March 31, 2014
Lake Elevation: 3575
Water Temperature 51-55 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Here is a quick early report as I am going to be gone the rest of the week.
Stripers continue to be the most readily caught fish in the lake. Some walleye, bass and crappie have been taken but not in large numbers. Catching these other species will improve with warming but cold nights and windy afternoons are keeping the lake temperature down. So until we have more warm calm days the most agreeable target species is striped bass.
To my surprise stripers have shown up at the dam and are hitting anchovy bait. Place an anchovy chunk on a colorful jig head (chartreuse or pink), cast it out near the barricade on the west wall and allow the bait to settle under the boat at 30-40 feet. Fishing is fast for a few minutes when the school moves through. Fishing slows while waiting for the school to return. Chumming seems to bring the school back in range more quickly. Fish size is the standard 15-18 inches that is seen most often this spring. A few larger stripers are taken as well but that is the exception.
I like to seek the other striper schools which reside in the backs of most of the canyons from Wahweap to Trachyte. Trolling with lures that run approximately 12 feet deep is steady where fish traces are seen on the graph. Usually the best spots are in murky water near the backs of canyons. Recently stripers have reportedly been caught in Wahweap, Warm Creek, Navajo, Gunsight, Padre, Kane Creek, Last Chance, Rock Creek, Escalante, Nasja on the San Juan, Iceberg, and Red Canyon. Fishing is not fast but steady in the cool water.
Occasionally a fish hooked trolling will have followers that can be caught casting or spooning. On our last trip there were a few occasions where all 3 anglers in the boat hooked up with stripers at the same time. Usually only one 18 inch fish is caught at a time. Normal catch for a 4 hour trip is 20 stripers.
Remember that a nonresident Utah fishing license allows you to fish in both UT and AZ.
Fishing will improve dramatically when water temperature nears 60 degrees.