Lake Powell report

Information compiled by Wayne Gustaveson,

Attention: Quagga mussels have been detected at Lake Powell. Protect other Utah waters by cleaning and draining the water from your boat before leaving Lake Powell. Your boat must be dried for 18 days before you can launch in another water. If you plan to launch sooner than that, a professional decontamination is required. Learn more about these destructive mussels.

Waterbody Report
Lake Powell

Lake elevation: 3,606 feet

Water temperatures: 77–80°F

Carl Lind of Wittmann, Arizona caught this three-pound striped bass in Last Chance Bay while trolling a shad rap. Fishing is much better this week because stripers are chasing shad to the surface each morning and evening. The stripers are fat after gorging on a bumper crop of shad. They are very strong fighters and are willing to hit surface lures.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson

Reports of stripers feeding on the surface really had me invigorated this morning. We took off for Navajo Canyon at first light and studied the calm water at the mouth of the canyon. It was the same place where boiling stripers were caught in big numbers the day before. A few fish broke the surface, but we could not identify any stripers. The next decision was to wait for the action to start or to travel up canyon. I waited about 10 seconds and then decided to go uplake because patience is not one of my virtues.

It seemed like a good choice — scattered stripers were breaking the surface just past the double islands. My cast to a surfacing fish was rewarded when I caught my first top-water striper this month. Stripers were surfacing all around the bay, but they were not bunched up. They appeared to be feeding individually instead of in a school. We decided to troll and caught a few more fish on Shad Raps and Bevy Shad. We saw a few more individual splashes as we traveled to the Big Sand Dune where we turned around.

On the way back down the canyon, we trolled near the shore by rocky points and rock piles.  Smallmouth bass were obviously feeding on the shad — each rock pile paid off in at least two bass and occasionally in another striper. Our largest bass weighed almost two pounds.

The next stop was the mouth of Warm Creek on the shoals marked by white buoys. We trolled there and found more bass ready and willing, but the average size was smaller than the fish we caught in Navajo. We picked up one larger striper while trolling the shoals; it was 19 inches long and weighed three pounds. These stripers are very fat! That bodes well for fall fishing.

Upon my return, it was reported that the boils at the mouth of Navajo were strong between 8–9 a.m. Oh well, that’s fishing!

The northern lake is still the best striper fishing location, and The Horn is the most consistent spot. We also received reports from Escalante and Rincon this week. I think the whole lake is now fishing well. We're seeing small quick boils during the first two hours of daylight and the last two hours of twilight. If more than five fish break the surface, attack them with surface lures and shallow runners. If you only see one fish, then troll in the area of the splash with medium runners that dive 12 feet down.

Bass fishing improved dramatically when the surface water temperature dropped into the 70s. Bass are hanging on the deep-water edge of rock piles that extend into the main channel.  They will hit surface lures early and late but may be caught more frequently on plastic grubs in shad colors all day long.

Fishing has definitely improved. It's time to plan the fall fishing trip to Lake Powell!

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