April 2008

Lake Powell Warms And Fish Respond

By Wayne Gustaveson


GOOD CATCH! -- Monroe Jaccard, a 12-year-old from Glendale, Ariz., smiles as he shows off his catch: a 6-pound striped bass caught at Glen Canyon Dam in mid March. Fishing at Lake Powell is warming up with the weather.

Finally, the lake is starting to warm and, consequently, fishing has improved. Do not expect super-fast fishing that happens when bass spawn or stripers stage. 

The expectation now is that the fishing excursions will be rewarded with a few fish instead of none.

Largemouth bass fishing is still the most productive. Run a spinnerbait through a brush pile or drop a tube along the breaking edge of a flat to entice a strike. 

There will be long stretches of fishless shoreline punctuated by a certain spot where four or five bass can be caught in quick succession. Study the fishy spot and try to duplicate the productive elements in other canyons or coves.

The pattern is very important. It may include water depth, sun exposure, amount of brush present, substrate of sand or rock, and a myriad of minute details. The reason for the popularity of bass fishing is that it takes some critical analysis and ingenuity to be successful. 

The reward of catching a bass from a spot that “looks just like” the successful spot in the last canyon is very gratifying. 

Smallmouth bass are coming on with many more caught this week than last. The bonus of pattern fishing is that smallmouth bass do not know that you are fishing for largemouth. 

They will bite every time the bait is placed in their strike zone.  Fishing a watermelon green tube jig may result in an encounter with a largemouth, smallmouth, or walleye. Find the pattern and the fish will sort out the rest.

Here is a hint. Some fishermen are better at fishing a plastic grub while others excel with a tube.  If you are not a proficient tube angler, keep using the grub even though the tube is working better at the moment.

If you decide to become more experienced with different terminal baits, make sure you can feel what the bait is doing in the water. Grubs are easier to feel as they are retrieved along the bottom.

Tubes are in a weightless condition more often and harder to maintain direct contact between angler and bait. But, when a new bait is mastered, it may become your best weapon.
Stripers are finally coming up in the backs of the canyons. Good reports recently came from Warm Creek on the shoreline east of the floating restroom.

Crankbaits cast along the white rocky shoreline were taken by 1-2-pound fat stripers. This is what I have been waiting for. 

Stripers in the main channel (near the dam) are often disconnected from their food supply and may not be in prime physical condition. Those that live with the forage in the back of the canyon are often in better condition. 

The parting shot is a plug for spring weather.  It has been very nice here this week. Spring storms make it difficult to enjoy the scenery, but calm warm days are unforgettable.

At press time, lake elevation was 3,590, and water temperature was 52-58F.