By: Wayne Gustaveson August 4, 2010
Lake Elevation: 3636 Water Temperature 80-84 F
Stripers and shad are in transition mode again. “Slurps”, where stripers casually eat tiny shad and ignore most angler offerings, are coming to an end. Shad have grown some, but more importantly stripers have ranged a bit closer to shore and found larger forage to eat. Size of shad found in striper stomachs has doubled in a week’s time. These larger shad are harder for stripers to corner and catch. That makes stripers much more aggressive in pursuing shad and much more likely to hit lures. All of this equates to good times for anglers who love to use surface lures. Striper “boils” have now started.
In July there were countless numbers of finicky pods of complacent stripers popping up randomly throughout the day. Now there will be fewer surface disturbances seen but those that do come up will hold more fish with a larger appetite. Timing will be much the same with early morning and late evening being most productive. But there will be boils found at random times and locations throughout the day.
It is now wise to have a rod rigged with a full size surface lure that can be cast long distances. When fish come up the rod can be quickly deployed and a fish caught as soon as the boat nears the surfacing fish. If the first fish is landed quickly enough a second can be caught from the same school. Boil duration will increase with each day in August.
Best location for boils is Good Hope Bay but this transition period will make fishing exciting and productive over the length of Lake Powell. Expect to find boils close to the main channel in all canyons. Stripers will not go toward the back of the canyons and coves until later in the month or until September if open water shad numbers hold out that long.
Not all splashes will be made by stripers. One-pound smallmouth have seen tantalizing shad schools and moved out into open water. Bass usually feed individually or with 2-3 friends. Small groups of surfacing fish in shallow water near shore will likely be boiling bass. They provide great sport on surface poppers and shallow running jerk baits. Largemouth will also come to the surface to feed. Run buzz baits, stick baits and poppers over submerged treetops at first light in the morning for largemouth action.
Walleye are still found in large numbers in the tree tops from Bullfrog to Hite. Trolling the edge of the tree line in 30 feet of water with medium diving lures that run just above the tree tops is very effective.
Catfish and sunfish are often ignored because of the glamor of their larger cousins but these smaller fish provide great sport for youngsters just learning how to fish. Lake Powell is a great place to teach kids how to fish because their efforts will be rewarded within a short time. Sunfish can be seen swimming around trees and near boats. They can be caught on a small worm-baited hook. Teaching children how to fish is a worthy goal for any family trip.
Remember to clean drain and dry your boat before coming to Lake Powell. It is still mussel free and will remain that way if all boaters practice good mussel defensive practices.