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: 77-83°F

The summer heat is back and the lake level is dropping. Striped bass are still boiling and juvenile smallmouth bass are incredibly easy to catch. This is a great time to bring your kids to the lake and teach them how to catch bass.

Raquel Dibble caught stripers in boils while casting a rattletrap to small groups of stripers in the main channel at mid lake. It's boil time at Lake Powell.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson

Last week we found larger shad hiding out in the backs of many main channel short canyons and coves. Small larval shad were still common in the main channel. Smallmouth bass were near the larger shad schools and very actively pursuing small trolled or cast shad raps or plastic grubs cast to the shoreline and worked into deeper water. If a shad school was seen in the back of a cove, it was almost impossible to keep the smallmouth off the hook.

Stripers were a bit inconsistent, being caught like crazy one day and then missing in action the next, only to return on a different day and time. There were some hotspots that would be a great starting point if heading out looking for boils.

The best spot this past week was the Horn just upstream from Good Hope Bay. All sizes of stripers boiled from the mouth of Red Canyon all the way up to the Horn and then beyond to Trachyte Canyon. When one school would go down it was possible to just look for the next school, rush over to that one and catch more fish. If cruising from Red Canyon to Trachyte, fishable boils could be seen in abundance.

The next best hotspot was the Escalante Arm from the mouth all the way back to 50 Mile Canyon and beyond. Schools were not as large here as in Red Canyon and the Horn, but they were very catchable on full-size surface lures, crankbaits and spoons. There was more downtime when no boils were seen but the school would soon erupt once more and catching would begin all over again.

Downstream from Bullfrog the channel from Annies Canyon to Buoy 88 was very productive. Upstream the main channel from Knowles to Good Hope Bay was consistently producing striper boils.

Do not overlook the Halls Buoy field. Some anglers ran down to the Escalante Arm and were disappointed only to return to Halls and find boils going near the houseboats.

In summary, there are boils occurring over the length of the lake. Surface action is more likely to occur in the main channel. The best time is still morning and evening but from Rincon to Good Hope, boils may be seen all day long.

Many small shad and small stripers are working the main channel with bigger stripers joining in more often in mid to northern lake canyons and bays. I have wondered about the San Juan and why there are no reports coming from that direction. But as I write this report the following report just came in:

'Many large boils in Cha Canyon area of San Juan. Almost all boils were in the early morning. Not much activity in the afternoons. Lots of shad were seen in the area.'

If you like to catch stripers in boils, now is the time to give it a try. The chances of finding boiling stripers are high. This good surface fishing should continue through August and into September. It looks like shad will continue to provide food for boiling stripers for the short term. Now our job as anglers is to go out and save some shad by catching striped bass.

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