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.
Lake elevation: 3,591 feet
Water temperatures: 56-62°F
Bass anglers led the way. Reports of 50 bass per trip were common. Bass were also biting plastic baits fished along the bottom or crankbaits cast to shore and retrieved in shallow water. Afternoon fishing in warmer water was much better than morning fishing, but both were worthwhile. It is not necessary to wait until noon to catch bass as it was a month ago.
Searching the shoreline in Rock Creek and Padre Bay for bedding bass nests was not productive. There were a few nests seen and some reported, but the majority of bass have not reoccupied the nests for the magical second spawn. That means good bass fishing is still to come. The most likely spawning period is from April 19 to April 24 following the cold front moving in tomorrow.
Anglers are still catching stripers by trolling to find the school and casting to catch more fish. Stripers are relatively shallow and really like to hold over shallow water humps near deep water. Shad are hiding in shallow water while stripers are at the mouth of the cove making sure no shad try to escape from the box canyon. Small shad lures trolled over those striper humps (10-25 feet) activate the striper school. Trailing stripers are still being caught by casting shad-imitating lures in the area where a striper was caught trolling. However, striper fishing in the southern lake is less successful than it was in March and early April. We retraced our steps used to write the last fish report and found striper numbers only half as great as were caught the previous week. Searching in the coves near Buoy 25 produced no stripers. My guess is that fishing pressure caused many of the sun bathing stripers to move on. They will not go far. I expect them to be found within a few miles of Buoy 25 in the next week. If you find them let us know!
Farther up lake, striper schools were larger and acting in a more normal manner. That means large schools of stripers can be detected on the graph while trolling. If they are too deep for the shallow trolled lures they can be marked and then caught with spoons as the boat returns to hover over the school. A striper school was reported to be holding at the mouth of Bullfrog Bay near Buoy 94. These fish were eager to strike a trolled silver and blue Thunderstick Jr. When the fish were seen under the boat, they could be spooned off the bottom at a depth of 25 feet. Stripers were being caught at the mouth of Red Canyon trolling, spooning and casting.
Walleye were showing up well in Good Hope Bay. They could be caught trolling and jigging on shallow flats (15 feet) out in open water. Find a submerged flat and bounce a trolled lure off the bottom to excite walleye holding on the shallow terrain.
The mud line created by runoff from the Colorado River is upstream from Red Canyon. Stained water starts at Buoy 118 and increases near the mouth of Ticaboo.
A few crappie are being caught in the backs of canyons from Good Hope to Trachyte. It is necessary to go all the way to the back of a canyon to find clearer water not impacted by silt from runoff in the main channel. Crappie are also being reported in the San Juan and Escalante arms of the lake.
The brief cool down will delay the catch of all species midweek, but the bite will warm back up again by the weekend.