Lake Powell Fishing Report

Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

August 19, 2022
Water Temperature 79-83F
Lake Elevation 3533

As I returned from my summer vacation I found that Lake Powell is 17 feet lower than it was a year ago. The good news is the lake is still 11 feet higher than the low water mark reached this spring. We are also having some monsoon rain storms that will slightly slow the decline, but the lake will eventually reach a new low level this winter. Now all we need is a great winter snowpack to bring Lake Powell back up to a higher level than is now predicted for 2023.

Fishing was good in the calm areas half-way between Wahweap and Bullfrog. Great reports came from the Rincon area in late July and early August where stripers were boiling strongly early in the morning and late in the evening. More recently those fish have moved further up lake and down. The best way to find a feeding school of stripers is to launch at first light in the morning, run quickly away from the marina and search for visible surface activity. If you find schooling fish splashing, get close enough to cast over the feeding stripers and quickly retrieve your lure back through the feeding fish. Early in the morning and late in the evening, you may find stripers feeding on the surface anywhere between Wahweap and Good Hope Bay. This is what stripers do in the summer. Perhaps the best areas to target are halfway between Wahweap and Bullfrog and then uplake from Bullfrog to Good Hope Bay. The best lures to use are, surface lures like Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows, shallow runner shad-imitators like rattletraps, and Kastmaster spoons that can be fished near the surface or in deep water. With these three types of lures you will find great catching success when an active striper school is found.

In warm water, larger adult stripers can only stay near the surface for a minute or so. You will have only one chance to catch big fish when casting surface lures or shallow runners. Younger 12-15 inch stripers can handle the warm surface temperature and you can catch them consistently with surface lures. The best lure to use in warm water is a silver Kastmaster which can be fished near the surface and then dropped down to the proper depth where the striper school appears on the graph from 20-50 feet. Watch for boils early and late. These surface feeding stripers are the most exciting fish to chase and catch!

After the stripers quit feeding on the surface, move closer to shore and watch the graph for fish traces from 10 to 30 feet. Smallmouth bass are feeding along the shoreline and will respond to surface lures early and late. Later in the day the best bait for bass is a plastic grub fished slowly along the bottom. Ned Rigs are highly recommended by bass anglers, but single and double tail grubs are also effective. Great lure colors include molting craw, red, green and black. Watch the graph for fish traces and drop plastic lures down to the fish seen on the graph.

Fishing will improve in September as the water cools and all species of fish will have a wider range of motion as they feed on the top and or bottom on any available forage every day.