Stripers have been “slurping” for a few weeks. This means they are swimming in a line eating tiny shad on the surface. Casting into the middle of the line causes the fish to spook, go deep, regroup and slurp again. Stripers are “boiling”. Shad are larger and swim in schools. Stripers circle the shad school, drive it to the surface, then eat as many shad as possible before shad escape.
Stripers are now boiling in Lake Powell. They pop up in a circle instead of a line. Boiling stripers are aggressive. Just cast over the boiling circle and work your surface lure or crankbait over the feeding area. These fish are not afraid of the lure splashing nearby and continue to feed until shad break away.
On my weekly trip, we left Stateline ramp before the sun rose above the horizon. Going early improves the chances of finding boils and assures that the ride through the main channel will be calm. We scanned for surface action all the way uplake but did not see the first boil until rounding Gregory Butte and heading uplake toward Rock Creek. Small boils were apparent in front of Friendship Cove and all the way to Rock Creek.
We saw groups of about 10 small stripers breaking the surface. We raced to the edge of the boils, stopped in casting distance, immediately cast our surface lures over the school and then worked the lure back over the feeding fish. These small boils lasted for less than a minute. We caught about one fish from each little boil. When they went down, we scanned the surface, saw the next boil and raced over to repeat the process. Boil fishing is a high adrenaline activity. It is my favorite fishing technique.
Boils can blow up any place at any time, so stay alert. When the morning boils quit we searched for more as far uplake as Dangling Rope without success. We did catch a few smallmouth in 20 feet of water on plastic grubs while waiting for another boil to surface. Finally, we heading back down lake at about 9 a.m., only to find our best boil of the day in the channel between Buoy 25 and Gregory Butte. Larger stripers hold in deeper water and come up quickly, boil and dive back down to get into cooler water.
These fish were 2 to 3 ponds while the early morning fish were 1-2 pounds. We caught 3 big fish out of the late boil. Our total catch for the morning was 20 stripers and a feeling of satisfaction. Boils are back!
Boils are blasting lakewide. Our sampling crew made a trip from Wahweap to Good Hope Bay. They reported each main channel boil to me by cell phone. Boils occurred randomly throughout the day at the Mouth of Rainbow Bridge Canyon, San Juan about 1 mile from the mouth, and Bullfrog Bay. Some anglers were kind enough to report their boil sightings from Llewellyn Canyon to the mouth of the Escalante. We have video evidence of stripers boiling in Good Hope Bay all the way to Trachyte Canyon. It is now boil time at Lake Powell. Boils will last through August and perhaps through September in certain canyons where shad are plentiful.
Fishing Great At Powell
Bait fishing still works for larger stripers that must hold in deeper cool water. Bait fishing is successful lakewide. Smallmouth bass fishing is steady, not as fast as it was a month ago but still dependable. Catfishing is surprisingly successful. Some catfish are still spawning, and are very aggressive in 10-20 feet of water at night. Many are using a green light and anchovy bait to catch stripers at night.
Lake Powell is busy, weather is hot, but fishing is still great using the right techniques at the right place and time.
At press time, lake elevation was 3607 and water temperature was 78-85F.