Lake Powell Fish Report – August 20, 2013
Lake Elevation: 3591
Water Temperature 77-82 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
A huge school of small stripers has moved into the Glen Canyon Dam Forebay. Young stripers are most abundant near the second barricade from the west wall but they are also found in many places along that wall. The yearling fish are apparently congregating near a large plankton school along the west wall. But anglers have feed them some anchovies and they really like the big pieces of fish compared to tiny microscopic plankton.
The striper school can be readily seen immediately after chumming the area because these little fish rush to the bait and can be seen in 5-10 feet of water with polarized sunglasses. But they are very good at recognizing which chunks of fish have hooks and which are free floating. We spent some time feeding them small pieces of bait on jig heads, crappie jigs and small hooks. The presentation that caught the most fish was a small size 4 or 6 straight shank bait hook with no weight attached. Tie directly to the hook with 6-pound test or smaller fluorocarbon leader. Drop the bait right into the school of fish swimming through the chum. Watch them whack at the bait as they try to knock it off the hook. Then the bait goes out of sight as it sinks deeper and either the next fish eats the bait and gets hooked or knocks it off the hook and has a free meal at your expense. If the bait is allowed to sink deeper (30-40 feet) then the larger stripers can be caught as well.
I enjoy the drama because we are able to see all this happen in the clear water right under the boat. The 9-12 inch fish that are caught are excellent table fare and when the presentation is perfect many fish are caught in a short time. Kids would really enjoy fishing for these very active abundant stripers.
Recent reports from mid lake indicate adult striper schools are found in Wetherill, Bullfrog Bay, Knowles Canyon and Halls Creek. These fish can be caught on bait, or with down rigger trolling and occasionally in boils. Watch for surface action or graph the walls and flats to find willing striper schools. The most effective method for catching abundant adult stripers is down rigger trolling with shad raps or other crank baits at 40-50 feet over a 60 foot bottom.
The best fishing success may be provided by the very abundant and active channel catfish. Catfish are found in the backs of most canyons patrolling the shallow flats and beaches which are perfect habitat for these bottom feeders. Recently a 9-pound catfish was caught near Bullfrog at night off the back of the houseboat. Use anchovies, hotdogs, shrimp or other table scraps to catch lots of cats and maybe even a trophy sized fish.
Bass fishing is still good around rocky structure. Standard single tail grubs and senkos rigged wacky style are still catching fish. Look near gravel or broken-rock points find both large and smallmouth. Sunken tumbleweeds are the best largemouth habitat. Cranking along the shoreline with square bill and medium running crankbaits allows you to cover lots of water and catch fish at the current lake level where bass habitat is limited.