May 2006

Lake Powell Bass Spawn Has Begun - Crappie, Walleye, Stripers, Ready To Bite

Lake Powell, ArizonaPhoto and Story By Wayne Gustaveson

GOOD CATCH -- Koby Mosley, 5, of Layton, Utah, hoists the crappie he caught at Lake Powell. Crappie fishing here is peaking and will be better than it has been for a decade.

Mid-April saw the beginning of the bass spawn, and the fishing was expected to peak toward the end of the month.

As of press time, Lake Powell was still very clear, so nesting bass could be easily seen with polarized sun glasses. Find a bass nest and toss a slowly sinking plastic jerk bait (Senko or fluke) or small suspending crankbait over the nest. 

Aggressive male bass attack everything near the nest for the first two days after spawning.  Catching male bass is easy, but please return nesting male bass so they can protect the eggs and young. 

Keep the females caught near the nest if a fish dinner is desired. Long casts are preferred since fish can see boaters just as clearly as they are seen.

Crappie Fishing Better Than Ever

Crappie fishing is peaking and will be better than it has been for a decade. Find a brushy cove with sunken tumbleweeds, tamarisk and cattails. 

Crappie will make their nests right in the middle of the thickest brush. Drop a small, soft plastic grub straight down into openings between bushes.

Jig it a few times to attract hiding crappie. Retrieve the lure slowly near brush to find females not on the nest.

Use a bobber and suspend the jig about 3-4 feet below the surface. The jig then moves in a slow horizontal plane just above the brushy crappie lair.

Return jet-black male crappie to protect the nest and young. 

Walleye Starting To Bite Again

Walleye have started to bite again following a successful spawn. They will be caught while fishing for bass and crappie.  If targeting walleye, add a live worm to the bass lure or troll wallydivers or hot-n-tots across points at 8-15 feet. 

Walleye are light sensitive and are most readily caught at dawn and dusk.  Troll mudlines during daylight to find bonus walleye.

Stripers Ever-Present

Striped bass are ever-present in the southern lake. The main channel from the dam to Navajo Canyon has a seemingly endless supply of 2-5 pound stripers. 

The best spot is the wall from Antelope Point marina upstream to the mouth of Navajo Canyon.  The Power Plant intake current keeps attracting more stripers daily.

Drift along the wall, chumming at each outcropping or point where stripers seem to stop.  Catch as many fish as possible and then drift to the next point and repeat as often as necessary. 

Harvest all stripers caught in the southern lake as there are many more than the forage base can support. Stripers are feeding with bass in the shallow brushy pockets in the backs of coves and cuts.

Find tumbleweeds and stickups dense enough to hide forage fish, and stripers will be close by. Use suspending crankbaits with a stop and go retrieve for best results.

The same patterns will work lakewide. Use fishing techniques that have worked successfully for you in the past. 

Fishing with confidence will work anywhere on the lake; if fish are not caught, just keep moving until they are found.  

At press time, Powell’s elevation was 3,589, and the water temperature was 55-64F.