Lake Powell Fishing Report

Lake Powell

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Arizona Game and FIsh

by Arizona Game & Fish Department

September 11 report

Lake Elevation: 3617

Water temperature: 77-82 F

By: Wayne Gustaveson or

Fishing at Lake Powell continues to be “different”. Striper boil season has still not officially started. There are a few stripers surfacing each morning and throughout the day. The small 10-fish surface pops are a sign to notify anglers where the striper school is located. When a few fish are splashing, head quickly in that direction and cast small topwater lures when in casting range. Hit the splash ring and the striper will hit your lure. There are 3 sizes of stripers working: small, medium and large. Small fish are the most common in the warm surface water, but larger fish will come up for a short burst.

Boils are the marker, but the big catch comes on jigging spoons. Watch the graph while fishing topwater. When stripers leave the surface and show up under the boat, quickly deploy jigging spoons. If the depth is 40 feet or less, drop to the bottom and jig a few times then speed reel up 15 feet and stop. Jig again and then speed reel to the surface. Drop the spoon again and repeat. This method will fill the cooler with FAT, healthy stripers.

Spoon choices include Kastmaster type spoons, which work best on the retrieve. Cast them to the boil and work them back quickly. Then drop them to the bottom and reel the spoon back to the surface. Jigging spoons flutter as they fall. These spoons work better going down. Speed reel spoons off the bottom and then let them flutter back down. If the spoon quits falling on slack line before it should hit bottom, it is likely that a fish has the spoon. Set the hook!

On our weekly trip we found all of this advice to work well. However, we were very surprised when some of the stripers turned green on the way up. We caught some huge smallmouth bass while spooning in 15 to 30 feet of water near the submerged brush line. Smallmouth bass and stripers are sharing the same schools of threadfin shad. Smallmouth bass that have been hiding out recently, are feeding on shad in open water. We also caught one largemouth bass on spoons while jigging on the bottom. Fishing continues to deviate from the normal expectations for each season of the year.

Here are some recent northern lake fish reports. Boats are still launching at Hite. Some large boils popped up midday at North Wash and afternoon boils were active along the shade line. Stripers were caught trolling near the Horn and downstream to Castle Butte. There is a main channel boil hotspot between channel marker buoys 114 and 116.

Halls Creek bay has been a hotspot for stripers. Spoons are the best technique similar to the reports in the southern lake, but afternoon boils pop up as well. The San Juan has similar short boils near the mouth of Deep Canyon in the main channel. Again, spoons harvested more stripers than topwater lures.

Finally, another magic marker is, ravens gathered on the shoreline. Stripers boiling near shore cause shad to jump out of the water and end up on shore. Ravens are excited to eat shad and they often wait for stripers to boil each day. Find a flock of ravens on shore within a few feet of the water and cast surface lures toward them. It will surprise you how often this turns into a boil.

Fishing is really exciting right now as we apply new techniques to catch the many species of fish in Lake Powell.

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