Stripers Slurping!

Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

Great news! Lake Powell is rising! The lake came up about 8 inches over the weekend. I hope that the inflow will continue to be higher than the outflow for another few weeks. Every little bit helps in this continuing drought situation encompassing the western states.

Reports coming in from both the northern and southern lake indicate that stripers are feeding on the surface in Good Hope Bay. Surface action is visible but stripers are not aggressive. Expect the feeding activity to increase throughout the month of June. Right now, fly-fishing is the best option to catch stripers on the surface, as the shad are very small. Shad grow quickly which means surface lures will begin working in about two weeks. That will lead to boiling stripers during July.

Right now, the best option in the northern lake is trolling for walleye and stripers. Use trolling lures that dive between 8-15 feet. Troll at 2.5 to 3.5 mph. Strike King Walleye Elite, Blue Steel Shad, and Rapala Shad Rap SR-08 worked well. Find humps that rise to 12-15 feet while the standard bottom depth is 25-30 feet. Check your line often, as Quagga Mussels are abundant. One sharp shell can fray the line. Retie the frayed lure before making another trolling run to prevent losing that lure on the next bottom contact. Walleye are feeding lakewide.

Fishing with bait is still working very well in the southern lake and will continue to work for the next 2-3 weeks. When larval shad grow larger than one-inch, the striper population will switch from looking for bait, to chasing small shad on the surface. Shad usually spawn in the backs of canyons. Brush is not common now but a few tumbleweeds and dead trees are present. Shad will now rely on the muddy colored water in the back of the canyon to protect them from larger predators.

Bass fishing is steady lakewide as the abundant smallmouth bass population provides a great resource for anglers. The slight water rise may energize smallmouth bass to increase feeding in shallow water along the lakeshore. They will definitely be active in deeper water in the shade of tall rocks, under any tumbleweeds that blow into the water, and around rocky points that form a land bridge with deep water on either side. Ned rigs, plastic grubs (single and double tail) and tube jigs are all good lures to use for smallmouth bass. Trolling the shoreline and deeper water for walleye will also result in catching smallmouth hanging out on humps and deep rocks in open water.

Fishing will be great during June as the shad spawn perks up the predatory species that rely on shad as their main food source. Bait fishing will continue to be productive but trolling and casting with lures will vastly improve.

More Reports

Lake Elevation 3561 Water Temperature 62-68 F The falling lake level is slowing down slightly, but there is still more water going out than coming in. The daily water temperature now varies between 62-68 F. This is the spawning trigger for bass in Lake Powell. Expect to find male bass building and guarding nests this week over the length of the lake. Bass fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass is at the springtime peak. With the crazy low water levels, expect to...... Read More