Lake Powell Fishing Report

Lake Powell

by Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell - Report from Aug. 22, 2023, provided by Dan Keller courtesy of Water temperature 74-83 F. Lake Elevation 3,575.97 MSL (and dropping). Striper boils / slurps are remaining strong around Rock Creek and starting around Bullfrog. Until recently, water was quite turbid (combination of high silt and plankton blooms) around Bullfrog, making for poor conditions for slurps, as the small larval shad are difficult for stripers to locate and follow in the nearly opaque water. Shad hatched back in May have grown larger and water around Bullfrog is clearing up, allowing stripers to target shad at first and last light, driving them to the 
surface where they surround the shad school and eat as many as possible. Since striper boils last longer than slurps, it is possible to see the school and quickly drive within casting range. In boils, feeding is aggressive, so practically any surface lure or shallow-running crankbait or spoon cast into the boil will work well.


This is the beginning of the best striper fishing of the year as stripers switch over from slurping small shad to bigger shad. Slurps are often found in the back of canyons and coves where small shad reside, but now the open bays have larger shad, so stripers have moved there. Larger shad swim faster and encourage stripers to chase and push up the surface in the process. Over the length of the lake, it pays to keep an eye out for any surface disturbance and have a fishing rod ready.


On our last sampling trip, we found boils in the main channel at Rock Creek, Rincon, and south of Lost Eden. The main channel north of Bullfrog is still stained, we didn’t see any surface activity at Good Hope Bay. For now, using anchovies north of Bullfrog up to Good Hope Bay is going to be better than searching for boils.


Smallmouth bass fishing is slow but steady this time of year. Focus along the rocky shorelines and over newly visible rock islands that are appearing as the lake level is now declining. A variety of plastic baits such as Ned rig, craw jigs, and curly tails, fished along the bottom are effective. One of the best techniques is to use topwater baits in the early morning hours along the rocky shoreline and on rocky points sticking out into the main lake.


On a side note, while conducting shad trawling in the San Juan Arm we caught good numbers of young-of-year crappie. This was a surprise as this sampling method does not target crappie, however this indicates that the crappie had a really good spawn that will provide excellent fishing two or three years from now.