July 2006

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They’re Slipping Into Summertime

Lake Powell Fish Report

They’re Slipping Into Summertime

By Wayne Gustaveson

As of press time, Powell’s lake level is stabilizing, and surface water temperature is steady. The constancy allows fish to slip into summertime patterns.

That is really a good thing because fish will be in the same spots and do the same things for most of the summer.

Stripers will be on the lookout for shad. The first hatch of shad was good in the southern lake and great in the northern lake.

Since then, shad numbers are lagging in the south but consistently good up north. Stripers will have a brief boiling period where young stripers will eat larval shad each morning and evening.

The boils will get bigger and better with time from Bullfrog to Hite and in the San Juan. But, from Rainbow to Wahweap, boils will simmer and then decline until more shad are found. If looking for boils, go to the upper reservoir.

The lack of shad near Wahweap means that the over-abundant adult stripers will continue to be caught with anchovies in incredible numbers. Stripers are holding at 30-50 feet in the main channel from the dam to Warm Creek, including Navajo Canyon.

Catches of 30-plus fish per trip are common, and those results should continue into the first of July.

Night fishing at Wahweap and Antelope Point gets better each day. Try a green or white light from your boat or fish from the public fishing docks to enjoy catching fish in the cool comfort of a balmy evening.

Bigger bass have gone deeper during the heat of the day. Probe the depths to 30 feet with a plastic grub or tube to find some decent smallmouth bass.

If you just like to catch fish, then throw the soft plastic bait near shore to find an eager army of little bass willing to bite at most times of the day.

The real excitement comes from throwing top-water lures around brushy pockets and rocky points at first light in the morning. Bass and stripers are searching the shallows for food during twilight.

One of the most common patterns found in summer is a consistent topwater bite. It is possible to fish all day with a Super Spook Jr., Jumpin Minnow, or surface popper.

At the end of the day, the surface bait will be responsible for catching just as many fish as the deep running plastic baits.

Catfish and bluegill are active in large numbers. Use live worms on a very small hook for good panfish action.

Kids around a houseboat should always have a rod rigged and ready for sunfish that swarm the boat looking for shade.

Summer is here, but the fish haven’t quit biting. Take fishing tackle along on your family vacation this year.

After more research, I have added another hotspot report:

  • Dam – Fish the ledge on west side which coincides with barricades 3-4 and 5.  If those spots are taken, go uplake.
  • Corner as lake turns left (north) at Buoy 3.  Fish the shade line in the morning.
  • Power Plant Intake – (Construction boom on rim) Fish early before boat traffic starts.
  • Buoy 9 – Gently sloping outcropping near shore is the best place.
  • Small canyon just upstream from Buoy 9 before the lake turns left heading for Navajo
  • Mouth of Navajo on the main channel side — either side of the entrance along main channel
  • First corner of Navajo Canyon – Fish shade line in the morning. Look for a yellow rope on the right side to tie up to a good spot.
  • Double islands in Navajo Cyn – Go beyond islands and fish the first and second points on the left hand side of the channel.
  • Mouth of Warm Creek and main channel
  • Padre Butte between Buoy 21A and 22B – Fish the channel beyond Padre Butte to the south.
  • Jacks Arch – mouth of San Juan
  • San Juan - Too muddy, stay in main channel.
  • Buoy 65 -East channel wall 200-500 yards down lake of Cottonwood Canyon
  • Buoy 74 - Mouth of Bowns and Long Canyons, 50-100 yards from main channel inside of Bowns Canyon’s NE wall
  • Buoy 92/93 - West wall of main channel 50-150 yards down lake from mouth of Lost Eden Canyon
  • Halls Ramp – Cliff wall downstream from ramp
  • Buoy 99 A at Hansen Creek

At press time, the lake elevation was 3,611 feet, and the water temperature was 75-80 F.

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