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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: Fishing is exceptional for stripers and smallmouth bass

Lake Powell Fish Report ­ August 7, 2013

Lake Elevation: 3593

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Water Temperature 77-81 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words

Lake surface temperature and lake level are declining. Cool monsoon weather patterns are adding much needed rain water to the lake but not enough to keep the lake from declining one foot per week. Fishing success for stripers on anchovy bait and smallmouth on plastic bait is still exceptional.

Adult stripers are holding at about 30 feet where cooler temperatures make life more pleasant for these hungry fish. Add some anchovy chum to the water and stripers come running. Best fishing spots are still the same with old favorites like the Dam, Power Plant intake, and steep walls in Padre Bay and Navajo Canyon. Hungry striper schools can be found in just about any canyon lakewide by graphing along the canyon walls while looking for schools and/or just by chumming a few spots and waiting for fish to show up.

Some fine points that make finding striper schools easier include fishing along the shade line created by a steep cliff wall. Another key point is to target a fractured cliff wall or small isolated rock slide along that shaded steep wall to find a fish holding spot. Stripers really like to hold near a smooth slick rock hump at 30 feet with deep water all around.

Striper surface action has been confined to a few very quick boils very early in the morning or near sunset. Lack of abundant shad schools limits the amount of feeding that can be done in the warm surface layers by adult stripers. Any surface action is now performed by juvenile stripers that are able to withstand prolonged exposure to warm water. There will be more surface action in the northern lake but boils are not common anywhere on the lake this week.

These shad eating youngsters can be targeted by trolling or casting small swimbaits where surface disturbances are seen. Small baits are the key right now and perhaps a fly rod would be the best method of delivery. Look for isolated surface feeding fish and then work the fly where fish are seen. Some would call this fly fishing for striped trout.

Smallmouth bass are now found most often along steep cliff walls in the shade much like stripers. A rock pile or single boulder along the edge provides shade and structure in which bass hide and feed. Drop shot rigged shad-shaped worms provide the best bait and presentation to get down to the bass zone. The 20-30 foot bottom contour is the prime fishing zone.

Few game fish are very shallow now with the exception of largemouth bass. They prefer dense leafy cover and have found that in the rich weed growth now found in the back of V-shaped sandy coves. Small forage fish are hiding in a few inches of water between the shore and the first set of weeds. Largemouth will be on the deep water side of the weeds looking for the small fish.

Water levels are declining but life goes on as fish do the best they can to find their niche in the sandy coves or in the depths of the steep lake that is still over 400 feet deep in the channels.

Photo:

Arianna Blalock fished with her Dad Travis from AZ near Buoy 25 where stripers are still eating bait like potato chips. They can't stop at just one. Kids really like to catch fish on family outings and now is a great time to fish with cooler weather and fish just as hungry.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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