When Wayne Gustaveson suggests you drop everything and head to Lake Powell you really should consider doing so. Here's his report.
Lake Powell Fish Report – March 13, 2013
Lake Elevation: 3600
Water Temperature 48-57 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words
This weekend will be the very best time to visit Lake Powell so far in 2013 due to the wonderful warm weather that has finally arrived. It seems to have been a very long, cold winter but that is now changing. Lake surface temperature has now climbed above 50 degrees during the day, although it still cools to the high 40s at night. By next week 40 degree temps will be a thing of the past.
With these low temperatures there has been no significant fish movement. Bass, stripers and just about every other fish in the lake are holding in the backs of the canyons where water color is stained. Color variations are a great clue on where to find fish. Head to the back of any canyon and watch for crystal clear water to suddenly take on a subtle chalky white, or some shade of brown or grey. These color changes mark the location of higher fish concentrations and mark shallower water as well. There are definitely still fish in the clear water, but it is easier to catch fish where the water is murky.
The first Wahweap bass tournament of the year was very successful, despite the snow storm, as Mike Crowther and Mike Hanson caught 10 bass weighing over 42 pounds in two days of fishing. They were using plastic grubs and making long runs uplake from Wahweap. The key was to fish deep (10-20 feet) structure. Finding the right rubble pile at depth is more important than searching for the right water color when fishing for bass. Bass are structure oriented. Now, without brush to hold largemouth bass, look for unique bottom structure to mark the fishing pattern of the day.
Stripers are not looking for structure. They prefer to follow the food. Shad are in shallow water using water color to hide from sight feeding predators. Good fishing reports have been received over the length of Lake Powell. It is impossible to launch a boat at Hite, but adventurous anglers walked to the mouth of Farleys Canyon and had good success fishing from shore. They caught bass, stripers and walleye. Those launching at Bullfrog found good success in Red Canyon trolling for stripers.
We went uplake and tried Last Chance and Rock Creek with good success in both. The pattern is to find cloudy water that is 25 feet deep. Slow troll (2.5 mph) a medium running crank bait to locate the first striper. Then cast to the following school mates as the first striper is being reeled in. We caught about equal numbers of fish trolling, casting and spooning. Just look at the graph when the lure is reeled to the boat. If the fish marks are suspended quickly cast the trolling lure behind the boat. If fish marks are on the bottom pick up the spoon rod and drop quickly to the striper school. Let the lucky angler that caught a striper trolling net his own fish. If you act quickly you may be line to use the net immediately after the first angler is through with it. He can be casting again while you net your own fish.
What happens if you do not act quickly? You only catch one fish. Then you have to relocate the school again.That’s all right too. But I am overly focused on maximizing the opportunity by catching as many fish as possible. Stripers really like to follow a hooked fish. React quickly and see if your catch rate increases.
Photo: Ryan, from Roosevelt Utah, fished with family in Navajo Canyon last week and caught some nice stripers trolling in murky water.