Caption: Fall striper fishing is excellent in Lake Powell. Travis Sanders helped daughter Aubrey catch her first big striper and now thinks she is hooked for life.
Lake Powell Fish Report – September 8, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3608
Water Temperature 78-81 F
By: Wayne Gustaveson
Stripers are changing habits again with long absent boils occurring in the southern lake. For the past week early morning and late evening boils are blowing up in the main channel from Antelope Point Marina to Padre Bay. Morning boils last from first light to 7:30 AM (MST) or even 8 AM if a morning cloud in the east blocks the sun and delays the start time. If the evening is calm another boil event occurs from 6 PM until dark.
My take is that stripers are chasing threadfin shad up and down the main channel. More accurately, threadfin shad are moving throughout the channel trying to avoid stripers. Shad school during the daylight hours using the “ball of shad” for protection. Each shad uses the shad next to him as a shield and hopes that he lives to see another day. At night shad no longer school but swim independently. Then when the sun rises in the morning shad schools reform and stripers attack once more. It seems that the open water shad schools move at night or mid day to avoid predation from relentless striper schools. Eventually shad schools move to a new location and resident stripers take up the boiling pursuit where the other stripers left off.
Striper boil epicenters have moved from the San Juan all the way downlake to the current location in the last month. These same boil location changes have happened uplake with boils at Good Hope one week and the Rincon the next. The great news is that boils are continuing into September over the length of the lake. Boils have been reported in the last week in the main river channel leading to Padre Bay, San Juan (Cha Canyon), Last Chance Bay, Escalante, and Good Hope Bay. Boils are better on calm mornings.
The current striper population is in excellent physical condition and will continue to thrive into the winter with enough shad remaining to allow them to feed during winter and continue to grow next spring. If these conditions prevail large stripers will delight many anglers in 2016.
It is hard for me to fish for bass when stripers are actively boiling but bass are benefitting from the same positive forage conditions and growing bigger and stronger as well. The best technique to catch a big largemouth in the fall is to find a striper boil near shore. As soon as stripers leave the surface, cast top water lures to any brush shelters along the shoreline to tangle with a dandy largemouth bass.
I am excited about the current state of the fishery. The fall fishing will be epic from now until November. If you have not yet experienced a fall boil, the chances are excellent of successfully accomplishing that bucket list event. You just have to correctly guess where the boil will be tomorrow morning.
Quality of life is measured by amount of time spent fishing. Wayne Gustaveson