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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 - Cooling water will turn on the action

Lake Powell Fish Report – August 28, 2013

Lake Elevation: 3590

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Water Temperature 76-79 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words

It was much cooler this week with much needed rain and cool weather. Water temperature is slowly dropping but water is still warm leaving fish in the deeper zone. Overall fishing success has not changed much in a week. Striped bass are still looking for bait in 20-40 feet of water along the main channel walls. Smallmouth bass are very agreeable and catfish are really excited about joining the party.

Let's start with smallmouth. We went to the corner of Gunsight Canyon and Main Channel looking for rocky structure. On the east side of the intersection resides a bumpy, flat, rocky area. Some rocks stick out of the water with shallow cuts interspersed between visible rocks. Most of this rocky flat was too shallow for consistent bass action so we looked for shady drop-offs. We lowered our drop-shot rigs when we found a deep water edge with a drop from 5 feet to 30 feet. The boat was placed right over the drop-off and baits allowed to sink straight to the bottom. My first 8 drops resulted in 6 smallmouth caught that ranged in size from 10-inches to 2 pounds.

The most successful drop-shot baits were Yamamoto shad shaped worms in baby bass color. Baits were nose hooked with small octopus hooks (size 4) and drop-shot weights were 1/8 ounce.

We could have worked the big drop-off for a long time and caught many bass but the wind came up and rain threatened so we moved on. Satisfied that bass fishing was still excellent we moved to the striper wall at Buoy 25.

At Buoy 25 look to the right (south) to see a tall red cliff wall. A smaller white wall joins the red wall on the upstream side. That spot where tall wall and short wall meet seems to be the best fishing location for bait eating stripers. Depending on time of day the shade line marks the precise striper school location. A handful of chum followed by a small piece of bait on a light jig head or circle hook results in constant hookups. If the bait descends to 30 feet without catching a fish reel it back in and cast again. The active fish are shallow.

Lakewide bait feeding stripers are being caught at the same locations that have been hot all summer including the dam, intake, Lake Canyon mouth, Halls Creek mouth, and Deep Canyon. Some boils and excellent spoon fishing results are found at the inflow areas where near Trachyte and the upper San Juan.

Bigger stripers show signs of spending the summer without adequate food. Smaller fish are in good shape and are the best fish to fillet. Keep all stripers to keep the fisheries in balance. Less fish next spring will be able to share the new shad crop more efficiently and rejuvenate the striper fishery.

Catfish are really active on the sandy beaches where houseboats park. Fishing is fast in the evening and will provide excellent entertainment for kids and parents alike. Use the same fishing outfit for cats that was successful for stripers. Just a plain hook with a chunk of bait and no weight allowed to rest on the bottom in 10-15 feet of water will catch many fish. Catfish tend to tug on the bait and then drop it. They taste it first and then come back to eat it. Resistance from a heavy weight may discourage their return. Free floating bait may out fish a weighted offering. The only way to decide is to try it for yourself. Let me know which technique works best for you.

Its been a great summer for fishing success. With water cooling, the action will only get better in September.

Photo: Fishing for stripers along the main channel walls near the mouth of major canyons is still very productive as shown by Brian Myers from Colorado fishing near the mouth of Lake Canyon.

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

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