Lake Powell report
Information compiled by Wayne Gustaveson, www.wayneswords.com
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.
On Jan. 14, an angler caught a 12.1-pound, 32-inch striped bass at Lake Powell.
Lake Powell's sport fish enjoyed a great year in 2014. Threadfin shad came back in record numbers, which gave all of the fish species a seat at a banquet table. Fish responded by growing rapidly in the warm water during the fall. Now, over the winter, striped bass have continued feeding.
Fish are in remarkable health and condition. Striped bass have not been this healthy since 1993. When shad are at a low point in the spring, stripers typically head to the main channel by the dam in the southern lake or Moki wall near Bullfrog. When shad are thick, stripers stay in the backs of the canyons where shad spend the winter.
In 2015, it looks like you should plan on fishing the backs of the canyons instead of the main channel. Ray Young from Page, AZ confirmed that recently by catching a 12.1-pound, 32-inch striped bass by trolling near Lone Rock in Wahweap Bay. Fishing was not fast, but he caught five smaller stripers along with the big one.
The fishing pattern was very similar to the techniques that produced well in November and December. The big fish was caught on a Lucky Craft XD100 Pointer trolled behind a one-ounce weight to gain more depth. The bottom depth at the capture sight was 30 feet. The 30 to 45 foot strata has been the prime holding depth for striper schools, and that hasn't changed in the dead of winter.
If you're fishing for stripers during the next two months, head to the back of any canyon and troll while graphing to look for striper schools. Target the area where bottom depth is 30 to 45 feet. If you only see single fish, troll over them hoping to catch a bass, walleye or striper. If you see a school of fish, stop your boat and jig with spoons or marabou jigs to catch stripers.
Fish quality at Lake Powell will be superb in 2015, but anglers will catch fewer fish because there is much more food than normal. The end result will be higher satisfaction with each fish caught, because of the size and quality of the catch.