Lake Powell Fish Report for 3-17-2021
Lake Powell Fishing Report
by Wayne Gustaveson
The weather is still acting like a lion instead of a lamb. March winds are still blowing this week. Check the weather report while planning a trip. There is usually a calm day or two each week. Fishing on a calm day instead of a windy day often produces more fish and more happy anglers. (Check the weather at the bottom of the home page on Wayneswords.net). Lake level is still going down. The Castle Rock Cut is closed. Bullfrog Main ramp is closed. Launching is still possible at the Bullfrog Executive ramp. Wahweap ramp remains open until the lake level drops to 3557 MSL. Halls Crossing ramp is open above the water level of 3549 MSL. Right now, the prediction is that runoff will start before these ramps are out of the water. I will keep you informed.
Shad numbers have declined in the southern half of the lake and crayfish are now the most common food item. Crayfish are bottom dwellers that scoot from rock to rock. That makes the old standby plastic grub the best bait once more. Bounce the plastic grub on the bottom, then lift and drop it to the bottom again. You can catch anything eating crayfish (all species of game fish) using plastic grubs. Crayfish are green and brown with an orange tinge in color so plastic grubs in these tones are preferred. Some big largemouth were caught last week along with a few smallmouth bass. Bass fishing will improve with time and warming.
Striped bass are still moving from deep water to shallow water. Small stripers are eating plankton in the shallowest warm water available. Look for surface disturbances when water is warmer than 53 F. If that surface disturbance in the back of the canyon includes gizzard shad, expect to find adults stripers as well. Cast shallow running crankbaits to the surfacing fish. In most years when shad supply is low, adult stripers swim toward the main channel. They may show up this week or more likely next week. Chum with cut bait and then drop anchovies, or other frozen fish bait (including striper meat) down between 30 and 60 feet. Find fish on the graph to help decide what depth to fish. If your first fishing spot produces only a few stripers, try another spot. I like main channel spots near a rocky point, or other structures that may attract more stripers. The historic bait fishing spots include: The Buoy line at the Dam, Mile Marker 3 on the right, downstream from the mouth of Antelope Canyon, The Power Plant intake uplake from Antelope Marina on the right hand side going uplake (Look for a chain link fence at the top of mesa.)
Uplake bait fishing spots include the mouth of Lake Canyon and the mouth of Moki Canyon. Normally fishing picks up at the uplake bait spots a few weeks later than down lake.
Walleye are starting their spawning period. They spawn at night on rocky slopes about 15 feet deep. Male walleye are totally focused on spawning but it is still possible to catch some female walleye. Fishing picks in April up when walleye complete the spawning process. Walleye are very hungry and a great fish to target in April and May at Lake Powell. They really like dark nights when they can see structure and potential food items with their big eyes. If targeting walleye, the best time of day is early morning just as the sun begins to rise.
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I begin my 2021 fish reports with a warning about the low lake level. Last week I saw random rocky structures sticking out of the water that I have no recollection of seeing previously. Do not take short cuts. Stay in the middle of the main channel while traveling uplake. The backs of canyons now have sandy beaches and many sandy areas that are still under water. Go slow in the backs of canyons. Stay alert while boating in the...... Read More
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