we caught nice SMB, LMB, Sunfish and a trolling rod. Saw what looked like Shad and Stripers on the finder. Spooned up 4 Stripers, a good LMB and a good SMB on a medium WallyLure. Missed some too. In 20 to 30 foot deep water. None on Hopkins or Kastmasters. Also picked up some Striper and SMB on anchovies. At dark we went back to the Hall's Bouy Field.
Having learned my lesson the night before, I set up two poles, double checked the drags and lines, but, decided to concentrate on one at a time. Richard was using a circle hook and small weight. So I set up one with 8 lb leader and just a large swivel for weight. My other pole had a 1/8 oz jig head on Fireline. Both worked. It did not matter which to the fish. Around 7 pm again, a small Striper hit. I caught it. Then the Stripers went wild. Our Shad school was much larger than the previous night. Maybe that makes a difference. We only had about two hours before the Stripers quit. And the Shad were gone too we noticed. But after dragging 20 Stripers most between 4 and 5 pounds through the area, maybe the Shad just plain spooked. We fished our anchovies about 25 feet deep and the Stripers hit in groups. It was a lot of fun until we had to fillet around a hundred pounds of fish back at camp.
Date Received: December 1, 2003 - Dave Huffaker
Spent last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the Rincon area. Weather was cold on Thursday, better Friday and Saturday. Main channel water temp 54.
Best spot I could see to launch at Bullfrog was just to the left of the courtesy dock as you are looking out at the lake. A little muddy but no problem. Didnít even put the truck in 4wd.
Only caught 1 - 3 lb striper on Thanksgiving trolling near the mouth of Slickrock.
Friday morning caught several more stripers trolling in the area near the floating restroom in the Rincon. Three sizes, some 12 inches, some 3-4 lbs, and some 5-7 lbs all in the same areas.
Headed down to the back of Long Canyon mid-morning Friday thanks to Wayneís report of a boil there a couple of weeks ago. I must have just missed it. There were crows and herons there, marked lots of shad approaching the back of the canyon. They werenít boiling but they were still there. Caught a dozen or so BIG stripers, all 4-6 lbs on rattle traps and spinner baits. Moved out to where the water was 40-50 feet deep and caught a couple more on a wallylure spoon. They were all over on the depth finder but I couldnít get them going on the spoons. Went back there 2 more times before I left Saturday afternoon but only caught 1 more small 12" striper.
At least some of the LMB and SMB are still shallow in the backs of the canyons. Didnít catch them in all canyons, but if there were shad around, there were bass around. It wasnít fast but I could consistently catch them most of the day on plastics.
They werenít all shallow though. I spent some time looking around with my new aqua-vu camera. I saw lots of SMB as deep as 55 feet but didnít try to fish for them.
The quality of the fish is the best I have seen in years. Caught many SMB in the 12 to 15 inch range and a few LMB up to 3 lbs, even 1 nice crappie, all very healthy.
Date Received: December 1, 2003 - Rich Sutterfield, Jack Herrin
Water temp: 54 - 58 degrees
Jack 'Hotweels' Herrin and I had Thanksgiving dinner with our families, then headed to Bullfrog Thanksgiving night. Friday morning, we took care of errands we needed to do, then launched the boat. I used the 'ramp' next to the courtesy dock, the incline is good and the footing firm. Then, when I was parking the truck, I see an unexpected, but familiar sight, Rich Bailey prepping his bass boat for launch. A small world indeed! We exchanged greetings and he extended an invitation to night fish on the Poco Loco which we gladly accepted.
We fished during the day with little success. Tried the same place that had been successful the previous trip but something had changed, the big schools of shad were gone from the back of the cove. But we were really just biding our time until dark anyway. Even before dark, you could feel an unusually cold night sneaking in the back door.
We boarded the Poco Loco before dark and got set up. Put out the lights, kept looking for the shad schools to show up, but they didn't. Now and then a small bunch would come into the light for a few seconds, but then they were gone. We were having confidence problems about that time, wondering if we would catch any fish. You gotta beleive. Then I felt my line go slack, and set the hook into the first striper, not to be the last. From 7:00 to 9:00 pm Jack and I had them going pretty good, even a couple of doubles. If one of us missed a strike, the other would get it. Sometimes we would all catch the same fish! Sure was great seeing Jack rassle with those bruisers. Rich B's side of the boat was slow that night. Not very nice of the fish, the host is supposed to catch the most! We did chum frequently and think it helped. Most fish were caught around 40-45' deep. We caught around 25-30 stripers, mostly real nice fish, only a few were small. Coldest weather I have ever felt at Powell, down in the 20's. But I would do it again tonight if I could.
Saturday we took care of prep for the night fishing, there was a few things we wanted to do better, like stay warm! Again day fishing was slow for us, but the days are so short now you just don't get much time to try different places and techniques.
Cranked up the lights Saturday night, and the shad disco started right away, loads of shad in the lights. But fishing was slow on our side of the boat. Rich B was doing well though. Everything evens out I guess. We did manage to snag some shad and that did draw more strikes. Also we couldn't catch anything unless we went down to 60' deep. Not as cold that night, still managed to put another 10 fish in the cooler. And a lot of these are are quality fish, 4 - 5 pounders, with very good yield in fight and filets. You don't have to catch a lot for it to be fun or fill the cooler:
A boat pulled up in the darkness, we decided to hail it as Muleymark, and to our surprise, he answered back, 'Yep that's me'. It's a small world on Lake Powell sometimes.
Sunday we fooled around close to Bullfrog before we left, did manage to catch a few LMB. Lake was very calm and quiet. Headed home tired, content, and with plenty of striper filets.
Date Received: December 22, 2003 - Rich Bailey, Cap'n Dickie
Arrived Thursday at around noon. The ramp is a mess but you can still launch to the left of the courtesy dock. I parked there too. I did graph the area and it looks like straight off the end of the ramp will be bad for along time as there is a big rock formation sticking out there. But slightly to the left they are still launching and retrieving houseboats. In that area the water has a real gradual drop going to about 6' where it drops off quicker. Launching to the left of the courtesy dock is perfect. I didnt even have to get my feet wet. I launched a 20' bassboat. Water temp 54 to 57. water level 3599.22
I was on my houseboat on the bouy. I haven't taken it off the bouy in the last 5 trips. I used anchovies. I started at around 40' caught fish down to 80', but i would say 50' was the best. If you fish the bouy field bring lots of jig heads or hooks and weight as you will get cabled as i call it. ( snagged on the cables below) Watch for wind changes that swing the boat. Pull up your lines when this happens or you WILL get cabled. Temps weren't as bad as weeks before maybe a balmy 28 at night and 45 during the day. No wind was nice too. My deck was like a ice skating rink after i flopped a few fish on it. I'm planning a return trip the first weekend of the new year. Oh yea, Chum alot.
Started fishing around 6pm and got my first fish by 6:15. The shad didn't show up to my light till 8:30. That's when the fish stopped hitting. Shad still come to the light but it took them 2-3 hrs. They are around 4 to 5 inches long. Then the shad left at 9:00 and the fish started again. I fished till 12:00. The later it got the bigger the fish got. I weighed each fish and they went from 3.8 to 5.8 lbs for a total of 62lbs. I got up at 5am and started fishing again and caught fish till 8:30 when it was time to eat. I caught those fish with no light. I did a little shad rap trolling but couldnt catch anything. Time for a nap. Then at 4:30 I started again and caught more fish without the light. Turned the light on at 6, No shad came again till 8pm. Then I fished for 2 more hours without a bite so it was bed time. 35lbs that night. I did have a big, like 3 foot long striper that wouldn't stay in the net (too long). I figure he would have weighed in at around 15 to 20 lbs. I need a bigger net. Maybe Santa will bring me one. Got up early on saturday to more fish without the light. The ferry was going by as I was catching a nice one and he blew the horn. Well I had some cleaning to do (fish and houseboat). The total weight including the morning fish was 108 lbs. Was nice to do a solo trip again. 2 more weeks till I go again. Got my 2004 fishing license too. Merry Christmas to all my new friends at the lake.