Photo Caption: Alex Lafage, Mont de Marsan, France, caught a huge largemouth bass in Wahweap Bay on his first fishing trip to Lake Powell. He caught the bass casting a Sebille Flatt Shad near Wahweap marina.
Lake Elevation: 3575 Water Temperature 59-64 F
Lake Powell water level continues to increase. Water temperature is climbing as well. As this report is written water temperature is at 60 degrees in the morning and climbs during the day unless a strong wind mixes the shallow surface water with the colder deep layers. Bass and crappie are impatiently waiting for consistently warm water in the 62-64 degree range so spawning can begin. A few bass nests have been seen in the past days and crappie are searching for the right bush to build their nests. Shoreline vegetation is absent but nature sent a tidal wave of tumbleweeds that will provide the cover that bass and crappie need to spawn. Tumbleweeds were blown into the lake by prevailing winds where they are now clustered in coves and cracks.
Bass and crappie both spawn in 2-3 feet of water so the tumbleweeds will provide some protection as spawning begins. That will improve as the lake rises and covers more weeds. My best guess is that the last week of April and first week of May will be the best time for sight fishing spawning fish. Remember to catch and release largemouth bass and crappie this year as they are small in number in low water conditions. Walleye fishing is heating up in the northern lake with the hotspot now near Good Hope Bay. Crayfish are a walleye food favorite. Good catches of walleye were taken this weekend on crayfish colored crankbaits and rattletraps in the murky water near Red Canyon and Blue Notch. Many walleye were caught the week before at the Horn (just upstream from Good Hope) on night crawler harnesses slow trolled behind bottom bouncers. However more recent reports indicate runoff has muddied the water and made fishing downstream better than in brown water of the main channel. For one more week the trip uplake from Bullfrog is still a good choice but select fishing spots based on water color. Murky is great while muddy is not. Bait fishing for stripers is dependable at the Dam, Buoy 3, Power plant intake, Navajo Canyon, Labyrinth Wall, and Buoy 25 in the southern lake. Those heading out from Bullfrog/Halls will have good luck on the walls near Buoy 99, Lake Canyon, Iceberg (last arm on the right), Escalante and San Juan Canyons. Trolling and casting for stripers is still productive in 25 feet of water at the backs of most canyons in the southern lake that have a floodplain and murky water. Try trolling in Warm Creek, Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance, and Rock Creek with Shad raps and Rattletraps. When a striper is caught trolling start casting at that spot to catch more fish in a hurry.
It may be possible to catch more stripers casting than trolling when the sweet spot is discovered. 1-3 pound stripers are feeding on plankton in the backs of these canyons. Casting to the shorelines in the big bays, (Padre, Neskahi, Bullfrog, Good Hope and others) produces a mixed bag of fish with bass, crappie, stripers, walleye and catfish being caught in close proximity. All these fish are roaming the shoreline searching for food and shelter. They use rock structure, water color and water temperature as their key ingredients. Systematically searching a shoreline by casting rattletraps, square bill crankbaits, and shad rap cranks is an effective method of fishing for a wide variety of fish in the murky warm water available at Lake Powell this week.