Lake Powell Fish Report July 17, 2013
Lake Elevation: 3596
Water Temperature 79-84 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words
Fishing techniques and results have not changed much in the summer heat. A morning or evening fishing trip still provides a healthy number of fish caught that would make anglers in other lakes jealous. But this is Lake Powell where fishing success is expected with every trip.
Yesterday to check current trends, I sent two young anglers down to the dam and told them to fish for one hour and report back. They eagerly obeyed. Another boat was there when they arrived on the west side of the Glen Canyon Forebay about 100 yards from the barricade. The first boat was catching stripers so my crew joined in. They used anchovy bait fished at 20-30 feet on quarter-ounce lead head jigs. The bait worked best when still frozen as it stayed on the hook when stripers bumped it trying to get it to fall off. After the bait thawed stripers stole more bait and were hooked less often than when bait was solid. When the 60 minutes were up the count was 25 stripers in the cooler. That is a catch rate of 12.5 fish per hour amazing!
It was a good hour, but the report included the fact that stripers stopped hitting at 10 AM. Timing plays an important part in successful fishing now. Bait fishing at the dam is good morning and evening. Mid day, fishing along the main canyon walls (Power Plant Intake) is good but boat traffic makes the experience less enjoyable. A better choice mid day would be in the open bays such as Padre Bay Canyons, Last Chance or Buoy 25 coves. Here fish are still active on bait but the seas are usually calm. Find a spot where a ledge slopes into the main channel at a depth of 20-40 feet. Chum the spot and fish bait for 10 minutes. Stripers will come quickly to the bait if not choose another spot and try again.
Striper fishing is more of a visual sport from the San Juan to Trachyte canyon. Look for boiling fish each morning and evening but also at random times during the day. More shad of larger size in the mid and northern lake make the difference in fishing results. Stripers are chasing shad on top in the north while the first crop of shad has already been consumed in the southern lake. That may change soon as our sampling indicates the second crop of shad has been recently spawned in the south.
Hot spots for surface feeding stripers include the San Juan arm, Escalante Arm, Rincon, and Good Hope Bay to Trachyte. Kastmasters or other small spoons may be the best lures to use as shad size is still small and long casts are needed to reach quick feeding schools as they pop to the top.
Smallmouth fishing is steady at 25 foot depths with drop-shot or Carolina rigged baits. Get the bait down in deeper water to reach the larger bass feeding on crayfish near sloping rocky structure.
Catfish are plentiful and offer some rally great fishing in the evening near camp. The catfish bait-fishing catch rate will rival the 12 fish per hour found for stripers in some spots in the backs of canyons and bays. Summer is here but fishing is still tops at Lake Powell.
Photo caption - A random group of houseboaters held up their catch of stripers as we drove past. Bait fishing for stripers is still good and very fun in the southern lake while surface action is heating up on the north end of Lake Powell.
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