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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 - 'If you feed them, they will come'

Lake Powell Fish Report – July 23, 2013

Lake Elevation: 3595

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Water Temperature 79-84 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson of Waynes Words

It is full moon during the summer monsoon season on Lake Powell. Monsoon tends to cool off the afternoon heat with a huge cloud buildup that is magnificent to watch and much appreciated. But the accompanying evening wind covers up striper boils which are much more likely to occur in the evening when the moon is full. This week surface feeding action is much quieter than it has been. Stripers are still feeding on top very early in the morning but the boils are more subtle and short lived. Surface feeding occurs randomly when cloudy weather and calm water combine at just the right moment to please fussy stripers.

The other ingredient slowing down fishing success is warm lake water (80 degrees) that keeps adult bass and stripers in deeper water separated from shad that live near the surface. Now that is a bad introduction into a fish report so the positive spin is all about bait fishing.

Bait fishing for stripers continues to be phenomenal. If you feed them, they will come! It is wise to take some frozen bait along on your camping trip. Many good fishing spots have been reported at the mouths of canyons where the side canyon meets the river channel. Lake, Moki, and Hansen are producing very well in the mid lake area. Downlake stripers are still holding at the Dam, Powel Plant intake, points in Navajo Canyon, Padre Bay Canyons, Buoy 25, and Last Chance. Steep rock walls in Face and West Canyon are producing well now. On calm evenings there was a good striper boil in Dry Rock Creek last week.

From Good Hope to Trachyte there is a quick early morning boil followed by good bait fishing during daylight hours. The key is to find the location of a striper school by seeing a few fish hit the surface. Then chum the area with anchovies to catch the bigger fish that are holding in cooler water. Once a school lights up on bait anywhere on Lake Powell, catching is fast and furious. The normal holding depth now is 25-30 feet which is just below the warm water zone. Fly fishermen can chum up a striper school and then catch stripers constantly on fast sinking flies.

Smallmouth fishing is steady lake wide. Carolina or dropshot rigged plastic grubs work very well. Fish shallow rocky structure for smaller fish and 25 feet deep for the bigger ones.

Largemouth bass are getting a break now as aquatic weeds are starting to populate the sandy flats that appear at low water. Look for green weedy flats to find green bass.

Catfish are going crazy! I had a report of small cats actually boiling on shad at the back of Navajo Canyon. A can’t-resist bait is small salad shrimp fished on a drop shot rig on sandy beaches in the evening.

Its full moon at Lake Powell but fishing is still wide open if you choose the right technique.

Photo Caption: Ryan Mosley and Eric Axlund took all the kids fishing at Glen Canyon Dam and found great success catching lots of stripers on bait. Kids love to catch fix quickly with no down time and that is what is happening right now. Bait fishing is the best technique and striped bass and catfish are the two most active species.



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