Lake Powell Fishing Report

Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

February 3, 2020
Lake Elevation 3576
Water Temperature 46-49 F

I put on 5 layers of clothes, loaded my rods and tackle in the boat and headed uplake for the first time this year. Unfortunately, the lake level is too low to allow passage through the Castle Rock Cut. We launched at Wahweap Main Ramp and headed to the main channel near the dam, then uplake in the narrow channel. My friend took his boat, which goes much faster than the Utah State boat I usually use. Travel time from Wahweap Main ramp to the mouth of Warm Creek (Buoy 12) was 35 minutes with two long wakeless areas included in the travel package. Our boat was traveling at 40 mph with no other boat traffic. Add summer traffic and boat wakes to the journey and arrival time to the mouth of Warm Creek increases to an hour or more. That is a lot of travel time, but the fishing results were worth it!

We learned that stripers have not moved and schools are holding right where they were in November through January. The key to finding fish is to graph the lake bottom looking for a school of fish. It is a good idea to troll while graphing to catch some random stripers that are searching for shad forage. Striper schools are right where we left them – Warm Creek, Gunsight, Padre Canyon, Last Chance, and Rock Creek.

We went to the back of the canyon and decided to begin at the same spot where we caught 60 stripers on spoons in December. Smart graphs and spot lock trolling motors are amazing tools to find and catch fish. We went to the old waypoint, saw fish on the bottom, dropped spoons and caught stripers. We had about 25 stripers in the cooler when the school departed. We then trolled a while looking at some of our recent good spots which are now a lot shallower than they were last summer. After 45 minutes, we went back to our hotspot and found a replenished school of stripers waiting for us. They really like that spot which is 73 feet deep in the middle of the canyon. We put a bunch more stripers in the cooler. Finally, it was time to leave but we were still catching fish. We decided to have a final contest to see who would catch the most fish. We dropped spoons at the same time, jigged up and down for 90 seconds and then WHAM! We both hooked up at the same instant. We ended in a draw, 25 fish each, 50 for the day. Lake Powell and stripers are amazing.

Large and smallmouth bass are active and catchable along rocky slopes, crevices and rock piles. Just work a green plastic grub slowly along the rocky bottom with a few pauses in the retrieve. There are some really nice 3-pound largemouth and 2.5-pound smallmouth actively working the shoreline in almost every canyon.

Uplake travel is going to be challenging this spring, but the fish are there waiting and will make the trip very exciting and worthwhile.