Matt P. from AZ fishing with Ambassador Guides & Outfitters 6-8-15
1 of 14 fish caught
Lake Powell Fish Report – June 10, 2015
Lake Elevation: 3602
Water Temperature 71 – 75 F
The unusual year of fisheries expectations continues. The big news is that striped bass females caught yesterday still have not spawned. That should not be too surprising since the daytime temperatures and weather resemble late April more than early June. It is raining and cool today as this report is written. Female stripers need the trigger of rapidly warming water before they will spawn. If daytime air temperature warms up to normal any time soon then the wait for spawning will be over.
The next surprise was being able to catch ripe females. They have been hiding out all spring and not eating while sulking on the lake bottom. We have done strange things to find catchable fish like trolling flies to select shallow plankton-eating ripe males. On this trip we could not catch male stripers and found most of the fish caught were females. Why the change? Why are fish that were not eating suddenly participating? That is enough biological intrigue for now as we focus on how to catch cooperating stripers.
At first light we searched for slurping stripers in the main channel. We found them at the mouth of Warm Creek, mouth of Gunsight, and West Canyon. The negative part was that they were skittish and hard to approach. The only working method was to cast a small Kastmaster to the location where the school sounded and let the spoon sink. Then we could reel the spoon slowly and catch a few yearling stripers at a depth of about 12 feet.
Our attitude changed dramatically in the main channel as the sun hit the water at the mouth of Last Chance where the slurpers were 2-3 pound fish. These stripers were very cooperative taking lures and spoons that hit close to the slurping epicenter. We put 8 of these nice fish in the cooler before the school escaped to the depths.
Boils are great but not always available. Here is the pattern that consistently worked the rest of the day. The holding depth of stripers actively feeding has been 25 feet all spring. Lately slick rock habitat has been used more than broken rock. We targeted main channel and main canyon cliffs looking for an isolated shallow bench in otherwise deep water. Slick rock points were the key. Find a shallow point along the canyon walls where shallow water provides a refuge for bait fish and crayfish and stripers will be close by. We targeted stripers by trolling over the shallow point along the 25 foot depth contour. Our best lure was the Luck Craft Bevy Shad in chartreuse shad color. When a striper was hooked trolling we switched over to Kastmaster spoons to catch more fish off the bottom in a hurry. Sometimes just casting the trolling lure worked as well if the trailing fish were high up in the water column. At the end of the day trolling and casting accounted for the majority of the 34 stripers caught.
As we worked back downlake we asked other anglers for their fish reports. We found a group with a cooler full of stripers that were caught on anchovies. The habitat type they were fishing was a 30-foot slick rock bench at the mouth of a canyon surrounded by deep water. The habitat type is key to finding feeding stripers. Then they can be caught using techniques of your choosing.
We picked up active smallmouth bass while trolling/casting for stripers. They are feeding in the same 25-30 foot zone as striped bass. We did not catch walleye that prefer shallower water now that some shoreline vegetation has been inundated by rising water. Look for a bluegill school in the brush to know where walleye will be lurking in slightly deeper water.
Rising water, cool temperatures, brush in the water, spawning fish all make for a challenging but very rewarding fishing experience in Lake Powell in early June.
Quality of life is measured by amount of time spent fishing. Wayne Gustaveson