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: 3,613 feet

Water temperatures: 82–85°F

Russ Bassdozer of Page, Arizona has been getting up at 3:30 a.m. so he can get to the lake in time to catch bass on topwater lures, crankbaits and senkos. Bass fishing is excellent each morning and late evening and is definitely the best thing going at Lake Powell this holiday week.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell is red hot!

The water surface temperature is well over 80°F first thing in the morning. The air temperature is well over 100°F each day. The air cools off into the high 70s after the sun has been down for a long time at night. The wind is mostly calm. All of this explains why so many boaters, swimmers and campers love the lake in July. What a great place to be!

Anglers can also enjoy the July celebration at the lake, but there is a window when fishing success is truly excellent. The timeframe is early morning and late evening. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are very aggressive and easy to catch on topwater lures, shallow-running crankbaits and weightless wacky rigged senkos. The time to start fishing is when the sun begins to light up the eastern sky between 4–5 a.m. Fishing is great until about 7 a.m., when bass blink at the sun and move back into the brush or slip into the depths.

Evening bass fishing gets good again when the sun settles low in the west. Again, topwater and crankbaits cast close to the brushy shoreline are the best bet. Sunfish have found shelter in the freshly flooded green brush and old tumbleweed piles that are now underwater. Largemouth bass live in the brush with the sunfish, and smallmouth bass are in deeper water (not far away) so they can make a quick trip into the brush for a meal.

Bass fishing is steady all day long. Just cast plastic grubs to shallow reefs or quick-falling slickrock slopes and points to find bass eagerly awaiting forage fish. There is no question that bass fishing provides the best success right now. To catch a lot of fish, target smallmouth bass.

Striped bass are not slurping/boiling as much this week as they have during most of June. From their behavior today, it seems that the supply of small shad has dropped. Where big slurping groups were seen last week, there are now only very small groups or individual stripers working the surface in the early morning in the southern lake. It is probably only a coincidence, but declining surface action in the south usually means improvements in surface feeding in the northern lake.

The best surface action seen this week was in the evening. Watch for a quick boil of larger 18- to 20-inch stripers in the main channel or main canyon as the sun sets in the evening.

During the daylight hours, the most consistent striper technique is trolling along the shallow-sloping shoreline, where the bottom depth is 25–30 feet. Trolling results are steady for 18-inch stripers. Target rocky points and reefs, and troll along the 25-foot layer with medium-depth crankbaits. Remember to drop a spoon to the bottom or cast a crankbait behind the boat when a striper is caught trolling. Other stripers will be trailing along behind the hooked fish. It’s a great way to increase the catch rate.

Trolling with 12-foot divers at depths of around 12 feet will still provide some decent walleye success. Walleye numbers are still above average and you can continue to catch them in midsummer. We found today that fast trolling (4–5 mph) for stripers resulted in an occasional walleye when the lure passed near a bush or some other likely walleye hangout.

Fishing is still good, and you can cool off by swimming with the fishes when you get hot.

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