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Brett Prettyman
Brett Prettyman writes about the outdoors, recreation and fishing for The Salt Lake Tribune

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Lake Powell Fishing Report - Lake level rising, so is fishing success

Lake Powell Fish Report – May 28, 2013

Lake Elevation: 3598

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Water Temperature 67-72 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words

Lake Powell came up another foot in the last week and surface water temperature rose to 67 degrees first thing in the morning. These conditions are perfect for all warm water fish in the lake. Expect the incredibly good fishing to continue another week.

Striped bass are still hungry and looking for food. While the main channel areas from the dam to the back of Navajo Canyon are still productive, there are better fishing areas in Padre Bay. Let me rephrase that. You might only to catch 30-50 fish at the dam, Buoy 3, Power Plant intake, and points in Navajo Canyon. Catch rate at Buoy 25 will easily allow harvesting of 100 stripers in a single trip. Mouth of West Canyon offers similar results.

Buoy 25 directions: Find green buoy 25 between Face Canyon and the mouth of Last Chance. From the buoy look to the right (south). You will see a tall red cliff wall. On the upstream side is a shorter cliff wall. Further upstream the shoreline turns to slick rock. The longest slick rock cove is the center of the fishing universe on Lake Powell right now.

There are tons of good striper bait fishing spots in the southern lake right now including Gunsight Canyon mouth, Cookie Jar Butte, and islands in the main channel near Gregory Butte. Canyons in the Escalante (Willow Creek) and San Juan (Deep Canyon) offer the same 100 stripers per day opportunities.

At midlake the mouth of Halls Creek and cliff walls on the opposite shoreline offer the 30 fish day opportunities. In the northern lake runoff has muddied the water from the Hite inlet down to Red Canyon. Fishing is still good in Red Canyon but try to find clearer water for best results.

From Bullfrog north, fishing for walleye may offer the best opportunity for success. Trolling deep diving hard baits (Norman Little N) near the bottom from 12-20 feet has been very productive. Casting live worm harnesses may be the best technique. Target 20-foot flats and look on the graph for drop offs. Put the bait right on the edge of the drop off and then slowly move it along the bottom for best results.

Smallmouth bass are extremely friendly lakewide right now. Plastic tubes and jigs bounced on the bottom or drifted on a drop shot or Carolina rig offer bass just what they are looking for. Most broken rock structure will have smallmouth bass in attendance. Broken rock at 15 feet and deeper will have bigger bass than the shallower zone. Don’t be surprised to catch a largemouth, walleye or crappie while fishing over rocks.

Channel catfish are nearing their spawning period making them super active and easy to catch night or day.

Gizzard and threadfin shad are in spawning mode right now producing young shad that all game fish need as forage. Tiny shad have been collected over the length of the lake. The highest concentration of shad was found in the muddy water near the Colorado River inflow but good shad numbers were found at Bullfrog and Wahweap. In the southern lake shad numbers were highest in Navajo Canyon.

Shad spawn impacts angling in that the spawn occurs early in the morning. That is when shad-eating fish will be most active. Mid morning may not provide the same quality fishing results so get out early.

Young stripers will soon discover baby shad and begin slurping them off the surface. The surface feeding season is only a short time away. It will be wise to have a small swimbait lure tied on and ready to use when a surface disturbance is seen.

Photo Caption: Kaleena Jones from San Tan Valley, AZ had a great family vacation to Padre Bay on Lake Powell. She enjoyed great fishing for many species but caught some really nice largemouth bass in the process. Fishing is still excellent for striped bass and walleye at Lake Powell.



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