Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell is now stable. Inflowing water is equal to outflow. The lake has come up 1.5 feet since May 25th but is no longer rising or falling. We can only hope that the lake maintains stability as long as possible.

Stripers are slurping along the surface from the dam to the north end of the lake. We launched yesterday at Wahweap Marina, just as the sun peaked over the eastern horizon. The first slurping striper school popped up before we entered the wakeless area leading into Buoy 1 and the main channel. We grabbed our rods and cast to the surface disturbance. They ignored my surface lure but grabbed my partner’s clear plastic grub on a lead head jig. The first fish was in the boat.

This feeding pattern continued from Wahweap to Last Chance. A new slurping school came to the top about every quarter mile as we navigated the main channel. Unfortunately, the slurps were very quick and before we were in casting range, the slurping fish dove down and regrouped. If they came back up in casting range, we could hook a fish. If not, we continued to travel until we found the next school.

Chasing “slurpers” is very exciting. Here are some tricks to catching them. Try to determine the direction of travel of the slurping school. Try to get ahead of the school, stop the boat and cast as quickly as possible. Cast in front of the school so the lure does not land in the middle of the group. That causes them to dive. If the lure lands ahead of the feeding fish, they will likely attack the lure. Shad size is tiny (about ½ half inch). Smaller lures work best. When shad size increases, lure size can increase. Our best lures were clear tube jigs (3 inch), rattletraps, and small crank baits. The best trick was to go to the back of the canyon where water clarity was less. Our best results came from the back of Navajo Canyon and Last Chance. Other reports are coming in from Rock Creek, San Juan, Escalante and from Bullfrog north. Finally, as the school dives they often show up on the graph right under the boat. Drop small spoons down 20-30 feet to catch more fish while waiting for the school to resurface. Slurping stripers are fun to chase. We will catch more stripers, as shad size gets bigger and stripers become more aggressive.

Early morning smallmouth were active in isolated coves with large boulders surrounded by shade. They responded to rattle traps and other crankbaits, cast to the shady shoreline and then retrieved quickly back to the boat. We found smallmouth bass holding in shady areas during the hot weather we are experiencing. Seek shady bass habitat to catch more fish.

Walleye are switching to night feeding now. Bluegill are looking for shade as well. Fishing is best early and late in the backs of canyons where water is colored instead of being crystal clear. Bait fishing for stripers is still working well over the length of the lake.

More Reports

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...... Read More

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