Warm weather is long overdue. Morning water temperature has been below 60 degrees all spring. Over the past 10 years water temperature on this date exceeds 60 degrees 70% of the time. This morning it was 57 F – Again! Cold water has prevented bass anglers from finding bass in the manner to which they have grown accustomed. The delay has been noticed by many. Usually bass fishing in May is off the charts. This year only smaller bass are active. The key to catching bass in cold water is to down size lures, slow down presentations, and to fish in the warmest water available.
Largemouth bass and crappie will be found swimming together under floating tumbleweeds in the backs of canyons and coves. It is challenging to catch fish from the sticky weed beds but it is possible. Rising water will cover live tumbleweeds growing along shore and within two weeks will flood year-old tamarisk trees. This cover will quickly be occupied by brush-loving fish and provide needed refuge for young bass and crappie recently spawned.
Good news for bass anglers is that water will warm this weekend and bass action will greatly improve when water temperature exceeds 64 degrees. That will likely occur only in the afternoons this coming week. So in the mean time ---
Best fishing this week has been found in sweet spots in the backs of canyons. Main channel water is cool while protected spots in colored water in the backs of canyons may be 10 degrees warmer. Reports are trickling in where anglers have found active shad spawning in the backs of remote canyons. These shad are surrounded by hungry fish including stripers, walleye, crappie and bass. The best catching reports are coming from the Escalante while the San Juan has been less productive.
Stripers in the southern lake are best caught by trolling and casting in the backs of canyons where bottom depth is 25 feet. Stripers are scattered as they forage on plankton near the surface. Some fish are still being caught sporadically on bait but fishing in the backs of canyons is now more productive. Midlake bait fishermen are doing well near Moki Canyon.