Lake Powell Fish Report August 28, 2012
Lake Elevation: 3624
Water Temperature 78-83 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words Fishing Report
Lake Powell water level has declined another foot this week leaving 16 feet of water in Castle Rock Cut. Falling lake level and a slight dip in water temperature may have jacked up fishing success another notch. Sporadic catches of stripers early in the month have given way to dependable results every morning and evening.
Finding stripers is easy and dependable. First thing in the morning, cruise along the shoreline looking for a few random splashes. When close enough to the splash ring cast a surface lure right at the ring. If that doesn't work, drop a spoon to the bottom, jig it a few times and then speed reel it back to the boat. Check the graph to see any fish activity. If there are fish on the bottom continue to work the spoon. If no fish are seen, move on looking for more splashes.
At some point the surface lure or spoon will hook up. Hopefully the active school will follow the hooked fish to the boat. Then all that cast spoons, swimbaits, shallow crankbaits or plastic grubs near the hooked fish could hook up with trailing fish. Put as many stripers in the boat as possible before the school moves on. Save picture taking and deck cleaning until the school departs. Then move on to graph more schools or find more surface action. These close encounters with striper schools may result in 10-30 fish in very short order when the school stays in range for 15 minutes.
The majority of fish caught near the surface are 14-inch stripers but larger fish are caught more often in deeper water under the school of small stripers. Wahweap Bay holds a ton of 14-inch fish with a few 2-3 pounders in the mix. There have been good early morning boils near Lone Rock and Castle Rock recently. Best time is from dawn until 8 AM.
Navajo Canyon has the biggest stripers in the lower lake with many 4-7 pounders caught recently.
The same pattern holds up the main channel through Padre Bay and beyond. Cottonwood Canyon has a gazillion juvenile stripers just waiting for someone to cast in their direction. Reports from the San Juan and Escalante are off the charts. I can't write how good it actually is because no one would believe it! Piute Bay and canyon is loaded with 4-7 pound stripers eager to hit top water, trolled lures or spoons. The Escalante near the Indian Ruin offers the same banquet with big fish being caught on top and at depth.
Bullfrog is more like the main lake with the report being "really good". Good Hope bay is off the charts in the northern lake. The only spot underperforming right now is Hite. Fish in Good Hope now and save Hite until next month.
That about covers fishing success for the first 3 hours each day, but there is more. Remember each spot where fish were caught and return there after 9 AM. Schools regroup and rest in deeper water. Now they can be caught on bait. Anchor or tie up near the best early morning action and chum with anchovies for the opportunity to catch more and larger fish. Stripers are not ranging very far and often return to the same bay or channel location each day. Find a good spot one day and return the next to duplicate previous fishing success.
My heart is racing just writing about this. Labor Day weekend should be a really good time to fish the lake despite the looming full moon. Fishing is quite good now because stripers have found shad. That should overcome the negative effect of full moon. The only downside to bright nights is that morning fishing success may decline and evening success will increase.
Photo Caption: Corry Sparenberg, Parowan UT, caught some nice walleye, including a 4-pounder, in Navajo canyon while trolling a deep diving lure. Stripers are the hot ticket now. They can be caught trolling, spooning, or in boils over the length of Lake Powell.